Celluloid Diaries: Favorite books

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Favorite books

The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke + Shangai Baby by Wei Hui

Romance Beckons has done a feature on me and my books and asked me to compile a list with my 13 favorite books. Here are eight of them. To see the rest, go to http://romancebeckons.blogspot.be/2012/12/thursday13-fave-books-of-all-time.html.

The Comfort Of Strangers by Ian McEwan

Colin and Mary are bored lovers on vacation in Italy. They accidentally bump into Robert, a seemingly friendly man, and they quickly become drawn into a dangerous fantasy of violence and obsession. Paul Schrader's movie adaptation is equally captivating.

The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke

Actor Ethan Hawke encapsulates well the characteristics of a doomed love affair and the psychological breakdown which follows it. I like this novella for its emotional honesty and its simple, yet poetic style. Hawke directed his own film version in 2006, but as much as I loved the book, the movie just didn't do it for me.

Twee maal leven by Clem Schouwenaers

A Flemish classic in which a man, bored of his routinous office life, decides to leave his job and be free.

Shangai Baby by Wei Hui

Publicly burned in China for its sensual nature and irreverent style, Shangai Baby is the semi-autobiographical story of Coco and her love for two men: Tian Tian, for whom she feels tenderness and love, and the Westerner Mark with whom she begins a highly-charged physical affair.

Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro

My favorite romance novel. Kathleen Tessaro's Elegance is not only wonderfully romantic, it also captures well the fears of most women: the uncertainties about their looks and age and the fear of not leading the life one has hoped for.

The Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater

The highs and lows of Provençal life: living in a warmer clime, eating fresh Mediterranean food, the adoption of a menagerie of animals, swimming in one's own pool and the thrill of harvesting your own olives.

Atomised by Michel Houellebecq

Half-brothers Michel and Bruno have a mother in common but little else. Michel is a molecular biologist, a man with no erotic life to speak of and little in the way of human society. Bruno, by contrast, is a libertine. Both are symptomatic members of our atomised society, where religion has given way to shallow new age philosophies and love to meaningless sexual connections. This French novel has been turned into a German feature film in 2006.

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

A young woman struggles with depression during her first year at Harvard. Based on a true story.

81 comments:

  1. Hi there,
    Just stopping over from the Harvest of Friends blog hop! So glad I came across your blog. Now following you on Twitter and Facebook! If you have a moment to follow back, you can find me at http://thesweetspotblog.com
    Thanks!
    Corinna from The Sweet Spot Blog

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  2. I really want to read shanghai baby!!!!

    josiehink122026(at)gmail(dot)com

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  3. I'd like to read The Olive Garden. I like books set in this region and though the possibility of my ever seeing this area is extremely remote, books bring it so much closer to me.

    mystica123athotmaildotcom

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  4. Shangai Baby by Wei Hui sounds like a wonderful book! One that I would enjoy for sure!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  5. Twee maal leven van Clem Schouwenaars

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  6. The Olive Garden because it reminds me of the movie Under The Tuscan Sun :)

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  7. The Olive Garden would be my choice :) I've dreamt of travelling through Italy and having amazing food experiences, it would be a little vicarious slice of my dream!

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  8. I would totally go with American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. I`ve seen the movie (which I really liked) but somehow haven`t had the chance to read the book. I always enjoy books about human mind and mental illnesses because I`m always amazed by the unlimited power of human brain.
    Great book choices, I must admit!

    Following via GFC as Dita Škarste.
    Happy holidays! :)

    dita(dot)skarste(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. Definitely 'Tee maal leven' by Clem Schouwenaers because writing from another culture, another country bring an intriguing new point of view.

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  10. Shanghai Baby sounds good. I came from a religious Asian country and I would like to read the life of an Asian woman who went against the norm and loved two men. It is very intriguing.

