Monday, November 14, 2011

Fictional Vacation

I was sick last weekend, and the rainy days felt longer by staying off the computer. The books I ordered had not come yet so I reread Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones. I had not read it from my purchased copy yet because I knew I would want to illustrate some scenes. But I needed a good book to distract me from being sick and waiting for Catching Fire (2nd book of Hunger Games) to arrive. So a compromise was made--I bookmarked the good scenes.

Charmed Life is one of my top favorite Fantasy books. The character descriptions and narration inspire me to draw and to write. I have to admit though that I'm also fond of the Chrestomanci character Chrisptoher and desire most to draw him in one of his grey suits. He is a silly, powerful man sort of like Willy Wonka. I cannot fully figured out Christopher, which is probably why he entertains me. Even if he is pretending to take the literal meaning of what children say, Christopher is still funny and charming.

An artist on Deviantart has her own fun with him by illustrating him in a love comedy:
Click HERE for more book fanart by artist chira-chira

What I also like about Charmed Life and the prequel, The Lives of Christopher Chant, are the innocent narrators and the magical realm aside from the parallel worlds. I forget myself and follow the boys through the  mischief and suspense. I was sick at home for the weekend but recovered and returned to the weekdays as if I had came back from a journey. =) I guess these books are my equivalent of the Harry Potter series to some people.

When my books did arrive, I was too hooked on Fantasy and read the prequel too. Luckily I have ordered other Fantasy books, both children and young adult, along with Catching Fire. They are:

Howl's Moving Castle also by Diana Wynne Jones. 

I already read this book as well after watching Mizaki's film adaptation. The two are different but the book answered questions for the movie such as "Why is there a parade in the town?" Plus you understand better why characters say certain things such as Howl eating girls' hearts.

Characters were omitted or combined in the adaptation. And Howl is different too; In the book, he does not come home late from fighting. Nope.

The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues by Ellen Raskin.

I already read it in high school, but at that time I instantly wanted to re-read it. However, it was banned from the library because the second main character's past actions and harsh words about the poor (vaguely remember that part) were  not suitable for children. I was drawn to the personality of that character because he is an eccentric man like Sherlock Holmes.

In addition, there was a scene where the eccentric character opens up. I must have been moved by the interaction because a melody played in my head until finished the scene. The author, Raskin, did a magnificent job of showing, not telling, the character's suppressed feelings during a discussion of a watch and its chime.

And Poison by Chris Wooding. 

For this book, I have read only half of it because of classes at that time. I first picked up this book because her brother is kidnapped by a Phaerie King like the movie Labyrinth. I bought the book because I remember liking the world and I left off at a suspenseful moment. Katniss' attitude actually reminded me of the heroine in Poison.

Catching Fire was the main book I waited for, but I am happy to own the other ones and reread them like Charmed Life. The bad reviews on Amazon for Germ and Maze Runner discouraged me from buying them. I was not sure if I wanted to own a copy and reread it later. However, I will give the two books a try at the library. Do you have any book recommendations based on what I've shared? It does not have to have a love story just characters and worlds to love. =) A good read.

My wonderful fictional vacation has inspired me to return to my own stories-in-progress. Lately I have written new ones for contests or notes for the existing ones. I am even writing on paper no the computer for a strong focus.

What books do you love reread because of its world?

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