There wasn’t much time for book buying or reading in November.
I haven’t seen Atonement yet, but I would recommend reading the book before seeing the movie. To quote from Entertainment Weekly, “Their movie is abundantly attractive, every scene serenely composed, and every character so fair in love and war that, when the lights come up, it’s too easy to say, ”That was good and sad and romantic and classy, now what’s for dinner?” Turning the last page of McEwan’s book, in contrast, you’re more likely to be shaking from direct devastation and intensity of experience.” There are very few (if any?) book-into-movie situations where I’d ever recommend seeing the movie first, but this one especially. The ending of the book is incredible and powerful, and having the movie ruin that experience for you would be a calamity.
Probably the same is true for The Kite Runner. The difference for this post, though, is that I’m not planning on seeing The Kite Runner. Maybe I’ll change my mind based on reviews and input from others once they see it. For now, I plan on leaving the book free for further independent digestion.
The Principles of Uncertainty is one of my favorite books of the year. It was an unexpected delight; I hadn’t been reading her monthly columns for the NY Times online. (This book is the entire collection of columns she’s done so far.) It’s a very unusual combination of art and writing. Completely whimsical, and absolutely gorgeous. The main tendency of the book is about little things that Maira notices and finds beautiful. An old woman with three large bobby pins in her hair. (Are there three more on the other side?) A sliced egg sandwich, eaten by someone named Sally at a luncheonette counter on a drizzly day in New York City. A woman who used to print photos in her bathtub. Before I read The Principles of Uncertainty I only knew Maira from her (gorgeous) illustrations in The Illustrated Elements of Style. Now I’m a huge Maira fan and have found 3 of her (just as gorgeous) books for children at Strand and added them to my collection. I’m anticipating the return of her column in January.
(This post was brought over from emilyw.vox.com.)