Monday, January 12, 2009

Once Upon a Time…Cont'd

I realise that I’ve been very blog negligent and, for that, I apologise. Yes, I’m fine and thank you to those of you who have checked up on me just in case! What sweetie’s knitting bloggers are. I won’t go into a detailed list of reasons why I’ve been away from the blog but some of it has to do with Christmas holidays and ‘holing’ up for two weeks with DH during the holidays so we could really enjoy doing family stuff, as well as feeling very, very tired most of the time because wee Iain is up at 5:00 AM each morning go, go, GOING!

For somebody who averages reading five books a month, you don’t hear about it too much on this blog. I’m really low on knitting fodder (that means I have none to share with you – sob!) so here is another book review for your reading pleasure. You can pass right onto my next post if you’re not interested, I really don’t mind. I note in advance that the following may be a little opinionated but, hey, this is my blog and I’ve given myself permission to get up on my soap box when I want to.

My first two books for discussion are of the fantasy genre, Eragon and Eldest by Chris Paolini. I had been waiting for the third book to come out in soft cover so that I could have this set given to me as a complete trilogy. However, this year I got impatient and put them on my wish list. Luckily, I was very spoiled by DH over the holidays and these two books were waiting for me on Christmas morning. I saw Eragon in its movie format before reading the book and, if you do it in that order, assume that the movie was ‘gently flavoured’ by the idea behind the book and you’ll do fine. In other words, there is a huge difference in the storyline. Rather than call them discrepancies and make myself crazy about why screen writers are unable to pull the written word that worked so well in a novel and present it to us cinematically, I will simply say that Eragon the book and Eragon the movie are two entities to be enjoyed onto themselves. I loved these books and now can’t wait for Brisingr to come out in softcover so I can complete my set! The fact that these books were started when the author was 15 years old (Eragon was published when he was 19) is also very inspiring.

Before I review my next selection, I want to preface it with a bias of mine: I tend to avoid books written by celebrities (e.g. actors, musicians). Now, when I think about it, that’s a ridiculous form of censorship. Celebrities, after all, are artistic people. Why it unreasonable for me to accept that a celebrity can shine in areas other than acting and/or music and branch out into, say, writing? There is really no basis for my narrow-mindedness but there it is. I have been trying to get over it ever since I picked up Yakov and the Seven Thieves by Madonna (yes, the Madonna). You see, I bought Yakov and the Seven Thieves because I loved the story and the illustrations so much that it had to be mine, in hardcover even. It wasn’t until I had it home that I noticed who the author was and I have admit that my first thought was “Oh. Madonna wrote this”, combined with a sinking feeling in my stomach. Completely unrealistic considering that I love Madonna’s music so why couldn’t I like a book she’d written? I gave myself a little pep talk.

I wonder how many other great books out there am I depriving myself of because of my prejudgements? Anyway, my next book for review is Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. This is another book whose idea I was smitten by before realising that the author is married to Jerry Seinfeld. Not that I have anything against the Seinfeld’s themselves, I’m sure they are lovely people but, reread one paragraph up and you’ll understand my reticence. This cookbook was another addition to my Christmas wish list and I just started using it today. Iain doesn’t know it but he’s having cauliflower in the homemade mozzarella sticks (why, yes, I am a Mommy goddess now that you mention it…) that he’s having for lunch. Go me! I’m really enjoying the book and I have high hopes of getting a greater variety of vegetables into our little boy than he is currently eating by using a few new recipes. If you have fussy eaters and are worried about their vegetable and healthy food intake, look no further!

Naturally, I can’t do a book review without mentioning a couple of children’s books too. These two were also under the Christmas tree and have rated a ‘read several times a day’ since then.

Jamberry by Chris Degen. This is a lovely, rhythmic read with great illustrations. We signed this one out from the library some time ago and it came with the CD version like the one I linked to above (ours is a board book). I would highly recommend that option as I thought the actor did a wonderful job!

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. I purchased this book through Scholastic Canada for Iain's Christmas book pile after having enjoyed it with Iain through another library sign out. DH, in particular, is very impressed with this book and it’s already been read over and over since Christmas morning. We love this book and highly recommend it in your home or as a gift. The illustrations are stunning!

Perhaps I will get a post with pictures ready for later this week? Send good knitting thoughts this way and stay tuned!


Elizabeth said...

So good to see a post and hear that you've been enjoying some downtime.
My gal was about Iain's age when the picky eating began (I wish I could say it has since stopped - but it's a work in progress). Thanks for the all the great book recommendations - in return, here is one of my family/kid cookbook favourites 'Whining and Dining' (Emma Waverman & Eshun Mott).

Sending lots of knitting thoughts your way (which I can afford since I'm not spending any of those thoughts on doing any knitting over in this end of the world either - sigh).

Lydee said...

Ooo! Thanks for the reviews on the kids books too. I'm always looking for good books to read to my kids. Glad to hear that you're doing well. At least, since it's winter, you get a break from mowing the lawn! :-)