Monday, April 23, 2007
In anticipation, we've devised a scheme of filling our car full of audiobooks to stave off boredom and irritation. We want stories that capture our attention (spy novels?) without being too cerebral. We want some LONG ones so that we will have plenty to keep our ears busy. We hope for decent narrators. Will you please post your recommendations of audio books in the comments section? And if you own a spare copy you'd be willing to lend us during the month of June, even better!
Friday, April 20, 2007
“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”
The first line of Feed by M.T. Anderson perfectly conveys the attitude and ignorance of the protagonist, but it also hints at the book’s futuristic setting, when teens can just hang out on the moon and be bored. Feed is a dystopian nightmare, where the majority of Americans are wired internally at birth and receive the “feed” nonstop. They are monitored by corporations, receive advertisements, tune into idiotic shows, chat each other, go to SchoolTM, and malfunction purposefully to induce a drug-like trip.
Like he did in The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing,
Feed is heavy with
This book is marketed to young adults, but there’s a lot of language and some mild sexual references. It’s far cleaner than the language I heard daily when I was in high school, so I don’t see any reason why a teen shouldn’t read it.
My question to you readers is this: Can you think of a story set in the future that isn't a dystopian nightmare? All Ickie could think of was Star Trek, although I side with Douglas Adams in doubting a spaceship could make a proper cup of tea, and that amounts to a dystopian nightmare for some of us.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Either way, Rumo is an impelling read. The storyline is elaborate with large sections of exposition and enriching backstory. The protagonist is Rumo, a wolperting (a fierce warrior dog with horns who walks upright). He is assisted by his worldly mentor Smyke (a shark grub) and his talking sword with two conflicting (and hilarious) personalities. The creatures in the book are unlike any I’ve seen before; whereas most fantasy stories borrow monsters from traditional tales, Moers invents so many that are utterly original, not to mention frightening and bloodthirsty. In addition, the book is filled with fantastic drawings and maps.
There’s not room here to summarize the plot, and it would be impossible to do so without spoilers. The gore and violence classify it as an adult book, but it’s also full of dry humor and camaraderie. There are themes of bravery and self sacrifice, but you spend little time considering the moral implications because the action never lags. Rumo is a long book (700 pages), so voracious readers like me don’t have to worry that the experience will end too soon. Just be sure you’re in the mood for the bizarre!
While we were in
Monday, April 9, 2007
Jackamo ran across the following quote the other day, and it beautifully sums up how we define our true selves.
“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads but what he rereads.” —Francois Mauriac (1885-1970), acclaimed Roman Catholic author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Now we share just a few of our oft-read favorites:
What does Jackamo reread?
The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis
The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien
Watership Down, Adams
Alice in Wonderland, Carroll
Pride and Prejudice, Austen
The Harry Potter books, Rowling
What does Watoosa reread?
The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien
The Wind in the Willows, Graham
To Kill A Mockingbird, Lee
Wives and Daughters, Gaskell
Share your adored tattered titles with us in the comments section!
Monday, April 2, 2007
There's a movie adaptation due out later this year starring Claire Danes and Michelle Pfeiffer. Here's the site with the trailer if you're interested. I'm not usually pleased when Americans are cast in British roles, but on occasion an actor pulls it off. I can think of far more Brits who are successful with American accents (Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara? Sure, she was too pretty to be true to the book, but she was an irresistibly fiery Southern diva). Robert De Niro is also cast and doesn't appear to even be attempting a British accent, but on the upside you'll see Ricky Gervais (of BBC's "The Office"), Peter O'Toole, and Rupert Everett and hear Ian McKellan as narrator. The book might work even better as a movie if these fellows add more humor to the story.