Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
"She's a real bookworm. I think she lives on print. Her whole house is full of books – looks as if she likes them better than human company."
- Cornelia Funke (Inkheart)
She might as well have been talking about me. You see that little bookworm right over there? That's me. And she doesn't have a mouth, because I do like books better than human company and I'd rather read than talk!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
There were eyes painted on the church door, narrow red eyes, and ugly stone demons the height of a man stood on either side of the entrance, their teeth bared like savage dogs.
"Welcome to the devil's house!" said the bearded man with a mocking bow before opening the heavy door.
Inkheart (Original: Tintenherz) is a German fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke, translated into English by Anthea Bell. It is the first book in the Inkworld Trilogy. If you have ever read a book and wished that the characters would just come alive, this story is for you!
Summary: Meggie is a little girl who loves reading books. She lives with her father, Mo, a book binder! One night, a mysterious stranger named Dustfinger shows up at their house. He calls her father Silvertongue and wants to warn him about some danger. It is the first time that Meggie notices her father lie to her and hide something from her. It is a battered, old book with a green cover; Inkheart. This is where and why the adventure begins.
Meggie learns soon, that the reason why her father won't aloud to her, is because he can bring characters out of a book alive. Nine years before, Mo read out the characters of the book Inkheart - a terrible villain Capricorn and his men and Dustfinger, the fire-eater. That same night, Meggie's mother disappeared into the book. Ever since then, Mo tried to keep his daughter safe from those very horrible characters, whom he himself gave life to. And now, he has to face them.
My thoughts: I thought it started out as a wonderful concept. The characters are amazing and so is the setting.
My only problem is the plot - there isn't much of it. It seems like the introduction to a series, but not quite a book all by itself. There isn't much excitement till the last few chapters, and that is when we really get to know anything at all about the Inkworld.
I love the cover design and I love the way the author has quoted famous fantasy authors at the start of each chapter.
I can write ten things that I loved about the book, that made up for the one thing I didn't. It's a magical story and I can't wait to read the rest of the series, to, in Cornelia Funke's words, "taste the words, savour them on my tongue"! This is much is for sure: this certainly won't be the last book I read by Cornelia Funke. I wonder if I could read one of her books in German - some of the charm might have been lost in translation!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
My love for fantasy books probably started when I was a little kid - starting with my then favourite-author-ever: Enid Blyton. I loved her books! And I loved reading them till I was too old to read them (and I gave up only because people looked at me disapprovingly when they saw me reading a 'children's book'.) Brownies and tooth fairies and trees that talk and beds that run away, I'll never forget the wonderful and magical stories!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
- "Reading a book, for me at least, is like traveling in someone else's world. If it's a good book, then you feel comfortable and yet anxious to see what's going to happen to you there, what'll be around the next corner."
Summary: Marshall France was a legend in the world of books - children's fantasy stories to be exact, till one day he just stopped writing and disappeared. Thomas Abbey, an English teacher, is an aspiring writer and a Marshall France enthusiast. When Abbey happens to meet Saxony Gartener, a fellow Marshall France lover; they together decide to do something that Thomas has been dreaming of for ever - write France's biography. After much effort, the two end up in Galen, Marshall France's hometown - hoping to persuade his daughter, Anna, to let them write the book. Soon, they realize that the town has some dark secret. Meeting a talking dog is the final straw, before Abbey realizes that France's fantasy world isn't entirely fantastical.
My thoughts: I liked three fourths of the book. It is a book-lover's dream: the way they obsess over France's books, his characters, his magical worlds. The characters are wonderfully written; Thomas Abbey, the English teacher who is the son of the most famous film-maker and has always lived under his shadow. Marshall France's books have had a great influence on him as a child, and even now. Then there is Saxony Gardner, the woman who shares an equal passion for France's books, so much that she encourages Abbey to go through with his plans of writing the biography, and decides to assist him herself. Along with Anna France, the town of Galen is like every small town you have ever read about, quiet and private but lovable. They are also the proud owners of Marshall France's memories. Together, the stage is set beautifully for a magical story to unfold. Only, it doesn't.
Ever since Thomas discovers the town's dark secret, things become entirely chaotic. The story takes a sudden turn and starts running in that direction. Before you have time to digest what you've read, more information is thrown upon you, and just when you place it together, the book reaches an abrupt end. The story is great, but it is too rushed. And the writing is great, but it doesn't seem like one book. There is no continuity; it's as if it is written by too different writers; at one point, the author takes time to describe a stranger's nails, and at another point; he ends a life in five words.
