I would quite like to go to Hobbiton in spring, maybe catch a quidditch game at Hogwarts, Oz looks like a bit of fun and I would love to travel through Narnia – but I am not so sure about the archipelago of islands that make up Earthsea. Earthsea is a realm surrounded by a different sort of magic – one that is deep and dark and knowing. A boy called Ged was born there though, and he has no choice but to stay and discover its secrets.
A Wizard of Earthsea is like a lot of other children’s fantasy novels in that it is about a boy growing up and travelling, going to a school for wizards, making friends and enemies, saving his village, learning and making mistakes. The thing that makes it different is the magic. This is not just an adventure tale, or a school story, or a friendship quest that happens to have some cool magic: this is a book about magic and a young wizard’s battle to find its balance within himself.
The magic isn’t all fun and games and biscuits either. It isn’t magic that makes a star at the end of a wand shine or turns your teacher into a toad. It is old magic with old rules, hidden traps and an all-knowing awareness. Sometimes the magic is dark and dreadful. I listened to A Wizard of Earthsea on audio book recently: I was walking through town with my headphones on – it was a windy, rainy day and I was very caught up in the story. Suddenly something TERRIBLE happened (I won’t tell you what, you might get a fright) and I SCREAMED right there in the middle of the footpath with the people in suits on their way to work staring at me and shaking their umbrellas.
But don’t be scared: it is only a book, and it is really a very good one. I won’t tell you that it has a happy ending, or that it is sooo funny and cool and easy to read, but I will tell you that if you truly like fantasy you really ought to get A Wizard of Earthsea.
so, I am trying to read books off my shelves and not use the library for a while. Partly cos I have huge fines to pay off... anyway, this is how I cam...moreso, I am trying to read books off my shelves and not use the library for a while. Partly cos I have huge fines to pay off... anyway, this is how I came across Vile Bodies, and I am so glad I did. Ugh, it is just so good. It reminds me off Stella Gibbons, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nancy Mitford. The dialogue is amazing, the characters are painful (in a good way) and the pace is dizzying. YES, it is funny funny funny, BUT, it is too too sad as well. The 'happy ending' BREAKS MY POOR HEART. (less)
This book is the sweetest thing. It is a collection of short tales that follow the lives of two men Bell and Harry and their beautiful, uncomplicated...moreThis book is the sweetest thing. It is a collection of short tales that follow the lives of two men Bell and Harry and their beautiful, uncomplicated friendship. Set in Cumbria, the hollow land refers to mined land and the two farms that sit upon it, Bell's working family farm and Harry's family's holiday house, Light Trees. I loved each of these stories and couldn't pick a favorite although I particularly like the ones that mention gypsies and the ones that feature the families coming together. Gardam is master with rhythm and dialogue, I laughed so much over the discussion prior to the celebrity coming to town. It's brilliant the way the children speak so broad and the adults try but fail to stop them. When modern life is too fast and everything is too much I strongly recommend this book (with tea and biscuits), it will make everything better. (less)
I really fucking liked this. It has lots of my favorite things in a novel: New York, suburban malaise, love, the 80s, parenting. It is the story of tw...moreI really fucking liked this. It has lots of my favorite things in a novel: New York, suburban malaise, love, the 80s, parenting. It is the story of two boys and their families. It follows them into their adulthood where they meet the third character, Clare, and fall in love with her. The chapters are narrated by a different character, which can be annoying. I think Cunningham pulls it off. Each time a chapter started I would think 'oh good this character is really my favorite'. I loved Alice's chapters near the beginning. Like the bit where she says something like- 'and then I left the room as full of him as I had been when I was pregnant'. I did have some disappointments and questions at then end of the book, was Alice happy? how did Jonathan feel about how things turned out? and most of all, Why did Clare do what she did? I wish she hadn't, I don't think it was the right thing to do. Sometimes the intensity of emotion in this book was a bit too full on. Then again that's actually a really good thing right? (less)
Best comic I have read in a long time written by Brian K. Vaughan and Drawn by Fiona Staples
When I picked this up from reserve at the library I was li...moreBest comic I have read in a long time written by Brian K. Vaughan and Drawn by Fiona Staples
When I picked this up from reserve at the library I was like... hmmmm... this comic book has a picture of a woman breastfeeding her baby on the front cover, I think I might really like this and I do. Highly recommend. I devoured this slim volume in less than an hour muttering, exclaiming and 'uh huhing' in the direction of the rest of the world. Since finishing it I am giddy with liking it and all hyped like a kid with raspberry fizzy. It has all the stuff one is looking for in comics: sci fi, fantasy, romance, goodies, baddies (really scary ones), battles. It also has a whole lot of stuff you probably don't look for but are soooo thankful for: loving family, staunch female characters, BREASTFEEDING, rocket ship trees, poo humour, again BREASTFEEDING! and much, much more. Ok though.. I should say, it is really violent and full on. I struggle with violence and sexually explicit shit in graphic novels because as a rule I'm not down with the glorification of death and violence and hurt but.. in saying that I think that in this case it is a pretty honest representation of a world completely and utterly fucked over by years of war. Overall I am just so happy that this exists and I think it is pretty and clever and addictive. I really want the next one to come out.(less)
So cute and geeky and witty. Made me wish I was better read and had more correspondance. Who wants a pen pal?
