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Sarah (7267 KP) created a post in Bookworms

Apr 3, 2018  
A couple of years ago Goodreads posted a list of their 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime, as voted by users. We may have moved on a little, but personally I think this list still stands.

What do you think? How many have you read?

1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
2. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
3. The Diary of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
4. 1984 - George Orwell
5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - JK Rowling
6. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
7. The Great Gatsby- F Scott Fitzgerald
8. Charlotte's Web - EB White
9. The Hobbit- JRR Tolkien
10. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
11. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
12. Jane Eyre- Jane Austen
13. Animal Farm - George Orwell
14. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
15. The Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
16. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
17. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
18. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
19. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
20. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
21. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
22. The Lord of the Flies - William Golding
23. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
24. Night - Elie Wiesel
25. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
26. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
27. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
28. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
29. Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
30. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
31. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
32. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
33. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
34. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
35. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - JK Rowling
36. The Giver - Lois Lowry
37. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
38. Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein
39. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
40. The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
41. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
42. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
43. Macbeth - William Shakespeare
44. The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
45. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
46. The Holy Bible: King James version
47. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
48. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
49. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
50. East of Eden - John Steinbeck
51. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
52. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
53. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
54. The Stand - Stephen King
55. Outlander - Diana Gabaldon
56. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
57. Enders Game - Orson Scott Card
58. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
59. Watership Down - Richard Adams
60. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
61. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
62. A Game of Thrones - George RR Martin
63. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
64. The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
65. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
66. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
67. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - JK Rowling
68. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
69. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
70. Celebrating Silence: Excerpts from Five Years of Weekly Knowledge - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
71. The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
72. The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
73. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
74. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
75. Dracula - Bram Stoker
76. The Princess Bride - William Goldman
77. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
78. The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe
79. The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
80. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
81. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
82. The Time Travelers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
83. The Odyssey - Homer
84. The Good Earth - Pearl S Buck
85. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
86. And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
87. The Thorn Birds - Colleen McCullough
88. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
89. The Glass Castle - Jeanette Walls
90. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
91. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
92. The Road - Cormac McCarthy
93. The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
94. Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse
95. Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
96. Beloved - Toni Morrison
97. Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
98. The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
99. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
100. The Story of My Life - Helen Keller
Show all 14 comments.

Angelicalynnn (21 KP) Jul 6, 2018

I’ve read 30 not to bad but still plenty I would love to read!


iamsara (128 KP) Jul 19, 2018

14 ?

Rebecca (2020)
Rebecca (2020)
2020 | Drama, Mystery, Romance
A dull adaptation
Rebecca is an adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s 1938 novel of the same name, following a young woman’s whirlwind romance and her battle to rid her new marriage and home of the shadow of her husband’s first wife.

Rebecca as a novel is a classic and a book I very much enjoyed, and whilst I’ve never seen the Hitchcock adaptation, it’s often referred to as a fairly legendary classic too. However I’m afraid to say the same cannot be said about this new version. The basic plot and story is present, although rather frustratingly the ending has been extended unnecessarily, but it has not been executed very well.

The trailer made this look quite sinister and spooky, which is quite right when the original novel is a gothic horror with aspects of a ghost story thrown in. However this film turns out to be nothing of the sort. It’s more of a romantic drama with a hint of thriller thrown in – the gothic horror ghost story is nowhere to be seen and neither is any form of intrigue or suspense. In fact I’d be so bold as to say this is just outright dull, and even the campy over the top sinister vibes from Kristin Scott Thomas’s housekeeper Mrs Danvers are laughable at best. The most interesting part of this was the opening scene with it’s sinister score but this just didn’t carry through to the rest of the film.

Sadly the cast don’t fare very well in this either. Lily James is a great actor, but her version of the new wife is too mousy and timid and you wonder what on earth Maxim ever sees in her. The character herself is very frustrating and irksome as she’s far too naïve and sweet. And Armie Hammer is miscast as Maxim De Winter himself. He looks the part, dashing and handsome, but he’s lacking in the intrigue, charm and secrecy that you’d expect this character to have. He’s also missing the age gap that is rather notable in the book.

The cinematography in this is rather concerning. The scenes in Monte Carlo are far too colourful and garish and they just look out of place, even more so for something that is meant to be a gothic horror. I’m unsure of why this has been done, other than to show a striking difference between Monte Carlo and Maxim’s Cornish home of Manderley. In fact what is most concerning about this film is why Ben Wheatley wanted to direct it. By far the biggest shock of this film was finding out Wheatley, of Kill List and Sightseers fame, had directed it. Wheatley is known for psychological dark (and often funny) thrillers and there is nothing of his style to be seen in this film at all. Which is a shame, as I think a little more of his dark style would’ve propelled this film into more than just a sub-par drama.

Overall this a very disappointing and long winded adaptation of a classic novel. Whilst there are a few decent scenes and a good, if not out of character, performance from Lily James, these are nowhere near enough to save this from being a bit of a bore.
The Girl on the Train (2016)
The Girl on the Train (2016)
2016 | Drama, Mystery
A Victim of its marketing
It’s always refreshing to see a film released primarily for the adult market. We all loved The Hunger Games, but imagine what the series could’ve been like had the franchise been given a 15 or even an 18 certification.

And Fifty Shades of Grey may have its critics (me being one of them) but at least it appealed to those of us not interested in sharing cinema screens with rambling tweens. The finest of the adult genre? Well, that has to be Gone Girl. But now there’s a new kid on the block, ready to steal its crown. Is The Girl on the Train a worthy adversary?

Alcoholic Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan (Haley Bennett), from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the garden of the strangers’ home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning Megan is missing. Unable to trust her memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.

Emily Blunt has become one of Hollywood’s finest actors, constantly adding new genres to her resume. From The Devil Wears Prada to Sicario and beyond, there is nothing she won’t try and The Girl on the Train is bolstered by a career-best performance by the actress. It’s never easy to play a drunk convincingly; you can look to some UK soap operas for proof of that, but she manages to pull it off exceptionally well.

Of the supporting cast, only Justin Theroux makes a lasting impact as Rachel’s ex-husband Tom, now living with his new wife Anna – a lacklustre Rebecca Ferguson. It would be unfair to sling too much mud at a very talented group of actors, but up against Blunt, there really is no comparison.

Elsewhere, the complex narrative of Paula Hawkins’ book translates to a rather messy filming style when viewed on the big screen. Continuous flashbacks from within Rachel’s mind are handled reasonably well by director Tate Taylor (The Help) and he manages to wrench everything together to stop the plot from becoming incoherent.

Unfortunately, The Girl on the Train is a victim of its own intense marketing campaign. The trailers have given away far too much for those who haven’t read the book and whilst the twists and turns aren’t immediately obvious, some of the Cluedo-esque fun has been removed. It’s clear Dreamworks wanted the film to resemble Gone Girl as much as possible, aiming to attract a similar audience, but this may have backfired slightly.

Overall, The Girl on the Train is a particularly faithful adaptation of the novel of the same name, held up by an intense and frankly incredible performance by Emily Blunt. Unfortunately, some of the film’s suspense has been lost by a poorly executed marketing campaign and as such it becomes a passable addition to the adult thriller genre. This year’s Gone Girl it is not.