Never Judge a Book By Its Movie

College News:

My ENG 101 class is going well at Delta. I have a conscientious group who are working hard. As we went over the class syllabus again, I focused on the comparison/contrast essay assignment. They are to compare a modern (relatively) modern book to its movie. For years I have told students to “Never judge a book by its movie.” Here are the choices I gave them, though I told them they could suggest others:

1. Man on Fire

2. Atonement

3. Love in the Time of Cholera

4. No Country for Old Men

5. All the Pretty Horses

6. The Crucible

7. Peter Pan (Allowing Hook, and Finding Neverland as movie choices)

8. In Cold Blood (allowing Infamous and Capote as movie choices)

9. The Scarlet Letter

10. Cold Mountain

11. The Kite Runner

My scholars seemed intrigued by the assignment, and I think it will do them good.

Book Tour News:

Tomorrow, I have a school program in Waskom, Texas. The rest of the weekend will be spent writing, reading, and catching up on chores (including tax preparation). Today I’m researching, memorizing songs, and preparing for my school program tomorrow. I’ll make some calls related to future signings also.

ART INSPIRING ART: Here is a poem I wrote after reading Olen Steinhauer’s novel, 36 Yalta Boulevard. A sign of a good novel is when one of its characters touches you or you identify with him. I thought about Brano Sev, and using lines of the novel I had underlined wrote this poem. This is an exercise I have students do to help them notice and remember important lines in a reading. So, most of the language of the poem that follows is Olen’s. Here is his website. I’d encourage you to take a look at his books:

Brano Sev . . .

We are the same age,

Both haunted by the past,

Both naive and idealistic.

Tutored by the school of necessity,

Tamed by silence,

Learning the techniques of coldness,

Tortured by interrogators

Until my mouth and heart spit blood,

But left with fewer scars than I deserve.

If you suffer enough,

The paranoia becomes real, constant,

The deja vu of moments repeated in memory,

Reliving shame, reviving fear, scarring your dreams,

Longing for the day when the past cannot touch me.

Brano, I am a man like you,

Staying in trouble, still waiting

For the Black Maria and

Heavy-booted men to break their

Way into my life.

I guess the fear never leaves.

They have done their work well.