Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Strawberry Marshmallow & Abhorsen

I am now alternating between Lord of Light and Strawberry Marshmallow (aka 苺ましまろ, Ichigo Mashimaro).

Strawberry Marshmallow is an accidental venture into a new genre for me, because I normally like dark, violent or supernatural manga/anime instead of the cutey type which Strawberry Marshmallow is. I saw a copy of the manga in the library shelf and decided to read it because I was attracted to the drawing style. Now, as I read it, I am surprised that I am falling in love with the characters!

P says I look like Matsuri/Matsuri looks like me. Haa! I like the idea - cos she's one of my favourite characters. I think it's the messy hair and the glasses, because I seriously don't look that young. I'm pleased nonetheless.

In between reading, knitting, watching Taken on disc, and shopping, I don't seem to have any energy to write well. I can't even think about writing letters and sending out resumes. I hope nobody is waiting for my proper Abhorsen trilogy review! I can't seem to get it out! So I'll just write a short note or two and count it as done. I hope this doesn't disappoint anyone! Right, here are some points:

1. Don't stop at book 1 (Sabriel) without continuing on to book 2 (Lirael); and don't start reading book 2 without book 3 (Abhorsen) on hand. All three books should preferably be read one after another.

2. These are fast-paced, adventure-filled books, written with a younger reader in mind, so don't expect too much soul-searching depth. The 3 stores are well-constructed as a whole: the story arcs and rules for the world the Garth Nix created are consistent and logical. In fact they are quite imaginative but you seldom feel the need to stop to think about much of it at all. The plot dragged a little between books 2 and 3, when Nix tried to make some exploration into introspective writing. That sort of writing is not his strength, so it was in some parts, a little boring to me. And I personally couldn't wait to reach the end of book 3, because I sort of already expected or guessed at what might happen next.

3. The one failing is my lack of attachment or emotion for any of the characters in the book. Sometimes, I even felt irritated with the characters. Perhaps it is because Nix tended to describe them in very simple, often one-dimensional terms. So, for example, when Lirael and Sameth were wallowing in self-pity, I felt no sympathy for their sorrow, and instead felt like slapping them. I have no properly-thought-out explanation for why I disliked Sameth so much in the 2nd book, but I don't feel like thinking about it because that's not important. The real energy of the books comes from the plot, not the characters, so I still enjoyed the books as a whole.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Horror Movie: I Am Legend starring Will Smith?

I was devastated to learn that Will Smith is going to star in the film version of I am Legend by Richard Matheson.

Will Smith is a fantastic action star and I am sure he will have the pull factor to bring in the crowds and make this film a block-buster. However, I am afraid that because it is Will Smith, the movie will lose the essence of the book, which is basically introspective, not action-packed.

The book actually has a very contemplative tone despite the horror-thriller genre that it may fall into. I am Legend is about one man's psychological and emotional journey through the agony of loneliness, how he copes and how he eventually comes to the horrific realisation that he is the last of his kind in the world. I know most books do not translate perfectly into film but I think it will really be a horror movie in the worst sense if Will Smith's acting turns it into just another kick-kick-punch-punch show.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

What's Up?

I haven't been keeping up with my reading. Only just starting Chapter 6 of Abhorsen, when I should really be done with the trilogy by now. I'll reserve my comments for the review, which I don't know how good a job I'll do, but anyway, I can say I'm beginning to feel attached to one character, so that's a good sign. And I'm looking out for the surprises that Nymeth mentioned.

Why haven't I been reading my books? I've been socialising, meeting up with friends and basically spending too much time on the net, obsessing about Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils and placing an unbelievably large order for my scents of choice. Right now I can't pull myself away from the downward spiral into compulsively searching for scent lockets. I simply must find a nice, slightly edgy and ornate scent locket to fit my mood. Preferably with Celtic or American Indian symbols but not too expensive, since I've spent too much on the scents. It's a bad thing. I stop buying books to save money and prevent clutter in my too-small living space and end up spending elsewhere instead.

Monday, 16 April 2007

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason

This was the first email I saw this morning:

" won a copy of The Rest Falls Away! Please let me know who I should autograph it to, and where to send it! Colleen"

Tried to contain myself - I was in the office - but OMG!!! So thrilled by the fact that she'll be autographing it to me, as I requested. She's kind enough to mail it to me all the way here in Singapore. I'm always too shy to go to book signings and not every author is able to travel here to Singapore, so this is a really great gift from Colleen Gleason.

