Tuesday, February 3, 2009

JRR Tolkein, The Two Towers

I dragged through parts of this book. I started it already sold on Aragorn, so the first half of it was quite enjoyable. And I loved Treebeard - such a creative character and race. Then we got to Frodo and Sam. They're traveling toward Mordor with Gollum and I feel like not much is happening and it's just going on for chapters. I didn't understand how the little nuances could be character development and I didn't think much of these characters (except Gollum, but he's still a bit of a mystery) so I really lost a lot of my interest. I stopped at a point here for a week long break because I didn't want to try to push myself through it.

Turns out I just postponed dragging through it until this weekend. But! It got better when they met Faramir - he's an absolutely interesting character and I want to read more about him right away. And then Sam actually steps up at the very end Sam takes a big developmental step and I found myself actually cheering for him. It's a far more impressive step in the book, so I didn't really love it in the movie in past viewings.

So overall, I liked The Towers. Not my favorite book, but I'm certainly interested enough to finish the trilogy.

Sara Nelson, So Many Books So Little Time

This is the third time I've read Sara Nelson's year of reading through in the last two years. I absolutely love this book. Nelson has a chapter for each week of the year when she discusses not only the book she read and touches on several "rules" readers often create for themselves that she outright breaks, but she gets into why she chose to read each book that particular week. She relates it all to her life. While that's not my MO (at least not typically), I find it fairly interesting. I think it would be interesting to figure out why I choose to read the books I do, so I'm going to add that into the blurb that I write with each book.

I also find Nelson really easy to relate to, like she's my friend. The first time I read it, I stayed up all night to read it (I had intended to read the first chapter and just go to bed). It was like spending the night talking to a dear friend who understands even the weird qualities because she does it herself. That's likely why I keep coming back to the same book so many times.

The only downside is that now I need to add the books she talked about to my To Be Read list, which is already around 350 books long (and that's only the books I can find at the library).

Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition

Because my book club is reading The Lord of the Rings for book club over the first few months of 2009, we're discussing the book and then watching the corresponding movie (extended edition). Before reading the books, this was my favorite movie of the trilogy. It's beautiful and an exciting beginning of a quest. Having now read the book slowly and retained a lot of what I read, I'm surprised by how much Peter Jackson changed - I can understand why he made a lot of the changes though. Merry and Pippin became lighter entertainment rather than the intelligent characters they are in the book, etc. It makes it easier to sit down and watch for a few hours, and there are plenty of quotable lines. Overall, I still really like the movie. However, I'm far more interested in finding out how I see the other two movies after reading the books.