Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Story Girl


I have long thought about reading Lucy Maud Montgomery. Who wouldn't? After reading The Story Girl, I know fully well ( and probably knew before ) that I prefer L. M. Montgomery over Jane Austin....not sure why I'm comparing the two. Female Lit, I guess.
I started The Story Girl yesterday.
I finished it today.
Amazing writing!
Oddly enough, the charm of the story isn't in its plot. It's in its characters, and in the writing itself, which breathes ironic humor and fairy-tales by the descriptions of the wild flora, and even of The Story Girl's cat, Pat.
Nothing entirely amazing happens in the book....it's about what they do in the summer, the ridiculous things that happen, that misadventures that they have...yet the story is so charming! It's funny, and each character is well defined and beautifully written.
We have Felix, precocious and fat, but still irresistible (I just know he was a cute boy), and Cecily, ever the little saint, although a bit plain, at least next to Felicity...who is very vain and prides herself on her femininity and properness.
And there is of course Beverly King, the narrator and Felix's brother. Beverly, who seems to have a good temper and smart head on his shoulders, recounts their adventures, and the many times they got into trouble. The fear and fun they get from thinking about Peg Bowen, the Avonlea Witch.....and I, like the children of the story, know she is not a witch...but I guess that as far as the story goes I've always believed that she was. Oh, the life and the fantasy that Montgomery breathes into the stories! And the Story Girl herself...this isn't the shy and timid Sara Stanley from the Avonlea stories (don't get me wrong, love the TV series...) but a smart girl with a near-magic voice that brings stories to life as she tells them. A girl with a charming smile, a girl that walks up to a strange and asks him for money for the school library fund.
To which the gentleman replies: "And why would I want to do that?"
The Story Girl, smiling, says: "Because a lady asks you."
A lovely answer.
I loved this book...and it is Honorary July Book of the Month. I know I took forever to finally pick a June one...so this will just be a July one and I'll have two. :D So this is the first July Book of the Month.
My only problem is that the copy I have is cheap and printed by a cheap publishing company. The pages are all falling out....I had to keep pushing a stack back in.....and it had several typos.
I want to order myself a better copy. :D
FIVE GOLDEN LUCKY STARS!!!!!!!!
Lucy Maud Montgomery is one of my new favorite authors. Right up there with Tolkien and Lewis. Can't wait to read more!
Anna

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets



Hullo!

I finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the second time yesterday.

It was great, again. I was surprised at some of what I found though....the differences from the movie and the book, how short some of the action sequences actually are, and of course how much I love reading about Dobby, although I guess that isn't really a surprise. Dobby is so funny! I like the way he looks in the movie, and that's how I always imagine him. I'm tempted to say that it was the saddest death in the series when Dobby died, but maybe I should just say in The Deathly Hallows. Sirius Black dying made me MAD.

Anyway, I had a few hours of enjoyment reading Harry Potter, and I love this one because it brings in snakes. Snakes are so interesting to me....and they make wonderful evil and/or scary animals. I noticed while reading the Chamber of Secrets how well the plot is put together....it reminds me of Signs, in the way that things happen in the plot that are amusing to you but you don't really think about them, but then later there's a reason for why they happened. The car turned wild so it could rescue them from the spiders. (I am totally with Ron with spiders BTW, although they aren't my worst fear. I simply cannot stand them.) Ron's wand broke and backfired all the time so that they wouldn't get their memories erased. Harry speaking Parseltongue becomes a crucial plot element in this and other books. It's pretty cool some of the stuff that happen in each book that get tied up The Deathly Hallows. I'm really looking forward to reading The Prisoner of Azkaban, because that was my favorite of the first three.

I love Gilderoy Lockhart. No, I don't have a crush like Hermione, but he's so ridiculous that it's funny. And Moaning Myrtle! Oh oh. Some of the stuff in these is so hilarious, and then so dark. When a friend of mine started the series, I told him that each book got darker. It's true! And the Defense Agains the Dark Art Teachers just get worse....with the exception of Professor Lupin.

