Sunday, December 16, 2007

So many books read so little time

Hello my little book blog. I'm sorry it has been so very long. I've read so many books since last I took the time to post. The other day I remembered that I had posted about the Pullman books which are getting so much press these days. Hmmmm.......I so predicted the drama. Fiction! People its fiction! F-I-C-T-I-O-N!!!! Oh well, Right now I'm engrossed in rereading Kate Forsyth's wonderful series called Rhiannon's Ride. I'll come back and tell you all bout it once i'm on vacation. Seriously, I will.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Narnia vs His Dark Materials, Pullman vs. Lewis, Aslan vs. Dust, Religion vs. Science

Prompted by a friend's link to the upcoming movie, The Golden Compass, I decided to venture into the world of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy. The first book in the series, The Golden Compass, introduces us to a parallel universe of our own in which Texas is its own country (had to laugh at that being that I live there) and there is no separation between church and state. Our scientists and physicists are their theologians. Pullman's concept that in this world an individuals soul manifests itself in an animal is what intrigued me the most while looking at the movie website. The book was a good read and the characters were really interesting and well-developed. I don't like to give too much away so I won't say too much more about plot and character specifics except that once I started the second book, The Subtle Knife, I began to think of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
*warning some spoilerish info below*

Often you hear people say that Narnia was written for children but meant to be understood by adults. I believe the same of this trilogy, but Pullman is presenting the other side of the great debate. While Aslan is a metaphor for God and Narnia a metaphor for heaven, dust (which is of prime concern in Pullman's world) is a metaphor for free will, the quest for knowledge, and the thirst for passion simmering inside each human being. The heretic explorer's quest to dethrone the authority and stop the suffering of Pullman's world is very interesting. The heroine's decision to free the ghosts from their disappointing afterlife and the discovery that follows is all in the favor of science. It is a very interesting concept. At first the two series seem so similar with child heroes, animals that talk and protect, and parallel worlds searching to understand the more philosophical questions of where do we come from and what happens when we are no more. However, it doesn't take long to realize that all though both series are wonderfully written and a joy to read they are proposing to very different views on the same coin. I just can't wait until the fantasy series written for children and meant to be understood by adults comes along that can find a way to allow both sides to coexist and make sense together.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I'm not gonna say a word

I just finished reading Deathly Hollows (reread the last two chapters twice because I didn't want to be finished with the book) but I don't want to ruin it for anybody so

Friday, July 20, 2007

So Its Harry Potter Eve and I'm waiting for my book and feeling like rambling.........

After watching the new movie I decided to reread books 3-6 in time for the release of book 7. Its 12:36am and I just finished Half Blood Prince. Did Dumbledore know that Snape had made an Unbreakable Vow with Draco's mum? He knew Draco was trying to kill him. Was the argument in the forest between him and Snape about Dumbldore making Snape promise to keep his vow. The last two books have really played up the amazingly strong powers of Ginny Weasely and the fact that Harry's biggest weapon is the ability to love and be loved. Is there important connection between the two and Voldemort's demise. We all know that Harry has to kill Voldemort. Obviously Voldemort isn't going to kill Harry. But will Harry survive after he has fulfilled his destiny? Does the last sentence of book six, ".......there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione." hold a clue as to who will die this time around? Will Harry be left having succeeded in saving the wizarding world but at the cost of losing his two best friends? Part of me doesn't want to know. Part of me is sad that in a few days the story will be over.

My hubby works at Barnes and Noble. As soon as all the customers have purchased their books and the store closes one register will remain open to allow employees to purchase their own books. Typically I get dibs on the book as the hubby is a ban-wagoner who didn't read the books till after the first movie. However, he has become just as big a fan as I am (He threw the book clear across the room when Dumbledore died.) and I just got a text saying that he will be buying two books this time around. :)

When I get my copy in an hour or so I'm going to be very excited, but it will be with a heavy heart that I open the cover and begin to read knowing that this will be the last time we get a new installment in what has been one of the greatest stories in a long while.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Into the mists.....

