Monday, October 31, 2011

The Original Non-Glittering Vampire

Today is All Hallows Eve and in celebration I thought we would take a look at some of the origins of our favorite spooky guy, the Vampire.  In history there are many reasons people believed in vampires, everything from the odd process of decomposition that wasn't fully understood, to religious and superstitious beliefs, and of course who can forget Vlad the Impaler, who was one of the inspirations for what is probably the most famous (or was until Twilight came along :-) ) vampire book Dracula by Bram Stoker

Vlad the Impaler
Now it has come to my attention that with all of the vampire craze that is currently going on, a lot of people have not actually read Dracula, which I find sad because it is one of the most haunting, tragic, creepiest books out there.  The book is a perfect in-the-dark-with-a-flashlight-under-the-cover-book, it took me several weeks before I could have a window open after dark. 

Dracula is also an amazing book because of the crazy culture it has inspired and it seems authors have been inspired too!  Below is a list of books (some better then others) that have dominated our shelves, bestseller lists, and even TV/movie screens since Mr. Stoker first introduced us to the fanged wonder.

Vampire Chronicles  by Ann Rice
Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris
Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith
Vampire Plague Series by Sebastian Rook
Little Vampire by Joann Sfar
And if those are not enough to keep you busy there is a whole listing at The Vampire Library

What is your favorite vampire book?  Why are people so obsessed with vampires?  Let me know your thoughts, and your Halloween costume in the comments!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Bard

One of my other passions besides reading (and coffee) is the theatre.  I usually consider my love of the stage an extension of my love of reading.  It gives me the ability not only to read some amazing works, but to take part in the story as well.  Plus I'm kind of an attention freak so that helps as well :-)  William Shakespeare to me is one of those perfect combinations of fine literature and stagecraft. 

I know, I know EVERYBODY supposedly loves the Great Bard, but to me for good reason.  His works cover several genre's, history, tragedy, comedy, a little something for everyone.  My favorites are his comedies, especially Midsummer's Night Dream, which covers the range of myth and fairytale elements, The Merchant of Venice which incorporates some tragic pieces, and Much Ado About Nothing which may be one of the original mistaken identity capers out there.  Taming of the Shrew is a give or take for me depending on what mood I'm in.

Macbeth is by far my favorite over all Shakespeare work, it's so dark and has all the element of a good ghost story, nobles going crazy, ghosts of the slain walking around, witches that have led to a plethora (what a fun word) of modern witchy movies and books, and even a little comedy brought to us by the guard at the gate. 
Of course you can't mention Shakespeare without mentioning Romeo and Juliet, which I like ok, but have seen it so many times I'm a little bored of it. It does however provide a great canvas for some fabulous retellings.

Another thing I like about Shakespeare is the language lends itself to some amazing illustrations, there are so many beautiful children's books based on Midsummer's Night Dream, and there is a creative version in one of Neil Gaiman's Sandman stories Dream Country that I have read on numerous occasions.
It's been really nice lately because all of his works are available electronically for free, so now instead of hauling my giant book O the bard around, i can whip out my phone or ereader and quote aloud whenever I feel the situation warrants it, much to the annoyance of others I'm sure :-)
Do you also love Shakespeare, or do you think he is overrated?  What is your favorite type of Shakespeare, which part would you love to play?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Amazing Book Pumpkins

Check out these amazing pumpkins I found on a site called Ingrids Notes, there are TONS of really cool book related pumpkins on there, here are a few of my favorites.

How amazing is this Aslan from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe!!!

A very cool double Where the Wild Things Are

And of course a little Mad Eye Moody from the Harry Potter Books!

