If you read the title and are now disappointed, I’m sorry (I think). This blog has all along been a year-long project for my AP Language and Composition class where we had to blog three times a week, just about every week, 300 words minimum. If you think I posted that frequently just because I felt like it, you’re a crazy person. When we started blogging it seemed like it was going to be really hard to come up with something to say about books every week. However, I managed my time accordingly and got it done. I really actually have enjoyed blogging a lot more than I thought I would, and that’s why I say this isn’t goodbye. There are two ways that this blog could go, and over time I will probably determine (along with your opinion, dear reader) which way I would like it to go.
Option 1: I think I have written about this before but I would like to change the title of my blog from ‘Always Reading’ to ‘Always’ and then have different categories like ‘Always Reading’ to write about books, ‘Always Watching’ to write about movies, or ‘Always Living’ to write about life. This would make the topics on my blog broader and more open to a wider audience of readers, which sounds pretty exciting. It would give me the chance to blog more frequently and be a little more active in the blogging world. Who knows where that might take me? I just wouldn’t want to commit to this and then find that I have nothing to say.
Option 2: I would keep the blog just as it is and just write about books whenever I finish them. I don’t have a lot going on this summer so I would really like to do as much reading as possible. There are a large number of book blogs out there but what makes them great is that they are all so different. This, however, would make my posting schedule really infrequent as certain books take a longer time than others (and watching Hulu can become pretty addicting).
These are the options that I am torn between. I will be posting soon about a book I just read called Inventing English by Seth Lerer. After that we will see where blogging takes me. Feel free to comment below on what you think I should do. After all you are the people that read my blog, and you should probably have some say on what you read.
You know when you’re watching your favorite show or listening to the newest song on the radio, and something is said that we understand, but only would’ve been understood if we had read a book or learned something in class? That may be a long description but there is one word that sums this phenomena up- allusion. Dictionary.com defines it as “a passing or casual reference; an incidental mention of something, either directly or by implication” or “the act or practice of making a casual or indirect reference to something.” Allusions make us feel educated and accomplished. For example, in a song by country artist Luke Bryan called ‘That’s My Kinda Night’, he mentions Conway and T-Paine. Now, if you have never heard of these artists or their music, you wouldn’t understand their purpose in the song. Bryan uses allusion in his song to make it show more of his personality and interests, this example showing his preference in music when taking a girl out. Sometimes you need to understand an allusion to understand what is going on, you need the context of it to get the rest. Allusions are used to express the artist or make them more understandable. When we understand allusions, it shows that we are educated and are capable of learning. For example, I took AP world history last year and now I understand so much more about the world and the history behind it. I can listen to songs and read books and get what’s going on. This may be pushing the boundaries of allusion but it is still helpful to the reader or listener. So, basically, stay in school if you want to understand and be able to comprehend songs, books, and even movies. You are missing out until you strive to unlock allusions.
I just got back from work, so bear with me on the fact that this post is about movies and not books. Should Hollywood continue to remake classic films, especially if they’re based on books (see, now it relates)? Last year, The Great Gatsby was released. Now this movie is based on a book that already has a film adaptation. I’m not saying that the newest version is lame (because it was AMAZING) but I’m saying that it’s strange that people think we need to do more remakes. Footloose, an 80s classic was recently remade with a little bit of a more modern edge. This was all fine and dandy but hardcore fans may have seen this as just trying to revive something that didn’t need resuscitating in the first place. I just think it’s strange that there is an apparent need to remake movies that already have been made. Like how long are we going to wait until we start remaking the Harry Potter movies? Now that I think of it, you don’t see authors doing that with books. Why do we remake movies? Is it a marketing gimmick to make fans buy more merchandise then they did when the movie first came out? Or is it to bring back those feelings you get seeing that movie? When and if they do remake the Harry Potter movies, I will probably be as emotional and excited about them as I was when I was young. I’ll be like that parent who freaks out when an 80s song comes on the radio that they remember. Maybe we remake movies because we have no choice to, we’ve run out of originality and creativity, the spark of imagination is gone. When that happens, I don’t know what we will do. Probably remake more movies.