Although not my favorite of the series, I think it is one of Rowling's. I remember reading that The Chamber of Secrets and The Goblet of Fire were the two hardest to write (I'm not including The Deathly Hallows right now) and that they were her two favorites, but she later said that The Deathly Hallows was her favorite.
Anna

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Book of the Month fur June:

Don't worry, June Book of the Month is coming....just be patient. I haven't finished a book that I want for Book of the Month yet this month....I've kind of adopted the snail-reading technique this month. :D
ANna

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Little Mermaid


The other day we went to Video Classics (the ultimate video hangout for cheap VHS's and DVD's....although we get them for two weeks because we're good about getting them back on time) and we got several movies...among those was The Little Mermaid.

I had only seen it once, so I didn't remember much about it. I don't know about you, but I love animated movies. The Lion King is among my favorites....and I also love fairy tales.
At the beginning, I thought it would be a good movie, but the very very beginning just wasn't promising. The gray sea and the gray sky...the corny sailors. What made a gray sea and corny sailors so special?
It didn't take me long to get interested though. I think it was when Ariel started singing in her treasure trove. I nearly have that song memorized. After that I absolutely loved it. There was something about Ariel that was different from the other Disney Heroines that I hadn't noticed in any of the others before. She was witching.
So I watched it through to the end and loved it. I think it's really sad that Disney has stopped doing two-dimensional animated movies. I also love Ursula...I mean, she's a great villain. The 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' sequence was hilarious (and for Mikaela, don't you think it's weird that the Jonas Brothers cover that song? Just YouTube it and find out. It's weird.) .
I think I would make a good Ursula, just because I like the challenge of sounding like her, like in a game or a play or something. That would be fun! Although I have to admit my personality type is a lot more like Ariel....:D
I love the movie up until Ariel is in Prince Eric's castle. After that, I thought the movie was kind of corny. Ariel's character is a little bit ridiculous after that. Oh yeah, and I thought it was a wonderful idea for Ariel to have to lose her voice. Believe me, I hate not having my voice. Occasionally, I get these dreadful hoarse colds, where I can't talk. Literally. I can't talk. I always like the idea of having a hoarse voice, I think it sounds cool, and no voice is fine for a little while, but....wow, I miss singing to myself and talking to people! I probably sing for about fifty percent of the time that I'm not talking, and I'm used to it! It's a quirk that I'm very much attached to!
I loved the movie, I've watched the best parts like five or six times now....

On the other hand, I also understand why Mom and Dad didn't want for me to watch it when I was little. The story practically depends on Ariel being rebellious and then going to the EVIL sea witch to solve her problem (which, BTW, doesn't work. a good point to make.) It's practically a grown up love story told in a way that children can relate.
I'm also not all that impressed with Prince Eric. he really isn't all that special. He's kind of a like a blah version of Aladdin (who might be my favorite...or at least in my five favorite Disney Heroes! no, Mickey Mouse is not among those top five.)
However, I thought as a fairy tale it was great, nice Prince or not. :D
Anna
PS I had a lot of fun watching some of the Songs on Broadway on Youtube too. Very fun to see Ursula and Ariel in real life....but it's kind of hard to find a good version of Poor Unfortunate Souls. :{

Thursday, June 12, 2008

She Must and Shall Go Free



As usual, when I was finished with Planet Waves and How to Grow a Woman from the Ground (and one other, can't remember which now...at least I think there was another one) I borrowed some more CD's from Andy. Among those was Derek Webb's CD about The Church.
She Must and Shall Go Free was a song on Indelible Grace III: For All the Saints too.
I love this CD.
It has a great sound, beautiful songs, beautiful words, and Derek Webb's authentic voice delivers the message of the songs well.
Among my favorite songs were Awake My Soul, Nobody Loves Me, Crooked Deep Down, Lover, Beloved, Wedding Dress....I guess that's almost all of them, but that is beside the point. :)
The CD is basically about The Church (there is also a song with the title : The Church)
and what it means, what it's about...and what we, as Christians, are about in the Church.
I really enjoyed the CD (and now eagerly await more Derek Webb).
Five stars.
I think that some of these songs are old hymns too....not positive, because there are a ton of old ones that I haven't heard! I definitely prefer most of the new tunes set to old hymns though. Modern sound with old Theology!
Anna

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Indiana's Probable Origin:



I just found out something interesting. We started one of my favorite movies tonight (The Hallmark Original Movie King Solomon's Mines, starring Patrick Swayze) and it got me all interested in reading the book. I've not read it yet, and I have wanted to for a while...I wouldn't mind reading the whole Allan Quartemaine (I know I didn't spell his last name right) series.