Make sure you go check out the rest of the pumpkins on this site, they are pretty amazing!  I wonder if I could get somebody to come to my house and carve something for me?  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Epic Break

A lot of the books I read probably fall into the EPIC category.  They are great books, but tend to get pretty heavy, what with all the bloody battles, deaths of beloved characters, moral crises and so on so forth sometimes a girl just needs a little break.  Usually I head over to the humor section for a little satire or comic relief, sometimes I get a borderline trashyish but fun girly novel, and once in a great while amidst all of the angst, the teen section can come up with some great light reads.  I call these my candy books 'cause too many of them make my teeth hurt, but on occasion are so yummy :-)
One of these priceless gems is a little book called How to Ditch Your Fairy, by Justine Larbalestier

The book is set in a semi-fictional North America/Australia type place in modernish times.  At some point most people started being born with fairies.  Nobody knows why or where they came just kind of happened.  The fairies are invisible, but imbue there "owners" with all kinds of powers ranging from the mundane Loose-Change-Fairy, to the coveted Shopping Fairy.  A lot of times you won't even know what fairy you have until you notice things happening in patterns, and it seems no to people can have to same fairy.  The story is about a teenage girl named Charlie who has the Parking Fairy, which essentially ensures that any vehicle she is in will be able to find the perfect parking spot each and every time.  This causes her problems as her parents are always dragging here to boring places so that they can get a good spot.  As the story progresses one of her classmates starts using her to get good spots for illegal activities.  Here best friend Rochelle has the Shopping Fairy which makes anything look good on her AND always makes it on sale for unbelievable markdowns. Her nemesis (I love that word) Fiorenze has the All-The-Boys-Like-You-Fairy which attracts Steffie the new boy that Charlie likes.  As we read on Charlie tries several different ways to get rid of here fairy, hoping to attract a new one and one point even switches with Fiorenze after they team up with disastrous results.  In the end everybody gets what they need and live happier then they were before.

After I finished reading this I called all my siblings and told them that I had finally found an explanation for all of Mamma's luck.  No matter where we are, no matter how crowded, holiday time, events, bad weather doesn't matter if my Mamma is in the car there will ALWAYS be a perfect parking spot.  Sometimes we will be sure it's not gonna work when all of a sudden a car will pull out of a spot right in front of the store!  We always assumed it was luck, but now we are pretty sure she just has a parking fairy!
What fairy do you have? What fairy does a friend or family have?  What fairy would you like to have?  I think I would like to have a time control fairy that would allow me to speed up time when I was bored and slow down time when I was having fun.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Getting Inked!

One of my favorite things about reading and books is you can combined it with almost any other topic out there.  So today we are going take a look at some cool tattoos that are literature related. I like that getting a tattoo is called getting inked, it makes me feel like I myself am a page in a book getting inked.
First up the tat that inspired this post (shout out to Cyrina for letting me use this)
Totally want to steal this from her, it is a quote from the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling and is used to activate the Maurders Map.

Need to figure out a way to use these on the main page!

Some nice simple ways to show your love of the printed word

Quotes are also a good way to express yourself.

I think these are so pretty!

And finally, this is one of my favorite ones!  I love trees, books and tattoo's so it's pretty perfect!

What do you think?  Which book, author, quote or character would inspire you to permanently ink it to your body?  Or would you end up like me and have to put several layers of tattoos from head to toe just to get in your favorites heeeheehee.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Awsome Birthday

This is it folks the big 30, I am officially one day older today :-)  Getting older actually doesn't freak me out that much 'cause all I have to do is look at my Mamma and realize age doesn't mean a whole lot.  Had a great time, I am really lucky and have lots of friends and family to make my day special.  Shout out to Hubbin who made an AMAZING dinner for us.
Onto today's book

Little Miss Birthday
I pretty much feel that everybody's birthday should be celebrated as there own national holiday.
Let me know what your favorite thing about birthdays is!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good Story Memories

After writing yesterdays post, it got me thinking about some fairytale I like from other countries.  One of my first experiences with faerie tales set outside of the normal American/European countries was
Brocaded Slipper: And Other Vietnamese Tales .  I found it at my local library (one of my favorite places in the world growing up) after I had run out of books to read.  This is also one of the first books I chose that was not part of a series or author that I already knew about and set me on my path to trying new and unfamiliar books. 

