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July 05, 2022

What is your favorite movie adapted from a book?

Book Blogger Hop
This week's (July 1st - 7th) Book Blogger Hop question is: What is your favorite movie adapted from a book? (submitted by Cheryl @ I Heart Fictional People). Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Billy at Coffee Addicted Writer over here.

I cannot just pick one favorite so I'll list three. Coincidently, for all three, I read the book after I saw the movie. (click on the link for movie info):

The Princess Bride
01 - The Princess Bride > link
I like that they ended at the happy moment and didn't go on with the more tragic bits.

Anne of Green Gables
02 - Anne of Green Gables > link
All the actors are just right for their roles especially Megan Follows as Anne Shirley.

Howl's Moving Castle
03 - Howl's Moving Castle > link
I do like the movie better than the book as the book wasn't as fun.

What is your favorite movie adapted from a book? Or if you can't just pick one, name a few.

July 03, 2022

June Books

book on desk with cup, more books, plant
June was a slow month and yet it went fast. The temperature here is rather high and I hate it but mostly because I have no air conditioner. Every summer, I just sweat it out. But I think I prefer to complain about the weather than the news since they keep reporting one miserable thing after another. I don't want to say I wasted June but I sort of did since I mostly resort to watching youtube and I might have read a few books and did some blogging. Here are some books I read in June:

The Counterclockwise Heart by Brian Farrey
01 - The Counterclockwise Heart by Brian Farrey > link
What's it about: a prince with a clock heart, a giant statue, magic users, something about murdering children to keep one's place at the palace
    Basically, it's written like two stories being told at once until they blend together at the end. With four and two half-ish perspectives, it's a bit scattered so I sort didn't think the two stories go together too well or perhaps it just seems like they shouldn't go together.
    Maybe if I care about the characters, which I barely do, perhaps I would have liked this more. Prince Alphonsus is kind of bland even with a clock for a heart and Esmee is unlikeable and doesn't seem to know how to be a child. And the bad guy, Guntram, seems like a misunderstood, perpetual child who throws a tantrums (like trying to kill Alphonsus) just because things aren't going his way. It's pretty easy to hate Guntram because they didn't give him any good qualities and I believe coming from a bad family does not justify the murdering of children.
    I really did expected some exciting answer as to why Alphonsus has a clock for a heart and why it starts to go backward but somehow the answer is rather bland. And why was the counting down of his clock is unrelated to him? Why have that element if it has nothing to do with him? I also thought Esmee would work together with Alphonsus to help each but in the end, they still seems to be living separate stories even though they make it sound like they have become friends at the end but I didn't that.

    Summary: This feels like two separate stories being told at once even if they do blend together at the end. I didn't like having so many perspectives and the way it was written seemed a bit scattered. I did finished it hoping it would get better but sadly, I thought it was a bit bland.

Pet Potions (4 books) by Ami Diane
02 - Pet Potions Series (4 books) by Ami Diane > link
What's it about: potion making, murder, a house that moves things around, pets, friendship
       I think it's refreshing we have potion makers instead of witches though here potion making is not considered witchcraft even though what the potions can do is quite magical like being able to understand an animal or make someone grow an extra arm. The Potion Masters Society is shortened to PMS which had me chuckling. They also pretend to be a book club but everyone brings a different book to the meetings. There is a society call AWC (Anti-Witch Coalition) that thinks they are witches and had people spying on the potion masters.
    I don't know why everyone here seems rather immature especially the two main characters, Libby and her friend and fellow potion maker, Marge. They give each other the finger like a bad habit, and is often saying crude things to one another and yet, they are friends. Marge often plays pranks on her ex-husband and she had a lot confident about herself and she dresses in bright and often times quirky clothes. You can say she is a wild child even though she might be in her early fifties. She's definitely my favorite character. But immature as they are, I find Libby and Marge fun and enjoyable to be around. Each book has a murder and each case is solved with a lot of potion making and hi-jinks. Although I didn't think book three was as good as the other three books.
    The main, main plot is Libby trying to find out who murdered her mother and we do get an answer in book four but who is the main culprit behind it is yet to be revealed which I find frustrating because four books in, we should be told at least who it is. But they did introduced a new character whom I think is the main culprit but then again, perhaps the author is piling up love interests for Libby because it's another good looking guy though there is already a love interest of sorts of for Libby.
    Summary: I didn't like all the pop culture references and the jokes were a bit too crude but I really did enjoyed these four books a lot and I laughed out loud which rarely happens.

