Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Books and Movies

I have been to the movies more times in the last month than in a long time. During one set of previews I saw the trailer for P.S. I Love You. Even though I only saw the preview I immediately put the book on hold at my local library. I was finally able to pick it up yesterday and finished it quickly.

It was a fast read (even for me) and I really enjoyed it. In this story the main character has lost her beloved husband and is learning to deal with the effects in her life. She is only forced to deal with the loss of her husband, she has no job or children to complicate her grieving process, but that does not make it any easier for her. One thing that does bring joy to her grief filled life is the arrival of a package filled with letters from her dead husband. She has one letter for each month of the remainder of her year. In each letter her husband gives her a challenge. It is through these challenges that she learns to live again without him. It is a constant battle, as I am sure it would be in her circumstances. Although the premise of the book is death, the story is filled with laughter, fun and positive events as well.

The thing I enjoyed most about the book was the growth of many of the characters through the events in the book. While they mainly focus on the woman there are people in her family, and new friends she makes that also must endure hardships and learn from them. I am excited to see how the screenwriter has changed this tale as it goes from the written word to the big screen. One thing I can guarantee is that I will cry in the movie just as I cried in the book and yes...even the preview.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cryptid Hunters

Last weekend I spent the morning at the Nevada Young Readers award banquet. The authors the children of Nevada choose come to receive an award for their writing. The authors of Cryptid Hunters and Molly Moon were both present. It was nice to hear the authors speak to our small group of teachers, librarians and children. Roland Smith is the author of Cryptid Hunters and his speaking is what made me want to read his book. He wrote other books I had heard of but never gotten around to reading such as Zach's Lie, but this current book I had not previously heard of.

I read through Cryptid Hunters quite quickly. It is the story of two very intelligent teenage children who are sent to live with their Uncle after their parents disappear. As soon as they arrive at the home of their uncle they learn that he must go on a trip to the Congo. The children desperately want to go with him, but he will not allow it. In a series of mistakes and perfect coincidences the children end up in the Congo without their uncle and in danger. They must figure out how to survive the wild as well as the human dangers on their tail. Although the story is not realistic, it is quite enjoyable and fun. The ending leaves you hoping for the best for these children. I am looking forward to finding out what Roland has in store for these great characters.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Golden Compass

The reason I chose to read this book was because of the upcoming movie. Then sometimes I read a book and say to myself "How did I never hear of this book before now?" I felt this way completely when I read this book. Especially knowing that there is a movie coming out I was dumbstruck that I had never even heard of the book.

Now after saying all of that you know I loved the book, but it actually took me a little while to really get into the book. About the time when Lyra was traveling with the Gypsies I felt an uncontrollable need to read and read and read. I really think that the thing that pulls me into books are those that have great characters. If I don't like the character for some reason or another I have a hard time reading books. I usually like characters because of their actions or their humor or their character and Phillip Pullman was able to bring all of these things out in Lyra (with the help of her daemon, I personally think the fact that she has this addition helps a lot, and it makes me want one too). So once Lyra really set forth on her adventure I became hooked. I needed to know what happened to this poor girl with the most horrific parents ever.

I think you will love reading about Lyra's adventures. I am not a huge fantasy fan, but this fantasy is more in the real of dystopian (I think this is the word I am searching for) fantasy. It is more of a setting that could possibly BE at some point in our past or future. It is this type of fantasy that I find myself drawn to more and more.

So right now I am on the second book of the series The Subtle Knife and loving every word of it (except the title, but I am not done yet). Please let me know what you think of this great book.