Book Trailers for Some of My Favorites

July 19, 2008 at 10:30 am | Posted in Books | 9 Comments
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I’ve recently entered a contest to win a copy of The Questory of Root Karbunkulus by Kamilla Reid from The Friendly Book Nook. Click here for your chance to win this book. I don’t typically read fantasy, but what really caught my interest in both the post and the book was the accompanying book trailer. After I watched that, I was hooked.

This got me thinking about the concept of book trailers. It is an interesting idea to use a short video to sell a book. Trailers have been used to grab the attention of movie goers and sell films for ages. In such a competitive market, it could be just the tool needed to increase sales and readership. It’s not that much different than the blurb on the back of the book. The key is to make it compelling. If it’s not, it could turn people off just as quickly as it can get them excited.

I decided to do a little research. None of the books I have in my upcoming reads queue have book trailers, so I looked for any that might have been created for books that I absolutely loved. I wanted to see if the trailer would have sold me or not. I found book trailers for four books that I really enjoyed. Here they are with links to my book review, the book trailer and a short review of the book trailer itself:

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

For me, this book trailer was okay, but by trying to cover everything, it didn’t highlight what made the book so delightful. It would be difficult to do that in such a short clip. I did appreciate how the imagery matched the book. The actress playing Willie’s mom didn’t do much for me, but that might not have been a factor had I not already read this book. I’m not sure that I would have read it based on this book trailer alone, but it wouldn’t have turned me off, either.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

This trailer really coordinates well with the book’s website, which is awesome. Other than imagery, it doesn’t provide much actual information about the book. It’s an imaginative way to showcase complimentary blurbs about the book.

Admit One by Emmett James

This book trailer is hilarious and it very fitting for the book. I absolutely loved this one.

The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This is an interesting trailer. It shows some clips from the novel at a distance. I think the Tegan and Sarah song fits very well with the mood. I liked this trailer and I think it accomplishes what it sets out to do.

In the end, I think that book trailers are a great way to get more information on a book you are thinking of reading or purchasing. When they are good, they are really good. When they aren’t, well… Just with covers, you shouldn’t judge a book entirely by it’s trailer. Book trailers are just another tool in your informed reader’s toolbox. When the tool fits the job, great! When it doesn’t, there are many other tools available.

Have you used book trailers when researching a book? What have your experiences been?


Turning Fiction into Film

November 9, 2007 at 8:12 pm | Posted in Books, Film | 3 Comments
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Whitney from Pop Candy (one of my favorite pop fiction blogs), posted a link to this article that lists 21 books that could make great movies. What do you think about movie versions of books? What elements make for the best translations?

In my experience, I’d prefer to keep to the book. That being said, I love Gone With the Wind’s movie counterpart. It’s one of my all-time favorites. Currently, I’m interested in seeing what will happen with The Other Boleyn Girl. I will go to see the movie no matter what. I just hope I don’t walk out wishing I hadn’t.

Even if you’re not interested in film, you should check out this list anyway for good reading ideas. I’ve only read two of the 21 books myself (Middlesex and The Time Traveler’s Wife). If you’ve read any of the others, let me know. I’d be interested in hearing more about them.

Have a great weekend! I’m off to see The Wiggles with my girls tonight. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m looking forward to it. That Anthony sure is cute and the girls and I love to sing in our own Big Red Car.

#15 ~ The Time Traveler’s Wife

April 10, 2007 at 4:22 pm | Posted in Books, Literary Criticism, Sexual Identity | 4 Comments
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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Imagine meeting your husband for the first time at the age of six. Imagine also that he does not know you when you meet him as an adult because he, at his current age, had not met you via time travel. Imagine waiting for good and terrible events to happen because you know about them ahead of time. Since you cannot alter the future, you can’t stop things like car crashes, fatal accidents, or September 11, 2001. Is the joy received by knowing about the love you will experience in the future worth the heartache that comes from being unable to prevent those you love from being hurt?

The book begins with Henry’s earliest experiences with time travel, it moves on to Clare’s experiences with Henry as she grew up, and then continued in time from the day they first “met” as adults. After they become a couple, you read about more of Henry’s adventures from the perspective of when they happen in “real time.” At first, Henry does not tell Clare that they will someday be married. It wasn’t until she asked him point blank that he told her the truth from his perspective from the future. From then, Clare only imagines her life with Henry. Although she has ample opportunity, she doesn’t date. She’s focused on her art studies and the man she believes is her destiny. Henry, on the other hand, does not know she exists until he is 28. Prior to that, he sowed quite a few wild oats.

It is the disparity in what young Clare knows versus what young Henry does not that seems controlling to me. At their last meeting as a result of Henry’s time travel, a 43 year old Henry tells Clare to live her life to the fullest and be confident that they will meet again and be together forever. Clare says that she will do nothing but wait for him. Henry again tells her to experience all the life that she can, but mentions that he doesn’t want her to date other men. That fact that Henry told her what he would prefer made her decision to wait that much more concrete. Henry is a fine and loving partner for Clare, but he also got exactly what he wanted. It goes back to the double-standard that men are almost expected to explore the world and its women before settling down while it is preferable to them that their wives are found by them to be naïve and innocent. While I found this irritating, it is not out of place or character. This isn’t your typical life experience, but Clare’s decision to be with Henry and with Henry alone is what I would imagine most young women would do. I wonder what would have happened had it been Clare who was the time traveler?

The Time Traveler’s Wife flowed well and maintained my interest throughout. I did find the ending somewhat hokie, but the theme of waiting was followed through to the end. One aspect about Ms. Niffenegger’s writing did pull me out of the book from time to time. I’m sure that writing sexual scenes is not easy. How do you put what is without words into words without sounding too harsh or too flowery? In general, I don’t have hang-ups when reading explicit writing; but, when hard core words are used, they should at least fit the character. When it doesn’t, it gets in the way of my reading enjoyment. For example, there is a scene in which Clare uses the word c#nt. I will be the first to admit that I wish that word didn’t exist at all. Beyond my own personal preferences, it just wasn’t believable that Clare would use that word, and especially not in the situation in which she did. Henry’s use of the word c#ck came across the same way. When those types of words are used for shock value, I wonder if the author doesn’t trust her writing or her ability to shape her characters.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is interesting to read and the book is well written. Other fiction I’ve written that dealt with the complications that arise from time travel have not been contained within the confines of time traveler’s potential life span. This made that concept more realistic to me. I enjoyed tagging along with Henry and Clare on their adventures. I think that you will, too.

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