day twenty-one | 30 day book challenge

30 Day Book Challenge | Day 21 — Your favorite Your favorite autobiography / biography / memoir

Again, naturally, I cannot pick just one…

I have really started loving memoirs in the last couple of years. My Life in France chronicles Julia Child’s time there, falling in love with the culture and finding her true passion in life. Into Thin Air is Jon Krakauer’s telling of his experience climbing Mt. Everest during the May 1996 disaster (read my review here). Tina Fey’s Bossypants is a look at the comedian’s life and times in showbiz (my review here), and Nicholas Pileggi’s Wiseguy is the true story of New York mobster Henry Hill’s 40-year involvement in the mafia. These books had me riveted, either with humor, delicious joy and delight, terrifying physical risks, or a fascinating take on life in the mob.

What are your favorite autobiography/biography/memoir books?

day seventeen | 30 day book challenge

30 Day Book Challenge | Day 17 — Your favorite non fiction book

Naturally, I cannot pick just one…

Not counting memoirs (that’s day 21), these four books encompass some of my favorite non fiction sub-genres. The First Family by Mike Dash is a meticulously detailed yet very readable history of the Italian-American Mafia in the United States starting with its beginnings in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan is an eye-opening exposé of all the different foods that end up on our plate and the choices we face as consumers. The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross is a brief history of music in the twentieth century with particular focus on composers’ lives and cultural struggles. And of course, Truman Capote’s masterpiece In Cold Blood is a true crime novel about the brutal, senseless murder of a family in rural Kansas.

What are your favorite non fiction books?

day ten | 30 day book challenge

30 Day Book Challenge | Day 10 — Book-to-film adaptation(s): favorite(s), bad ones, ones you’d like to see

Fun! First, the good…

I mean, come on. Of course. Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!! I will go to the mattresses defending The Godfather. This movie (and Part II) makes me an offer I won’t refuse. I will take the gun and leave the cannoli. Confession: I have not read the book! High on the list for 2013.

Many exist, but for this post I’m choosing one utterly cringe-worthy adaptation…

wild things are movie poster

<shudder> WHY did anyone think this would be a good idea? How do you make a nearly two-hour movie out of a book consisting of a mere ten sentences? Ugh. All the characters were insufferably annoying. Sure sure, the CGI was excellent and beautiful, but I found this film largely unwatchable.

A few I wouldn’t mind seeing on the big screen… IF done well, of course…

I’m sort of on the fence about Arcadia as a movie, though—mostly I think it would be better if it stayed in my post-read imagination, but on the other hand, I’d be curious to see how it would end up. I saw a fairly boring documentary on H.H. Holmes (the killer in The Devil in the White City), but I think Hollywood could maybe do the story one better. And I’ve read rumors that Gone Girl is actually in the works… so we’ll see how it goes!

What are your favorite book-to-film adaptations? What would you like to see made for the screen?