Jane loves photos

Hello all
Day 6 of the June Photo Challenge is ‘Books’. As I said yesterday, I have a lot of those, so it was really hard narrowing down the choices! I took lots of photos, and this is the one that I chose to go on the Flickr group.

These are the books by the side of my bed; including The Silence of the Lambs that I am currently reading. Unfortunately the photograph is slightly blurred, but I liked it so it’s the one I chose. I’m also going to share with you a handful of the other photographs I took.
Until next time



Jane loves blogging

Hello all
I’ve missed a week of the postaweek challenge again! I have no real excuse this time, except that the computer I use primarily is a bit temperamental, so the actual posting can be difficult sometimes. But I’m back this week.
What is the last good book you read?
I’m an avid reader, I love books and I don’t think I could live without reading. I’ve always got a book on the go, and I usually read at least once a day. But sometimes I go through stages where I read even more voraciously than usual. And I’m currently going through one of these phases now. I have a Books tab at the top of this page, and I’m updating it with all the books I read in 2011. My total is at 25 so far, and that includes everything, including the children’s books that I love, and all the books I have read before. Looking at my list, I can see that I was obviously going through a greedy-reading phase at the start of the year (I read eight books in January), and, as I said, now. I’ve read three books since the start of the month, and two of them in the last two days.
So I thought I’d give you a brief review of the last book I read, which I finished about twenty minutes ago. It’s called The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson.
~ source ~
The Chocolate Run is a story about Amber, a young woman, living in Leeds, who has been friends with Greg for a few years. They are friends because their own best friends are in a relationship, and they were kind of thrown together. As the book begins, they have just slept together for the first time, and Amber can’t decide whether or not she’s just made a huge mistake. Greg’s a womaniser, a tart, a serial shagger – he’s not a man that she ever imagined sleeping with, never mind beginning a tentative relationship with.
As the title may indicate, chocolate plays a part in the story. Amber isn’t a chocoholic, she’s more like a chocolate connoisseur. She appreciates everything about chocolate; not just its taste, but the way it smells, looks, feels. The book is actually much less about chocolate that I thought it would be, based on the title. Amber judges people in terms of chocolate, someone might be a Flake, where someone else might be a very expensive dark chocolate. But it doesn’t play a huge part in the plot of the novel.
At the end of the day, The Chocolate Run (which was published in 2004) was never going to win any awards for high-brow literature, nor is the ending any great surprise: you don’t read chick-lit without being able to guess at the ending from about halfway through the book. But it’s entertaining, and it is kind of nice to read a book that is about a woman who has some commitment issues, rather than it always been about the man who is reluctant to settle down. It’s also refreshing to read a book of this type that is set outside London. OK, so all involved have good jobs and nobody is short of money, but it’s still nice to read about a different city.
I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a simple, romantic story – I read it in just under a day, because I was enjoying it and wanted to find out exactly how it would end. I’m about to read Mister Pip next, which I understand will be a slightly different kettle of fish.
Until next time

