Monday, March 1, 2010

Jodi is Beautiful

My dear friend and former fellow performer, Dave, always aspired to be a great director.  He even wrote, directed and starred in many of his own short features, some of which won several awards at various film festivals across the country.  All his friends, including me, had no problem believing that Dave would fulfill his dream and one day we'd all sit in a movie theater and see his name up on the screen as the credits rolled.

Then, just a little while later, Dave went to see the movie, "Life is Beautiful."  This is the amazing, award-winning film written, directed, and brilliantly acted by Italian artist Roberto Benigni.  If you haven't yet seen "Life is Beautiful," you really must do yourself an enormous favor and rent it immediately. It's funny, romantic, and heartbreakingly tragic, all in one two hour movie!

Dave thought so, too.  In fact, Dave was so moved by all the elements of "Life is Beautiful" that he said it made him want to stop directing altogether.  He said he could never produce anything as beautifully moving as this film, and instead of inspiring him, it made him want to permanently remove his director's cap in respect.  I confess I couldn't fully comprehend Dave's perspective initially.  The movie was awesome, why didn't it INSPIRE him to do as well, instead of the alternative? Until...

I read my first Jodi Picoult novel.  Upon finishing it, I closed the book, dialed Dave's number and when he answered, I simply stated, "I completely get it!" Jodi Picoult is such a tremendous author, and produces such incredible work, she makes me want to quit writing. There's no way I could ever write so eloquently. Have you ever read one of her books?  Don't, she'll ruin you for LIFE (I'm kidding, of course.  You must rush out this very MINUTE and read her entire, vast library!).

Jodi's books are thoughtful, well-written, thoroughly researched stories that are impossible to put down.  Her characters are always deliciously multi-dimensional.  There is no clear black and white in her tales, she makes you feel empathy for bad guys and hatred of good guys.  Her stories take you everywhere from Amish farms to maximum security prisons, and each location is so impeccably described, you swear there is absolutely no way Jodi didn't grow up in that very place.  Until you read the NEXT book, and the setting is a completely DIFFERENT location, and you think the same thing!

Much to my intense delight, even though each of her novels must require a great deal of research and "delving" into the topic at hand, Jodi still somehow manages to produce a new book every year.  HOW does she do this, you ask?  Well, I can honestly say I HAVE NO EARTHLY IDEA!!!  The woman is clearly a freak!!

I was under the impression that the only authors who publish a book a year are those that write "cookie-cutter" trashy or Harlequin Romance-esque novels.  Hers are neither, but I'm SO glad she is such a machine!  The minute I finish her latest book, I immediately crave the next.

WHY am I telling you all of this?  Well, here's the deal.  Jodi's new book, House Rules, hits the bookshelves TOMORROW (squeee!!). Unbelievably, my local Border's Bookstore is NOT opening at midnight for this monumental event, so I will NOT be able to purchase my copy at the earliest possible minute.  But, I WILL be knocking over the manager as he unlocks said doors an excruciating nine hours later.

I'm telling you this because there's a very good chance that once I purchase my new treasure, I will be off line for a day or so while I DEVOUR Ms. Picoult's latest offering (OK, so I'll be checking in from time to time to see if I have any new comments or followers!).  And there's also a REALLY good chance that when I DO return, I'm going to be really, really depressed that: A.) I've finished the book and have to wait a WHOLE year for the next one to be written, and B.) I will NEVER be worthy enough to shine this woman's writing quill, let alone aspire to someday tell a story like her!

So, in conclusion, I'll probably be a big, hot mess next time I'm here, consider yourself  forewarned!  In the meantime, please feel free to look around my place, read some old posts, and make a comment or two if you like.  You can even use the pretty guest towels, and sit on the good furniture!  Hey, why don't you go pick up a copy of  "Life is Beautiful" while I'm gone?  Dave and I think you'll be glad you did!!

Thanks for Reading!

43 comments:

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Enjoy :D

Being Me said...

Life Is Beautiful is one of those life-changing movies that stays with you, I think. I agree, it is a masterpiece.

Enjoy your read! Oooh do you have fluffy, warmed towels? (not that I'm a princess or anything ;P)

blueviolet said...

I read My Sister's Keeper and I have never had a book stick with me for so long. Weeks went by and it was on my mind! I LOVED it! I won't see the movie because I don't want to ruin it for myself.

We live in a Zoo! said...

I feel that loss of inspiration myself sometimes. The most recent book that did that to me was The Hunger Games. I just can't fathom how Suzanne Collins was able to write it.

