Saturday, May 27, 2006

Yesterday, I talked about the three books I bought at Mrs. Nelson's. I finished the last one, The Tale of Despereux, this morning. The Thief Lord was the one I picked up first. Cornelia Funke has yet to let me down. I am not sure she will ever win any awards over here (due to her books being translated from German and published over here later), but it says something of the quality of her work as well as her natural talent as a writer that she is being published in English. My copy of The Thief Lord has a special section in the back with conversations with the author as well as the tale of how the book became to be published. A young girl who was bilingual wondered why her favorite author wasn't published in English so she wrote to J.K. Rowlings publisher (addressed the letter to the Publisher of Harry Potter) and the rest is history. The book is a take on Oliver Twist with fantasy elements thrown in. I love how Funke set's her tales in real places so that the reader knows that they can travel there when you can't go to Middle Earth or Hogwarts.
Next, I read i am the messanger by Markus Zusak. I have become a fan and am glad the bookseller at Mrs. Nelson's handed me the book. I understand why it was one of the Honor Books of the ALA young adult prize last year. The ending was far fetched but the character grew from the first to the last page. It's always nice to see growth in a character and the explanation of why was fascinating. I also loved the character of Milla and how kind and loving Ed was with her. (Anyone who will read Wurthering Heights out loud just to be kind is a decent human.) The book has 5 parts to it dealing with the 4 aces in a playing card deck and a joker. All total there are about 55 chapters but some are long some short.
The last book I read was Despereux. I have heard nothing but positive things about this book (it won the Newbery) and was told it is a must buy in Hardcover. The binding is wonderful and the torn page affect is charming. The story is light and sweet and tells of the length's one will go to if one's in love or has been hurt and had their heart broken (this is why one must always be kind). The part about forgiveness was touching and I loved how DiCamillo wove in larger words and dictionaries. DiCamillo has a wonderful narrative voice and is golden in her touch. Despereux is her second Newbury award, and I personally hope she is honored in some way for Edward Tulane.
The next book in my reading list is a Newbury Honor book from last year by Shannon Hale. Amazon kept tempting me with it and I found a copy signed at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena (another independent bookstore, but it feels like a BN). The cover is not very eye catching and the title isn't great, but the story is a new twist on fairy tale tropes. Also it was honored which means it's not horrible. (One of my favorite books growing up was a Newbury Honor, The True Confessions of C
Charlotte Doyle by Avi. I really need to pick that one up.)
For the rest of today my goal is to finish the baby blanket and block it. I'll post photos when it's done.
On TV: nothing the mail hasn't come yet

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