This book was amazing (to a 9 year old)  It is a collection of 5 short stories/tales starting with the title story The Brocaded Slipper. This is the Vietnamese version of Cinderella and is defiantly on the darker side of the story, with the main character being killed three times!  This story is also known as The Story of Tấm and CámThis was probably my favorite story in the book because of it's level of detail.  After I read all five stories I used to tell them to my youngest sister Baby Sis, who after hearing them all decided that Little Finger In the Watermelon Patch, which is a Thumbilina type tale was her favorite, and insisted on me telling it to her numerous times, even I got sick of it after a while :-)  There is also The Lampstand Princess, The Fairy Grotto, and Master Frog included in the book.  This is a great introduction to world fairytales, especially for the younger crowd.  Let me know what books influenced you as a child.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Real "Faire" Book

Anybody who known me for more then about 13 seconds knows I love fantasy, I love faire's, dwarfs, elves, goblins, gods and goddesses, brownies, pixies, mermaids, dragons, whatever it is I LOVE it.  I also love all the different variety you get when you start mixing in different era's and places.  A faire story set in Brazil in the 1800's is going to be way different then a faery tale (I wonder how many ways I can spell fairy, faire, faery, pharee...) set in China in the 1400's. One of my favorite books, that combines faery's, location, and a mix of time is called Hunter's Moon by O.R. Melling.

 It is a great mix of a super classic fairy tale, an urban setting and traditional, almost tribal myth.  It is set in Ireland and tells the story of Gwen a Canadian teenager who visits her cousin Findabhair (finn-ah-veer) and the two of them set out on a magical mystery tour.  They get much more then they bargained for when after sleeping under a faery mound Findabhair willing goes to become the queen of Finvara the King of Faery's.  Gwen had refused so he could not take her as well.  As Gwen chases the faery's and her cousin through out Ireland she makes many friends in all shapes and sizes who help her when she needs it most, including a boy named Dara who is particularly useful. When she finally catches up to the elven hoard, Gwen learns that Finn went with the Fairy's of her own accord and is happy to stay with them.  After putting the pieces together, Gwen learns that it was the King's intent to bring back two humans, one to wed and one to sacrifice to the great evil.  This is reminiscent of the Celtic Tale of Tam Lin and the darker side of faery that you don't see as often. 

In the end Gwen, Findabhair, the King, and their friends decide to fight the evil instead of sacrificing to it.  After they fail, the King gives himself up, the first of the Fair Folk to ever do so, so that no human would have to be sacrificed, proving his true love for Finn.  Everybody is understandably upset and they all agree to meet up a year later to remember Finvara the Fairy King.  As they assemble the next year they meet a boy that looks exactly like Finvara, turns out the monster took only his immortality and memories not his life.  The group all accepts this new Finvara and all help him to understand what is going on.
This is the first book in a series called "The Chronicles of Faerie" and it is my favorite.  The other ones are pretty good, but never had the same magic of this one...though the one with the ghost pirate captain Molly was pretty cool :-)  The Summer King, The Light-Bearer's Daughter, The Book of Dreams
I really enjoyed the history and mythology (the author has studied Celtic history and myth) that was given, and how it all intertwines in the various time periods.  This is one of those books that I have read several times, and I probably will read it again.  Let me know what your favorite part was!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cool Game

So I just played this really cool game based on The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  It's a pretty relaxed hidden object type game, but it's fun, especially if you like the book.  You get most of the story through out the gameplay.  It's not an overly exciting shoot em up game, and there is not a lot of extra world exploring, but it is a simple, beautiful, interactive way to go through a classic story.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Classics

With Halloween happening this month, I thought I would share my favorite "It was a dark and scary night" books.  I love Halloween, I love costumes, Fall, candy, horror flicks, and reading scary stories.  One of my favorite books to read is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  Now the original Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books, so I was a little leery to see somebody mess with it, but I thought I would give it a go.  It was surprisingly really good, it kept Jane Austen's original story and language, but Seth Grahame-Smith did a really good job of seamlessly bringing zombies into the mix. I love the opening paragraph:
"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.  Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead."  It was kind of weird reading such a familiar story (he keeps EVERYTHING in it) yet it totally has zombies in it with out distracting from the story.

