Archive for the 'Books' Category

A Book Trailer: Tessa Dare’s “Stud Club Trilogy”

Book Trailers are a hot thing these days. This is an example of what you can do with no money and a bit of creativity. What can I say? I ordered them for the library system, so obviously it worked on me.

Posted on 1st June 2010
Under: Books, Video | No Comments »

Of Childhood Favorites and Freedom

Question: What were your childhood favorite books?

I don’t mean your favorite children’s book that you have recently read. I mean the ones you remember fondly from your own childhood. I’m making a bit of a survey, you see. I’m going to try and stick with the English-speaking world, because I’m having enough trouble getting a hold of my suggestions so far from places like Australia and Scotland. (Anyone know where I can get my hands on a bunch of Enid Blyton books?) Yes, this is for a little project. So, please, comment, and have your friends comment as well. You may tell me about as many or as few books as you like.

Here are some of the titles that I’ve heard so far:

Pippi Longstocking
Milly-Molly-Mandy
Jennings (series)
Secret Seven (series)
Chalet School (series)
Lone Pine (series)
The Lost Prince (yes…this one is me)
The Little House
Poky Little Puppy
Black Beauty
Farmer Boy
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Where The Wild Things Are
Chronicles of Narnia
Bridge to Terabithia
The Lorax
The Giving Tree
The Blue Sword
Escape to Witch Mountain (me again)
Norah of Billabong (1st of a series)
Abbey (series)
William (series)
The Adventures of Turkey
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
the Boxcar Children
Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Riki Tiki Tavi
Island of the Blue Dolphin
Nancy Drew (series)
World Book Encyclopedia
Poems That Live Forever
Jungle Book
Freddy Eats Flies
Finn Family Moomintroll

See any familiar friends on that list?

Right. Now on to my Happiness for 10 March 2009:
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 11th March 2009
Under: Books, Rambling | 5 Comments »

Escape to Witch Mountain and Me

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Once upon a time, when I was a youngling, I encountered a writer by the name of Alexander Key. (Not the writer himself, mind you, just his books. Though…come to think of it, I did write him a fan letter once. I imagine that was before he passed on.)

Anyway, I adored his books and I read everything I could get my hands on. The Case of the Vanishing Boy, The Magic Meadow, The Golden Enemy, The Forgotten Door, Escape to Witch Mountain, Return from Witch Mountain, etc. I loved them all. Books were my friends, and really, Mr. Key’s books spoke to me in a way that few others did. Perhaps it was the element of hope and understanding of differences that he deftly wove into his stories. People who didn’t fit in eventually found a place that they belonged and others like themselves. His books seemed to say that there were good people out there that would help you get where you needed to go. All very comforting when you were a strange as I was as a child. My particular favorites were the Witch Mountain books. Just imagine my delight when I discovered that they had been made into films!

Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) Opening Segment:

I adored the 1975 version of [tag]Escape to Witch Mountain[/tag] for all that it wasn’t quite the same as the book. In the book, for example, Tia couldn’t talk like everyone else. Only Tony could hear her. Stuff like that. I must have seen that film over a hundred times. (Just ask my sister, she’ll tell you.) I was obsessed.

The film version of its sequel, Return From Witch Mountain, is one of the closest adaptations that I’ve seen. They did an excellent job bringing it to the big screen. It was great to see the events I’d imagined unfolding in front of me. Hmmm…I wonder if this spawned my lifelong interest in Book Adapatations. You can check out the trailer for this film below. (Mind you, the trailer narration is a wee bit on the…hokey side. I warn you now.)

Return From Witch Mountain Trailer:

Beyond Witch Mountain (no YouTube, sorry) was all Disney. It was one of those Wonderful World of Disney TV movies. It wasn’t bad. The person they got to play Deranian (the baddie from book one, and apparently for this tv film as well) looked a lot closer to the description from the first book. They had different actors for Tia and Tony, which surprised me, as I recall. I wish I could find it on DVD. All I have is an old copy on VHS. Anyway, it way okay. It detailed the story of the two kids returning to find another missing member of their people. They enlist the help of their old friend Mr. O’Day and off they go.

And then came the Purple Monstrosity. In 1995, Disney came out with a version of Escape to Witch Mountain that looked like a very loose adaption of the previous film written by people who didn’t even know that a book existed. (You can watch it here if you’re feeling brave.) Suffice to say…I absolutely loathed it. They had taken this book that I loved and made a mockery of it. Just thinking about it makes me shiver. Quite the immediate and visceral reaction, wouldn’t you say?

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am very cautious when it comes to Race to Witch Mountain which is due in theaters in March 2009. I’ve been following its process ever since I heard about it. I questioned the casting (The Rock? That kid from The Seeker? He’s already been in one travesty of a book that I loved…) I agonized about the story. And now…the trailer is out. Behold!