But I realized (and also read, ha!) on Wikipedia (even though it did say citation needed) that Allan Qartemaine (trying a different spelling) influenced the character Indiana Jones. I don't know if that is true or not, but it is very probable! They even dress similar...one difference is that Indiana doesn't set foot in Africa in the trilogy or in Crystal Skull, unless I'm forgetting something.

So, I thought that was interesting. Makes me REALLY want to read King Solomon's Mines though....
Anna
Bigger King Solomon's Mines picture when and if I post a review. :)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

DragonQuest


OH oh!
I just finished Dragonquest and LOVED reading it for the second time. Of course, more than once I've skipped through and reread my favorite parts. Now, I am at least going to spot-read DragonKnight, and after that I shall read DragonFire. Very exciting business! I remember going to Barnes and Noble for DragonFire last year.....and then receiving my beautiful copy from the hands of a Barnes and Noble worker and then paying for it. I'm sure I finished it within a few days!

Dragonquest is my favorite Dragon Keeper Chronicle book so far. I think Regidor and Toopka are part of the reason: Fenworth might be the rest of it. Plus two more dragons hatch! The minor dragons just make the book for me. I was disappointed I didn't get to see the two in Dragonknight hatch. But there will probably be some in Dragonlight....I can't wait to read that one!

I love the Dragon Keeper Chronicle books, because they are written with beautiful Christian parallelism, wisdom, and the excitement of a different world. That's my preferred genre. Christian Parallelism/Fantasy.

I also enjoyed getting to really visualize Kale in my mind for the first time...I paid more attention to the cover! This way I felt like I could clearly see her face, and much better than I had been able to before.

I wish I had a mind intelligent enough to think up parallels as healthy and rich as the ones in Dragon Keeper, but I'm afraid I haven't been able to think up anything very original as of yet. Definitely one of my favorite books: I recommend it!
Anna

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hook


Good Morning Neverland!

Just Kidding.
On Sunday, I watched Hook all the way through for the first time without interruptions. I am sad that it is do back to Movie Gallery tomorrow....I fell quite in love with it.
I wasn't aware at the time when I picked it out that it was a Spielberg movie, but I suppose I should have known. When I finally figured it out, it all made sense for it to be. John Williams composed the score, adding that magic touch that seems to follow Spielberg's movies everywhere....and the world created was perfect for the movie.

What if Peter Pan grew up?

Hook tells us 'what if.' If Peter Pan grew up, he would be a successful, snobbish lawyer that's afraid of heights. He has two children, one of which is a girl named Maggie, the other a boy named Jack. (I love the name Jack.) When he goes to visit Grandma Wendy after ten years of not seeing her, Peter Banning's two adorable children are kidnapped by none other than Hook himself.
Peter must go to Neverland at the urging of his long lost fairy friend, Tinkerbell. Of course, he thinks that she is a hallucination at first. Until he knocks himself out and wakes up in the Pirate Port at Neverland.

The Lost Boys and Tinkerbell have to get Peter to remember who he is, so he can save his kids and go home. Unfortunately, that might take a lot longer than three days, the amount of time that Hook has agreed to before he and Pan fight to the death to save Pan's kids.
As Tink puts it: "Four days is bare minimum for a decent Pan!"


I can now say that I add this to my collection of favorite Neverland movie. Perhaps surprisingly, the original animated Disney version does NOT fall into this category. Perhaps this is because I have watched it about forty times in my life time, if not more. It feels like that much. My grandma's house has very few movies, and that was the best one there. So I watched it nearly every time we came over. I'm amazed that it still works after all the kids have spent hours watching it repeatedly!
I really like the live-action 2003 version of Peter Pan, starring Jeremy Sumpter as the infamous boy who wouldn't grow up. The music in it is fantastic, the acting superb, and the atmosphere brilliant.
I also have a soft spot for Finding Neverland for several reasons: It has a good soundtrack, Johnny Depp stars as James Matthew Barrie, and it's about a writer and Peter Pan! Freddie Highmore is in it to, and that helps.
Now I add Hook. Robin Williams as Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as Hook (Hoffman was also in Finding Neverland, BTW).
One of the things that so enchanted me about Hook is the kids. I love kids. Even when they're ornery. Kids are just so cute! And Hook has a ton of adorable kids in it. One of my favorite parts is the part where Pockets (a little lost boy) comes up to Peter and starts pushing the corners of his mouth up so he smiles, and smoothing out his forehead. "Oh, there you are Peter!"

