rankings; plus some additional movie commentary.

1.  through painted deserts–I just love donald miller.  that’s all there is to it.  we saw blue like jazz this week and I liked it.  it really, really resonated with me, but I don’t think it has mass appeal.  which is fine.  it was weird, but after reading several of his books, I get it, and I know what he means.  I don’t think a lot of people would necessarily pick up on it from just seeing the movie, they might just be like “umm….what?” but I get it.  it really speaks to where I think I am in reference to God and culture, “christianity” and society.  my facebook feed is weird.  I have friends who are theology students who post wordy and judgmental quotes about how God hates our society, and friends who think God is crap and post links to articles discrediting Him.  and I don’t think those first people are accomplishing anything for the kingdom.  and it makes me mad.  I digress.  I just love mr. miller.  I love his writing.  I am so glad he went to reed.  he has a gift, and every time I pick up his pages I benefit.  I feel like we are friends.  and I think he would say the same about me.

2.  the help–oh boy, I still haven’t gotten over how much I loved this book.  if you haven’t read it yet, do it.  it is so very good.  as far as movies go, I got this one but haven’t watched it yet.  which is a little nuts.  lindsey and bobby and I have been watching sunday night movies and popcorn, maybe I can sneak this one in soon.  I am expecting great things.  will I be let down?  I hope not.

3.  true grit–people.  this book is so good.  anyone would like it.  and it is such an easy read.  you can read my post about how much I loved this book, but for now I MUST address the movies.  first, the one from 1969.  oh man.  I’m going to go ahead and say it:  this movie was bad.  not horrible bad, but definitely bad.  it was not terribly true to the book, but it mostly missed the tone of the book.  the thing I loved so much about the book was the attitude, the snark, the hilarious dry humor.  and none of that was present in this version.  especially in mattie–I think I can say that this was one of the most terrible casting decisions of all time.    kim darby was so awful.  she didn’t look like mattie (in fact, she looked very much like my best friend’s husband, I am not kidding), and her attitude and character was so off.  it made me really angry.  I said so like 40 times during the movie.  bobby and lindsey kept saying “you will like the new one better, we promise.”  the other thing I have to mention is how hilarious the rating is.  it is rated G.  G people.  let me tell you about some of the things that happened in this movie:  3 people got hung (shown), like 10 people got shot point blank, a guy chopped another guy’s fingers off with a hatchet, and they said sonofabitch and dammit several times.  none of this is offensive to me, just hilarious that it was rated G.  what in the heck 1969!  second, the one from 2010.  YES.  yes yes yes.  this movie was great.  hailee steinfeld was spot on and played such a better mattie (ps she is going to be petra in ender’s game!!!!  omg so excited, that is one of my all time favorite books).  the people who made this movie must have actually read the book, and they did it justice.  matt damon was hilarious, and so was jeff bridges.  (the only character that was better in the old movie was mr. lee).  so much better.  so very much better.

4.  northanger abbey–this book also ranks number 4 on my list of jane austen books.  pretty great, but not as good as some of the others.  I did like the movie, but you know I am a character person, and it is just harder for me to relate to catherine.  the movie was very well done, however.

5.  the kite runner–had I not read the four books above, this one could have easily taken the top spot.  so good.  so well written, such deep characters, such a compelling story.

6.  of mice and men–classic steinbeck.  an easy read, but at the same time, a really, really hard read.  this book affected me a great deal.

7.  the pearl–again, steinbeck is my homie.  I enjoy his writing a great deal.  the grapes of wrath is next on the list.

8.  the devil in the white city–I really wanted this to be higher up.  this is a classic case of expectations set too high for me.  a likable book, but a little slow for my taste.

9.  life of pi–such a weird book.  if I was basing my rankings solely on endings this one would be way higher up.  the rest of it was too slow for me.  I still have a lot of questions about this book and would love to discuss it with someone who has read it!

10.  let the great world spin–I had no trouble putting this at the bottom of this list.  I did not like this book!  it was hard to get through, and though there were some redeeming parts, not nearly enough to make it worth it.  lame.  don’t read this book.

so there you have it.  it has been good for me to be motivated to read more.  I’m currently reading birdsong, which, let’s be honest, I am only reading because I want to watch the masterpiece miniseries with eddie redmayne in it  (I’ll love you forever jack!)  so far it’s pretty good, but MAN is there a lot of sex!  I mean really!  I think the war is about to start so maybe the focus is going to shift?  the love story is pretty great, but the author is really toying with my emotions right now.  the characters are pretty interesting, and I am curious to see where it goes.  it’s feeding my 1910s anglophile self while downton abbey is on hiatus.

I still have 9 or 10 books in my queue, but….any recommendations?  I will gladly take them!