Friday, March 27, 2009

Tales of Beedle, Ender and Oscar

Even with Adam here visiting, I managed to do some reading over spring break. But it's taken me until now to be able to write it all down. Also, since the voting on what I should read next wasn't very helpful (a three-way tie), I've decided on my own to read Villette next. I've begun it, and it's going to be fairly slow going - especially with school going on in the background. So I'm not putting up a new poll until I get closer to finishing it. But, so far, so good.

If you are even remotely interested in the Harry Potter series, and if you were ever a child, then you should check out The Tales of Beedle the Bard. It is a collection of fairy tales that you would read if you were a child who grew up in a wizarding family. They are charming, funny, and all have a moral point to make.

Each of the tales is supplemented by commentary written by Professor Albus Dumbledore, who explains the history, evolution and the meaning behind each tale. The introduction, notes and illustrations were all done by J. K. Rowling, and the stories themselves have been translated from the Ancient Runes by Hermione Granger.

They are just little fairy tales, but they are charming and can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

I'm not sure what type of book Ender's Shadow is. I mean, I know the genre (science fiction), and I know that it's a novel and it's paperback. But it's not really a sequel to the other books on Ender that I've read, and it's not a prequel. It's more like a companion novel. After looking at the book itself, the cover says it is a parallel novel. It tells the same story as Ender's Game, only it's from the perspective of another character.

Bean is one of Ender's fellow commanders. He was one of the few chosen to help Ender win the war against the Buggers. He's also the smartest and youngest of all of the commanders. In fact, he's the smartest and youngest person to ever go to Battle School.

Without going into too much detail (because you should all read this book - after reading Ender's Game), Bean is a very special individual who grew up alone on the streets of a city slum where children were lucky to eat a couple of peanuts a day and lived for the moments when they could lick the remaining melty chocolate off of the discarded wrapper of a candy bar. The streets were ruled by bullies, and survival was the goal of every day.

Bean managed to get a group of the helpless kids to work together to stand up to the bullies, and in so doing, grabbed the attention of Sister Carlotta and eventually the higher ups at Battle School. Once at the school in the sky, his story closely parallels Ender's with minor differences. With non-stop action and chapters that always end in the middle of the action, Ender's Shadow is almost impossible to put down. Read it!

Oscar Season was the perfect book for me to read at the time I read it. I wanted something to occupy my mind, and yet something that required the least amount of concentration possible. It's the story of a hotel frequented by movie stars and the busy time of year that is Oscar season - the month leading up to the awards ceremony.

Of course just as the season is starting up, everything goes wrong. A dead movie star is found in the pool at the hotel. Then another nominee is found dead of an apparent accidental drug overdose. A nominated writer is found dead in the park. Who could be behind these mysterious deaths? And what connection do they have with Juliette, the director of public relations at the hotel? And just whom should Juliette fall in love with - the movie star who is sick and hiding out in the hotel or her charming boss of many years and who understands and appreciates everything about her? Only one way to find out. Do like me in the photo below: Read it!

1 comment:

  1. hmm...i didn't really like beedle the bard. or beetle, however you spell it. i thought it was okay...but kind of pointless. but eh, what're you gonna do? i saw the duchess the other night...awesome! it was so good! i love kiera knightley...she's basically amazing. look for my high school musical 3 review to come soon!