Every Friday, Cienna Madrid offers solutions to life’s most vexing literary problems. Do you need a book recommendation to send your worst cousin on her birthday? Is it okay to read erotica on public transit? Cienna can help. Send your questions to email@example.com.
In your opinion, what movie adaptation is better than the book it’s based on and why?
Caroline, Matthews Beach
I'm currently loving Black Sails, which is not a movie but a pirate-themed series based on historical figures and characters from the children's book Treasure Island. It inspired me to re-read Treasure Island, however, I abandoned it after a few chapters because there was not enough fucking.
P.S. I just asked a woman on the bus your question and she said "50 Shades of Grey." Just in case you wanted two terrible opinions.
I read romance novels on my Kindle on the bus. Nobody needs to know what I'm into, right? But then, every now and again on my commute I’ll run into a coworker who wants to make small talk about what I’m reading. I'm terrible at lying. Can you give me some good snappy comebacks?
Dahlia, Lower Queen Anne
Tell your coworkers that you are reading "erotic C-SPAN fanfic," "Bible limericks" or "fresh pet obituaries." Those are three collections of words that no one wants to hear slide out of a coworker's mouth. But if you're not as comfortable making people uncomfortable as I am, you can also say, "I don't know. I'm not really reading it, this Kindle is just a prop to discourage bus folk from making small talk with me." And then smile real nice.