January 18th, 2009

Coraline

A question

So let me ask you all. Why so many books? Why do people feel the need to read 200 books a year. I'm curious to know why quantity matters as opposed to quality. I remember being a child telling my mother that I was currently on page "whatever" of a book. She asked me why it mattered how many pages I read as long as read the whole story. I never forgot that.

This post is not intended to piss anyone off. I really want to know. Personally I think reading 5 good books as opposed to 25 meh books is more desirable. I also value the time to completely devour a book like a fine meal as opposed to reading it like it's a McDonald's Happy Meal.

Absolutely and totally interested in the answers here.

ETA: This has been a fantastic thread. I thank each and every one of you who took the time to answer. 40+ comments and no anger, nastiness, trollish behavior or juvenile tantrums. The members of bookish are simply wonderful and it's nice to know that questions can be asked and thoughtful, intelligent answers will follow.
Carnival

#5- Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

On her first day of becoming Lady Saren’s maid, Dashti learns that her new mistress has refused to marry a powerful man. For punishment, both Saran and Dashti are to be locked in a tower for seven years. Saren immediately falls into depression, and later, madness, but Dashti, who grew up in poverty cannot help but rejoice in the fact that she will be able to eat three whole meals a day for seven years. But as time passes, their food storage is depleted well before it’s time due to a rat infestation and Saren’s hungry stomach. Even the ever positive Dashti cannot keep her spirits up. She knows that if they don’t find a way out soon, both of them will die.

I’ve always enjoyed Shannon Hale’s book. She has a wonderful, beautiful way of writing that is simple yet elegant, much like the fairy tales which her books are often based on. Book of a Thousand Days is roughly based on Maid Maleen, a little known brother’s Grimm tale about a noble woman and her maid who are locked in a tower for seven years. Shannon Hale diverges a lot from the original tale, first by choosing to tell the story from the maid’s point of view. This is a very good decision. Dashti is an amazingly likable character. One can’t help but admire her for her courage and ability to see the best in every situation. It’s a joy to watch her develop from a very innocent peasant girl, to, by the books end, a hero. The diary format in which she tells her tale is quite intimate, and draws the reader in right away. I typically don’t cry during books, but I got quite teary eyed when Dashti reflected on how she felt when she lost her mother.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was its unique setting. The Eight Realms is based on Mongolia. I have never seen a fantasy book based here before. The author gives us plenty of details about its history, food, folklore, and other aspects of its culture, and she does so without bogging down the narrative with details. One thing I liked was the mucker healer songs, which are simple, almost nonsensical songs that have the ability to help heal physical or mental pain. Shannon Hale has used songs in her past book, the Princess Academy, as well. One has to wonder if she has an interest in music, or the power of songs.

I highly recommend Book of a Thousand Days to those who are looking for a well written fantasy tale, set in a unique setting, with a satisfying ending.

Rating: five out of five stars
Length: 306 pages
Source: Christmas Gift
TBR Pile: 158 books (just got the last of my paperbackswap books in the mail. This should be actually counting down form now on)
Similar Books: The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, Beauty by Robin McKinley
Other books I've read by this author: The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, Princess Academy, Austenland

next up I'm reading Shadow's Return by Lynn Flewelling

xposted to bookish  and temporaryworlds 
mrstotten

Knife by R J Anderson


Title: Knife in the UK/Faery Rebels-Spell Hunter in the US
Author: R J Anderson
Genre: Contemporary fantasy, children's, fiction
Pages: 318
Copyright Date: 2009
First Line: "I only want to go out for a little, little while, the faery child pleaded."
Cover: Beautiful UK cover by Brian Froud, with a silvery blue, faery on the front./US Cover by Melanie Delon, with blonde faery girl peeking out of oak tree
Best part: Knifes second meeting with Paul learning about the world and art
Recommended for: YA Fans, lovers of Fairy tales

Summary : There are humans at the bottom of the garden, and a glimpse inside their forbidden House convinces
the fierce young faery known as Knife that they have knowledge that could help her dying people.

But if the human world has so much to offer, why is the faery Queen determined to keep her people away from it?
Is there a connection between the House and the faeries' loss of magic?
And why is Knife so drawn to the young Paul McCormick — that strangest of creatures, a human male?


I found this book, through the Debut 2009 comnunity, and loved some of the author's earlier online work so decided to order this.

 

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The Goose Girl [Shannon Hale]

The Goose Girl [Shannon Hale]

I really liked this book, and thought it was a well-written interpretation of the classic fairytale.

I liked that the heroine grows into herself and I found the style poetic and readable. I guess the only problem I had was the naming of characters, like Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Kildenree, etc which seem too far-fetched and unrealistic to be actual names.


Would anyone be able to recommend other similar books?

:)

I'm new here :)
I might fill out the new member survey sometime soon, but in the meantime I'd love some help.

A few years ago I read an amazing series of books, which I would love to read again.
The only problem is I can't remember the title or author.
I do remember that one of the books in the series was red and on the cover it simply had the name and author. The first letter of the title was actually a seal.

I also remember parts of the story;

-There was a city and it had a giant wall around the entire perimeter, which meant no way for anyone to enter or exit. The city had a system, where people would take a test when they were around five(?) years old and it would determine what colour they wore, where they lived, what jobs they got etc. The lower your score was the smaller your house got and so on. There was a family who were living in the orange section of the city and their house only had two rooms or something. One day the city got attacked and a lot of people got kidnapped, I think. Two children from said family were stranded in the desert. Some things happened and then they got taken onto some kind of ship.

-The two children met a princess in another city and this princess was very beautiful. At some point in the story the princess refused the love of one man, and he took out his sword and cut a line down each cheek to give her scars, so she would no longer be beautiful.

-In one of the books the children were riding on a train or riding with a procession or something. Their was a snake man who was supposed to be magical or something, but it turned out he just painted on the scales on his body.

-The children found a boat and the man on the boat taught them to use their mind powers or something.

-The children met up with their father, I think, and took a bunch of stranded people with them to find somewhere new to live. During the journey they found some dead bodies and the dead people looked like they were scratching madly at their faces. Whilst burying them, some kind of bug took over a few people. I remember the boy had to use his mind powers to save one man from going mad; he moved the bug into a cow and then shot the cow.

It was quite a good story, I'd be so grateful if you could help.
My apologies for the long post :)