That part was just such a magical part of the movie, with the calm music in the background and the late day sun shining golden on their little faces.
I also love Thud. He's adorable! I know that all of them are all grown up now, of course, but they were very cute in the movie, and that just made it good for me.
Maggie Smith is great as Granny Wendy, and even better is Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell.
I like how, in this one, she isn't as spiteful as in all the other movies, but how she's spunky still. I thought it was cute when she wished she could be big enough to kiss Peter. And how she dressed up for him...very sweet.
I WANT the soundtrack now, and I'm sure I'll spend all of my money to order it once I get enough money to order some other things with it...perhaps. :D
I definitely recommend Hook, and can't wait until I have the initiative to order it for our messy collection of DVDs.
Plus, here's your June Movie of the Month.
Anna

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Apologies on my Computer:

Hello everyone, I was just letting you know that some of my links aren't working...I think Pyro Technical Hero is the only one. Sorry PH.

The URL is pyrotechnicalhero.blogspot.com, and if you need the links to any of the others (in case they aren't working) you can leave a comment and ask me for them and I'll give it to you.
Anna

Dragonspell


Hello Peoples!

Last night I finished Dragonspell. I enjoyed reading it again! All the characters are so interesting...among my favorites are Dar and Fenworth, an eccentric wizard that forgets things (or at least pretends to forget things. I can't always tell which).


I love how the mythology behind this isn't just another dwarves and elves book. Miss Paul (as far as I can tell) took the ideas of the fantastical peoples and made them her own. She even made up her own names for them (Tumanhofers: Dwarves. Emerlindians: Elves. Urohms: Giants)

At least, that's how I identify them. I appreciate how original she is, but how there is still the subtlety of influence from Tolkien and Lewis and old mythologies.

One thing worth noticing about the furry people from the book (called doneels) is that I didn't shrink back when I found out that one of the characters walked on two legs that resembled a dog. I'm not sure why. I think normally I would have. Dar (a doneel) has thick brown hair (or fur) and he is very funny and very real acting. Maybe that's why. Dar acted so natural from the beginning, that I just sort of slipped into liking him. I can kind of picture him too, and that always makes reading the character more rewarding.

Also (and this is something that I should learn how to do) I feel like Miss Paul created a world where I can find out about different things, but I'm not bogged down in history and explanations, because we find out as Kale (the main character) does. This is a great way to do it. I love reading Tolkien, and I'm perfectly willing to read a stack of history books about Middle-Earth to find out more about it. Not everybody is, though. So it's good to have a little glossary in the back, or an extra book that might be a field guide, or to just have more experienced characters explain it to less experienced characters who have been hidden from this kind of stuff their whole lives. She created different kinds of foods for this world! I suppose that every fantasy author does that, but the best part is that she has the recipes on her website. :D

Unlike The Inheritance Trilogy (which some of my readers might be comparing this to) The Dragon Keeper Chronicles is original in its mythology and rich in its wisdom. Dragonspell was a pleasure to read, I look forward to reading the other three before Dragonlight comes out.

(More on the wizard in the next review....)
Anna

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Dragon Keeper Chronicles


On June 17, (15 days away!) Dragonlight, the fifth book in The Dragon Keeper Chronicles and the last of that series comes out in beautiful paperback.

To celebrate the occasion (I'm nutty, I know) I'm reading the first four before it comes out. YAY!!!

I'm working on DragonSpell now, (I might post reviews of these, who knows) and then I'll begin DragonQuest.

I'll give more details on the books themselves soon....and sorry, it might be a week or two before I can give you book and movie of the month. :D

Keep a look out for DragonLight, available on June 17. If you haven't read the others, I would definitely recommend it. They're different, refreshing, and they're kind of like a 'girl' fantasy. Not many of those as of yet. I'll explain that later.

Paul takes after Lewis and Tolkien, but she doesn't copy them. There's just a faint trace of their influence in her writing; which is rich with moral lessons and wisdom, as well as beautiful landscapes and funny characters and a vivid world; Amara.

More on Dragon Keeper soon!
Anna