Friday Reads | 14th October

Another Friday dawns, and I cannot believe how quickly this week has gone by. I swear I blinked on Monday and then somehow it was Friday already. For some unknown reason, early this week I was sat on my bed, fully dressed, ready to leave, staring at my bookshelves. Now, admittedly, I have recently furnished my room so my shelves are looking rather nice to a person who previously used the ‘stack and hope they don’t fall’ method of book organisation. However, the reason I was staring was because I realised I wasn’t really in the mood to read Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on my morning train journey, nor did I really fancy lugging around A Feast For Crows, nor was I in the mood for any of my on-loan audiobooks.

I should have already left the house, I was running late, but I had a sudden and bewildering draw to pick up Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, a book I have read before but was vaguely interested in re-reading “at some point”. “At some point” turned out to be on that morning’s train journey, apparently. I don’t know why, but it happened. So now I’m about 200 pages/a third of the way through and I fully intend to read it today and going into the weekend.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (x)

The Secret History is essentially the story of a group of clever, but eccentric students at an elite New England college. When I say “clever” and “elite”, I really mean it – the group isolate themselves from other students, studying as a group of five with their charming Classics professor Julian. All of their classes are taught by Julian and their studies focus around ancient history and philosophy (along with language-learning Ancient Greek and Latin). Because of their intent and intense focus on their studies, it’s unsurprising that the philosophy and practices they discuss actually start to creep over into their life outside of the classroom.

As a book, it’s weird – I mean, come on, it opens with the line “The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation”. It’s also incredibly elitist in its references and whether that comes across as annoying or compelling depends entirely on the individual reader, I think. However, on my first read of this, I adored hating these weird and flawed characters. I’m sure that feeling will continue on this re-read!

So there we have it, that was my rather short Friday Reads.
Do you have any books lined up for today and into this weekend?
What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!

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T5W ¦ Books You’d Want to See as TV Shows

For those who don’t know, Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and it is a weekly meme in which a topic is posted and you compile a list. I do so love me a good list and this week’s topic really caught my eye…

Top Five.. Books You’d Want to See as TV Shows

  1. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
    No questions asked about this one and I’m 98% sure that there was talks of this definitely happening with Netflix. I think it being produced in this way is next to ideal and it definitely deserves more time to really delve into the world than was really afforded by the film. Don’t get me wrong, I like the film on its own merit, and I loved the cinematography, set design, costumes, just the entire feel of it, but with Paramount Television supposedly behind it (as they were behind the film) there is some hope for a vaguely similar  feel. Or that could just be my eager 12-year old self talking.
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
    The atmosphere of this book is so beautiful and evocative and rich that it would make an excellent screen adaptation. For a long time I thought it would make a wonderful film but I have since re-evaluated and I reckon the miniseries format would be perfect for Morgenstern’s mystical and magical novel. I need to see this brought to life in front of my eyes. Please, please.
  3. The Bone Season/The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
    Yes, yes, I know, supposedly the film rights to this have already been sold to Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Studios which to be honest couldn’t be in safer hands given its source material but I can’t help but feel it’s also something of a shame. Maybe it’s the greedy part of me that would like more than a 2/3 hour affair but I feel like the wealth of world building that Shannon does with Scion London would really lend itself to a TV series as opposed to a film, especially in the second book of the series when we delve into the back-streets and market-places of the underground criminal gangs. In my head I certainly imagined it as something of the sort. Admittedly it would be difficult to keep up the production values on such an extended project but think a HBO Game of Thrones style set-up and that’s a little of where my imagination is satisfied. Also, I think we desperately need to cast Paige as basically Carrie Hope Fletcher because, even though it was quite possibly her recommendation of the book in the first place that swayed this for me, I saw her as Paige throughout. Whoops?
  4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    This is the one I’m most wavering about whether film or TV medium would be better. I’ve seen so many beautiful, aesthetically pleasing photo sets of fan casts on Tumblr often enough to know that I need this brought to life on some size screen. And to know that Daniel Sharman is my Charles and Imogen Poots my Camilla, if I didn’t have to concern myself with the fact they’re meant to be twins. Again, perhaps a moody miniseries would be the happy medium. I think that would give it enough time to really play with the richly complex characterisation at work here. I’m thinking Sherlock style 90 minute episodes.
  5. City of Masks by Mary Hoffman
    This was a childhood favourite of mine. The Stravaganza series would all make amazing films/TV shows but I am most eager to see at least an attempt made at adapting the first book, City of Masks, because it’s set in an alternate 16th century Venice called Bellezza. This features time travel and political intrigue and body doubles and a quasi-scientific magic system and I can’t help but think this would make an incredible series. With quite a few years to think about this (I read the series when it was only a trilogy) I’ve already cast quite a lot of the principle roles in my own head and with no thought spared to… oh you know the actual ages of the actors in question. Hey, they can do wondrous things with make-up! I think I always pictured Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo, always. For our esteemed Duchess Silvia either Sofia Vergara or Kate Beckinsale. Arianna would ideally be Hayley Atwell but if we must go younger (and therefore more canonical) then either Sarah Hyland or Nina Dobrev. Lucian is the one I struggle with, ideally we want a mix of Andrew Garfield, Tom Sturridge and Harry Lloyd (good luck with that one). Much like with Rodolfo, however, there is one person and one person alone who is my Guido – Eddie Redmayne, you gangly, red-haired dork.

Phew. I have to say that those aren’t actually ranked, they are just five TV show adaptations that I need in my life yesterday, to be honest. I’ve even provided some helping casting tips for any interested studios! Until then, trawling the Internet for fan casts will have to suffice… it’s a difficult life, the life of a booklover and (tbh miniseries) TV lover.