Like I said, I fell in love with three fourths of the book. The end ruined it for me. It is an eerily beautiful and unique story - but it could have been so much more.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Those of you, who have read American Gods know Mr. Nancy quite well; And, those of you, who haven’t read American Gods, should.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
"When souls queue up to be born, they all leap up at just the last moment, touching the lintel of the world for luck. Some jump high and can seize a great measure of luck, some jump only a bit and snatch a few loose strands. Everyone manages to catch some. If one did not have at least a little luck, one would never survive childhood."
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a novel by Catherynne M. Valente. The book was first discussed in Valente's previous book Palimpsest (which I have yet to read!) and was officially published in May 2011. The novel, as the title very clearly says, is the story of a little girl's adventures in Fairyland
Summary: September lives an ordinary life in Omaha. That is, until the Green Wind takes pity on her and she is whisked off by him to Fairyland. Her adventure begins atop a flying leopard, and as September enters Fairyland, she realizes how little the normal world knows about fairies and other magical beings. She meets three witches and learns about the evil Marquess who rules Fairyland. To help one of the witches, September grandly decides to confront the very irritable Marquess. Along her journey, September befriends the dragon-like Wyvern who believes his father was a library, along with Saturday, a unique boy who can grant wishes; she meets a soap golem and a herd of migrating bicycles; and comes across more whimsical and fantastical things than you can imagine!
My thoughts: This might be the closest I'd get to reading Alice in Wonderland! I'd like to think of this book as a short, sweet fairy tale for adults. It is a beautifully written tale too; the usual message of courage and strength for the younger readers mixed with magic, excitement and a subtle but striking sense of humour. Along with the wonderful illustrations at the start of every chapter, the book is a pretty amazing read!
The novel reminds me vaguely of a lot of fantasy books, and yet Valente's Fairyland is quite unlike most magical worlds. The characters are unique and lovable. The Wyvern-library cross breed, called A-Through-L, is definitely one of my favourite characters ever. September initially seems a bit heartless (which, incidentally, like all children, she is!) but you grow into liking her. Even the comparatively minor characters, right from the cheeky Green Wind to the sly Panther are absolutely adorable!
The descriptions are so vivid, that you feel like you are visiting the world yourself. Full of its twists and quirks, this novel is one of the most wonderfully weird books I have read in a long time!
4. Cujo - Stephen King
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
As a kid, I used to absolutely love making bookmarks, specially for my father. Well, these are for me. A few days ago, I came across this post on homemade bookmarks. They are so wonderful!!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
- "Imagine if you had spent the whole first part of your life trying to walk on your hands. The clumsiness of it, always falling over, always stumbling, always the last at everything. Imagine the joy of discovering that in fact you could walk on your feet after all."
It is a simple, whimsical and crudely humourous book meant for children. Which is why I kind of liked it!!
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is an unnoticeable, average looking Viking. He is not quite up to the standard expected from someone who happens to be the heir of the Hooligan tribe. Not to mention, Hiccup has a very lazy and inefficient dragon, Toothless, who is about three times smaller than most dragons! As the tribe hunts for a hundred year old treasure, Hiccup turns out to be the most unlikely Hero of the story.
I liked How to Be a Pirate; a quick fun read, full of silly jokes and goofy cartoons! I find parts of it very original; like the dragons have their very own language. For instance, "Pishyou na munch-munch di miaow-miaow" means "Please do not eat the cats."
I loved the movie How To Train Your Dragon - so I didn't bother reading the book. As it turns out, the two are quite different; though I might just be partial to the movie just this once, if only because Toothless happens to be exceptionally cute.
Monday, July 4, 2011
- ► 2012 (116)
- Does a cow really say "Moo"?
- Reading Kafka
- Night Owl
- Why I Love Wednesdays!
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
- BTT #2 : Repeats
- Why I Love...Fantasy Fiction
- The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll
- Top Ten Tuesday: Required Reading
- Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland...
- Follow the Blurb Challenge
- Authors I would DIE to meet!
- A Creative Bit
- BTT #1 : Dog Days
- How to Be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell
- A 100 posts & yet another "Thanks"!
- ▼ July (19)