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  11. I'm also loving Elegance. I'm at the age where I'm beginning to feel and look old and to think that my life did not turn out the way I wanted it to be. I think Elegance will be like a woman bible to me which will help me understand and accept the growing older stage.

    anne.j2 (at) gmail.com

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  12. I would love to read: Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro -- I love romance novels and I could use a new book to read.

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  13. I would also love to read Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    tasha.hudgeons@gmail.com

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  14. I would love to read The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke

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  15. This sounds like it would be a great read too
    Shangai Baby by Wei Hui

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  16. I'd really like to read Love and Death on Long Island by Gilbert Adair, as it sounds like a very interesting story. I like the idea of the main character being infatuated with another man, as it's an interesting twist on a common theme. Plus, I enjoy reading LGBTQ books and this sounds like it would be a wonderful addition to my library.

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  17. I'd also like to read The Prozac Nation as I can relate greatly to the main character and I'd like to see how someone else overcame their depression and changed their lives.

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  18. Definitely American Psycho!!:)

    veganvigilante_bethechange(at)yahoo.com

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  20. I would like to read The Comfort Of Strangers by Ian McEwan. I wonder why the word comfort was used when nothing in your description points to comfort. I also want to find out how the fantasy becomes dangerous.

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  21. Atomised, by Michel Houellebecq, seems as if it would be an apt commentary on current times with the lack of, not necessarily religion but, ethics and morality.

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  22. Ilke to read about career women so Career Girls, by Louise Bagshawe, should be interesting. Music and journalism are totally unlike my own career so I expect to get some insight on those industries.

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  23. I also like to read about strong women in past times. Death And Nightingales, by Eugene McCabe, also intrigues me by being set in Ireland, which still does not treat women well.

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  24. I'd love to read Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro.

    Happy Holidays & thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

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  25. I'd like to read The Olive Garden by Carol Drinkwater to see what the highs/lows of daily life are like.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  26. I'd like to read Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel to see what her struggles were like and if she overcame them.

    bn100candg(at)Hotmail(dot)com

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  27. I'd like to read Twee maal leven by Clem Schouwenaers if it's in English to see how to becomes free.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  28. I would love to read the Olive Garden. When winter starts to close in here at home --- I'd love to be able to escape to warmer climates through this book.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(Dot)com

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  29. The Comfort Of Strangers by Ian McEwan...tis book sounds pretty interesting with a dramatic twist of love affairs!

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  30. Hi,
    Happy Almost New Year to you! My favorite read of the year was 'The Night Circus'.
    Of the ones you've listed, I"m most intrigued by the Carol Drinkwater book.
    I didn't even know Ethan Hawke was an author!

    Maya
    mayamissani@yahoo.ca

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  31. Hai :)
    The Shanghai Baby's cover remember me with memoirs of geisha.. :)
    Happy New year
    fennyherawatiyusuf@yahoo.com

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  32. I'd like to read The Olive Garden because I loved visiting Italy!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  33. I'd also like to read Prozac Nation because I'd like to learn more about depression.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  34. I'd like to read Prozac Nation. I'm currently in my last semester of pursuing a degree in Biotechnology, so I feel like I can relate, and this country's epidemic of behavioral disorders and the pharmaceuticals that coincide are very fascinating to me.

    azawinski at gmail dot comr

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  35. I'd like to read Atomised by Michel Houellebecq.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  36. I'd like to read The Olive Garden by Carol Drinkwater.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  37. I'd like to read The Comfort Of Strangers by Ian McEwan.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  38. I'd like to read The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  39. I'd like to read Tweemaal leven by Clem Schouwenaers.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  40. I'd like to read Shangai Baby by Wei Hui.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  41. I'd like to read Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  42. I'd like to read Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  43. I'd like to read American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  44. I'd like to read Shadows by John Saul.
    maria_nay@Hotmail.com

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  45. I'd like to read Career Girls by Louise Bagshawe.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  46. I'd like to read Death And Nightingales by Eugene McCabe.
    maria_nay@hotmail.com

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  47. I'd like to read Love And Death on Long Island by Gilbert Adair.
    maria_nay@Hotmail.com

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  48. been wanting to read prozac nation - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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  49. As someone who has dealt with depression, I would like to read Prozac Nation.
    cleaningrhouse at yahoo dot com

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  50. I would love to read Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro because I am always in the need of some great romance novel :> so far I have only found a few good ones and I would love to add this one to my list!

