**spoiler alert** Wow! This book was incredible. The book was way better than the movie (yes, I unfortunately saw that first)and the movie left so muc...more**spoiler alert** Wow! This book was incredible. The book was way better than the movie (yes, I unfortunately saw that first)and the movie left so much out so that it is barely even the same story at all. The book chronicles the adventures of Lyra, who lives in Oxford at Jordan College and we are also initially introduced to her uncle Azriel, who is cold and foreboding. He has just come back from an expedition into the Far North and discovered the existence of Dust, though he is not the first person to do so. The story that follows is full of thrilling adventure, excitement in discovering new worlds, and meeting interesting characters along the way. The ending was a bit weird and I'm not sure I go with the whole "Dust is original sin" aspect of the book, but it is an interesting idea anyways. I did really like that they had the author and a full cast reading the book. Philip Pullman is now one of my favorite writers. I am very curious and excited to see what happens next!(less)
**spoiler alert** Ok, this one was a really good book, though I liked it a little bit less than the first book in the series, the Golden Compass. For...more**spoiler alert** Ok, this one was a really good book, though I liked it a little bit less than the first book in the series, the Golden Compass. For a review on it, please see the official one for this book. I was sad when Lee Scoresby died as I was really getting to like his character, as the father Lyra should've had. The whole Stanislaus Grumann story was interesting, though I would've like a little bit more character development esp in regard to his transition from English soldier to Tartar shaman. I'm glad he developed Lyra's character a bit more, so she wasn't as whiny and though they didn't really mention it, it seems as though she loves Will. Finding out what Dust/Shadows/Dark Matter really was, was surprising to say the least, and was not at all what I would've thought it to be. I'm glad there is a third book to better explain Lyra's role in this final battle. (less)
**spoiler alert** Loved loved loved this book! Ok yes, the book was complicated and had so many layers and things going on at once, but I still really...more**spoiler alert** Loved loved loved this book! Ok yes, the book was complicated and had so many layers and things going on at once, but I still really enjoyed the storyline. Never really knowing who was on who's side made it frustrating, but also interesting when you finally figured it out (like Ms. Coulter being evil for the first 2 1/2 books of the trilogy and then suddenly helping Lyra). I wished the author would've explained more about the cloud mountain/heaven as he built it up so much and then didn't explain it very much, as well as what actually happened to the Authority (like was he the old man in the crystal cave or was that someone else?). I loved learning about the Mulefa and their world, and the gay angels made for really interesting characters as well (though I totally wasn't expecting them in the story at all). I thought Mary Malone's description of love was a little creepy, but I enjoyed hearing about Lyra and Will falling in love (though you could see it coming through the second and third book). There are some people that say that this series is anti-religious based on the fact that author is an athiest, but I disagree with that. I thought his books, especially this third one, have a very pantheistic view of religion and it is not bashing religions at all. (less)
I'm sure that I have at some point read the story of The Goose Girl, as I am a huge Grimm Brother's and fairy tale fan, but I didn't remember it. I ha...moreI'm sure that I have at some point read the story of The Goose Girl, as I am a huge Grimm Brother's and fairy tale fan, but I didn't remember it. I had loved Shannon Hale's books "Rapunzel's Revenge" and "Calamity Jack," and so figured I should give this book a try. I absolutely loved it. The story kept me enthralled from beginning to end, though I think she dragged the storyline a bit in the middle with all the "hunting the princess in the castle" part. The story is about Ani, an unsure and not confident princess who is being forced into an arranged marriage with a far-away prince she's never met. On the way there, her lady in waiting Celia plots with a mercenary and some of the palace guards to take Ani's place and be the princess. Ani escapes their clutches and eventually ends up as the far-away king's goose girl, and spends the rest of the story trying to regain her title. I liked that she could speak with the birds and the wind. The whole dead horse head on the wall was kind of creepy, but I understand the significance. I also liked how she treated young awkward boys who can't express themselves properly like Finn and Garrick (I find it endearing). I must say that I really wanted Ani to succeed and become princess again, if only to get rid of Celia and Ungalad. (less)
I really enjoyed reading this book, and managed to finish it in three days. It is based off a Norwegian fairy tale called "East of the Sun and West of...moreI really enjoyed reading this book, and managed to finish it in three days. It is based off a Norwegian fairy tale called "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," though it reminds me of a combination between "Beauty and the Beast," and "Hans, My Hedgehog," with a bit of "The Golden Compass" thrown in for good measure. I love the mixing of fairy tales, with Norse mythology and a history of map-making. East is the story of Rose whose mother tries to past her off her birth direction as East, to replace a sister of Rose's that died before she was born, and to cover up the fact that she is a north-born (who are wild and tend to travel very far). One day her sister Sara gets sick and a mysterious white bear comes and says he can help her sister get well if Rose will only come live with him. So she decides to go and this is where her adventures start. (less)
Oh my goodness! I used to love this book as a kid. I read it so much the corners got dog-eared. I think that's probably why I thought all bunnies were...moreOh my goodness! I used to love this book as a kid. I read it so much the corners got dog-eared. I think that's probably why I thought all bunnies were white with red eyes for the longest time. (less)
I was so obsessed with this cookbook when it first came out, as I loved watching cooking shows when I was younger (and still do nowadays) esp ones wit...moreI was so obsessed with this cookbook when it first came out, as I loved watching cooking shows when I was younger (and still do nowadays) esp ones with Julia Child. The one recipe I've actually tried out of here was the French bread, which took me six hours to make but was amazing. (less)
My version is not an MP3 just regular audiobook CDs. It took me forever to finish this book. First I tried it in print, but couldn't get through it, s...moreMy version is not an MP3 just regular audiobook CDs. It took me forever to finish this book. First I tried it in print, but couldn't get through it, so I tried the audiobook version In my opinion, the author and full cast reading the book, is much better than just one narrator reading it by him/herself.
