Thursday, August 11, 2011

Reading recommendations in unlikely places

Have you ever gotten a reading recommendation from a celebrity? I don't mean directly, like you're good friends with someone who happens to be a celebrity and they recommend something to you cos then really, the celebrity part is incidental. Nor do I mean you read in some review a celebrity mentions reading something and you take that as a recommendation. I mean, have you ever seen an actor in the trailer for some movie based on a book and decided to read the book because that actor is amazing, ergo book must be good? Yeah me neither, but I have seriously considered it. Most recently with Water for Elephants.

Can this sell books?
It was hard not to see this book on stands and in various commuters hands. It is immensely popular. But I never had any interest in it. Almost inevitably with a popular piece of work, it was made into a movie.  I still didn't think too much of it but figured I could find out what the book was about (because picking up the book and reading the back cover was way too much work). Then I saw Christoph Waltz is in it and while I can't say I'm familiar with his full catologue of work (because it's mostly in German), he kicked so much ass in Inglourious Bastards* that he's earned a lot of goodwill in my book. Enough that I considered reading the book. A book that previously I had no interest in. All because I liked him so much as a crazy Nazi in an entirely different movie.

Thus far I have yet to read Water for Elephants and with reviews like this one from Soy Chai Bookshelf, I can't say I'm rushing to get a copy of it. But has anyone picked up a book for, if not the same reason, than an equally weak one? If so, how did that work out for you?

*Seriously, that opening? He is mesmerizing and terrifying and I could watch it over and over again. Really, if you haven't seen the movie, just go watch that one part. I guess I'd say watch the whole thing, but at least watch the first scene.