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Let's Procrastinate With Books! Post 6

For sallymn, from this list.

10. The book(s) you bought because the cover was pretty, and whether it was worth it

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker! Look at this beauty!

[A picture of a book]pretty city

It was 100% worth it. There is an unusually human-looking golem who struggles to make a life for herself after being stranded masterless in late 19th-century New York. There is also a jinni whom I cared about a little less. Neither one of them is made for sleep, so they take long walks together at night. The author has done a lot of research which the book wears more gracefully than most.

24. The book that you got into because of the movie/TV series/etc, and the relative merits of each version

Anne of Green Gables! In grade school, I had a friend who watched the TV movie(s) – this would have been a couple years after its original run – and would describe it to me at recess. I still remember the way she said, “Three times a bridesmaid, NEVER a bride!” My friend's greatest joy was listing every example of Josie Pye being mean or getting her comeuppance – possibly in the form of a pie to the face? Or maybe that was just a pun?

Anyway, I had to watch it so we could talk about ANNE and Josie and ANNE FALLING OFF THE ROOF and the terrible moment when Anne FOUND A MOUSE IN THE SAUCE, but since it was easier to get books from the library than it was to get my parents to rent a movie, I read the books instead. This was all right because Josie Pye's character and the MOUSE SAUCE INCIDENT and Matthew being the best were all basically intact in both versions.

Anyway, it was an epoch in my life, as Anne would say. I read all the L. M. Montgomery books at my library, even the ones I didn't understand or like. Eventually I did see the TV movies, and they're ok! I have the impression that they're a more syrupy and nostalgic than the book, but that may just have been their marketing campaign. I remember thinking the kids looked too old and wondering if everyone was just "more mature" back then. The book is a legit masterpiece of world literature, though I didn't realize that until I was an adult.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2016 05:59 pm (UTC)
That is a beautiful cover and I am tempted to read the book now.

Also, FOUND A MOUSE IN THE SAUCE is one of the most delightfully horrifying moments in a book ever. OH ANNE. And then they nearly serve it to the minister and, even more importantly, his wife, who is one of Anne's new favorite people in the world! And Anne has to MENTION THE MOUSE, oh poor Anne, but very brave of her, I might just have sat still and silent and shuddering at the thought of it and possibly fled the table.

Have you heard there's going to be a new Anne adaptation on Netflix?
Sep. 25th, 2016 06:43 pm (UTC)
The Golem and the Jinni lives up to its cover very nicely! It's the kind of good book I never seem to think about unless someone is asking for recs, but it's a good book just the same.

Poor Anne! It is so brave. I don't know what I would have done! I mean, the choice is between MENTIONING THE MOUSE and "having to live FOREVER with the knowledge that you fed DEAD MOUSE SAUCE to your new best grown-up friend in front of Marilla and all the world" and Anne believes in an eternal afterlife, so it really would be FOREVER. Can heaven really be heaven at all if for all eternity you're still remembering the time you let the minister and his wife eat DEAD MOUSE SAUCE while you just sat there? And are you still yourself, in any meaningful sense, if you've forgotten it?

I have not heard! I'll have to look out for it. Is it animated or live action, do you know?
Sep. 26th, 2016 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that the tormenting remembrance of feeding her new best grown-up friend DEAD MOUSE SAUCE would keep Anne in purgatory (do protestants even believe in purgatory?) for a good long while, at least until she 'fessed up, and presumably now that they're all dead and in heaven everyone would forgive her. It would be an illustration of that C. S. Lewis quote about people making their own hells: Anne's own tormenting guilt would be the only thing keeping her out of heaven.

I think it's live action; the article I saw (here) says that they're filming in Canada, and if they're doing it in Canada already it would be a shame not to take advantage of all the Canadian scenery.

Apparently there's also going to be a PBS special this Thanksgiving. Everyone is getting on the Anne bandwagon!
Sep. 25th, 2016 07:25 pm (UTC)
That is a very pretty cover! And it sounds like an interesting book, too. :-)

Aww at your Anne story. I didn't read them till a bit later and I loved them but was past the age of imprinting on them. (I am amused at your story of your friend, though, because my sister used to also recount TV shows and films to me in great detail despite the fact I hadn't seen them. There are some early 90s films I have never watched because I knew the plot of them in such detail I couldn't bear it, just because my sister saw them in the cinema.)
Sep. 25th, 2016 07:40 pm (UTC)
:D I don't have a lot of experience having stories recounted to me in great detail, because in my family we were all close in age and mostly watched movies together or not at all. So her fascination with it was kind of a source of fascination in itself.

My friend identified with Anne very strongly and really was pretty Anneish in personality. I sort of absorbed the Anne ideal and spent lot of time resenting it because I was very much not Anne (but couldn't reject it entirely). It might have been a little better for me if I'd read them a little later in life, but there's no helping that now and we've all got to be made of something, as the golem said to the jinni.
Sep. 25th, 2016 09:04 pm (UTC)
Anne of Green Gables was a very likeable series...though the movies were no more or less syrupy than the books (from what I remember!!) but they were definitely darned ACCURATE adaptations (and ones that set the standard in my mind for staying true to books when transitioning to screen!)

Sep. 25th, 2016 09:27 pm (UTC)
I should definitely watch them again sometime! It's been years and years. And I've never seen the third one, which I've heard has a weird WWI plot and Fred Wright, of all people, getting loaded up with drama like an overworked llama. But I have seen the first two and my memories of them are nearly all positive.

But if I get the chance to watch only one made-for-TV LMM adaptation, it'll probably be the rest of the live-action Emily of New Moon series, which is the opposite of true to the books (it tries to capture the spirit by throwing out the letter, and winds up making a mess of both).

Edited at 2016-09-26 02:09 am (UTC)
Sep. 27th, 2016 04:41 pm (UTC)
That is a cool book cover!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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