Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

Upcoming Books-Turned-TV Movies

 

I was watching a Law & Order marathon on TNT this morning and saw a promo for a bunch of mystery/thriller movies coming up at the end of the month.  One that caught my eye was a TV-movie version of Sandra Brown’sRicochet“.  I’m a big fan of Sandra Brown but sadly, I can’t remember if I read this book!  I own a bunch of hers and would assume that I have read it, but it’s not on my Goodreads list (which only goes back over a year) and it’s not on my bookshelf.  Hmm.  Maybe I borrowed it from my mom.  Either way, I want to watch it (or at least DVR it).  John Corbett (Aidan from Sex and the City) is in it.  (And he looks really good in the promos.  None of that scraggly longish hair.)  It airs November 30th on TNT.  Here’s a bit more about it and the promo clip from Sanda Brown’s own blog.

Another one that I heard about recently is a movie adaptation of Jodi Picoult’sSalem Falls” on Lifetime.  Jodi Picoult is another one of my favorite authors and I can confirm that I own and have read this book.  She’s had a few other books made into Lifetime movies, like “Plain Truth” (which I blogged about here) and “The Pact” (which I have read but not seen).  It may have already started to air for all I know, since I don’t watch Lifetime very often, but here’s the upcoming schedule for the movie.  Next airing is November 19th.  And if you were going through withdrawal from not seeing James Van Der Beek on TV in a really really long time, other than in Ke$ha’s music video, which is just kinda gross, here’s your chance.

Any others that I missing?

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante

 

While we were honeymooning in California, we met up with a friend of my husband’s in San Francisco.  We were talking about books and I mentioned my blog, and he recommended a new book recently released by a friend of his.  I downloaded it during dinner because it sounded so fascinating (but didn’t start reading it at dinner, because of course that would have been rude).

In “Turn of Mind”, Dr. Jennifer White is a retired orthopedic surgeon in her 60′s.  She also has been diagnosed with dementia.  It also just so happens that her best friend, Amanda, was recently found murdered.  Jennifer has her good days and her bad days and often doesn’t even realize that Amanda is gone or who her children are.  Jennifer’s husband passed away a few years ago and Jennifer often mistakes her son for her late husband.  She has a caretaker who she sometimes doesn’t recognize and she has escaped from the house on multiple occasions.

What is even more confusing for Jennifer is the fact that she is being questioned as a suspect in the case of Amanda’s murder.  Amanda was found with several fingers severed… in a manner than only an expert could do.  Does Jennifer remember what happened?  Did she do it?  And if she did, what would possess her to kill her best friend?

The story is told from Jennifer’s perspective, bouncing back and forth between coherent and way far gone into the depths of dementia.  This was one of the most uniquely written books that I have personally ever read.  You are getting a firsthand account of what a person may go through when suffering from dementia and it is both extremely sad (particularly if you know anyone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s) and completely enthralling.  It’s a murder mystery where the suspect doesn’t even know if they committed the crime.  There are actually some funny parts to the story but some heartbreaking ones, too.

I found a great interview with Alice LaPlante if you want to learn more about the back story and why she wrote about dementia.  This is her first novel and I really hope to see something else from her in the future.  Trust me, you will not want to put this book down after you pick it up.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

I can’t remember how I ran across this book several months back.  It didn’t really seem like something I’d normally read, so maybe that’s why I decided to give it a go.

Super Sad True Love Story” is about the future… sometime in the future.  In fact, I read in an article (wish I would have saved the link – no clue where I saw it) that the author said that it could be as soon as “next Tuesday”.  Lenny Abramov is a New Yorker with Russian immigrant parents who works for an Indefinite Life Extension Company, basically a company that helps people live forever.  Lenny is middle aged, which puts him at a disadvantage to his young, healthy, and popular coworkers.  Lenny hasn’t had luck in love until he meets a young Korean-American woman named Eunice, who would be the last person on Earth that you’d imagine would want someone like Lenny.  At first, she wants nothing to do with him, but she eventually comes around and is open to the companionship, although she never quite puts herself as fully into the relationship as Lenny does.  He practically worships her and is terrified to lose her.

Being that this story is taking place in the future, you can get a glimpse of what our future may possibly be like.  America is in financial ruin and China rules the world.  Every person has an electronic device they wear around their neck called an “apparat” that connects them to EVERYTHING (is this where we’re going with smartphones?).  If you dare to break the rules or speak against the leaders, you would be in some trouble.  All this is happening around the little bubble of life that Lenny has created around himself and Eunice.  Lenny tries to be hip and young, although he still hangs on to his old-fashioned things such as books and his diary.  Then stuff starts REALLY going bad.

I haven’t read any of Gary Shteyngart’s other books, but I guess he’s known for his satirical writing style.  As I said before, this probably wouldn’t have been something I would have normally picked up, but I found the story really interesting.  It took me awhile to get through, but I was always wanting to know what would happen next in Future New York.  It wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but it was somewhat humorous in places.  I found myself feeling bad for Lenny and annoyed at Eunice (for acting so immature and mean sometimes).  Frankly, I hope our future doesn’t turn into this.  It was very Big Brother-ish, and the girls pranced around in various styles of see-through jeans.  Yeah… I’d rather not.

