mary_j_59: (books)
This came to mind because I’m rereading one of them right now, and it’s amazing. I am astonished that it didn’t get lots of awards and that it doesn’t have (so far as I know) legions of passionate fans. Please correct me if I’m wrong; I’m certainly one of them!

So here it is: My number 1

The Gift Moves, by Steve Lyon. “Soft” Science Fiction

In the southeastern part of what used to be the United States, a young girl called Path Down the Mountain is entering the second stage of her life. She is leaving her family and going to the Banks to become a weaver’s hand. Here is her leavetaking. Path is visiting the two women who taught her to weave.

I opened my hand to give away my last gift, the shuttle they had made for me
two years ago when I came to live with them. It was the last piece of the life I
knew, and I put it in Blue Leaf’s hand. “The gift moves,” I said, somehow letting out the words and keeping in the tears.
“It moves,” she replied. (The Gift Moves, hardcover, page 3)

cover, The Gift Moves

Path is living in a strange and lovely world where batteries grow on trees, buses are made of termite colonies, and cats can talk. This is no dystopia, thank heavens, but it’s no utopia, either. Instead, it’s a believable society with its own strengths and weaknesses. In this future world, much that is true and beautiful has been lost – for example, Path has no idea what a “chapel” is. But much that is true and beautiful has been retained. The story takes place over the course of a month, while Path settles into her new life with her stern teacher, Heron, and while the people of the Banks prepare for the midsummer festival and the turning of the year. This is a story about love and loss, about how hurts get handed down in families (both natural and adoptive) and how they are overcome, and, most of all, about two young people struggling to find their own place in their world. Those young people are Path and Bird Speaks, a boy her age who becomes interested in her.

If you’re intrigued by alternate societies and like stories about real people, you should love this book.
Read more... )
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So, after writing the earlier blog posts, I came across this comparison on youtube:

It's extraordinary how alike they are. In particular, it's extraordinary how, whenever the old movie deviated from the book, the new trailer seems to deviate in the same way. I get the sense, from watching this short video, that Ava DuVernay may be remaking a movie rather than filming a book. This would explain the major deviations from the book. (And I don't mean the race of the characters! I mean the setting, the lack of Sandy and Dennys, the scenes that seem like earthquakes, and so on.)

But I might be wrong. After all, the new "Jungle Book" could also be compared to the old movie point for point. But the makers had clearly read the book and paid intelligent tribute to it, as I said in an earlier post. They ended up making a unique and excellent movie. Let's hope the same with be true of the new "Wrinkle in Time".

Still, I'm more apprehensive now. I can't help but be apprehensive, since I love the book so much! We shall see.
mary_j_59: (Default)
I posted this on live journal, actually, because I couldn't remember my login for Dreamwidth!

Here is the link:

I will try to pretty it up later--rushing to work now. Enjoy! Comments welcome either here or there.
mary_j_59: (Varen)
Bruce Wayne climbs

“Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.” (The Annotated Thursday, Chesterton, paperback, 1999 Ignatius press, page 81).

This quote leapt into my head when I was watching The Dark Knight Rises the other night – I showed the whole series to my teens this summer, and I continue to be impressed at how well thought out and (generally) well told this story is.Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
I have a couple of remarkable experiences to report. First, a couple of weeks ago, my sister and her colleague got to meet Cynthia Leitich Smith in a bookstore in Westchester. Deirdrej said it was great! I really wish I could have gone, too (I had to work), because what Cynthia said about her writing process was really fascinating.

Read more... )
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There's a fascinating challenge on Snapedom this month. We are to talk about spies and double agents and compare them to Severus Snape. Here's what I responded: I'm cross-posting here because I want to boost one of my favorite shows for those who may not know it. ) If anyone's interested in the original monthly challenge, you can find it here: more... )
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It is all over the internet, by now, that a man called Wesley Scroggins wants to limit access to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. That's a book that I've recommended, that kids have loved, and that has been on our high school reading list - and rightly so. Read more... )
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This is not a formal book review. It's just a few short comments on The Hunger Games , which really is a good book. But not an excellent one, and not, perhaps, as good as it could be. My sister tells me the series gets better, and I certainly intend to read the next two. But - Read more... )
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This is just because we finally got some snow! It was very pretty while it lasted, and a child in my building made an extremely festive snowman with a walking stick and a punk hairdo. Pic below!

Anyway - have you ever wondered how and why some modern novels are so darn long? I think I understand now. All these writers who come up with enormous tomes are following the method I seem to have stumbled upon - the snowball method. Read more... )
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Just a brief ramble on two subjects:
1. Why Harry Potter is like Titanic, and why both of them annoy me, inspired by a conversation with Darkthirty.

2. Why Snape isn't weak, inspired by reading Mike-Smith, who thinks he is.

3. Finally, my problem with superheroes. Inspired by the conversation above.Read more... )
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Here's Michelle Paver, with a few beautiful wolves, talking about Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. wolf is my favorite character, too!

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A neat little meme I saw on Cardigrl's journal. You are, in 15 minutes, to name the first 15 books that you love/that come to mind/that influenced you. So here are mine:

Read more... )
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When I was visiting my parents last weekend, my Mom showed me an obituary. Christopher Nolan is dead, at the age of 43. He attended the same school in Dublin as the members of U2, a few years after they did, and wrote three amazing books. His is an example of a life lived with courage and joy. Here's the link to the NY Times obit:
mary_j_59: (Default)
Well, I am impressed so far, because the actors have nailed both Heathcliff and Nelly Dean. However-

This is absolutely the best review of Wuthering Heights that you will ever read (There is a link to a serious review, also excellent.)

mary_j_59: (Default)
This is a slideshow of a party my sister and I held for the kids last summer when Prince Caspian came out. The teenagers are just plain wonderful; they bring the parties to life and make them possible. Here's the clip:
mary_j_59: (Default)
The great novelist Doris Lessing wrote a beautiful story for the Waterstones charity book (the one for which Rowling wrote the infamous prequel.) The story is available on the website, but, since it is difficult to read her handwriting, I am typing it out for those who are interested.

Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
Just a short entry - is there really a difference between fanfiction and fiction? Isn't writing writing, and don't you judge it by common standards? More below-
Read more... )


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