Toe to Toe: Crazy Rich Asians

A friend of a friend (this is already so on par with the subject) told me that if you hadn’t read Crazy Rich Asians, don’t wait to do so before seeing the movie. The whole “it’s not like the book thing!” will sway your opinion of the movie. Well, I have one thing to say about that.

Lies.

If you haven’t read my review of Kevin Kwan’s bestseller, 1.) what are you waiting for? and 2.) you should know I love this book. It was easily five flames. Naturally, that gave me mixed feelings about seeing the movie. Books are always better than the movies they inspire (The Notebook being the only exception); even though I know this, I never want to leave a theater being let down.

Lucky for me, Crazy Rich Asians met my expectations on the silver screen; so much so that I would also say the movie is completely lit. But was it better than the book? Let’s find out as I take CRA toe to toe: book versus movie.

CRA

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Independence Day Reads

You know that horrible question that comes up during ice breakers, “Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.”

Dammit, Brenda, I don’t know. My life is not that interesting.

Well, two years ago I finally figured out my answer: I like war. Not in the gruesome way. More like I have an affinity for war themes in pop culture. The PatriotSaving Private RyanLone Survivor, Glory, Top Gun (OK, maybe this last one is a stretch). I love them all. Now maybe this won’t surprise many people, but let’s consider my love for rom coms and chick lit. There’s a sharp contrast there. When you think about how much I love nonfiction, it starts to click a bit.

Now let’s combine that passion for my obsession with colonial America and the Revolutionary War. Every year in the days leading up to my country’s birthday, I pray The Patriot will be on TV, as well as PBS’ Liberty’s Kids series (don’t judge; it’s an excellent show). Anything and everything that has to do with the Revolutionary War and our country’s independence has me jumping for joy.

Crossing the Delaware

Source: A&E.

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Vote or Die: PBS’ “The Great American Read”

Sean Combs has greatly influenced American culture: He taught us it’s cool to change your name about five times, he was the ultimate Bad Boy, he gave us Danity Kane for goodness sake. Most importantly, he proudly professed the importance of voting. While his “Vote or Die!” campaign was intended for politics, there’s no reason we can’t use it for choosing America’s greatest read.

This summer PBS has premiered an eight-part series, The Great American Read, which will determine the great U.S. of A.’s favorite literary tale. The program promotes literacy across the country (yay!!) while touching on individual stories of literary impact.

This is clearly an opportunity to invoke Diddy’s mantra, except the consequences for not participating aren’t quite so severe.

Great American Read

Source: PBS.

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Toe to Toe: Sweetbitter

Because I’m a New York transplant, I naturally gravitate toward the books that highlight the trials and tribulations of this overwhelming place (see Still Me, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street, The Futures, and about a million others I haven’t reviewed yet). Stephanie Danler‘s Sweetbitter fit that mold, which is why I added it to my bookshelf in 2017.

This storyline makes for great TV too, and on May 6, Starz premiered a six-episode Sweetbitter based on a screenplay written by Danler who also worked as an executive producer. Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, coproduced the series.

It would be a shame if Big Little Literature let this opportunity pass; therefore, it’s time for Sweetbitter to go toe to toe: book versus TV show.

 

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Shop ‘Til You Drop: Portland, Maine

Some people might argue that if you’ve visited one bookstore, you’ve visited them all; how different can they possibly be? I know on the surface many have similar names and characteristics, but au contraire. I firmly believe in bookstore individuality, and just like you can’t judge its contents by their covers, you cannot judge a literary hub by its storefront.

So I make it my duty to visit as many bookstores as possible when I travel; thus, I’m introducing a new series to Big Little Literature of all the necessary deets about bookstores across the country: Shop ‘Til You Drop.

First up: Portland, Maine.

Portland’s Eastern Promenade.

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A Case for Chick Lit

Quality is the most subjective characteristic when it comes to literature. Sure, every reader loves great symbolism, those masterpieces that speak to cultural moments, thorough and exact research about a time or place, those books that really hit home and move you. Sometimes, though, you need a break from the real world. You need something that will make you laugh or cry irrationally and believe that fairy tale love actually exists.

As someone who reads about overcollateralization, subordination, and tranching all day, while trying to parse legalese that makes you want to stab out your eyes, I know firsthand the importance of a feel-good and easy read. So it’s with great honor that I present to you my case for the novels that give you the best of feels (despite some of the harshest criticisms): chick lit.

Chick lit

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Guest Reviewer: A Toe-To-Toe Annihilation

By: Nick Coffman

Jeff VanderMeer‘s novel Annihilation caught on the adapted screenplay train rather quickly. Just four years after being released to sci-fi lovers in hardback, the story is being shown on the silver screen, with Natalie Portman on board. The book is the first in the Southern Reach trilogy and tells the story of four women who set off to explore Area X, a remote area filled with mystery. As members of the twelfth expedition, Lena (Portman) and the others try to determine what has caused Area X to appear. Searching for answers, they are instead stricken with paranoia of what may lurk beyond each corner.

It’s only natural that movies and the books that they’re the based off will be compared to one another. Therefore, it’s time to go toe to toe with Annihilation: book versus movie.

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