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Archive for January, 2009

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

inkheartAfter hearing various positive reviews I had personally received about the book, I have to say that the book did not live up to expectations.  Out of the 530 pages, it took a good 200 to really get into the story.  And,while the prose was well written, indeed, even beautiful in parts, the plot dragged and lacked movement.  The ending was unsatisfactory.  I did however enjoy the various literary references woven throughout the text, proving the education of the author.  How many authors reference The Mabinogion?   She is the first in my experience.

I can see the draw of the book and why many have enjoyed it.  As I stated previously, the prose was lovely and for bibliophiles like myself, there was ample connection to the book-loving characters.   And, it is not a difficult read.  In fact, the prose is far simpler than the darkness of the villain.   However, for me, I will not be reading the rest of the series and not recommending this book to others.

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Fantastic!

Fantastic!

Confession:

After the kids were in bed last night, while Eagle was sleeping & John was at a meeting, I didn’t clean the front room.  I didn’t sweep the floor.  I didn’t finish clearing the table… I read another book from Gerald Morris.  All 230 pages in 2 and a half hours. 

It was great!  Man, I love his characters.  Love, love, love, love them.  They seem so real – heroic, but genuine.  Like you might bump into them opening the door for you at church, or graciously letting you onto the freeway.  Well, let’s hope you don’t bump into them then.

Anyway, this one was a bit more funny than I remember the other ones being… but it might just have been my mood last night.  There’s also a little more in the way of romance, sort of.  It’s not the *main* character’s romance, but a lot of secondary characters’.  Parsifal’s page made a great protaganist. 

I’d write more, but the kids are up and, well, that never works out for long posts.  Suffice it to say, I’ve got another book of his under my belt and I still haven’t found a book by Morris that I don’t highly recommend.

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Another great book

Another great book

Here ’tis!  Another great book recommendation.

I offer this to you with an apology.  Several apologies, actually.

One, I’m sorry I’m not a more critical reader.  If I become enchanted with a story, I will overlook many weaknesses.  A great weakness of this one is that its heroine, Lynet, is so very much like the heroine of the first book I read of Morris’s – The Lioness and Her Knight.

Two, I’m sorry I don’t remember a great many details as I read from one of these charming books to another.  Like, for example… the fact that Lynet is in fact the mother of The Lioness.  Hence, they are so much alike.  Whoops!  What I thought was a huge oversight was actually some clever, intentional, and masterful writing.

Perhaps if I had read these in the correct order I’d put pieces like that together a bit better.  Oh well.  It’s great fun to meet characters in one book, only to see them again briefly in another — and enjoyable, too, that each book stands alone.

My third apology is that I’m going to spoil here a great quote from this book.  When you come upon it, I will have stolen all its freshness like all those commercials that ruin the best parts of the movies they advertise.  Ready?

“It was not the proposal that Lynet had dreamed of someday receiving, but some dreams are not as important as others.”

I think I may tattoo this on the back of my hand.   Well, no, I’d see it there too often.  Embroidered, then, and hung on my wall?  Maybe.  Lest this quote be misleading, there actually is not a great deal of romance in this book.  None at all compared to some popular Young Adult novels I had the misfortune of reading recently (cough, cough, Twilight, cough).  For the most part, it’s [wait – I just had a great idea.  Zen, you should write a review of the Meyers’ saga – and I could too.  Wouldn’t it be hilariously aggravating to compare them?!]

What was I saying?  Oh yes, for the most part this is another medieval adventure book like the others I read.  Yes, there are romantic threads in it, but pretty much only at the end – a lot like his others.  I picture Morris throwing the relationships in at the end to humor the females in his audience… except that nothing gets “thrown in” – that would imply thoughtlessness, which is not a characteristic of his writing. 

Anyway.  I think, perhaps, that Lynet’s insight there in the quote above will resonate with anyone who has  suffered a great disappointment in the process of gaining something greater.  Suffice it to say, it struck a cord with me.  

And once again, I shall highly recommend a wonderful book by Gerald Morris.

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Reading. 

The word brings a smile to my face.  I love it so.  Recently (about 5 minutes ago) I finished reading a book by Gerald Morris, “The Paige, His Knight, and His Lady.”  I’ve read another of his on our roadtrip to Cali (“The Lioness and Her Knight”) – and thoroughly enjoy his writing.  In my old age, I’ve become a pickier reader than I used to.  No longer am I okay with a good plot OR good writing style.  Now I want both.   Require both. 

Usually, anyway.

But now, back to my book review.   I cherish books that can make me laugh out loud – similar to the way that I adore blogs that do likewise.  (Thank you Wendy!)  (Moment of silence –a long, long moment—for Mary’s blog.)  No, this book wasn’t comedic.  Not even close.  It’s a medieval adventure book.  Perhaps a teensy bit predictable, but I don’t mind that sort of thing.  J  However, it did make me laugh on one of the very last pages, which is a great time for a book to make you laugh.  It sticks with you that way, and is especially nice when the ending leaves you completely satisfied.

So here I am – chuckling underneath a beautiful feeling of having just read a good book.  I’m not quite going to put this on the same caliber as Alexander Lloyd’s Prydain Chronicles, or the Chronicles of Narnia, or even Lord of the Rings,

but ‘tis a very enjoyable, fairly quick read, for people who enjoy knights & ladies, magic & adventures…

Plus, nice chortle near the very end.

One good book -ah, ah, ah
One good book -ah, ah, ah

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