Here some other horrific adaptions of classics, some are better then others, but they all put a unique spin on things.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
Android Karenina
Alice in Zombieland
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Let me know if you think these are genius, or a twisted mess of a classic you hold dear.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Special Post For My Father-In-Law

My Father-In-Law (FIL) requested a post on the book The Little Prince.  Since I have several connections to this book, and I really like my FIL it seemed like a great idea.  My first introduction to The Little Prince was actually a little traumatic, I had seen the claymation movie and it kind of freaked me out, especially the part were the snake bit the Little Prince.

When I got a little older, I picked up the book and reluctantly read it, to my surprise I very much enjoyed it.  The imagination the title character shows is just astounding.  The story is basically about a pilot who crash lands in the Sahara desert and is found by a little boy who asks him to draw a sheep.  From there we learn that the boy lives on an asteroid with three volcano's and a rose, his main occupation if tending the vain rose, and uprooting baobabs that threaten to take over the little asteroid.  The little prince travels to 6 other asteroids, each with an adult that is concerned solely with themselves and their preconceived idea's.  The little prince finally ends up on Earth where he meets the pilot and tells his story.  At the end a snake offers to help the little prince return to his beloved asteroid by way of its bite.  The pilot is understandably upset, thinking the boy means to die, but is told by the little prince that it is just his body is to heavy to take the trip back.  The snake bites him and he falls to the ground, when the pilot returns he cannot find the body and begs the reader to contact him if they ever find a strange boy who does not answer questions.  This book while for children has many lessons for adults in it.
When I got to college we performed the play "The Little Prince", it was my first role in college and I was given the title role.  I got to were a short blond wig, and a long blue and red coat (I looked like David Bowie!)  It was an amazing experience, I really loved every moment of it. It was very interesting to physically explore this universe that I had read about as a child, kind of surreal actually.  I now have fond and amazing memories of this book, and am glad to have that to share with my wonderful FIL, I hope he enjoys this post because I enjoyed writing it.  Let me know what you think folks!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Game Of Thrones...So This Is What All The Hype Is About

I have to admit that I had never heard of A Song of Fire and Ice series ,or George R. R. Martin until the TV show (which I have not seen yet) came out.  This is a little bit embarrassing as I am usually a snot about the whole TV/Movie/Book thing.  Normally I am the one in my family who likes the...darker books, but my Mamma (who is not at all into blood and gore) actually got into these books ahead of me and was surprised I hadn't read them yet, so off I went to get and read the first book A Game of Thrones

My first reaction to reading this was " I can't believe my Mamma liked all this blood and gore!"  My second reactions was "I can't turn the page fast enough!"  I usually have mixed feelings on epics that feature a billion characters and a zillion story lines, but Mr. Martin has formatted the books exceptionally well.  It almost feels as if you are reading a lot of short stories that all end up coming together without too much thinking.  He has broken up the book into chapters that are focused on a single character in the book, the chapter is named for that character so you know exactly who and where you are in the story with out to much trouble.  For example if you start with a chapter called Arrya, then you know you are in her part of the story.  The world itself is pretty cool and the history is given out through each character so you get the idea the characters actually live there according to what is important to them.  The story is a bloody mess of murder and mayhem.  Essentially the throne was taken from a mad king in recent history and this series chronicles the King that took it and all the people trying to take it for themselves.  It's pretty cool, there are dragons and sword fights, and the author writes in a surprising amount of clothing and jewelry detail considering that he is a guy mostly writing about people getting there heads chopped off and everybody getting laid as much and in every way possible.  I think besides the format one of my favorite things about these books so far is that he keeps you on your toes, main characters get killed off on a regular bases so you learn not to get attached to anybody, I think at least three major characters, including one you don't ever expect get killed before the book is even 2/3 over.  He has no problem killing off children, animal, women and yet amidst all the yuckiness and getting-it-onness a really riveting story is told.  OK so that is my extremely long winded thoughts on the first book in this series.  I am sure I will come back to it later as I progress through the series.  What I really want is to hear some discussion of it in the comments for those of you who have read it, why you love/hate it. Or if you haven't read it why you wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Or The Most Disturbing/Boring Book I Have Read

