Please welcome Jeanne, who blogs at Necromancy Never Pays.
Necromancy Never Pays. I started on Blogger and am now at Wordpress. There’s also a Necromancy Never Pays on Tumblr, but it’s less about books and more about Supernatural, Doctor Who, and Sherlock (Superwholock). I can also be found on Twitter.
I HAVE BEEN BLOGGING SINCE:
February 2008, when I had my knee replaced and my family played a game of "Would You Rather." When one of us got a card asking whether we'd rather have three questions answered or be able to resurrect someone, the kids and I immediately went for the three questions, but Ron was hesitating over resurrection. "Oh come on," I said, "necromancy never pays; literature shows us this over and over."
"Oh yeah," Ron said, "The Monkey's Paw."
And then we went on to the next card. Some things are just clear, once you remember all the stuff you've read about them.
The Wordpress version of NNP has been less of a commonplace book—a place to write down all the stuff a person has read—and more of a series of essays and meditations on literature. Like any blogger who has been at it for more than five years, I’m looking for a new direction. I think it must be a little like writing a second novel—all the stuff I most wanted to write about, I have written about already, so there’s less sense of urgency.
GENRES COVERED MOST ON MY BLOG:
Poetry, science fiction and fantasy, literary fiction. The blogger version had a lot of YA reviews, but as my kids have grown up, I’m not reading as much YA. Some of it is splendid, but we feel ready to discuss bigger issues with larger vocabularies.
FIRST BOOK I READ OVER AND OVER:
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. It was one of the only books I had with me the summer I turned 11, the summer we spent on Oahu while my parents were taking classes at the University of Hawaii. Another book I read over and over was the book I kept in the car for reading on trips the summer I turned 13, Gone With the Wind. Since then I’ve been continuously re-reading Lord Of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and I often find myself re-reading Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant (Anne Tyler) because I’m thinking of a phrase from it and have to go back and read the whole thing.
THE BOOK I HAVE RE-READ THE MOST TIMES:
I don’t know if it’s The Two Towers (J.R.R. Tolkien) or The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Douglas Adams). I do tend to bounce back and forth from the sublime to the ridiculous.
MY MUST-HAVE READING ACCESSORIES:
I have to use reading glasses now, and the good part of that is that it creates a little world for the book; I don’t try to look up and notice what’s going on around me as much (and with four inside/outside cats, there’s always something going on around me). The bad part of that is I can’t read as much in odd moments, because I not only have to pull a book out, I have to pull the glasses out, too.
MY BOOKSHELVES ARE:
Restored (after the flood of March 2012), in a new order that I don’t know as well, and mostly double-stacked.
A BOOK THAT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE IN SOME WAY:
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway; I could never read the same way again after finding out the secrets of this book.
IF I COULD GO TO ANY LITERARY DESTINATION I WOULD CHOOSE:
The moon of Robert Heinlein’s “The Menace from Earth” and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. I’ve made several literary pilgrimages to England--on the most recent, we visited Oxford, Stratford, the Lake District, Haworth and the moor, and then, of course—because as Samuel Johnson says, if you’re tired of it, you’re tired of life--London.
MY FAVORITE NON-BOOKISH ACTIVITY:
I used to spend a lot of time captioning pictures in photo albums, and now do something similar on Tumblr. I will swim anywhere there’s a body of water both bigger and only slightly cooler than I am. Most of all, I love traveling to fictional places—we went to Hill Valley on a tour of Universal Studios, and to Hogwarts via the Orlando facsimile. We wanted to go to New Zealand while some of the LOTR and Hobbit tours were still being offered, but it is beyond the means of a family of four with two in college and the other two working at one.
MY FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION:
Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. They’re not perfect adaptations (the portrayal of Faramir and Denethor makes me particularly angry), but it was wonderful to see them on screen, and to see so many people discover the story. Same with the Harry Potter movies—things had to be left out, but it was fun to see some of the details, and to see more people get pulled into reading the books.
One of the movies made from a book that I love the most is The Princess Bride—the movie is good in a different way from the book.
I like both the book and the movie of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and visited the house where the events took place when we went through Savannah last summer.
Not that you asked, but the movie I like the least that is made from a book I love is To Kill a Mockingbird. I know a lot of people really like Gregory Peck as Atticus, but the movie pretty much left me cold when I saw it in my forties, after three decades of reading and re-reading the book.
I’ve seen a few movies that I thought were as good or better than the book--Cloud Atlas was at least as good, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower was better.
Thank you for joining us today, Jeanne! Remember to check out Jeanne's blog, Necromancy Never Pays, and leave a comment or question.