Has anyone else read this or anything else by Shteyngart?  What did you think?   Are there any other similar authors out there that you’d recommend?

Room by Emma Donoghue

First of all, Happy New Year!  Second, wow, did I read a bunch of great books over the holidays.  Now I just need to remember all of them so I can tell you about them!  I don’t really know where to start but I’ll pick one that I think you guys will really like…

Room” is told in the first person perspective of Jack, a 5-year old boy.  Jack lives in a room with his mother, Ma.  Room (as Jack calls it) includes Bed, Wardrobe, Table, Rug, and all of their other belongings in life.  Jack was born in Room and he knows nothing of the outside world – Room is the only world he knows.  When he watches TV, he thinks that all of the people and things on TV are pretend.  Ma does her best to teach Jack things and get him exercise every day in Room so he can act like a normal kid (as much as possible).  Jack is happy and content in Room because he knows nothing else.  The only thing that scares Jack is Old Nick, the man who visits Ma each night while Jack hides/sleeps in Wardrobe.  Ma, on the other hand, is trying to plot an escape.

Eventually, Jack and Ma break free of the confines of Room.  Ma is ecstatic to be in the real world again and to see her family, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a teenager.  Jack, on the other hand, doesn’t understand the world outside of Room and actually wishes to go back.  Jack and Ma spend some time in a facility to have therapy and slowly adjust to a completely different life.  Jack struggles to understand simple things in life that we take for granted and don’t have a second thought about… he is literally seeing and experiencing the world for the very first time.

Room” is based on a true story, and no, not the Jaycee Dugard case, although that’s what it reminded me of.  Remember back in 2008 when a woman, Elisabeth Fritzl, and her seven children were found hidden in her father’s house in Austria?  That is the story that inspired Emma Donoghue to write this story.  I don’t think my description above really did the book justice, but it’s really something you need to read for yourself.  I honestly didn’t want to put my Kindle down while I was reading this book.  I was enthralled.  This was truly one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time.

The story was told in Jack’s words, so as you may have noticed above, he tended to turn regular words of items into proper nouns.  It wasn’t as confusing as I thought it would be although he sometimes has a hard time explaining things and finding the right words.  I think I most identified with Ma – she was roughly my age in the story – and it was so scary (and sad) to think of that situation really happening to someone.  Obviously, it HAS happened to who knows how many women… maybe there are others who haven’t escaped or been found.  Craziness.

“Room” has shown up on some Amazon lists for Top 100 Books of 2010 (#35 on editors’ picks list, #90 on customer favorites list, and it’s been a Kindle bestseller for awhile) and I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard more about it in 2011.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if this was turned into a movie someday.  Emma Donoghue has authored a number of other books that have some interesting subjects and storylines.  I’ll be putting her on my “must read authors” list!

Still Life by Joy Fielding

Joy Fielding is one of my favorite authors.  My mom introduced me to her books a few years ago.  I’ve read quite a few of them so far but nothing lately… I hadn’t really heard about any new ones coming out.  I think the last one I read was “Charley’s Web“.  I like that she always writes about a strong female lead character and there’s always a twist in the story.

Still Life” starts with Casey, a successful interior designer around 30-ish, having lunch with her two best friends, Janine and Gail.  Janine is sleek, sophisticated, and sometimes a little abrasive, while Gail is basically the opposite.  Casey breaks that news that she and her husband, Warren, are going to try to get pregnant.  When lunch is done, Casey walks alone back to the parking garage where she parked.  Right as she is approaching her car, she hears tires squealing and a motor revving.

When Casey wakes up, she’s in the hospital and can hear people around her talking but can’t see anything and doesn’t understand what’s going on.  Turns out that Casey was run down by a hit-and-run driver and is in a coma.  She can’t see, move, or speak, but can hear, but of course, no one knows that because she has no way of communicating.

Casey starts to learn tidbits about what happened to her and is hoping they catch who did it.  As she lays in the hospital, helpless, with her husband at her side, she is shocked to hear the REAL story when people talk in front of her (not knowing that she can hear, of course).  Casey recovers from her broken bones and other injuries and is taken home, still in a coma.  She tries to communicate with her younger sister, Drew, who she’s had a rocky relationship with in the past.  For the most part, Casey is still immobile and can’t speak, so she has almost no control over what happens to her and can’t stop some people from finishing out the job they set out to accomplish…

Hope I didn’t give too much away!  I don’t think I’ve disliked any of Joy Fielding’s books, but I really really liked this one.  The entire story was told from Casey’s perspective (although not in the first person) while she was in a coma.  While she can’t interact, she could hear the action going on around her and would slip in and out of sleep and would have vivid dreams/memories about things that happened to her in the past.  This wasn’t the typical thriller/suspense novel and I dug that.  I was pulling for Casey the whole time, wishing she’d wake up and be able to take control again.

Joy Fielding has authored a number of thriller/suspense novels (some of the ones on her Amazon page look to be translated into… German?).  I think I’ve read most of these except two or so.  If you like this genre, I’d recommend picking up a few of her books – I know you’ll love them!

2012 Reading Challenge

2012 Reading Challenge
Jaci has read 1 book toward her goal of 35 books.
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