Time for another Book vs. Movie! This time it’s Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, a memoir by Cheryl Strayed. It was the pick for our book club this month, and last night we all went out to see the movie adaptation in theater together. It’s non-fiction, but doesn’t read like it, thankfully. It tells the story of 20-something Cheryl, whose mother’s death from cancer sends her life into a tailspin. To pull herself out of it, she impulsively decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. She picks out a section over 1,000 miles long and sets out. Alone. With no prior long-distance backpacking/hiking experience. As you might expect, that doesn’t go as well as it did in her head. The book has become a national bestseller and was part of Oprah’s book club. The movie just released this month, and stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl.
So! That’s the summary. Here’s the side-by-side comparison of the different formats:
Really well-written. Felt more like a novel than non-fiction, which I always appreciate.
A good mix of ‘present-day’ and back-story in the telling, with good transitions between.
I felt like she really captured the different personalities she meets on the trail well.
Made me want to go hiking out West.
Did a good job of translating all of Cheryl’s jumbled internal thoughts and song snippets onto the screen.
Reese Witherspoon did a great job as Cheryl. I was a bit skeptical, as Cheryl was around 25 when she did the hike, but it worked.
Laura Dern as Cheryl’s mother was also perfect.
Surprise cameo by Cheryl Strayed (the author) as the woman driving the truck, and her daughter played the younger version of Cheryl.
They managed to fit enough of the back-story that we get in the book in a way that wasn’t jarring or distracting.
I thought the end wrapped up too quickly. I would’ve liked to see a little bit more of her life right after the hike, how she put it back together.
Unnecessary changes, like the best friend’s name, and the deletion of Cheryl’s sister.
A lot of the characters she meets on the trail were cut out, due to movie time constraints. Understandable, but disappointing.
They compressed certain plot points/scenes to happen at the same time in the movie, when they happened farther apart in the book.
As miserable as she was on screen at points, I’m not sure the sheer exhaustion and struggle conveyed in the book came through fully.
Overall, I liked the book better. I’d also recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, as I think you’ll get more out of the movie that way. But they are both good, so pick your preferred format and go with it.
Have you read the book or seen the movie? What did you think?
We Are All Confident Idiots. “William Feather once wrote that being educated means “being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t.” As it turns out, this simple ideal is extremely hard to achieve. Although what we know is often perceptible to us, even the broad outlines of what we don’t know are all too often completely invisible. To a great degree, we fail to recognize the frequency and scope of our ignorance.”
Two read-worthies from The Book of Life: On News and Kindness (about the current fad of equating mean reporters with good ones), and On Anxiety (positing that we simply are anxious, to our core, in the very basic make-up of our being).
I had a surprisingly productive Monday yesterday. I’m not sure if it’s my new dawn simulator lamp/alarm clock (thanks, Mom! *early xmas*) or the amount of sugar I’ve had coursing through my body since the cookie exchange this weekend. I’ll take it either way. I guess I’ll see if it holds through the week, with all of my pre-travel errands and whatnot. Though the cookie stash likely won’t though. My sweet tooth is voracious, y’all. (I hesitated to type y’all because it still seems almost too Texas-y to me, but I do say it occasionally in real life and it sounded better than ‘you guys’ in that instance…. truth in blogging).
In other news, the shop poll from last week is still at a three-way tie, so if you haven’t voted, head on over.
Tell me something going on in your life! Any news or holiday travel plans or words you find weird to type?
December makes me think of one thing: Christmas, Christmas, and more Christmas. (We’re not much for the whole ice and snow thing here in Austin). So this month’s Etsy treasuries are all about that. The first is about Christmas colors, red and green. The second is a neutral, natural take on Christmas. Take a look:
Time for some book talk! Here’s a few reads I’m currently working my way through:
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie. Don’t let the fact that this is a YA epic fantasy series fool you. There’s a reason Abercrombie’s nickname is Lord Grimdark (also his Twitter handle and he’s pretty funny over there). I’m not very far into this one yet, but it’s living up to the grim and dark hype. That’s not to say it’s not good so far. This is my first dip into his work, so we’ll see how the rest of it goes (i.e. whether the grimdarkness exceeds my wanting to see what happens).
The Lux Series by Jennifer Armentrout. This is a YA paranormal romance series. And no, it doesn’t feature vampires or werewolves, though that’s all I’m going to say about that. That fact is what made me curious to pick up book 1, Obsidian. I’m on book 3 out of 5 right now and the teenage drama between the two main characters is starting to annoy me (as it usually eventually does in any contemporary YA series). It’s entertaining enough to keep me going, but definitely my fluff read for breaks between other books.
Altaica by Tracy Joyce. This is a YA fantasy read that I picked up from Net Galley. I’m having trouble keeping going with this one. I like the idea of the story, but the writing is just painful. I’m hoping it gets better? But not holding my breath. There will eventually be a full review, as I was given a review copy. But don’t hold your breath, either.
Apparently I’m on a YA kick in the wake of my non-fiction kick. *shrug*
Let’s Just Say It: Women Matter More Than Fetuses Do. “Most people, no matter their politics, have absorbed some aspect of the right-wing narrative that abortions are uniformly harrowing and traumatic, when for many women they are brief events that leave no lasting mark.”
The boy’s holiday work party was last week. It was casino themed, and apparently I’m good/lucky at blackjack. Who knew? Despite the plethora of raffle tickets we accumulated, though, we did not win any of the prizes. Whomp whomp.
Also, the drunken monkey bread experiment was a success. Didn’t really taste boozy, but definitely had a different, yummy flavor compared to the normal monkey bread. And then my sister sent me this pin, so you know that’s going to have to happen at some point.
Help me pick the next design for the shop! I have a few ideas roughly sketched out, thanks to last month’s craft shows where I was running solo but remembered to bring my sketchbook. But I thought it’d be fun to see what you guys thought I should focus on/clean up first. Here are the choices:
Which idea should I finalize as a design this month?