Race to Witch Mountain Teaser Trailer:

I have to say, in all honesty, that if I can just forget about the existence of the original book for the space of the film…well…it looks like fun. I tried to suspend my disbelief for The Seeker, for Christopher Eccleston’s sake if nothing else, but it didn’t work. That film adaptation just wasn’t that good on its own two feet. I have seen how bad adaptions can be, but I have cautious hope about this film. They may have managed to take it far enough away from the source for me to enjoy the film as a separate entity. I don’t know. Rest assured, I’ll let you know what I think of it.

Oh! And just for fun. Have you heard of the Blair Witch Mountain Project? You can see it here. It’s sort of a spoof of Blair Witch and the Witch Mountain movies, featuring the original Tia and Tony.

Escape to Witch Mountain is one of those books that sticks with you. I think that it’s time I read it again.

(Yes, [tag]Alexander Key[/tag] is still my favorite author. I have a quest to collect all of his books. Some day I will manage it.)

Posted on 19th November 2008
Under: Books, Film, NaBloPoMo, Rambling, Video | 2 Comments »

Too Much Information About Twilight (the film)

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(Press Release Photo)

This is the second part of my obsessive compilation of information about [tag]Twilight[/tag]. This time I’m focusing on the film (imdb) that is due in U.S. theaters on 21 November. Mostly, this will consist of video files, I admit. I do not expect to encounter too much complaining about this, however. I will continue adding to this post as I gain new information.

* The Official Movie Site

* MTV’s Twilight Blog

* The Border’s Twilight Movie Page

* Hey! The first single from the Twilight Soundtrack is over on Stephenie Meyer’s Webpage. (The soundtrack is available for pre-order, by the way.)

Teaser Trailer 1:

Teaser Trailer 2:

The Shorter Ballet Studio Fight Scene (in good quality)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5sRQXBnwvc

Longer Ballet Studio Fight Scene (from Comic-Con)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sd3bOmjCIk
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 27th September 2008
Under: Books, Film | 14 Comments »

Too Much Information About Twilight (the book)

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I recently threatened to compile all of the Twilight-related goodies and information that I’d run across for a friend. For some reason…she didn’t seem all that upset about the idea. It then occurred to me that I know of at least one further person who is as obsessed with this series as I am…so, I’ve decided to post the information here for all and sundry out there.

Hey…it’s my blog. I can use it to compile information if I want to. I’ll even start at the beginning for those of you who still haven’t read the series. (Mind you, that means that this post will be full of spoilers. Consider yourself warned.) Let’s get started, shall we? (I will add information to this post as I encounter it.)

The Twilight Saga is by Stephenie Meyer and currently consists of four books:
* Twilight
* New Moon
* Eclipse
* Breaking Dawn

Someday, with luck, this series will grow to contain Midnight Sun as well. This book is currently on hold, but is Twilight from Edward’s point of view rather than Bella’s. You can read all 264 pages of the manuscript on Stephenie’s website here. (The problem arose when someone with a copy of the manuscript set it loose on the internet. Stephenie was so demoralized that she stopped working on the project, but in deference to her fans she posted it on her website. That way they could read it legally. I’m sure that I am not alone in wanting to smack the person who caused this project to be put on hold.)

The Borders Website for Stephenie Meyer (Includes the Book Club meeting before Eclipse came out.)

Stephenie’s Official Website contains all sorts of nifty extras for the Twilight fan. (Twilight fans are most often called “Twilighters,” by the way.) These extras include: Outtakes from the books, extra scenes from the books, and even playlists made up of music that Stephenie associates with the books. (There are other things, too, so be sure to surf about her website, too.)

*Twilight: 4 Outtakes, Playlist
*New Moon: 3 Outtakes, 3 Extras, Playlist
*Eclipse: Playlist
*Breaking Dawn: Playlist
*Midnight Sun: Playlist

Did you know that the locations for this series are real? (Even if the events are not.)
Locations:
Forks
La Push
Port Angeles
Volterra

The Cars mentioned in the series

Posted on 25th September 2008
Under: Books, Film | 21 Comments »

Road Sign…

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(You can generate your own sign here.)

Posted on 22nd August 2008
Under: Books, Link, Silliness | No Comments »

Book Addict

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Hello. I am the Celticangel, and I am a Book Addict.

Some people are addicted to nicotine or alcohol. I am addicted to books. No, seriously. I am.

Occasionally, I try to kick the habit. Sometimes I manage long stretches of a diet consisting only of magazines or non-fiction, because I can set those down after a chapter or a few pages. I can walk away and get other things done. I can do important things like…sleep or work. But it’s only a matter of time before I pick up some fiction again.

Generally, one book leads to another. I discover a new author and dive gleefully in. And this can be a huge problem as work and sleep tend to get in the way of my reading. Luckily, I can eat and read at the same time. At least now that I don’t live with my parents, that is. (Apparently it’s rude to read at the table when there are others at the table with you. Who knew?)

The worst part is that I am a Book Pusher by profession. So…pretty much any book I want I can get my hands on if I am willing to make the effort.

