Friday, November 11, 2005

The "Adolescent" Novel Idea!

It's a classic that many of us read growing up in high school, Harper Lee's only novel, "To Kill A Mockingbird" was featured this morning on our Friday segment of Diane's Novel Idea! This book is one of the few books that has NEVER been out of print since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature in 1961 and, of course, who could forget the screen version that won an Academy Award, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. According to my friend at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Mary Stein, (without whose help this segment would not be possible) Gregory Peck is consistently rated as the #1 Movie Hero of all time for his portrayal of Attorney Finch. Mary also pointed out that though many of us HAVE read this novel, we read it "with adolescent eyes" and to reread it today, would be to bring our realm of "adult experiences and life lessons" into play.

Rating "To Kill A Mockingbird":

Readability: 5 out of 5

Reading Time: takes around 6 hours for most readers

Available in regular print, large print, Spanish
Audiocassette takes 12-13 hours to listen to, depending on the version
DVD and Video of the 1962 movie classic

Other Books that "Read Like":

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou
"A Gathering of Old Men" by Ernest Gaines
"Ellen Foster" by Kaye Gibbons
"The God of Small Things" by Arundhati Roy
"Wolf Whistle" by Lewis Nordan
"The Voice at the Back Door" by Elizabeth Spencer
"A Time to Kill" by John Grisham
"A Quiet Game" by Greg Iles
"Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain

Take a moment, perhaps this weekend, to revisit this American Classic! Until next week and another "novel idea", Happy Reading!!

The "Adolescence" Novel Idea!

Friday, November 04, 2005

The "Infant" Novel Idea!

Last week, we started a new series on 9 News This Morning, called "Diane's Novel Idea" and with the help of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, I believe the "birthing process" went quite well! The first novel that was reviewed and rated (and blogged) was John Berendt's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Today, thanks to my friend at the library, Mary Stein, the "novel idea" was the saga of the Corleone family, "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo!

Mary made us "an offer that we couldn't refuse!" as she reminded us that this novel has been around since the late 1960's--the hugely popular movie(s) out in the 70's, that spawned as well other books in the Godfather series: "The Sicilian"; "Omerta" both by Mario Puzo and "The Godfather Returns" by Mark Windegardner. What makes this novel so readable is the way Puzo weaves the intrigue of a world not know to many of us, with a world many of us indeed know and live out each day: the bond of family: a bond that cannot be broken, even by tragic death!


Readability: 5 out of 5!

How long to read: 7 1/2 to 9 hours; 16+ on tape

Available in regular print and Spanish; movie on video & DVD
Movie soundtrack on CD

Other Books that "Read Like":
"The Last Don" by Mario Puzo
"Prizzi's Family" by Richard Condon
"Triple Cross" by Brian Freemantle
"Mafia Summer: The Ballad of Sydney Butcher" by E. Duke Vincent
"Criminal Conversation" by Evan Hunter
"The Honored Society" by Michael Gambino
"Death in a Strange Country" by Donna Leon

Next week, we're going to review and rate a "classic" that many of us are familiar with and may want to reread!

So, until we reveal to you our next "Novel Idea", happy reading!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Birth of a "Novel Idea"

This morning on Nine News This Morning, we started a new segment we're calling "Diane's Novel Idea". The premise is to introduce you to, or remind you of, great books--either classics or novels, that have been on the best seller list or studied in college literature classes. Books that you might want to revisit, to curl up with on a Sunday afternoon, especially now that the weather is turning cooler and the price of gasoline for traveling is so high!

With the help of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library and my friend Mary Stein, we reviewed and rated the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"--a book Mary said was on the New York Times Bestseller list for a RECORD four years!! She thought this was a great way to debut the segment since Halloween is next Monday and the book focuses on a "celebrity murder" in beautiful Savannah, Georgia. The "novel" is based on a true story that spawned a huge tourist industry for Savannah, it went "Hollywood" courtesy of a movie that come out after its publication and the careers of John Cusak and Kevin Spacey were definitely placed in the mainstream spotlight!

So, to "rate" this book--according to Mary:

Reading time: 3 -4 hours on average; up to 6 hours
Readability: (on a scale of 1-5 with 1 the most difficult) #4
Available as Books on Tape? Yes, but will take several hours to listen to

If you've read "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and would like to read other books with the same "flavor", Mary recommends:

"Family Line" by Lee Smith
"Modern Baptists" by James Wilcox
"Ellen Foster" by Kay Gibbons
"Turtle Moon" by Alice Hoffman
"She Flew the Coop" by Michael Lee West
"Cider House Rules" by John Irving

Until next week and another "Novel Idea"--HAPPY READING!!