I have Colleen Gleason's blog in my Google reader feed subscription. If you don't already do so, do go over and read it. She has a sequel coming up - definitely excited to see what she has in store in that book. I can't wait to read The Rest Falls Away, so while waiting for the autographed book to arrive, I will try to find a copy at the library.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Lirael Completed

Whew! Read and read and read to the exclusion of all my other projects.

Now I've finished reading Lirael. It was not a surprise - Lirael's parentage. I'm just surprised at the number of characters I've taken a dislike to.

Will be starting on Abhorsen. Several threads are coming together in this final book. I'd like to know the characters a little better by this book. So far it's been much more action than drama. It makes for a good, speedy read but there's something missing for me. I'm not growing attached to any of the characters in the books. I hope Abhorsen will bring not only closure but also deliver meatier personalities.

I've got a couple of art and sewing projects I want to do this weekend. I'm not sure how fast I can go with Abhorsen but I'd like to finish it so that I can return the trilogy to the library by the due date.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Banned Book Challenge

Finally finished Sabriel - what an exhilarating ride! A fast-paced book where the adventures never let up. I'll try to write a review of the entire trilogy when I've completed it. I've started on Lirael. Initially, I was glad the main character is a Clayr, so I can get to know about the Clayr a little more. I was eager to learn the systems that Garth Nix has set up for the Clayr society and the workings of the Clayr. As I read on however, I'm beginning to dislike the Clayr a little but it's probably too early to tell. I have my suspicions about Lirael's parentage but I'll hold off my predictions.

I was being silly last night and signed up at the Banned Book Challenge webpage, pledging to read 3 banned books. Now as I skim through lists of banned books, I'm beginning to doubt the sanity of this endeavour. I've read alot of the books my google search has thrown up and I'm not interested in re-reading them. I've got to find some interesting books to read or I'm going to fail at this challenge. I want to read books that are banned because of the social impact they might have but I'm starting to see that many books are banned for very little good reason at all.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Good Reads

I'm feeling the pressure to hurry up and finish reading the 4 books I borrowed from the library. 21 days aren't enough! I may have to renew the books as I am still on the first book, but I guess that's cheaper than buying the books.

I decided to trim down on book-buying, but it doesn't mean I'm not buying any books. I might have to get the entire series of Tokyo Babylon because I want to read it and the library doesn't have it.

Good Reads is a book networking site recommended at . It seems promising, if you look beyond the first few books in the Popular Books list, which seem to be made up of the latest best sellers or the very well-known classics. To me, a good book recommendation site/list will include lesser known books, otherwise, I'd just go see the best-sellers list in the newspapers.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Looking Forward to More Reading

My tiny ibook sorta went bonkers last night and when I did a search at Apple Support, I discovered its batteries need to be replaced. The Good Husband promised to bring the little thing to an Apple shop today and I wonder if they will be able to replace the batteries immediately. The Good Husband has not yet called to update me on the status of this affair, so I'm still wondering. On the other hand, if I don't have my laptop, I'll probably have time to do more reading and crafts. Which is a good thing anyway.

I should add the to my booklist for the Once Upon A Time Challenge, The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly and something by Angela Carter, perhaps one of those gruesome reworkings of fairy tales. And I completely forgot I have a copy of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell so I should get round to reading that too. I've started on Sabriel and it's a very easy book. I got distracted so often this week, otherwise, I think I could have finished it within 3-4 days.

As though I don't have enough on my plate, I'm compulsively adding this, to my to-do list:

I spotted it at Stuff as Dreams are Made on and I couldn't resist. Will think about what books to read for this one.

Monday, 2 April 2007

A Craving For Jane Austen

How is it possible, that with a deluge of books at home and in my bag, I have a sudden pathetic, wistful longing for Pride and Prejudice? I've discarded my mildewed copy from Secondary school, so I'm probably going to have to run to the bookshop to search for another (hopefully cheap). It is difficult to resist such a craving. It comes almost every month (just before a certain time that women are familiar with). I really should just buy the book and flip through it whenever the desire strikes.