I just finished reading this aloud to the grandchildren. I read it to each of my own two children separately (they were six years apart) as well as haI just finished reading this aloud to the grandchildren. I read it to each of my own two children separately (they were six years apart) as well as having read it myself as a child. I'll never tire of it.
The grandchildren have seen the movie, so James kept telling me what was going to happen next. I just said, "Okay, but let's just wait and see." I've seen the movie as well, but only once (unlike James, who has seen it many times), and so couldn't remember what differences there are between book and movie. He loved the book anyway, and Zenobia is getting better at listening to so many words at a time....more
I'll never tire of reading Winnie the Pooh aloud - in 20 or 30 years time I hope to have great-grandchildren to read this book to!
There's really nothI'll never tire of reading Winnie the Pooh aloud - in 20 or 30 years time I hope to have great-grandchildren to read this book to!
There's really nothing to be said that hasn't been said thousands of times - the characters are delightful, the stories so funny, and everything still so appealing to each generation. James (aged five-and-a-half) only occasionally wanted to turn the page to see the next picture, and took in every word. When we finally finished reading this book (and it took us about ten months because there were so many other books to read in between and not so many opportunities to read chapters this length) he wanted to draw about it in his Books Book. I reminded him of each chapter and he recalled them all. His drawings were of Pooh and Owl together when Pooh realises that Owl's wonderful new bell-pull is actually Eeyore's lost tail, and of Piglet dreaming of the heffalump. We read those chapters last year.
I specifically found the right edition to review here. I purchased my copy in 1979. It has the Ernest Shepherd illustrations, which he coloured and copyrighted again in 1970 and which are the only illustrations that I find acceptable. None of these garish new ones! And don't get me started on the Disney versions. If only Milne's son had held out on selling rights to animate etc until the more recent animators had come along and (possibly) made creatures true to the originals. But "if wishes were horses" holds true (doesn't it always?!) and so all I can do is stand firm, refuse to countenance any other deviations, and LOVE this book....more
I first read this book when I was a child - my mother had read it when she was a child, and it would have been she who encouraged me to borrow this frI first read this book when I was a child - my mother had read it when she was a child, and it would have been she who encouraged me to borrow this from the library. I don't remember the reading of it now, but obviously I loved it, because as an 18-year-old I purchased my own copy. Since then I don't know how many times I've read it, though I have to admit it's some years now since I last did. But reading it again is most pleasurable, and this is one book that I definitely6 won't be giving away.
Burnett has a way of writing that makes the you, the reader, feel she is talking just to you. She does that quite specifically at times, launching into a little 'soliloquoy', using what is now the quaintly outdated personal pronoun "one". When she does that, it's so "nice" that you can't help feeling she's a lovely, generous person. Throughout the rest of the narrative as well, there's the feeling that she is talking directly to the reader. And she not only loves her characters, but is quite sure that the reader is a lovable person and will also grow to love the characters.
This deserved classic is quite simply a lovely story. I strongly recommend that you don't read an abridged version - mind you, I can say that for any book (the reader always has the choice to skim through bits s/he finds a little longwinded, but I think it's sacrilege for anyone to alter the author's words) but especially so for this. Published 101 years ago, it is one we can encourage our children to read, and our grandchildren....more
I haven't yet read a book by Orson Scott Card that I didn't find utterly compelling. This book sits alongside the original Ender's Game which I read mI haven't yet read a book by Orson Scott Card that I didn't find utterly compelling. This book sits alongside the original Ender's Game which I read many years ago, and which I followed with the others in that series. In this book we go back almost to the beginning and follow another of the "players" who becomes key to the story. In his foreword, Card says that "Ideally, this novel should work as well for readers who have never read Ender's Game ...", and that may be so. However, I found it enriching to have that memory, and would recommend that anyone wanting to read this would at the very least read "Game" first....more
Sad. Another somebody we really like has a loved one murdered.
Once again, we have a link to an investigation Eve has finished in the past, and of couSad. Another somebody we really like has a loved one murdered.
Once again, we have a link to an investigation Eve has finished in the past, and of course there are plenty of twists and turns along the way. And - another party, this time a hen party for Louise. It's VERY different from my own hen party of a couple of months ago and I can fully understand Eve's reluctance to be involved in celebrations like that....more
Zenobia kept pulling faces and saying "He should try it." Vindicated!
The three grandchildren (James - 7, Zenobia - 5, Ivy - 4) all loved this book. SuZenobia kept pulling faces and saying "He should try it." Vindicated!
The three grandchildren (James - 7, Zenobia - 5, Ivy - 4) all loved this book. Surely I've read it to them before! But there are so many wonderful children's books - it's possible I haven't. So it will sit in our book-basket for several weeks before I return it to the library, by which time I hope I've found my own copy (I can't have given it away!)....more
Anne McCaffrey's Pern books are the classic dragon novels. I first read them years ago - probably when they were originally published - and started coAnne McCaffrey's Pern books are the classic dragon novels. I first read them years ago - probably when they were originally published - and started collecting them (and all McCaffrey books that I could lay my hands on) whenever I found one in a paperback exchange or on sale somewhere (it's probably just as well that I've never had enough money to just go out and buy the books I want - I would literally have run out of room in my house).
Some several years ago I recommended them to my daughter, but I didn't have the first one (this one, that I'm reviewing right now). Again, not so long ago, I checked out with her if she'd ever read them. "No," she said. "Oh yes," said I, "I was going to check which one came first, and I'm going to read them all again." Well, I checked, and I didn't own it. So finally I reserved it from the libray, and now I've read it and can hand it on to Miriam, and we're on our way.