(Blueviolet, don't see My sisters keeper, it WILL ruin it.)
I loved that book. Its the only Picoult book that I've read and I couldn't put it down. It really was amazingly written. I will be sure to check out the rest of her collection.

Kaloula said...

Ooh! I didn't know she had a book coming out tomorrow, dang. I try not to buy books every single week, especially because I have no time to read (gasp!) but this one will be bought tomorrow! PS.. Don't stop writing!!

Missy said...

I knew there was something I really, really, really like about you, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. Now I know. Mutual love of Jodi Picoult. LOVE HER BOOKS. Seriously, my husband is like, "can you really love stuff that makes you cry that much?" I'm like, "yeah." Then I took him with me to see My Sister's Keeper and it's the first movie I've ever almost walked out of because it was so sad I couldn't take it! And I knew what was going to happen (even though Hollywood switched it up). And he had no idea, so you can imagine his sadness. Anyway, THANK YOU for the reminder - I'm SO there tomorrow morning. I don't even know what this one's about. Do I care? NO! I KNOW I'll LOVE it. :)

KathyB said...

But Jodie could never write the way Joan Donnelly-Emery does! And I love YOUR writing!!!

christy rose said...

I never did ever see "Life is Beautiful" I should rent it soon. You have inspired me to put that on my list of "to do" I actually like those kind of things on my "to do" list. :)

ReformingGeek said...

I need to keep these in mind.

Happy Reading!

Tammie said...

ive never read any of her books, always dismissing her as silly chick lit, but you arent the first person to make me think im wrong. maybe i should check her out.

Corinne said...

I LOVE Jodi Piccoult too. Though I'm guessing her latest book won't be out in Oz for a while, dammit!

Enjoy your reading!

LucyCooper said...

This is how I feel about David Sedaris. I also devour Margaret Atwood books- when I have time! I'll have to check out Jodi- I'll add her to the list of Books to Read When my Sons go to College and I'm Sad and Lonely.

Sistertex said...

Enjoy the book when it comes out!

Thanks for visiting my blog and following as well. I have become your latest follower too. The hounds are retired racing greyhounds...names are Renner and Scooter and they thank you for visting as well!

RN Mama said...

Oh, I "puffy heart" Jodi Picoult! When I saw that she had a new book coming out this month, I just about peed my pants! Can't wait!

Erin said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better, I often times find myself reading YOUR beautiful stories thinking, "Dammit! I thought I was good at this and then I read Joans blog and think I shouldn't be allowed to have my own blog at all!" So there. : )

Rhiannon said...

Every time I ask someone about Jodi Picoult they go into a fit of excitement. I think it is time I picked up one of her books.

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

This is my favoritest movie ever. It makes me want to squeeze every living moment out of this beautiful, magical gift they call life. I haven't read Picoult's books. I've been too busy reading non-fiction for the past few years (all this cellulite-investigating is hard on the brain cells!) but I will keep her in mind next time I'm looking for a good vacation book.

Shan said...

Well here's the joy before the depression! And thanks for the tip on JP's writing. I've sometimes thought about picking up her book, but when I see the mass of other titles she's written and can't help assuming it's crap.

Sylvia K said...

Thanks! I'll go get it tomorrow! Just what I needed! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Stacie said...

DAR got me started with Jodi Picoult's books and once I did...I didn't get much accomplished because I kept barreling through her entire collection! I'm hitting up the bookstore this week to get some new reads and that's one of them on my list! :-)

Kakka said...

2 of my daughter's also devour anything by Jodi, I am a little hit and miss, some I love and some I think are just retelling of other stories with different characters. I do love her twists though. I thought the movie My Sister's Keeper was disappointing in that it didn't have the ending of the book. But then my daughter who saw it with me said, it it did I would have no reason to see it. I suppose that is right.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

i laughed out loud when you said "Unbelievably, my local Border's Bookstore is NOT opening at midnight for this monumental event" - haha!

i hope you love her newest one, i'm sure you will :)

Kimberly said...

I loved that movie so much. I have to have tissues ready when I watch because I would rather not go froward in my day with my shirt soaking wet in tears.

I have not read these books. I will have to peek at them after Easter. (I am a book junkie, and have given them up until Easter.)

Getting My Words Out said...

1) Life Is Beautiful is one of my all time favorite movies.
2) Kathy B and Erin are both RIGHT in their comments...and
3) I'll go one further, I sometimes think I shouldn't even be allowed to COMMENT on your blog!!

