Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thoughts on "High King's Tomb"

I've been reading High King's Tomb by Kristen Britain. I'm really enjoying the book, but I do have one complaint. I also have an observation I'd like to make. If you're super sensitive about potential book spoilers you might want to skip this post, but I don't think that I'll be saying anything too revealing.

First, my observation.

Polytheism is the norm for people in this book. It's just a fact of life. Except for the bad guys. The bad guys believe in and worship only one god.

So the good guys are polytheistic, while the bad guys are monotheistic. I'm not sure if this is Britain's way of commenting on the Judeo-Christian faiths or if it's unrelated to her opinion of the world religions.

(I actually looked at wikipedia to see if I could find out her religion, but it doesn't say.)

Now, my complaint.

Enough with Tolkien! I have no objection to writers who find inspiration from Tolkien's books, but there's a difference between being inspired by Tolkien and what Britain's doing. I ought to be reading her book and say "Hey, I think I know where the inspiration for this came from," not "Wait a minute, that's Tolkien..."

The Eletians are too much like Tolkien's elves, the eagles are so like Tolkien's eagles, and certain other details are so much like Lord of the Rings that I want to shake the book in frustration.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review: Tim Curry

Tim Curry is another audio book narrator who I really like. And again, I'm not sure what to say in a review about an audio book narrator, other than that I like him!

But I will add...

I've listened to Abhorsen trilogy (by Garth Nix) as read by Curry, and his voice for Mogget has got to be one of the most memorable voices from any audio book.

Have you listened to an audio book read by Curry? What did you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Differences of opinion

As I mentioned in my main blog, my brother (who shall be known as Tall One) is taking his first English class. This is a fact which I am rather excited about.

Mom and I were browsing through the anthology for this class in Tall One's presence, and we had a conversation that went somewhat like this.


Me: Huh? *pause* Oh oh oh! It's one by that guy who wrote The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. I want to read it!

Mom: Hmm.

*we peruse some more*

Mom: Hey, here's one by Ursula K. le Guin.

Me (excited because I love love love le Guin): Oh oh oh! Tall One, may I please borrow your text book?

Tall One: No.

*more perusal*

Mom: Oh. To Light a Fire. I hope you don't have to read that. It's horrible.

Me: Wait, a minute... *I remember the story, but thought the title was slightly different, so I'm hesitating* ...who is the author...?

Me: *gasp* Oh my gosh. That is such a great short story. I hope you read it, Tall One.

*I think mom rolled her eyes*

*yet more perusal*

Mom: Agh! Another horrible one.

Me: But it's such a moving story!

Mom: All through it I kept thinking "Come on, die! Die already! Get it over with!"

Me: But mom! It's such a touching story! It almost had me in tears!


There isn't much more to tell, other than me later trying to explain what To Build a Fire is about to Tall One. Unfortunately, I suspect that he'll share mom's opinion of it if he ever does read it.

*sigh* There are a lot of books that everyone in my family is crazy about. I guess that difference of opinion is good, but I have to admit that it drives me crazy that certain people fail to appreciate To Build a Fire and The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Oh well. At least we both like le Guin and The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian.

Are there certain books/authors that you have to go outside of your family to find fellow fans? What books/authors?

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Two Bobbies"

Earlier this week I was volunteering at my local library in the children's section, and I came across this book. It aroused my curiosity, so I read it.

It is a true story about a cat and a dog who survived Hurricane Katrina, and who were abandoned by their family when the hurricane hit. The cat is Bob Cat, and the dog is Bobbi. They both have bobbed tails which is how they earned their nickname "the Bobbies."

Not only is it an animal story, it's also a story about friendship. Bob Cat sticks close to Bobbi, and Bobbi is very protective of Bob Cat. In fact, if it weren't for Bobbi's protection, Bob Cat probably wouldn't have survived long enough for the pair to be rescued together and eventually given to a loving home.

Something I like about this story is that I think it might help kids to understand what a natural disaster can do. The destruction after Hurricane Katrina isn't dwelled on, but you can see the mess that the floods left in the pictures in the book.

I like this book a lot, and if I had small kids of my own I would definitely read it to them.

I'd also like to add...

This pair eventually were given to a family in southern Oregon, which I think is cool because I'm an Oregonian myself. When looking for the image of the book cover online I also happened to discover that they have their own website, and that a trailer was made for the book. If you're curious about what the pictures inside the book are like, just look at the trailer.

Last but not least...the illustrator, Jean Cassels, is based in New Orleans. Just think, this is being illustrated by someone whose home is where Hurricane Katrina hit.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What I'm reading

First Rider's Call
by Kristen Britain

This is the second in a trilogy of which I recently read and reviewed the first book, Green Rider.

It isn't the best written book, but it's gripping and I can barely put it down. I've also developed a major crush on one of the characters...agh...

Also, I'm reading this book in digital format on my computer. I've read books on my iPhone, but it's something different to read them on my computer. I'm not sure what to make of it, but I am sure that I prefer to hold a regular book in my hands and be able to turn its paper pages with my own hands rather than click a button on the keyboard or use the mouse.

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Historical fiction

I'm trying to not get side tracked from this one by The First Rider. In fact, I got this one on audio book so that I can listen to it while doing things with my hands, which is what I was doing before sitting down at my computer just now.

by James Clavell
Historical fiction

I've been side tracked from this book, but I will return to it!


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