I finished the Mists of Avalon a few days ago. I have tried to write a post about three or four different times. Each time I end up deleting it. I can't seem to talk about what a great story this is without giving away too much. All I will say is that I have read Arthurian based novels in the past. Every single one of them pales in comparison. The first series I read based on this classic story was The Guenevere series by Rosalind Miles. I absolutely loved it. It portrays her as a wild queen dedicated to the old ways. I've also read the Arthurian Saga Series by Mary Stewart. It tells the story from the viewpoint of Merlin. Its very interesting but I didn't enjoy it as much as the Guenevere series. Both of these series are a fun read but they really don't deviate from that good ol' historic epic quest with some romance and magic thrown in to keep it interesting. Mists of Avalon is from the perspective of Morgaine, Arthur's sister. She is a bit of a mystery and often the villain in many Arthurian tales. In Mists of Avalon we meet a girl torn between desire and devotion to doing what she believes it right. Mists makes you wonder what the world would be like if women were not given the role that they were. It makes you want to believe that there really is a world out their among the mists that you can find if only you believe. In that world women are the lawmakers, the peace-keepers, the wise ones. What if our world was run by women. Would it be in the state that it is today? Mists is an epic story with lots of romance and magic, but it is a story that makes you wonder what could be.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Calgon Take Me Away!

Okay, so I don't feel like doing a single productive thing today. I'm completely engrossed in the poor saga of Morgaine, Lancelet, Arthur, and Gywenhwyfar. Okay, so you are totally smitten with a guy and he is smitten with you. Only you are a powerful priestess is training and have sworn a solemn vow to save yourself for the will of the goddess. So how are you rewarded? You are tricked into sleeping with your brother! Eeeek, gross! Then the man you truly love who you could of had falls instead for the women who is destined for your brother. And your brother? He's in love with you and has no clue that his wife is lusting after his best friend like a dog in heat. Wow! If thats the way the goddess rewards her faithful servants than I am glad to be a Christian in deed. hehehe. (couldn't help myself) So what about the pile of laundry, wait lets be honest the pile in the laundry room that needs to be done, the pile in the dryer that needs to be hung, the pile in the closet that needs to be hung, and the pile in the laundry basket outside the door of the closet that needs to be folded. Oh and the garden that needs to be weeded and the kitchen that needs to be mopped, and the dog that needs to be walked. Oh forget it- back to Avalon I go!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How can you sit and read a book in a day?

"And then she took a long breath and looked behind her up the long walk to see if any one was coming. No one was coming. No one ever did come, it seemed, and she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly--slowly.
Then she slipped through it, and shut it behind her, and stood with her back against it, looking about her and breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight."
from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Every time I crack open the cover of a new book I remember the feeling I got when I read the lines above when I was but eight years old. Starting a book makes me feel just like Mary holding back the ivy, pushing open the door, and wondering with excitement what new adventures, hidden paths and dangerous quests await. The Secret Garden was the first book I ever chose on my own. I remember that my twelve year-old brother needed a particular novel off his summer reading list. I was driving my Mother crazy whining about how bored I was. Mom looked at Dad with that look that meant, please take her with you! Dad looked at me and asked if I wanted to go to the book store. I remember walking along lines and lines and rows and rows of books. Dad helped my brother find the one he needed and then he asked me if I wanted to pick out a book too. Dad worked hard and Mom stayed at home and the four kids all attended private school so money was tight. This was a treat indeed. I remember Dad showing me the wall of chapter books for children and saying pick one. I took my time reading the backs and looking at the covers. Trying to decide which one to get. I remember feeling so grown up getting to choose my own book. I showed Dad a green book with flowers on it and a little girl. "The Secret Garden, that's a big one, you sure?" Dad said. I knew that I wanted to make the most of this chance and not only choose a book that sounded interesting but that would last. I remember sitting on the couch reading that book. I remember Mom telling Dad that I was reading it way too fast. I devoured that book. After that we began frequenting the book store and I remember Dad showing me where to look on the BookStop price tag to make sure the book was under the allowed limit. I remember gobbling up Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club and Choose-Your-Own Adventure novels. While my friends spent their babysitting money on clothes and make-up I spent mine on books. In high school I graduated to Stephen King. It wasn't until the summer before my junior year that I read my first fantasy novel. Of course given to me by Dad. That however, is another tale down memory lane and another post.

When I"m Not Reading.....