Tuesday, January 31, 2012

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places."

As part of my mark for my Children's Literature class, I was asked to pick a picture book to bring into class. I admit, I didn't think much about it and picked Oliver, Who Traveled Far and Wide written by Mara Bergman and illustrated by Nick Maland at random off the shelf.

Ultimately I took it home from the library because I just loved the illustrations and the use of colour throughout the book. Nick Maland's work here is beautiful and it gets even better as he draws us across the landscape of Oliver's imagination. The colours are solid and vibrant and the lines bold.

I also liked the story which revolves around Oliver Donnington Rimington-Sneep's search for his teddy bear named Ted. It warmed my heart when Oliver finally found him and they were able to go home together. A sweet and adorable book.

The words and illustrations in this book come together really well to tell the story. The text and the pictures could exist independently of each other but I think it's their combination which makes Oliver's adventure really great and memorable.

(title quote from Roald Dahl)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Sorry that I haven't been posting. I make this solemn apology to both my blog and myself. But with January returns all my anxieties related to school, work and volunteering. Little time and little sleep.

Anyway, I wanted to take some time aside to mention something that I find completely wonderful and exciting. Barnes and Noble are releasing a bunch of classic books and even some more recent works in hardcover editions and let me tell you...they're beautiful.

I first found out about this when my mother pulled me along to the bookstore before Christmas so she could figure out what to get me (apparently, I am hard to shop for)and we stumbled upon this big baby (literally larger than a brick). I already own Jane Eyre but it's a ratty old copy that's torn in places and cost me 50 cents at the library.

It's sitting right in front of me on my desk as I write this and it fills me with suo much joy. Not only because Jane Eyre is one of my favorite stories but also because having it in hardcover and with this design gives it an old vintage quality (even though it's clearly printed in 2011) that I adore. A vintage quality that doesn't involve me putting on a corset.

There are also editions that are a collection of a bunch of stories from a specific author like this one by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring all the stories in his Sherlock Holmes series. Quite neat and handy. I'd hate to have all his adventures in separate tiny novels. Compilations are a wonderful thing!

Single novels in the Barnes and Noble Leatherbound Classics series:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Scarlet Letter by by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Arabian Nights by Richard Francis Burton (Translator)
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Children's Classics:
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Other Novels by Mark Twain
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
Peter Pan by by J. M. Barrie
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories by Lewis Carroll

Other compilations:
The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Divine Comedy by Dante
American Gods/Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
The Martian Chronicles/The Illustrated Man/The Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradbury
Jurassic Park/The Lost World by Michael Crichton
Ernest Hemingway: Four Novels by Ernest Hemingway
H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction by H.P/ Lovecraft
Jules Verne: Seven Novels by Jules Verne
H.G. Wells: Seven Novels by H.G. Wells
Jane Austen: Seven Novels by Jane Austen
Charles Dickens: Five Novels
by Charles Dickens
Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales by Brothers Grimm
Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen

I got Jane Eyre for about $20 but they will vary in price so be prepared for that. Other than that, I hope this post gets someone interested and that they'll check out these classics because they're all very good novels.

(title quote from Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

"He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal..."

So the trailer is out. Best quality and not a ridiculous fan made trailer. I have been rick rolled one too many times in search of this video. No more, I beg you, please.

Anyway, the movie looks stunning and fun and everything I hoped it would be. It has the familiar feel and style a lot of us will recognize from The Lord of the Rings. But more importantly, all the characters fit. Martin Freeman, I adore you (even though I find it hard to imagine you without a towel and a bathrobe).

I also really like the beginning part to the trailer because it connects the two stories together in such a small and sweet way.

Hear that noise? That's my excited screaming.

(title quote from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.)

"For last year's words belong to last year's language."

Happy New Year, everyone! I'm a tad late in posting this but I've been eating and celebrating since last night (food coma brought to you by my mother).

With the new year here already, I've been thinking about this blog's short lifespan. And I am so amazed I've come this far and been able to stick with it.

Despite my insecurities, lack of connections and lack of knowledge about blogging in general; I think I'm getting better at this thing. I know I have a lot to still learn but I look forward to it.

Another reason I made this post is to list some resolutions I've made this year for the blog. Do not worry. My resolutions have nothing to do with helping my blog lose weight.

Resolution 1: post more. Hard to do with school and work but I want to make an effort.

Resolution 2: more reviews. I do have opinions some of the time, you know.

Resolution 3: be myself on the blog more. My blog so it's my voice you should be hearing and not a monotonous robot voice.

Plain and simple. Small and tiny. Those are my resolutions. Have a nice night readers.

(title quote from T.S. ELIOT.)