Tag Archives: fantasy

The Book Thief

One of the books I read over Thanksgiving break was The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. My sister kept teasing me because I was crying. As I told her, I think the only book I cried more through was while reading The Notebook.

The Book Thief is narrated by death and centers on a little girl in Germany during World War II. Even without reading other reviews, I knew this was going to be an emotional book. While it was quite long, it was cleverly written and easy to read.

Many people have stated this was their favorite read of the year. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for a couple reasons. One, this was published as a young adult book, but the profanity was beyond ridiculous. I might not have minded one or two instances, but throughout the whole novel: I would not recommend it to a youth. And second, it was just a little bit too long. Several things could have been cut out. It seemed to drag in places, like the neverending story. I guess after having read The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, it would be hard to measure up.

It was still a great and powerful story. But instead of recommending The Book Thief, I’d have to recommend The Hiding Place (even more powerful, being a true story).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Well, I’m heading to Georgia early Thursday morning with some family for the weekend. I’ll be back on to posting on Monday… with a few book reviews, I imagine. (And hopefully, another addition to the gallery.) I’ve been lax with drawing lately. Apologies to Colleen! I’m hoping I remember to print off all my reference material so I can do some sketching this weekend. And even if I don’t, I’m taking Monday off just to recoup. I’ll have no excuse then. Also, hoping to see Casino Royale again this weekend! (Dad hasn’t seen it yet… that’s my excuse.)

On another note, I can’t decide if I want to see The Fountain which releases today. It’s gotten booed in Venice and hissed in Canada. People have gotten up and walked out. I’m not sure what’s so bad about it, but I’m going to wait to see what friends say about it.
Let me know if you see it, and what you thought!

Fun (and slightly disturbing) waste of time:

Check out Hairy Mail.

Diagnosis Murder: The Double Life

Diagnosis Murder #7: The Double Life, by Lee Goldberg is the seventh installment in the Diagnosis Murder series. Dr. Mark Sloan awakens from an accident to find that two years of his life have passed of which he has no memory.

Goldberg’s Diagnosis Murder novels are based from the hit TV show of the same name, for which Goldberg also wrote and produced. Dr. Sloan is the Chief of Staff at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles. In his spare time, Sloan solves mysteries and tracks down murderers, with the help of his son Steve (a homicide detective) and fellow doctors Amanda Bentley and Jessie Travis.

This book was nearly impossible to put down. I ended up reading it in one day. The murder mystery was very fast-paced and had a lot going on, but not so much that it became confusing. Goldberg weaves a complex mystery full of murders and puzzles. As always, he gives Dr. Sloan so much depth, emotion, and humor that you can imagine Dick Van Dyke playing the part on TV. Goldberg has proved once again that he is a master of writing whodunits.

Besides writing Diagnosis Murder books, Lee Goldberg also writes original stand-alone novels and novels from the Monk TV series (starring Tony Shalhoub on USA). Check out Goldberg’s website for a complete list of his books.


On another note, I want to wish my friend Carl a very Happy Birthday!
Enjoy your day of watching many hours of Lord of the Rings!

Casino Royale

I was extremely impressed with Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. He may not be the prettiest face. But he’s definitely the most believable as a spy, since he’s by far the most fit of all the Bonds.

Casino Royale takes us back to when James Bond first becomes 007, even though set in present day. And this may be the closest to the original Ian Fleming novels that the movies have come. Bond is brash, gritty, and ruthless… everything that makes a good spy.

I am so glad for the reboot of the franchise as the last couple Bond films had gotten stale and corny. This latest installment was neither of those, thankfully. I thought that I’d miss the Q character, but I found that I had completely forgotten about him. This Bond doesn’t need fancy gadgets. He uses his brains, as well as his brawn.

Not only did Craig look the part, but he acted it as well. He was hard and brutal when fighting, and relaxed and suave when dealing with the ladies. The supporting cast was great in their roles as well. Eva Green as Vesper Lynd played wonderfully opposite Craig. Their interaction was fun to watch. And the many villains were perfectly cast as well.

The story seemed to take a backseat to the action, but it was cleverly written as well. There plenty of surprises and deceit, as all Bond films have. But the action was definitely the highlight of the movie… non-stop, heart-pounding action with plenty of thrills.

For once, I’m glad to be proven wrong. Daniel Craig was a wise choice as 007.

Eragon: Inheritance

Christopher Paolini’s Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1) was a pleasant surprise. Paolini was 15 when he started writing this epic tale, and 17 when it was first published. That alone is extremely impressive. But I would have loved it just as much if an adult wrote it. Yes, Paolini obviously borrowed ideas from his favorite authors (Le Guin, Tolkein, etc.), but Eragon is definitely a different story.

Originally, I wasn’t going to read the book, even though I had heard of it. But then, I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie. I was intrigued. Boy, was I glad I did.

This is a wonderful coming-of-age story. Eragon is a young teenage boy who was raised by his uncle in a poor village. He happens upon a mysterious rock that ends up changing his life. As Eragon matures and goes off in search of two killers, he is trained by a strange old man named Brom.

I was immediately swept up in the book within the first chapter. This epic tale of fantasy and lore is not only beautifully written, but exciting as well. There are quite a few surprises along the way. And all of the characters have depth and unique personalities.

This is the first in a trilogy, Eldest being the second book that was just recently released. I plan on going out and getting it soon. And you can bet that I’ll be at the theater opening night.