Hey, there! I don’t have as many new random books I’ve bought as I have the last couple of similar posts, but here’s my new additions to my library. I couldn’t help but notice this really illustrates my interests right now. Several of them have been on my TBR list:
Tag Archives: To-Read-Notebook
I’m pretty excited about the new year and what lies ahead, especially in the area of reading! I’ve been feeling pretty psyched since I wound up 2017 with more books read than expected, and I’m off to a good start already. I’ve already finished one book, I have another half read, and another one awaits me at the library after coming in on the interlibrary loan system.
This year my reading resolution is simple: read 24 books (2 books per month). I’m pretty sure I can accomplish that one. To some that may not seem very ambitious but it is a challenging, yet doable number for me. Especially considering I have some other major projects in the works this year.
I have made up my usual reading list for this year, and can’t wait to start on it. I wrote in a post a long time ago how I do this the week after Christmas. However, I’m also trying something a little different. I joined a reading challenge group on goodreads! I’ve been mulling over joining one for a while and perused several before making up my mind to join The Seasonal Reading Challenge. This group appealed to me for several reasons. For one, I liked the idea that it is seasonal and goes by themes. There many different tasks of varying difficulties and allows for a broad range of reading. So, I made up a second reading list (did I say I love lists?) planning out titles to read that qualify under the challenges required, only it basically incorporates most of the books from my first list that I’d been planning on reading anyway. I’m not sure how I will like this change. You may laugh, but I’m very serious about my lists and what order I read books in. I love rules, but only the ones I make up for myself. Ha! So we’ll see how I do with a reading group.
I will strive to get my reviews ‘caught up’ this year. This is actually a little relative in my definition of being caught up. Ever since the start of this blog I have posted reviews at least a year after having read the book and this is because the margin gives me a feeling of distance and control. It also gives me the ability to change certain comments I make so that I don’t end up writing something I will regret later. Of course, I sometimes still do regret things I’ve written. But time to go back much later with hindsight is better for me. So my goal is to ‘get caught up’ to within a year’s past reviews, if that makes any sense.
I would like to start up my ‘Character Reflections Series’ again; I miss writing them! Also, I have had an idea for years that I would like to start adding music somehow to my blog, but have not quite figured out how to do it in a way that is not annoying. I’ve been looking into it and playing around, so don’t be surprised if you find that appearing on booklearned!
Do you have any different reading goals this year? Share below!
Version: 2015; starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, James Franco
Genre: children’s; animation
Plot Summary: [from IMDb:] “A little girl lives in a very grown-up world with her mother, who tries to prepare her for it. Her neighbor, the Aviator, introduces the girl to an extraordinary world where anything is possible, the world of the Little Prince.”
My Review: Disclaimer*: I have not read the original book, so this review will not by comparing it to that novel. Only as a story in and of itself, totally unrelated to the book.
Growing up, my mom had two copies of the French classic “The Little Prince.” One was in French (and incomprehensible to me), the other in English. Neither interested me very much. The pictures looked bland and too unbelievable. I was sure I wouldn’t enjoy the story.
Not too long ago I saw that Netflix had made an animated version of the book and I didn’t mind sitting down to spend an evening that way. I was mildly curious. I was not prepared to be blown away.
I think I was drawn into it from the first notes of music. The art, the plot, the script were beautifully done. The old phonograph playing was enough to melt my heart alone! I was nearly crying by the end of it. And now I want to read the book very much. It isn’t often that film versions inspire me to read the book, but when they do… 🙂
This movie is actually told in two stories. One is of a little girl who is expected to live a life where childhood is forgotten. She unexpectedly meets her next door neighbor, an eccentric old man (and self-proclaimed ‘hoarder’) who used to be an aviator once upon a time. He begins to woo her friendship by telling her the story of the Little Prince he met in another world long ago. The story of the Little Prince and his rose is told through stop-motion animation, and I loved every bit about it! I enjoyed it even more for it’s nuances, and thought-provoking lines about life that are hidden like gems throughout where you have to mine them to interpret the meaning for yourself. Wonderful!
There are many who abhor this film because they say it takes too many liberties with the book. Apparently the story of the little girl trying to live the expected life of an adult is not in the original. Since I’ve never read it, I don’t even know if the part of the Little Prince is told faithfully. But I know I loved the film and that it has inspired me to pick up a book I never knew I needed to read before. I would say that is the effect of a well-told, don’t you?
