Saturday, February 17, 2007


All my life, okay, since I was in kindergarten or so, I've been reading books. I get a thrill when I enter a library or used book store. The smell of old books should be made into an air freshener.

I have read some incredible books lately, and some of them have been made into awful movies, which I will not watch. I think that great books are rarely made into great movies (LOtR aside) because movies only hold one point of view. Books are a rich tapestry of words, feelings, imagination and vocabulary that change with each reading and rely on the reader's own life experiences. I love movies, but will never look to a movie for the complexity of a book.

I LOVED the Inheritance (trilogy) books: Eragon and Eldest. They pull elements from many stories of fantasy and science fiction: a few being Star Wars, LOtR, His Dark Materials, Magician, etc. But they do much more than just pay homage to the author's (Paolini) favorite stories. They infuse a rich storyline of pain, joy, hope, suffering, challenge, triumph, mystery, surprise... with well developed, complex characters who are both individual/self-reliant and communal/dependent on others. I was almost brought to tears with the characters of the female elf (Arya) and the Varden leader (Nasuada) who are both tender and strong leaders and warriors. J.R.R. Tolkein did a great job with his story lines and his invented language, but his female characters lacked any importance in the scheme of things. Maybe that had more to do with the importance he held for real women in his own life, but that is another issue altogether.

I'm waiting for the last Inheritance book, and while I do, I'll be reading through the stories/ authors that Christopher Paolini has listed as his greatest influences. Right now, I'm reading "Magician" by Raymond E. Feist. It's a bit complex, but I've gotten used to his unique writing style and am excited to finish.

Thank the stars above and the lord that created them for the beauty of books!

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