Saw the trailer for the American version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson the other day, and it got me wondering how the movie will work.  I have read the book and it was the weirdest mix of disturbing imagery, major violence, and a lot of really boring blahness. Keep in mind, I am not a squeamish person, about violence or sex especially if it has a point, this book just seemed to use it in place of well everything. The book focuses on two main characters Mikael Blomkvist who is a publisher for an independent magazine called Millennium who is persona non grata for losing a libel suit against Hans-Erik Wennerström a billionaire investor.  The other character is the title character Lisabeth Salander, who is by far the most interesting character in the book.  She is a genius computer hacker who has been in Sweden's child social system for many years.  This book essentially tells the story of Harriet Vagner and her disappearance from her family home many years ago.  Blomkvist is hired to write the biography of the family as a cover to investigate Harriet's disappearance.  Salander gets hired by Blomkvist to help with the research and they eventually end up as uneasy lovers.  One of the main subplots is Slander's time in the System and the horrific brutalities she endures after her original case worker and protector Holger Palmgren has a stroke.  Her new "guardian" Nils Bjurman is a sick and twisted man who forces Salander to perform demeaning and painful sex acts to gain access to her own money.  After a couple of episodes she sneaks into his apartment and gets her revenge by tattooing "I am a sadistic pig, a pervert and a rapist" on his chest after recording one of the abusive sessions for blackmail. The reason she was placed in custody in the first place is revealed in the next book.  The disturbing violence continues as we learn more about the Vagner's history.  Turns out that Harriet's father and brother sexually abused her to the point that she arranged to disappear of the family island, never to return.  As they investigate Blomkvist and Salander discover a journal of Harriet's listing names of missing women.  Turns out that her brother Martin (who until now seems like the normal, stable one) has built himself a twisted playroom in his basement where he keeps kidnapped women to act out his twisted fantasies on, and then murders them.  At the climax of the book Salander saves Blomkvist's life, Harriet is found and the mystery is solved.  All of this disturbing action takes up about half the book.  The other half is devoted to long exposition on the political and financial history of Sweden and all the complicatedness that was part of the initial libel suit that placed Blomkvist in the position he was in.  It was weird to read a book that was so boring and so disturbing at the same time, it was one of those books you wanted to get to the end of just so you knew the mystery was solved, but at the same time was tempted to just skip to the end.  The exciting parts were very exciting and the boring parts were very very boring.  It was kind of like taking an upper and downer at the same time.  I think the book suffered in editing, the author died while the books were still in manuscript form and I think it would be interesting to see what he would have kept and what he would have gotten rid of if he had lived to work on the final edits himself. The mystery itself was pretty good, I think I would have liked it more with some better editing.  I think I will try and  watch the Swedish version of the movie so I can compare it to the book and the American movie and see how they portray all the sexual violence and get through the long winded exposition.  Let me know if any of you have read the book, or seen the movie. Let me know if you think I am being to hard on the book, or if you too found it a really long read.
Update:  Swedish movie wasn't half bad, they cut a lot of the exposition about the economy and such, and didn't show to much of the childhood torture of Harriet.  Noomi Rapace who played Lisabeth Salander was not bad, even if she looked a little old for what I had in my head, but all in all I liked it, even forgot that it was in Swedish after a while.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Now There Is A Fine Looking Non-Existent Book Man