Books are my addiction. Most books are like a nice beer. They are a refreshing break that gives you a nice buzz. But then there are those books that are more like a wonderful dessert wine. Not too sweet, not too bubbly. Before you know it, you’ve had one glass too many. It’s just so good you lose track. One such book is Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. It is Grade-A, Top Choice, Book-Crack. (If you’ll forgive the mixed metaphor.) It’s the kind of book that you read in the kitchen while making dinner. I’d like to blame my sister for talking me into reading it, but the truth is…I’ve been meaning to read it for some time. Perhaps I was just putting off the inevitable. Sigh. Luckily, I will have book 2 tomorrow, as a fellow Book Pusher has a copy she’s going to lend me.

In the meantime, I’m reading Twilight again. And I have to stop typing now and get back to it.

So…read any Book Crack lately?

Posted on 22nd August 2008
Under: Books | 2 Comments »

And Sunday I Went to Church…

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The Live Oak Nature Trail

So, last Sunday I finally managed to nerve myself up enough to go to that lovely Episcopalian church all on my lonesome. Apart from a severe lack of parking, it was just lovely. Perhaps someday I can get some pictures to show you. The stained glass windows, the curved lines of the ceiling, and the hanging lights were inspirational all on their own. Conveniently, the order of service was very well documented in the bulletin so I didn’t get lost. Overall…it was quite the restful experience. I think I’ll go back.

Later in the day we were out in San Bruno visiting with friends, and when we asked about a place to take a walk they suggested Junipero Serra County Park. And wouldn’t you know it? It was just across the street. How convenient. (Imagine The Church Lady’s voice there.) They were correct. There are some lovely trails over there. The picture at the top of this post is from that walk. (A couple more are over at my flickr phtotstream.) I never knew that Poison Oak could be so…pretty. It brings a nice splash of color to the scenery. You just have to be very careful not to touch it. Next time I’ll be sure to dress for an actual hike, and bring things like…water. Handy thing, water.

I did have my camera. But then, I almost always have it with me. Good thing, too, as I like the pics I took.

Sorry I haven’t updated lately. The Olympics have sucked me in. Well…that and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, which is Grade-A Book Crack. I’ve finished it, and book 2 will be in my hands on Saturday. Suffice to say…I loved it.

TTFN.

Posted on 21st August 2008
Under: Books, Photo, Rambling | 3 Comments »

They’re messing with my Film/Book again!!!

According to SciFi Wire, Disney is making yet another attempt to re-imagine “Escape to Witch Mountain.” You’d have thought that the last attempt (the purple monstrosity) would have cured them of this, but no. “Race to Witch Mountain” is described thusly:

“Andy Fickman is on board to direct what is described as an action thriller, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and AnnaSophia Robb. The adaptation, written by Matt Lopez, revolves around a pair of paranormal-powered siblings (Ludwig and Robb) who, with the help of a Las Vegas cab driver (Johnson), go on the run from a diabolical group of men who wish to exploit their abilities. Hinds will play the nefarious leader of the pack.”

Argh! Did they even read the book or are they working from the film again? …And “The Rock” is playing the Mr. O’Day character? Who’s playing Uncle Benet? Vin Diesel?

*grumble*

Posted on 5th March 2008
Under: Books, Film, Rant | 2 Comments »

Thursday 13: 13 Banned/Challenged Books

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Thursday 13 #4

It’s Banned Books Week, so I thought that I should make this week’s [tag]Thursday Thirteen[/tag] a list of 13 Banned (or Challenged) books that I have read. Really, if you ban a book, it just makes me want to read it more.

13 Banned or Challenged Books That I Have Read:

1. Sex by Madonna (I read this one in college. Well…looked at the pics is more accurate. Not too much text in that one.)
2. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice) (Another book I read in college. I was in the back seat of my friend’s car. I wasn’t really all that impressed.)
3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (I read this one in High School. It was assigned. I did not enjoy it, but it did have some good quotes. “Sucks to your ass-mar” for example.)
4. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (I read this one in Junior High for fun. It was the first book that I read with a little bit of romance in it that didn’t make me say “ewwwww.”)
5. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford (I still like these books. They’re fun. I remember someone dressing up as Waldo for Halloween one year when I was in college.)
6. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell (I read this one in elementary school. I thought it was good. I’m not sure why anyone would challenge this one.)
7. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (I *loved* this book. In fact, I loved the whole series. Okay, anything by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Another elementary school find.)
8. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (I just read this one today. It is cute…and is also the most banned book of 2006.)
9. Candide by Voltaire (I read this one while I was working on my French degree. It was okay. I was amused by the extent of his optimism.)
10. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (I love the Lorax. I first read it when I was very young. I think it was one of the things that made me think about the environment.)
11. Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Another assigned book from High School. It annoyed me, actually.)
12. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (It seems to me that I read this one in High School as well. It was very interesting. )
13. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (I read this one in High School French class. I was annoyed with the main character for not seeing how much her husband loved her.)

Posted on 3rd October 2007
Under: Books, Thursday 13 | 16 Comments »