My Scary TBR Pile

I added a book to my Goodreads Want To Read list today, and noticed that it didn’t appear at the end of the page. At first I thought there had been a systems glitch, then I realized the issue was that my WTR list is four pages long. I need to get reading! If reading a book a week won’t kill the pile in a year, I’m probably in trouble.  I’m a fast reader, so I’m not all that worried. I should do some sorting as well. There are things on there that I added in a burst of misplaced enthusiasm that would be better on a “to maybe read someday after I read all the things that I really want to read, need to read, or have been highly recommended that I read” list.

I’ve been watching more movies recently than reading. I seem to switch back and forth between movies and books, and recently Netflix has been enticing me with foreign films. There’s been an avalanche of Korean stuff, for example,  and I love romantic comedies from Bollywood.  Recently I watched “Innocent Steps“, which is sort of like a Korean version of “Strictly Ballroom“, but without the quirky humor, “Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya“, a very offbeat and funny kidnap farce Bollywood romantic comedy, and “200 Pounds Beauty”, a Korean take on the romantic comedy makeover trope.

One of the things I love about watching foreign films is that even when they’re doing American style story lines and tropes, they have different ways of approaching the material. Sometimes it’s a mater of emphasis, sometimes it’s stereotypical roles from another culture juxtaposed on the Western plot. Bollywood has a pretty standard set of stock characters that differ from American stock characters. Plus Bollywood plots tend to be much more convoluted than their American cousins, almost always with random singing and dancing, which I love!

English: A blanket fort suspended on strings.

English: A blanket fort suspended on strings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

200 Pounds Beauty” really surprised me with its thoughtful views on beauty standards, weight, and self esteem, all set in the most amazingly generic of “girl gets a makeover to win the boy” type plot.  And the ending is surprising yet still satisfying. It made me want to watch even more Korean movies to see what other surprises they might have for me.

Movies aren’t quite as useful to analyse for novel writing as actual novels are, but they’re still story-telling. Someone once got me out of a writing tail-spin by pointing out there are no new stories, just new ways to tell stories. Watching things like “Innocent Steps” and the Swedish original of “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” really emphasizes that “different way” for me, and gets me out of my culture rut.

For my first attempts at whittling down my WTR pile, I have “Nightwatch” by Sergei Luyanenko waiting for me. I’d better finish “Chasing Victory” by Joanne Jaytanie, a fun paranormal ebook I grabbed from Smashwords first though. If you need me, I’ll be in the blanket tent fort with the WTR pile tent stakes. . .

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