As my friend Kiki would say, this book is...moreSo cute and geeky and witty. Made me wish I was better read and had more correspondance. Who wants a pen pal?
As my friend Kiki would say, this book is very ‘alternative heartwarming’. It is all love and intellect and warm fuzz but no romance. 84 Charring cross road is the address of the bookshop that writer Helene Hanff sends letters to, enquiring after the obscure books she wishes to procure. The charming but fusty Frank Doel replies and his letters are like the salt to Hanff’s sarcastic and witty pepper. I fell in love with Helene Hanff whilst reading this book and went on to read all her other stuff. She is my pant suit wearing, typewriter bound, book loving, New York Hero.(less)
Can't say why I like this so much. It's just a middle aged lady visiting London and doing tourist stuff. Helene Hanff is magic though and she makes ev...moreCan't say why I like this so much. It's just a middle aged lady visiting London and doing tourist stuff. Helene Hanff is magic though and she makes everything seem interesting, I'm not that interested in London but I would read anything by her now. I would read a book about Helene Hanff going to the Hutt. So good. (less)
You know how kids avoid anything their parents tell them they will like? Well, I should have listened to my Mum. She was always trying to push brave f...moreYou know how kids avoid anything their parents tell them they will like? Well, I should have listened to my Mum. She was always trying to push brave feminist stories on me (probly cos I was (am) a big lazy wuss).
I loved Island of the Blue Dolphins. It is the story of a young woman living completely alone on an island. The loneliness underlies the adventure and although a lot happens the general feel is quite slow and reflective. Kindof sad but really empowering.
I will for sure be pushing this one on my daughter when she grows up, hopefully she listens to me. (less)
I like books set in New York and surrounding environs in the 1970's I like books with anxious teen narrators I like books wi...moreI loved this book because...
I like books set in New York and surrounding environs in the 1970's I like books with anxious teen narrators I like books with obnoxious teen characters who tell their superiors to suck it I like books with well described fashion and hair I like books which feature libraries and cats and interesting food I like books with political undertones I like books with stilted dialogue
I like this books cover I like this books insides too (less)
Harriet only plays a guest role in the third book which is set back in New York. Sport focuses on Harriet’s friend Simon who is nicknamed Sport, and lives with his really nice but really hopeless Dad. There is not so much mystery in this one, but a lot of action. Poor Sport is really put through the wringer as his evil mother (no, not evil stepmother – just plain old evil mother) tries to gain custody of him so she can get her greedy mitts on his inheritance. This book is intense! Heaps of yelling and cussing and hiding and running and worrying and laughing. (Lots of laughing from me actually, especially when Sport and his friends get their own back against rich ladies and cops -ha-ha).(less)
My favourite weather is mist. My second favourite weather is rain. It has been very rainy in Wellington recently. I love it.
Have you ever heard people say that rain is the clouds crying? My sister used to say that, and this book proves she was right.
“The Clouds Above” is a graphic-novel with wonderful pictures that recounts “the terribly terrific and tremendously true travels of Simon and Jack”. Simon is a boy with a wicked teacher, Jack is a cat with a long tail; they are best friends. Simon and Jack arrive at school late; instead of facing the wrath of Simon’s teacher Missus Poe, they risk a trip up a flight of stairs and into the clouds. “We should go back down- you’re missing school” meows Jack, “but I don’t miss it at all!” Simon replies. Missus Poe might be scary but so is some of the stuff above: mean birds, thunder, fear of heights, mean birds again, cold and an evil storm with (dun, dun, dun) a heart of darkness. Remember though, they are best friends and with the help of a sad and lonely cloud they find their way back to clearer skies. Apparently “a rained on cat is no cat at all” but Jack is the best kind of cat, and I would love to go on adventures in the sky with a friend like that.
This is a beautiful, short book which is nice to hold. (less)