I seriously almost didn't even start my blog after devouring yours...and your writing gets better EVERY DAY.

She gets a book out every year because she doesn't have a blog!
:D

Bossy Betty said...

I get it totally! There have been times when I've been reading a good book and my kids have been hungry that I have just told them, "There's a big bag of sugar in the pantry. You can have that." I loved "Harvesting the Heart."

Krista said...

Oh wow... I am the same way with my faves... "you mean I have to wait a YEAR??? Are you KIDDING???"

;o)

'Life is Beautiful' is a magnificent movie and I LOVED every second of it, each of the three times I have seen it. :o)

The only Picoult novel I have read is My Sister's Keeper. To be honest, it took quite a while before I got into it. I read the first quarter or so and then put it down because I was bored. It sat for months until I needed something to read and I picked it up again. In the next chapter or so I was hooked and spent the rest of the night/next day finishing it. A great read for sure!

Please don't quit writing, and don't stay away too long. I LOVE to read you. I'd be sad if I had to wait a whole YEAR to read you again, too!

Blackberry Jam Cafe said...

Thank you. This is a great post - I got so much out of it. I recently discovered Jodi Picoult myself and couldn't believe her books had gotten past me for so long. I'm a fan now! Love dropping by here!
Susan

Darlene said...

I have not read her books (I know BIG gasp by you), so I think I must go to my library and get one to read. Enjoy your new read!♥

Eva Gallant said...

I have a another friend who mentioned her books to me, too, recently, I guess I need to check her out.

lifeshighway said...

I have never read one of her book but I plan a trip to the local used book store this weekend so I can pick a few to devour. Enjoy your read.

Kristin said...

You certainly know how to sell a book lady!!

Ace said...

I haven't seen "Life is Beautiful" but I'm going to have to look for it now. I have read all of Jodi's books, though, except for the one a friend recently lent me. She is an amazing writer but I have to get myself in the mood to read her as I know it's going to one heck of an emotional ride.

WhisperingWriter said...

I love Jodi's books. After I read them I'm all, "Holy crap she's a good writer and I suck."

***Amy*** said...

So....how is the book? :)

Elle said...

Life is Beautiful is definitely one of those movies that changes your life.

I absolutely love Jodi. My Sister's Keeper had a profound effect on me. I have so many of her books in my to be read pile, which I hope to get to someday soon.

Sylvia K said...

Well, guess I'm off to the library in the morning to see what books of hers I can find. Thanks for the tip and I hope you're deep into her newest one!

Sylvia

Fragrant Liar said...

Haven't read Picoult and now I probably won't because I don't want to feel "less than" about my own writing! Kidding. But the point I want to make is you can't compare your writing to anybody else's. It stops your forward momentum and stifles your creativity. Doesn't it? If writing is your passion or your dream, then keeping your unique talents in perspective is the way to go. Plus, you can emulate the writers you admire without trying to imitate them directly. Know what I'm sayin'?

So get your butt back in that chair and write, girlie! Right after you're done reading Picoult's new one, eh?

Kellyansapansa said...

Oh, you are so cruel. House Rules is not released here until APRIL! How on earth am I going to wait that long, knowing that you've already got it? So not fair!

Star Child said...

I will have to have a look for some of Jodi's offerings.

I had seen the film, My Sister's Keeper, but have not (yet) read the book.

I am currently reading Wuthering Heights. Once I have completed my Bronte education, I will turn to dear Jodi...

Tracie said...

I'm a HUGE Jodi Picoult fan. I've read most of her books - all of her more recent ones- and not one has disappointed me. I went to my local bookstore yesterday searching for the latest and they didn't have it yet. I wanted to read it on the plane. *sad face*

MiMi said...

I love Jodi Picoult. LOVE love. I first though, "Oh, well she's just gonna be a chic lit type writer and it will be lame", but really, it seems like every book she adds something a little different that makes it stand way out. :)

Putz said...

i have read all of jodi's books, all and i couldn't believe how caught up i got in them, and i am not even a mother, nope too male to be a mother, but i am into her books, yes indeedy

Helena said...

I'm embarrassed to say I haven't read any Picoult yet. I've heard about her for awhile now. She's really picking up some fame if I hear about her, though, b/c I don't follow any one author. But I think I will break down and become a Picoult fan, only second to you, though. I think you are a fab writer, contrary to your strenuous attempts to convince otherwise! Ha Ha!

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