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  51. I'd love to read Prozac Nation. I've struggled with depression myself and would love to read a true story!
    orangestar17(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  52. I would love to read Prozac Nation or Shanghai Baby.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

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  53. I would pick The Comfort Of Strangers by Ian McEwan. The story sounds good. I've read one of Ian McEwan's books before and I love it. It makes me want this book even more. Thanks for the giveaway!

    dl(dot)love(dot)freedom(at)gmail(dot)com

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  54. Wow, fantastic list! First I have to go with The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan. I love his writing, he is one of my favorites, and I haven't read this one yet!

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    Replies
    1. forgot my email.... dreammie_angel at yahoo dot com

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  55. I would also love to read Prozac Nation. I've seen the movie, of course, and the books are always better. This is one I've wanted to read for a while.

    dreammie_angel at yahoo dot com

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  56. I would love to win Elegance. It sounds like a wonderful read. I am a hopeless romantic and it seems very interesting!
    cassandraashleym at outlook dot com

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  57. Prozac Nation sounds interesting - especially that it was based on a true story. eclairre(AT)ymail(DOT)com

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  58. I would love to read Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. I haven't heard of it before, but I always welcome books about dealing with depression or anxiety because it's something that I can relate to very easily and I usually wind up learning a few things :)
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

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  59. Would also love to read The Hottest State by Ethan Hawke. Mostly because I respect him as an actor and am very curious to see what he came up with as an author, but also because the story sounds great.
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot co

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  60. Last but not least I would love to read The Comfort of Strangers by Ian Mcewan. I haven't read his books before, and this one sounds fantastic. I enjoy books that take place abroad, just adds to the adventure.
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

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  61. Okay okay, one more. I just couldnt take my eyes off of Shanghai Baby's cover, so captivating. Would love to read this one too :) Great list!!
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

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  62. I went to Shanghai this summer so reading "Shanghai Baby" might bring back some fun memories.

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  63. michelle gilliland mcafeeDecember 30, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    I'd like to read Prozac Nation, my sister battles depression and I think it might give me some insight into understanding it better. Thank you. ml_mcafee@yahoo.com

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  64. The comfort of strangers looks good and hot kindof
    sunniewoodyplys2 atmsn.com

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  65. Shangai Baby sounds good, and I really love the cover you show. Simplistic yet inviting.

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  66. I would love to read The Olive Garden! It sounds awesome! I have already read Prozac Nation and it was good too! aurorawishcat@gmail.com

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  67. Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel sounds like a good book. I think that true stories are more compeling

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  68. I would like to read Death and Nightengales--I love period fiction!

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  69. I would also love to read The Comfort of Strangers--it is outside of my usual genres and my New Years resolution is to try new things!

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  70. I haven't read any of these but The Comfort of Strangers sounds great!
    momlovesdeals at gmail dot com

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  71. Brandy Leigh FarmerDecember 31, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro because I love romance books. twilighter0611@gmail.com

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  72. I would like to read the book Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. I have heard of this book I find the story line very interesting.
    Me4Wrest@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. IF I could read any book it would be Prozac Nation. Suffered from depression all my life and would be interested to read another person's account.

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  73. I would like to read A Comfort of Strangers. I like suspencse books.

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  74. I want to read The Hottest State another suspense book.

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  75. I would love to read Shangai Baby by Wei Hui because it sounds exciting and also since it was publicly burned in China - that must mean it's juicy! ha!

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  76. I would also LOVE to read The Comfort Of Strangers - it sounds pretty interesting!

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  77. Elegance is another book I'd really love to read because it MUST be good if it's your favorite romance! :)

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