This wasn't the typical Redwall book, as it was too dark. This might've coincided with the author's health getting bad, I don't know (the book was released in 2008 and he passed away in 2011). The book had three villains: Korvus Skurr the Doomwyte (a raven), Baliss the adder (who was related to the infamous Asmodeus, the most famous snake villain in Mossflower), and Tugga Bruster (the bullying chieftain of the Guosim). Basically the story is that a couple of the youngsters in Redwall hear the story of Prince Gonff the Mousethief stealing the four eyes of the Doomwyte a long time ago, but they've never been found. So an expedition is mounted to find them. Meanwhile the leader of the Wytes (a collection of carrion birds) led by Korvus Skurr finds out about the Gonff story and sends birds to capture a Redwaller to find out if the story is true, but the bird is killed by a newcomer, Laird Bosie McScutta of Bowlaynee (a Highland hare who is a warrior bard - great name by the way). Bosie becomes Abbey Champion and gets to carry Martin the Warrior's sword. On the hunt for the Doomwyte eyes (two emeralds and two rubies), Bisky (a young mouse) is kidnapped by a group of tree rats called The Painted Ones and meets another captured animal, a Guosim named Dubble. Turns out Dubble's father is the infamous Tugga Bruster, who thinks his son is no good and bullies him as well. The Log-a-Log causes plenty of trouble when the Guosim join up with Bossie and the Redwallers rescue party. Baliss is in league with Korvus Skurr, and after his head is accidentally embedded by a Redwall hedgehog's spikes, they become infected and he goes insane and blames the Wyte's leader. The bad guys get it in the end and the Redwallers finish their quest with success. Recommended for ages 10+, 3 stars. (less)
I’ve been wanting to read this poem for ages, as it is classic, but just never got around to it. Then about 2-3 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to se...moreI’ve been wanting to read this poem for ages, as it is classic, but just never got around to it. Then about 2-3 weeks ago, I had the opportunity to see world-renowned medieval musician Benjamin Bagby (http://www.bagbybeowulf.com/index.html), do a performance in Old English (Anglo-Saxon), with Modern English projected subtitles and an Anglo-Saxon harp, of the first third of Beowulf. I was fascinated by it and he (was really good and fun to watch. He was extremely animated as he told the tale and it really felt like you were in a mead hall listening to a bard perform the story, just like it would’ve been in the 9th or 10th century when the poem was written. I had no idea that the work was so long, nearly 3200 lines, or really what the subject matter was about. I had watched the animated version that they released in 2007, but I wasn’t 100% sure it was accurate (it wasn’t). I had read the “Laxdaela Saga” before, an Icelandic epic poem, so I had some kind of idea what I was up for and it didn’t stray too far from that track, i.e. a hero’s list of accomplishments with a bit of back story on his lineage. This version of the poem was cool because not only was it an excellent translation by the Nobel Prize winner poet Seamus Heaney, but it was also illustrated, which I think definitely helped to understand the poem better. The language, even in translation, can sometimes be tedious to wade through as you try to interpret what exactly the poet was trying to say.
Although the Unknown poet is from 9th or 10th century England, the poem is set in 6th century Scandinavia (though these dates change depending on who you ask), mostly in Sweden and Denmark. Beowulf is the nephew to King of Geatland in Sweden and has come to Denmark to help out King Hrothgar, who is being plagued by an evil demon/monster named Grendel. He does not like the merriment and drinking in the mead hall called Heorot, and so Grendel takes out his fury by nightly killing Hrothgar’s men. Beowulf lays a trap for Grendel and they fight without weapons and Grendel’s arm is ripped off, and put up as a trophy outside Heorot. Grendel later dies from his wounds. Beowulf is richly rewarded by King Hrothgar, but then the town is plagued by Grendel’s mother, a “swamp hag” who seeks revenge for the death of her son. Beowulf goes in alone to her lair to finish her off. He is rewarded again by King Hrothgar and then leaves to go back to Geatland. He presents his bounty to his King Hygelac, who also rewards him. When Hygelac dies, Beowulf becomes King. He is a fair and wise king and rules for 50 years, until a dragon is awoken and starts rampaging Geatland. Beowulf himself goes to fight the dragon with one retainer (the rest have run away), and kills it, but also succumbs to his wounds. 4 stars. (less)