When I was growing up we were not allowed to watch a whole lot of television, a fact that I am now very grateful for.  My parents say it was to keep undue influences out of our life, but I think the real reason was even "educational" tv was dangerous in our family. For example after watching a documentary on mountain climbing, my little four year brother thought it would be a good idea to tie a kite string to a lamp and "mountain climb" out of his second story bedroom window.  My Mamma after hearing the thump that was my brother making a miraculous uninjured landing, came running out to see him brushing the dirt of himself and hollering for his younger 2 year old sister to try it next. Her little legs were already over the windowsill as my poor Mamma is screaming for her to get back inside :-)  Needless to say even educational tv was limited at our house.  One of the by-products of a fairly television free house, was lots of time to read.  The other was I didn't have access to all of those tv and movie boys to have crushes on.  Which leads me to my first crush Prince Caspian, oh my first true love, my version of Prince Charming...Hmmmm... He was a perfect non-existent boy, a prince, handsome (at least in my head), brave, and of course dwelt in a the ideal land of Narnia!  One of the few good things about the movie was at least the role was played the very handsome Ben Barnes mmmmm.

Anyways, for the longest time whenever I was playing with friends (did I mention I was about 8 or 9 at the time) and needed a husband/boyfriend/prince regardless of the time period our game was in, I always chose my Prince Caspian.  Over the years I of course had my share of  TV/Movie and real life crushes, but there is something about a book crush that seems more personal.  The funny thing is now that I am married to my own real life Prince Hubbin, I find myself on occasion putting his stunningly handsome face on my current book crushes.  Who was your first book crush? Any current book crushes?  (mine current book crush is Jack and Nemo from the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica Series) Am I the only crazy person who develops crushes on non-existent people?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book VS Movie: Narnia

Anybody who has seen a movie made out of a book knows that it is impossible for even the best movie makers out there to 100% translate a book to the big screen.  Knowing this, when I go to a book based movie (especially if I have already read the book)  I try and watch it as a movie separate from the book.  This has worked well and allowed me to enjoy many movies that, lets face it will never live up to our lofty 100% idealistic standard.  Today's book to movie conversions that I will be pontificating (I love that word) on will be the first three books in the Chronicles of Narnia.  Now word of warning C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia are (besides my Bible) probably my most sacred and cherished reading memories. 

So when they announced they were going to make a movie out of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (hereafter known as LWW) I was torn between excitement and terror.  My poor Hubbin probably thought I was nuts :-)  On the plus side The Lord of the Rings movies had already come out and proven you could make a great movie out of beloved books.  Also PBS/BBC had done a wonderful miniseries back in the day that stayed wonderfully true to the books, but that took close to three hours to pull off.  On the down side, the books themselves are pretty short I can get through LWW in a couple of hours.  It is also a very simple story without a lot of gratuitous(another good word) history, detail or plot lines which seems to be a staple now days.  Also in general the track record for turning books into good movies isn't all that great.  So it was with a mix of excitement and dread that I went to see the movie. I was THRILLED, I really loved it!  Sure they added stuff to it, but I usually don't mind as long as they don't take anything out, and stay as faithful to the plot as you can in a movie.  I thought this movie did a great job of that, it was almost like watching an expanded version of the book.  The movie itself was just beautiful and looked a lot like what I envisioned it to in my head as I grew up. The music was almost it's own character, in fact I am listening to the sound track as I write this ( a little inspiration).  I thought the cast was well chosen and for once age appropriate (I hate it when they make the characters older then they should be...more on that in a different post!) and seriously Liam Neeson can talk all day as the voice of Aslan and I won't complain.  Over all very very pleased with the movie. 

After such a great experience I was understandably excited when the second movie Prince Caspian (hereafter known as PC) came out. When I first read the book Prince Caspian I fell in love with the title my first book crush...I might have to write a post on that hmmm.....whoops a little off track there, anyways loved this book so excited to see the movie and then :-(  They changed the plot! And I don't just mean a little filler to round out the movie, or to fill time, they changed the whole story!!!  The weird thing is they kept in a lot of little details that only a person who has read the book would notice, like a peace offering for slaughtering the plot?!? 

