Daily Bookish Challenges | Day Two

What’s on your book wishlist for the holidays?
Surprisingly, I don’t normally ask for books for Christmas.

*gasp*

WHAT?!

I know, right? As much of a book lover as I am, why wouldn’t I ask for books for Christmas?

Well, one, because it’s so damn hard to choose which books to ask for. I have such a huge wish list, I can’t just give the whole damn thing to my family. They would have no idea. My Nana used to get me the latest Nora Roberts books, but I have long outgrown those, so she’s stopped with that. Now, I usually just ask for Barnes and Noble gift cards, which I hoard until I can figure out what I actually want to purchase.

The second reason is that my mom LOVES clothes shopping. And she loves clothes shopping with her girls. So, every year, we would do a pre-holiday (and birthday, since it’s in November) shopping spree. She’d come down to Indy, take me to lunch, sometimes my sisters would come along too, and we’d all go crazy. So most years, I’d know what I was getting. But, my wardrobe would be set for the year–and it would be fashionable! Haha!

This year is a little bit different–since I live so far away now, we couldn’t do our traditional shopping trip. I missed it terribly. Instead, I built an Amazon wishlist, and there were quite a few books on there. They are exactly what you would expect from me:

Harry Potter by JK Rowling–I KNOWWWWW…but I still don’t own them, and it’s killing me. I would love to own the new UK collection, but if someone gets it for me, it’ll be the US version. If I buy it with my Christmas money afterwards though…I will be ordering it from across the blue.

Hogwarts Library–obviously.

I got The Wise Man’s Fear and The Slow Regard for Silent Things for my birthday, but The Name of the Wind is still on the list to complete the collection. I suspect it has already been purchased though…

Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham–I haven’t read this one yet, but I keep hearing about it, so I must.

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry–That big gorgeous gray and red hardcover version.

Quiet by Susan Cain

Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis box set

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer

Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson

 

I can’t wait to see what books I get, and I’ll be sure to do a book haul post in January! Happy Holidays!

 

Tolkien

I told my husband I was going to do nothing but read this weekend, and since I’ve finished 3 books in 2 days…I think I’m doing pretty well!

When I first started getting into fantasy, I tried to watch The Lord of the Rings movies, and every time I did, I would get as far as the cornfield scene, and fall asleep, or get bored, and inevitably give up. Over and over someone would say “Haley, you would LOVE this, watch it!” But I just couldn’t get into them. And the idea of reading three volumes of that was just…ugh….no thanks.

But I kept seeing the excitement and obsession everyone had for Tolkien’s trilogy, and I just didn’t understand the fascination. What was I missing? And so, when I unpacked R’s book collection at our first apartment, and saw that he had not just LOTR, but also The Hobbit, I set out to conquer them. I was sure I’d hate it, but I had to know.

And then I couldn’t stop. I think it took me about a week to finish the four. And we watched the movies, of course. We haven’t gotten our hands on The Hobbit ones, and I’m dying to–we must, before December. (MARTIN FREEMAN AHHH WHY HAVE I NOT SEEN THESE YET).

And then I started learning more about where the myths came from, and reading online more about Tolkien. What a genius! I have a bunch of biographies tagged to read about him that I haven’t picked up yet, but the other day NetGalley sent me an ARC offer from Devin Brown, so of course I jumped on it.

22150111

At first, Tolkien is a little choppy. Or maybe I should say, “listy.” Here’s an event or a place, and here’s the connection Tolkien used for his books. And Brown does that over and over for the first few chapters. But then, the bio sort of finds the flow once he gets to school and it gets better after that.

The subtitle of the book is “How an Obscure Oxford Professor Wrote the Hobbit and Became the Most Beloved Author of the Century.” That really tells you what you are going to get here. There’s not a lot about his nature walks or how he came up with his maps here–which is a little of what I was hoping for, since I’ve read about some of that online. This is very much about his days at school and his professorship, and his development into languages. There is a bit into his relationship with CS Lewis and his marriage, but none of this book is supremely personal or detailed. It’s also not a very long book–I read it in about 3 hours, starting last night and finishing this morning.

Tolkien is a very good introduction to the author. I very much want to know more now about the pieces of his life that were described here, and I will be reading more about this incredibly intelligent man.

 

Disclaimer:  I was given an ecopy of this book for review by NetGalley.

The Golden Compass

Growing up, one of my favorite books was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I didn’t read the full series until I was in college, but that first book is just so magical, isn’t it?

As a kid, you don’t really understand the religious subtext behind it, and I suppose that’s the point, really. It’s a way to put big themes into a parable that kids can understand.

312407

I remember when The Golden Compass was being made into a movie, how everyone was up in arms. OH NO! How dare someone make a book that challenges CS Lewis’s Christian version with atheism.

For me–I tend to take the religious subtext out of a book like this when I read it. I mean, I definitely see it, now that I’m old enough to understand the theories, but it’s not what is important when I’m actually reading/reviewing. Not compared to the fantasy aspect. I am much more interested in the story and the characters. The adventure. I can theorize later, privately.

On that front, alone, comparing it to CS Lewis, Lewis wins. I did not think Pullman’s book was nearly as well written. His character, plot, story…none of it was very interesting to me. I expected this to be a quick, one or two day read, but it didn’t hold my attention at all. I didn’t care what happened next. I wasn’t even rushing at the end to get through it–I had 20 pages left and I was procrastinating online because I just wasn’t interested in the ending.

*shrug* Next please.