Saturday, February 14, 2009

Recent Reads


Today I've finished my fifth book, out of twelve. I'm trying to make up for the two books I didn't read last month, so we'll see if I manage to read all of them!

1. Watership Down by Richard Adams
This was very good. It's about a group of rabbits that leave their warren because one of them says that something bad is coming, and everything that happens as they struggle to survive and make a new warren on Watership Down. It reminds me of Warriors; the social life of these animals that live together, and the subtle horrors that are suggested. I'm looking forward to reading more of Adams' books.

2. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

This is only the second time that I've read this. It isn't any where near as good as TLWW. In fact, this might be my least favorite of all the Chronicles. I did enjoy reading it, but after seeing the movie, I think I'm just a bit biased. I don't have a problem with most of the changes made in the movie. A lot of points in it are stronger, I think. The plot is certainly better than the book. I actually like the whole Peter vs. Caspian thing. I think that it is much more realistic that Peter wouldn't want to hand Narnia over to Caspian and that there would be some competition. And that whole thread taught some good lessons. Both Caspian and Peter from the movie learned a lot that Caspian and Peter didn't in the book.
Both the movie and the book lack the magic from the first book/movie. Narnia is no longer under enchantment; in fact, nearly all magic has been driven from it. King Miraz doesn't rule with magic, like the White Witch did. Obviously, this is something Lewis intended. I thought that Aslan was probably the most magical thing in the movie, and better portrayed, more magestic and regal and reverant. The book portrays him much more so than the movie, though.
Over all, it was fun to read, and interesting to see the differences from the book to the movie.

3. Inside Prince Caspian by Devin Brown

I read this chapter by chapter with Prince Caspian, and it was very good. I don't have much to say about it though, except that I still think that books like this are about what the author thinks that what Lewis wrote means. I don't think that Lewis intended for his books to be taken so seriously and to be analyzed like they are. He wrote them for enjoyment. I think that people tend to read meaning into sentences and paragraphs and tiny incidents. However, I also think that writers plan out lots of little details in their mind and sub-conscious. I know I do, and I could see how Lewis would too. Things that we're aware of, but don't give hours of thought to. Authors like Devin Brown might be taking apart the book and finding little things that Lewis intended to be there, if only in a subtle way. On the other hand, how could anybody know for sure that this is what Lewis meant?
I enjoyed reading it a lot, but I don't take everything in it seriously.

4. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham.
This was a mild, pleasurable read. Rat was my favorite character.

5. Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
I borrowed this from Mikaela and started it several months ago, got six chapters in, and then got distracted. I had been wanting to read it for awhile, and I'm glad I finally went through it.
It was pretty easy to read and interesting. I like the name 'Axel.' I nabbed it for one of my characters. :D
The whole book was from Axel's point of view, first person. I enjoyed it a lot. Sorry, I have nothing interesting to say about it. I want to read more Jules Verne books, later this year....

And in a while I'm going to start book no. 5: the fifth Harry Potter book! Hopefully I'll be able to finish that in a couple of days. I think it will be a nice, pleasant read after all this old stuff. :D

Hope I can make it through the other eight books!

P.S. In a few days, the second book of the 13th Reality series is coming out: The Hunt for Dark Infinity. I'm excited about reading it!


Mythopoeia said...

All of those books you listed are very very good ^_^
Though I agree that PC is probably my least favorite of the Narnia series. My fave is Silver Chair, and then Voyage of the Dawn Treader. And I agree also that the film was well done, and the changes didn't bother me . . .
Excellent idea, to read a list of 10 books each month. Or at least that is what I gather you are doing. I should try making scheduled lists like that instead of just 'to-read someday' lists; I'd probably get more done.

Anna said...

Yes, I am trying to read a list of ten books.
I actually forgot (!!!!!) that I also finished The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham, which was also very good. I guess I'll have to add it in with my next list of stuff I've finished....

having the list helps. I nearly always make changes to it sometime during the month, though. 1984 was on my list this month, but it's been bumped out by Thr3e, a Ted Dekker book.

Devin Brown said...

Hello, this is Devin Brown checking in to say thanks for your kind words about my book Inside Prince Caspian.

How much should we talk about, think about, and analyse the Narnia books? Well, certainly we can anaylse a book to death. But Lewis himself was an English professor and this is what he did for a profession--so I don't think he would be opposed to it.

One of CSL's best books is A Preface to Paradise Lost, a book that did for Milton's work what I try to do for Lewis's.

I teach a class on Lewis at Asbury College where I am a member of the faculty. My books are a way for people to "sit in" on the class.

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.