Then came The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (VDT) Now this may be my favorite book of ALL time, it has everything I love, ocean voyages, mysteries, pirates,humor, Dufflepods, pools that turn anything to gold, an epic quest and a darn good love story.  Of all the books in this series that could be made into a movie with little to no tweaking THIS IS IT! So with one great movie and one crappy movie I was really hoping this one would be great.  The movie sucked, I mean that's all I can really say about it.  They completely changed the whole plot and didn't even keep in little things to appease the readers like they did in PC.  It's like nobody had actually read the book, just had a notion of a story somebody once told them about the book. It may have been an ok movie (again beautiful cinematography and gorgeous music) if it wasn't based on the book.  All in all very disappointing, especially considering how well they did with LWW.  Oh well I guess that is the joy of reading, is I can always go back and read it again :-)  Let me know what you thought of the books/movies  Did you love them all, hate them with the burning of a thousand suns, or actually have a life and don't have that much energy to put into movie vs books dissections.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Love A Good Short Story

Lately I've been into short story collections, I like to keep them at my desk and when I have few minutes read one or two.  Short stories are so different from full length novels and books in they only have a few pages to get a whole point across, they don't have the luxury of setting up long detailed plots, minimal character development, almost no history, and sparse settings.  Yet even with all of these restrictions some of the best, saddest, funniest, intriguing and touching stories I have ever read are short stories.  I guess when I think about it, most fairy tales, myths and legends that we are all so familiar with when written down are in reality just short stories.  One of my other favorite things about short stories is the sheer variety you can get from a single topic.  I am in the middle of reading a collection of short stories that are rewritten classic fairy tales called Happily Ever After. In this book is on of the most AMAZING retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I have ever read called Rose Garden, and believe me I have read countless fairy tell rewrites. This story while still recognizable as Beauty and the Beast takes a different meaning of love, in this case of a child to break the spell. This is a story that would only work in short story form, that if was to be expanded would lose its flavor and conciseness (is that even a word?)  I think it takes immense talent to be able to get across a great story when you are limited to such few pages, it makes you really decide what is important to the story, what cannot be left out, and what may not be needed. What is your favorite type of book/story ?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Favorite Books

To start with I thought I would list my favorite books.  Hmm this is harder then I thought, because I have ALOT of favortite books, it all depends on the season, mood, recent conversation.  So to narrow it down I have picked the
Books I would take with me if I got to colonize a planet and had only a backpack to take books with me:
Bible (NIV version)
The Chronicles of Narnia (First books I read growing up!)
Little House on the Prarie series (First memory of reading with Mamma!)
The Lord of the Rings (Hopefully I can find space to squeeze in the Hobbit)
Harry Potter series (Hey it's a really big backpack!)
Dragon Harper Trilogy (First books I discovered on my own)
Ella Enchanted  (Even though I pretty much have it memorized)

These are my pretty much can't live without books. I have many other "favorites", but they all come with qualifiers so I will talk about them later.  What would you pack in your "never return to Earth again backpack"?

Aw It's A Little Baby Blog!

Ask my Hubbin what our home decor theme is and he will reply books.  My insatiable love of books has become so great nearly every wall in our apt. is covered in floor to ceiling bookshelves that are full of books!  Obviously I an overwhelming biological imperative to read.  This blog is pretty much somewhere I can do the other thing I like to do, talk constantly and in mind numbing confusing jumping from here to there detail about books.  This is the place where I will discuss, ponder, rave, diss and get really excited about books I have, am or will read.  I would love suggestions on what to read, comments (which I reserve the right to mediate!) or questions on the books, blog, weather or whatever else tickles your fancy.  Since this is my blog I reserve the right to go one as many tangents as I like, to love, hate or anything in between any book I might read, and generally say whatever I might be thinking at any given moment. (could be dangerous)  Well lets get this experiment started and see what happens :-)