One of my favorite lines comes from the Aviator consoling the little girl when she tells him she doesn’t want to grow up. He responds, “Growing up isn’t the problem– forgetting is.” I wish someone had been able to tell me that when I was a kid and afraid of graduating to adulthood. This wisdom makes a world of difference because it is true! I have found that becoming a true adult is really only becoming the person you were meant to be, which includes the parts of childhood that are good and pure and young in heart. Idealistically, the aim is to shed the ‘juvenile’ ways we used to think and act. Juvenility is to be differentiated from being childlike in that it is immature, selfish, and narrow-minded. (1 Cor. 13:11) Childhood, on the other hand is essentially joy, wonder, and innocence.
I have met older adults, even Christians in their 60’s, behave like juveniles. I have met adults who have completely forgotten what is childhood, instead exuding joylessness, hyper-practicality, and busyness. But I have also met other adults who have retained their openness to life, wonder at the world, and quest to learn and grow- the mark of a true ‘child at heart.’ That is what God means for us to be, I think. And for us believers, we are all to be trusting children in relation to Him.
And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)
I do have a qualm about the movie’s plotline, and that is although it is an indie flick, it does not escape the usual Hollywood storyarc of children being better-knowing than their parents (or more often single parent): rebelling against the ‘status quo’, and teaching the parents they do not know what is best for their kids. See an excellent article on this topic here.
But the voices (esp. Jeff Bridges’ for the Aviator) were great! Bridges has a voice that has aged well, resulting in a friendly, comforting effect. I also loved the Fox, voiced by James Franco. So adorable!
I recommend this glimmering, luminous movie for family viewing, young and old alike. If you approach it being prepared that it’s more loosely based on the book, I think you’ll enjoy it.
You didn’t think I could go on vacation without hitting every library book sale and thrift store I could within a certain radius did you? Most of these were found during an 11 day ‘business trip on vacation’ (oxymoron). But book buying is always pleasurable, and these will be finding a place of their own on my shelves. If I had any more shelves…
Plot Summary: [from goodreads:] “Anthony Hope’s swashbuckling romance transports his English gentleman hero, Rudolf Rassendyll, from a comfortable life in London to fast-moving adventures in Ruritania, a mythical land steeped in political intrigue. Rassendyll bears a striking resemblance to Rudolf Elphberg who is about to be crowned King of Ruritania. When the rival to the throne, Black Michael of Strelsau, attempts to seize power by imprisoning Elphberg in the Castle of Zenda, Rassendyll is obliged to impersonate the King to uphold the rightful sovereignty and ensure political stability.”
My Book Review: This story became an immediate favorite years ago when I first saw the old 1952 film version (starring Stewart Granger and Deborah Kerr) when I was 15 years old. I was staying at my grandpa’s and watched it over and over. There was something about the swashbuckling adventure full of danger, intrigue, cloak and dagger, and romance that really had me at hello. In fact, I believe it was one of the first titles I ever entered into my To-Read notebook that I wanted to make sure I read the novel of someday. It’s been years for me to get around to it, and I was a little bit afraid that the book would let me down in comparison.
This book is not terribly long or hard to get through. I found that the movie version I loved from the first followed the plot pretty well, except for maybe some scenes removed to make for better film-length comprehension. The book was exciting and fun to read, though I probably would have enjoyed it a little more had I read it first before the movie. Some parts, such as the Granger-Kerr chemistry is better than the book. But it’s a great adventure in a vintagey, old-fashioned sort of way. I’m always in the mood for impersonation stories, intrigue, and suspense. And I think the tale’s a bit of a classic in that a hard, bittersweet decision is made at the end that leaves you sighing and wishing… Sort of like Casablanca.
If this sounds like a story you would enjoy diving into, just know that it is actually the second in the Ruritania Trilogy. I’ve read the first book The Heart of Princess Osra (see book review here), but the two novels are more standalone than anything. In fact, The Prisoner… is much more of an interesting read than the first. I will be reading the third in the series, Rupert of Hentzau at some point in time, and I understand that particular one is a better connected sequel to PoZ.
So grab this book if you want an escape to the mountains of the fictional country of Ruritania, where old castle walls, heraldry, and swordfights await you!
“This is movie magic at its mightiest!…” Ha, ha! 😀