The other day in my English class, we touched on a topic that really intrigued me (and no, it wasn’t food). We were discussing an excerpt by Barbara Ehnreich about television in the 1980s and how it has turned society into couch potatoes. She says that you never see people sitting and watching TV on TV. This makes sense, who would like to watch a show about someone who watches a show? It just wouldn’t be popular or worth watching. Watching TV, Ehnreich says, makes people lazy and it has only gotten worse as the years have gone by. However, my teacher brought up a point that people were saying the same things about paperback books when they became popular. This made me think about what happened in the past, what is happening now, and what will happen in the future. As I said before, in the past paperback books were all the rage because technology hadn’t advanced far enough for us to have the electronics that we do today. People would spend hours reading and getting lost in them, causing others to call them lazy because all they were doing all day was reading, not at all contributing to society. Later on, radio in the 20s and then television in the 50s took the place of novels and became all Americans ever did. Nowadays, it is cell phones, specifically social networking. This all makes me wonder what will happen in the future; what will people be addicted to next? What great new thing can scientists and inventors create that becomes a social phenomena? My only hope is that it will be something that can’t be constructed and controlled by technology. Hopefully we revert back to the basics and realize that this is what we needed all along: face-to-face human contact.
So if you have read my blog at all, you know by now that I am a big fan of everything by John Green. I am a proud Nerdfighter, and I can honestly say The Fault in Our Stars is one of the most amazing pieces of literature that I have ever laid my eyes on. And that’s saying a lot. Since I finished Mockingjay, the third and final book in the Hunger Games series, I decided I would reread An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, which I will be blogging about later on in the week. All anyone on Twitter has been talking about recently is the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, the movie adaptation of the book which comes out June 6th of this year (this is where working at a movie theater really pays off). Hazel Lancaster will be played by Shailene Woodley and Augustus Waters will be played by Ansel Elgort. Personally, I didn’t particularly like Woodley being cast to play the leading lady but hopefully it all works well in the end. The trailer was definitely a tear-jerker, like if you didn’t feel one ounce of emotion while watching it, you need serious help. It seems to follow the book pretty well, but I will probably read it again just to refresh myself before seeing the movie (if I don’t end up bawling through the whole thing). The trailer came out yesterday and it already has over 4,000,000 views so a lot of people are anticipating this movie. Throughout the last year, John Green has been posting things on Twitter and Tumblr about his involvement of the production of the movie and it seems like he had his say in a lot of it, but he seems pretty giddy that his book is being made into a movie, and I can’t blame him for it. Kudos to John Green and all the fabulous people who decided to make this astounding novel a movie. I will anxiously wait until June, but until then I’ll just read some more. What did you think of the trailer?
Lately it seems that a lot of movies that are based on books are usually split into two parts. Take the Harry Potter series, Hunger Games, and Twilight for example: every last movie in those franchises was split into two parts. This is mostly done because the books are so long and important that they need all the content. However, it is probably a marketing gimmick as well. To make a series last longer and to gain more profit on it, splitting a movie into two parts seems ideal. You get the best of both worlds: a fandom lasts a little longer and people make money. For some reason, the split movies make my mom angry. I find this kind of funny, though. Personally, I like when movies are split up because it gives me more to look forward to, even if I have to wait a while. For example, I am reading the third book in the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay. The movie comes out this year on November 21st. However, this is only the first part of the movie adaptation and the second part will probably come out sometime next year. I guess this does give people time who haven’t read the books to catch up, though. This gets me to thinking about other movies like this; Gone With the Wind is a movie I have on DVD and it is split into two parts just because of the tremendous length of the feature. This is how it would’ve been played in theaters in 1939 as well, with an intermission in the middle. Titanic, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, isn’t based on a book but it is also one of those really long movies that didn’t fit on the tape so it had to be split into two parts. I believe the Divergent series will be this way. Even though I’ve only read one of the books, I think that the last one will probably be split into two parts for entertainment and monetary reasons. Do you think movies based on books should be split into two parts?
The argument we hear over and over again is that film adaptations of books never turn out how the reader imagines them. Some small detail is left out, a character doesn’t look how the reader imagined, you nitpick the movie and pretty soon everything is completely wrong! Right? Wrong. Take the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings series for example: those books are loooooooong, as well as the movies. If we included every song that is in Return of the King or every spell in Order of the Phoenix, the movies would be longer than 2 or 3 hours. Scenes have to be cut and directors have the challenge of choosing those specific scenes that aren’t exactly important to the storyline. It’s a good thing that we don’t have the popularity of VHS tapes around today because we would have things like Titanic– a two tape movie that you would have to stop, eject, (probably rewind), and pop in the second tape. However, I do have Gone With the Wind on DVD and it is a two-parter. What I’m trying to say with this post is movies based on books should at least be given a chance. I personally have to read the book before I see the movie. Working at a movie theater makes this difficult but that just makes me want to read more. For instance, I overheard my manager talking one day about Catching Fire and saying how small details were left out and if people hadn’t read the books, they wouldn’t have noticed or cared. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t go to the movie that you have been anxious to see and come out putting it down because it wasn’t exactly to how you imagined it. Everyone thinks of things differently so no one is going to be completely with the outcome. Just be content with the fact that someone made the decision to create something you can see rather than just think about.