These dragons are wonderful! They come in blue, green, bronze, and the queens are golden. Each dragon needs a human, and at birth the hatchlings desperately seek their human to bond with. That bonding is one of absolute devotion, and of telepathic communication.
Dragons can travel from one place to another by visualising (along with their human) the place they want to arrive at, and then they simply go there in the space of a few seconds. That between place is a freezing cold void, but unless something goes dreadfully wrong, they simply pass through it.
Pern (the planet on which this is set) used to be under regular threat of Threads falling from the Red Star - Threads which burned humans and animals with acidity, and which, on reaching the ground, burrowed into the soil to spread out and eventually strip the land of all life. The dragons and dragonriders fought the Threads - the dragons eating firestone and belching out flames. But there have been no Threads for 400 years, and most people believe they'll never come again.
This first novel in the series begins with Lessa, who is the only remaining member of the Ruatha family. However, no one knows she is alive. She managed to avoid slaughter by the conquering Fax 10 years ago, and has hidden in the Hold as a drudge while subtly controlling things (by telepathic 'suggestions') to the detriment of productivity. She awakes one morning to a premonition of danger, and is convinced it has something to do with the Red Star. On the same day, F'lar, dragonrider and Weyrleader, comes to Ruath Hold on his countrywide Search for new youngsters for the upcoming hatchlings....more
This book, the 3rd in the Dragonriders of Pern series, continues to tackle the conflict between the old and the new, this time looking at attitudes toThis book, the 3rd in the Dragonriders of Pern series, continues to tackle the conflict between the old and the new, this time looking at attitudes towards women. Menolly clearly has a talent for music, and the Harper has delighted in this. When he dies suddenly her parents grudgingly allow her to do the teaching that the youngsters require, while waiting for the new Harper to arrive. However, she must not deviate from the traditional.
Music won't leave her alone, and Menolly slips up. What follows leads us through emotions of anger, shame, misery, courage, determination - all within an exciting story of dragons and fire-lizards and Thread falling....more
Towards the end of Dragonquest, young Jaxom Impresses a little White Dragon. This is 'wrong' on all sorts of levels. 1) Jaxom wasn't among the group oTowards the end of Dragonquest, young Jaxom Impresses a little White Dragon. This is 'wrong' on all sorts of levels. 1) Jaxom wasn't among the group of boys selected for the Hatching, 2) Jaxom is going to be the Lord Holder of Ruatha, and Lords of Holds aren't Dragonriders, 3) Jaxom's guardian was once a Dragonrider, but his dragon died, and that is a lifelong grief that nobody would wish onto anybody, and of course with Jaxom having a dragon that must make it worse, and 4) dragons are never white!
Ruth, the dragon, is not only white, but is also very small (as dragons go). In fact, most people doubt that Ruth is going to live for particularly long. It is that which decides them to grudgingly accept the Jaxom/Ruth pair, believing that the dragon won't live to fly.
Nobody told Ruth, and the dragon had no intention of dying! This tale follows the lovely pairing of the two, taking us with Jaxom as he matures from a teenager into a young man, with all the problems inherent in being the only heir to Ruatha, in being brought up with a great weight of responsibility - always courteous, always responsible, never quick-tempered or taking risks....more
I started off feeling a little "here we go again, same old same old" and thinking the writing style was a little "fluffy", but before very long I wasI started off feeling a little "here we go again, same old same old" and thinking the writing style was a little "fluffy", but before very long I was caught up again. I'm very glad I'm reading these through (after probably 30 years since I first read them), and I'm starting to think that it's quite possible I'll work my way through them all again (definitely the Pern ones and this series) in another 20 or 30 years.
McCaffrey gives me people I like, with interesting and often earnest characters. Many of them are "too good to be true", but who cares? I meet plenty of real people in my real life so I don't need all my books to be equally blunt or ordinary or whatever.
As the title suggests, this book is about (some of) Damia's children. It's the 3rd in the Tower and the Hive series, which are The Rowan, Damia, this, Lyon's Pride, and The Tower and the Hive. It follows the development to a certain degree of four of the children, all in their teens, and it does that within the context of the relationship between Humans and Mrdini species as they learn to work together against their common enemy, The Hive. Nice work with the other races....more
I feel like I've just betrayed my best friend. I've marked this down from 5 stars (which I gave it when I was idly listing books I'd read years and yeI feel like I've just betrayed my best friend. I've marked this down from 5 stars (which I gave it when I was idly listing books I'd read years and years ago) to 3. Still, I must be honest about it right now, and right now it's only an "I like it".
James (6&1/2) and Zenobia (4&3/4) have had, as one might expect, different reactions to the ongoing story:
Zenobia really is a bit young to listen to a book this length, but of course she was determined to be a part of the experience. She has started getting the hang of "What do you think is going to happen next?" At first, when I finished the chapter and asked the question, she'd answer "Brush our teeth and go to bed!", but by about halfway through she was starting to think about the next chapter in the book, and coming up with suggestions.
James, on the other hand, has been intent on listening all the time (except for the last chapter which is really just a wrapping up of the whole thing - although it does introduce the setting for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe so it's necessary, despite being a little humdrum). He was making some really thoughtful suggestions for what might happen next, and by the end of the book he was getting pretty good at the beginning of each chapter when I asked "Do you remember what happened last time?"
So, I'm glad CS Lewis wrote this book to explain the beginnings of Narnia, and the scene where Aslan sings the world into being is beautiful. Oh yes, also, the planting of Uncle Andrew is very funny. We three enjoyed the book - as did their Mum & Dad on the periphery....more