Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 5

Narn 5Chapter Nine: The Founding of Narnia
Better Title: Dinosaurs Do Not Exist

Why aren’t there dinosaurs in Narnia? In this chapter, the great God-Lion creates trees and animals but doesn’t make any dinosaurs. That bums me out.

Most of the chapter is descriptive, as everyone watches the lion walk around and sing, and as he sings all kinds of stuff comes into being. It’s very magical and beautiful, but there should be dinosaurs.

There’s no dinosaurs at all, not even little ones. The lion makes dogs pop out of the ground and birds fall out of the sky, but he doesn’t make any dinosaurs. Continue reading Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 5

Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 4

Narn 4Chapter Seven: What Happened at the Front Door
Better Title: 99 Problems And a Witch Is One

Sometimes (or always) when blogging my way through the Twilight books, I dreaded the days when I had to shove the words into my eyes and read the chapter. But with these books, I look forward to it. It’s nice to enjoy reading again.

I’m wondering how these books escaped me my entire life. This will sound sexist because…well…it is, but perhaps these books are more popular with young girls than young boys. And I’m not sure why. Continue reading Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 4

Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 3

Narn 3Chapter Five:The Deplorable Word
Better Title: Stick and Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Will Cease My Existence

Dude, we’re like 60 pages in and there ain’t no Narnia! What the hell? I came here for the Narnia and all I get is another chapter of non-Narnian magic realms of mystery and suspense? This book is crap. They should call it The Chronicles of Nosey British Kids.

Just kidding. I love it.

The bell was rung, things shook and the tall mannequin woman sprang to life! She’s seven feet tall and looks beautiful, but Polly doesn’t like her. I don’t like her either. I hope she gets kicked in the shins. Does this tall lady get kicked in the shins? Don’t tell. I want to be surprised.

Tall Woman, who we learn is Queen Jadis of Charn, wants to know which mighty magician has awoken her, and when she finds out it was just silly Diggy, she doesn’t understand how such an insignificant child could have entered this world through the powers of magic. And then not one of the children kicks her in the shins. Booo! Continue reading Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 3

Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 2

Narn 2Chapter Two: Digory and his Uncle
Better Title: Lord of the Rings

It’s unfair to judge a book by only its first few chapter, but I’m not a fair man (just ask the trick-or-treaters who come to my house, some of whom are given Snickers, others a handful of old watch batteries). This is a good book. I like the writing style and the humor. And even if no real child would ever talk like Digory does in this chapter, the character is fun.

With Polly blasted into who-knows-where, Digory is left alone in the room with his wacky Uncle Andrew. There’s a lot of exposition in this chapter, as Andrew explains that he made the rings from magic powder given to him by his fairy godmother. It’s been a few days since I read it, so forgive me for not remembering every detail of the backstory. Also, forgive me for shouting at the stupid dumb stairs for being so stupid. It’s only because I stopped eating sugar that I am this grumpy towards stairs and gravity and wind and light and the noise of television and my stupid hair and the way in which some people pronounce “schedule” like their they goddamn queen of language!

I miss sugar. Continue reading Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 2

Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 1

Narn 1I know very little about The Chronicles of Narnia. My mom read hundreds of stories to me as a child, and we would regularly check big piles of books out of the library, but the Narnia chronicles never made an appearance in my childhood.

I’ve read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings a few times, and I love A Wrinkle in Time, so if these books are anything like those, I’m in luck. And if it’s anything like a YA teen romance book, then I’m giving up on everything and will swear off all words, even the verbs, for all time.

I have seen the 2005 film version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, but I don’t remember much of it. There was a goat-man and a street lamp and Captain Hook, right? Continue reading Blogging The Chronicles of Narnia: Part 1

The Three Best Books I Read in 2015, and One In 2016

I’m a slow reader. When firing on all cylinders I can probably get through an average-sized novel in three weeks, but usually it takes me a month or more to finish a book. As such, looking over my list of books read in 2015 (thanks, Goodreads, for keeping track!), I was sad and ashamed that last year I read only seven books. I hope to do better in 2016.

But, some of the books I did plow through were great, and because I spent a few months last year whining about a certain vampire novel, I’d like to take a few sentences here to share my favorites of 2015.

Southern ReachThe Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer
If you and I talked about good books recently, I probably shouted, “Have you read The Southern Reach Trilogy?” into your frightened face. And I’m not sorry. The Southern Reach Trilogy is good. Very good. And I just finished the last book today. I could tell you the entire plot of the three books: Annihilation, Authority and Acceptance, but that would ruin the weirdness of this story.

In broad terms, this is about a strange bit of land where strange things occur, and a government’s feeble attempts at understanding A) what happened there B) why did it happen and C) where did all the rabbits go?

Each book in the trilogy, which has now been collected in a single volume, has a different overall feeling. The first book is similar to the show Lost crossed with H.P. Lovecraft’s genre of Weird Fiction. The second book, to me anyway, reads like a Coen Brother’s film that mixes corporate/conspiratorial satire with rich paranoia. And the third book brings it all home by answering questions you didn’t even think to ask.

Some may criticize the books for being slow-paced, and that’s fair. But I loved the slow burn of these book. It might not be for everyone, but for those who are tired of the same old stories being told again and again, here is something new and weird.

Also, Alex Garland, the director who made the fascinating movie Ex-Machina, is directing the movie version of the first book. So…be cool and read the book first.

Wolf In White Van
The Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

I read this in January of last year and it still haunts me. The story of a young man who copes with tragedy by creating a mail-order role playing game is a strange, dark mystery that slowly reveals itself. This isn’t a happy story, and after finishing it, you’ll probably need a hug and cup of tea. But it’s so beautifully written by Darnielle, who also fronts the lyrically masterful Mountain Goats band, that even when it’s sad and lonely, the book is a page-turner. Again, do not read this if you’re feeling sad.

And that’s all. Other books I read last year include Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, which was interesting, and The Tenth of December by George Saunders because if you don’t read that, everyone calls you a stupid head. (I thought it was okay.) The other books I read in 2015 are rather forgettable.

Next up, I want to read The Phantom Tollbooth, because I’ve never read it. And I hope to get the Chronicles of Narnia blog started soon.

What were some of your favorite books from last year? Tell me in the non-existant comment section below!

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