Jane loves films

Hello all
This week we’ve had the tale of two trailers. Both based on books by British authors, both highly anticipated (by me, at least). One trailer has left me cursing the fact that July does not follow April; the other one has left me wondering if I might just bypass the film and re-read the book. This post is going to discuss the latter, and I’ll discuss the other one at a later time.
Do you remember, a couple of months ago, I wrote about my love for One Day, the book by David Nicholls? To be honest, I gushed, rather than wrote, I enjoyed it that much. I also spoke about how I had, ill-advisedly, read some message boards that bemoaned the casting of Anne Hathaway as Emma. I don’t think it’s a good idea to automatically decide that someone isn’t the person to play a character just because it seems a bit off. I don’t really remember, but I’m fairly sure that there were similar voices of dissent when Renée Zellweger was cast as Bridget Jones, and now you’d be hard-pressed to imagine anyone else playing her. But, I wander from my point, because I am now about to stomp all over the idea of Anne Hathaway as Emma, albeit having waited to see some footage before doing so.
I love Anne Hathaway, I really do. I think she’s a very watchable actress, she’s not one of those girls that other girls don’t really like (yes Megan Fox, I’m looking at you). I liked her when I first saw her, in The Princess Diaries, I liked her in Brokeback Mountain, The Devil Wears Prada; I even liked her in Bride Wars, even though it’s not that good. And I’m fairly sure I’m going to love her in Glee. Plus, you know, we share a birthday (same day, same year), so that gives us a link, I feel.
However, she’s not looking great as Emma. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to have mastered the English accent at all, something I find surprising, considering she played Jane Austen in Being Jane and didn’t seem to attract too much criticism (I haven’t seen it, so I can’t judge). But in this trailer, we are treated to her butchering the accent, and never it is more obvious than when she says “I know we will” to Dex. She also seems to be using a weird combination of accents, when she says both “I’m a disaster” and “chances”, she’s using a long ‘a’ sound, which would be fine if she was actually speaking with a Northern accent (Emma is supposed to be from Yorkshire). But everything else is very middle England, and so it just jars. And when she says “absolutely”, to me it just sounds like her regular American voice.
The trailer also manages to give away most of the plot of the film, barring the ending, which to be fair, is the major reveal that you probably wouldn’t want to know before seeing it. Jim Sturgess looks good, but that might just be because I’m feeling generous towards him because I enjoyed him so much in Across the Universe last week.
I don’t think the film looks horrible, nor do I think it’s going to be a terrible adaptation of one of my favourite books of recent years. However, I don’t think it looks all too great. I know it’s probably not a good idea to judge an actor’s performance in a film based solely on the trailer, but you do have to wonder how much better it can possibly get. It’s not just the accent either, she doesn’t look terribly comfortable in the role, and if she’s not convinced by her performance, how on earth am I supposed to be? The book is pretty much Emma’s story; although it’s about her and Dex, I feel that she carries the narrative. Also, in the film, Anne Hathaway is a much bigger star than Jim Sturgess, so I feel that she’ll probably be used in the greater capacity.
Of course, as I have previously stated, I would never want to be one of those people who feel so negatively about a film adaptation that I would let it ruin my enjoyment of the novel. I will go to the cinema to see One Day, and if I don’t like it, I’ll file it away under ‘films I won’t watch again’, and go back to the book. My main problem is, when so much relies on the performance of a particular actor, why take any chances with the casting? Surely to goodness there are plenty of British actresses out there who could be relied upon to bring Emma to life. Granted, Anne Hathaway plays frumpy to perfection, but it’s not unheard of for a) people to uglify themselves for a film role, or b) films to take a bit of artistic license when it comes to casting stunningly beautiful people as average-looking characters. Emma Watson, anyone?
For reasons unknown to me, my skills as a casting director have yet to be recognised by any major Hollywood players. However, I’m the boss around here, so I decided to do a little fantasy casting for the part of Emma. Romola Garai, firstly, who was in I Capture the Castle, Atonement, and the recent BBC2 drama The Crimson Petal and the White. She’s the same age as Anne Hathaway, give or take a few months, plus she’s British, so she’d have no accent problems. I’m not suggesting for one minute that she’s ugly or frumpy, but she does have an interesting face that could be used to great effect to chart Emma’s changing style and confidence.
Kelly MacDonald is one of my favourite actresses, though I haven’t seen her in that much. I love her in Nanny McPhee (one of my most favourite films in the world), and she was also great in State of Play, a television series that I loved. She’s also set to star in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, a fact I did not know until about thirty seconds ago. Anyway, she’s great, but at 35, she might be a bit old to play the youngest version of Emma, who is supposed to be about 21. And she’s Scottish, but we heard her English accent in Nanny McPhee, and it was fine.
At 28, Emily Blunt is, again, very close in age to Anne Hathaway, plus she’s, you know, awesome. At no point is this more evident than in The Devil Wears Prada, where she manages to just about steal every scene she’s in. And again, she’s English. Just saying.
Lastly, Gemma Arterton is probably a bit young, at 25, to play the older version of Emma (I think the novel spans twenty years, so she’d be into her early 40s by the end of the film). But they’ve greyed-up Jim Sturgess’ hair for the end, so it’s not like they couldn’t work their movie magic on Gemma Arterton too.
Well that was fun, I might try some fantasy casting again. I’ll let you all know what I think of the final film when it finally comes out, in September. And I’ll let you know what I think of the other big trailer later on in the week.
Until next time!


Jane loves celebrations

Hello all

Apparently, today is Tolkien Reading Day! Who knew that such a day existed? I certainly didn’t. Apparently March 25th is date from the books, the date of the downfall of Sauron, and that is why it was chosen. Other important dates, such as Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday (September 22nd) and Tolkien’s birthday (January 3rd) already have events that regularly happen, so March 25th was fixed upon by The Tolkien Society. It started in 2003, and is simply designed to encourage people to read Tolkien, whether it be for the first time or the fiftieth time.

To celebrate, I thought I’d feature some difference covers of The Lord of the Rings.

LOTR - Fantastic Fiction - Green ~ source ~

LOTR - Borders 1 ~ source ~

LOTR - Borders 2 ~ source ~

LOTR - Borders 3~ source ~

LOTR - Borders 4 ~ source ~

FOTR - Ace Books - My Site ~ source ~

TTT - Ace Books - My Site~ source ~

ROTK - Ace Books - My Site ~ source ~

LOTR Scrapbook Film~ source ~

I’m off to finish rereading The Hobbit. Until next time!