The Supernatural Society by Rex Ogle
03 -  The Supernatural Society by Rex Ogle > link
What's it about: new kid in town, monsters, friendship, pets
    This could have been fun but somehow it's not. The monsters are just creepy and the children are plain but I really like Linus and the way he talks like an old professor but Will and Ivy, the other two main characters, are just okay. There's no explanation for why Will can see the monsters and others cannot except Ivy who sees the monsters using a ring she inherited from her family. Linus, like the rest of the town, doesn't see the monsters at all.
    This book seems incomplete as with most book series, the larger plot is yet to be known but I do think the ending could have been better and they could have provided more info about what's really happening in the town.
    [Spoilers] Two things that sort spoils the book for me: (1) an annoying narrator and (2) vampire pets. As much as I'm not a fan of vampires, this was such a silly idea. There was a reason behind it but all is pointless because everything reverts back and the pets are no longer vampires. Then there's the narrator who is a monster or so he says. He keeps interrupting the story to go on a tangent about his own experience in whatever is going on in the story but he often veers off to other matters. Why do we need commentaries to the narration? Yes, in a way, it builds the character of the narrator but since we do not know what his relation is to the story, who the hell cares what he had gone through or what he thinks?
    The convenient ending is expected since most middle grade books (which I only recently found out) almost always have convenient plot but the villain, a witch, suddenly stopped and not kill any of the children seems a bit odd to me. I guess they didn't want to kill off any of the main characters but it just seems kind of stupid. I guess there is never any chance the children would get hurt but this ending is really lacking. [Spoiler Ends]
    Summary: I don't know if I'm reading the same book as others since all those reviews said 'the monsters have never been so much fun' and 'frightening and fun' - the monsters aren't fun, they are creepy and maybe frightening but not fun at all. And the villain, well, she seems even less fun and we only get to see her at the end but she doesn't do anything much. The only fun I can say about his book is when Linus (one of the main characters) talk in his professor-like speech. I guess if you're ten years old, you might get the fun but I didn't.

The Lord of Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
04 - The Lord of Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien > link
What's it about: rings, powers, wizards, kingdoms, kings & lords, wars, elves, dwarves, halfings (hobbits), friendship, good verses evil
    Summary: Technically, I started these three books in May and finished on the last day of June. The Lord of Rings was a good reading experience, a bit slow, but good but I think I have too short attention span to fully enjoy this book. (I still think of the three books as one because they just divided the book up in three and I think it's what makes it easier to digest). I wrote some reading logs and here are the links:  logs 1, logs 2, logs 3, logs 4, logs 5, logs 6.

How was your June? And how is your July so far?

July 02, 2022

The Lord of the Rings Reading Logs 6

The Lord of the Rings Reading Logs 6

I've finished reading The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings Part 3 by J.R.R. Tolkien. This concludes the last of the reading logs. The other logs: logs 1, logs 2, logs 3, logs 4, logs 5. Here are my final thoughts on the last part of The Return of the King and The Lord of the Rings with spoilers.
The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings Part 3 by J.R.R. Tolkien

01 - So that's how the ring met its doom.
I thought Frodo or even Sam would throw the ring into the Crack of Doom/Fire-mountain at the last moment before their strength gave out but I guess it's better that Gollum did that part though he did met his end. For someone who is suffering, perhaps it's better he ended his miserable existence. So technically, Gollum is the one that finished off the quest even if he did it accidentally.

02 - So Sauron is also called the dark lord. I had thought there is a third bad guy (aside from Saruman and Sauron) since they keep saying dark lord this, dark lord that and only once or twice Sauron. As far as I can remember, there was only one scene with him (supposedly the dark lord) and Gandalf and then he's not heard of again. After the ring is destroyed, he is gone so does that mean Sauron is dead? They didn't say how he was killed though or had I missed that bit?
    I do have a question: Isn't the dark lord the one who created the Fire-mountain and made it possible for the ring to be destroyed there or was Fire-mountain there before he came to Mordor? That Fire-mountain must be powerful or else it wouldn't have been able to destroy the ring.
03 - I thought there would be a final battle between good and evil but that didn't happen. There might have been some fighting when Aragorn and the Captains and all the soliders came to Mordor but basically, they didn't do much or rather, they didn't have to do much once the ring is destroyed. The bad guys just either disappear or flee which I thought is kind of a dull way to end that part of the story. I guess I would have prefer another battle so at least people aren't standing around while their enemies run off. And maybe I prefer that the bad guys get some sort of punishment (considering a lot of people died by their hands) instead of banishment but maybe it's better this way since there would be less deaths.

04 - It was good that Frodo had Sam with him or else Frodo would have probably gone mad. I think the burden of the ring made Frodo almost as hopeless and single-minded as Gollum so Sam is there to somewhat help Frodo in this aspect just a little. It's probably why you should never go on such journeys by yourself.

05 - Éowyn & Faramir seemed well matched. They had a lot in common. They both have father-like figures who are a little mad/power-hungry and they seemed to have the same sort of sensibility about wanting to fight instead of staying at home.

06 - Who says such things as a farewell? Celeborn said this to Aragorn: "Kinsman, farewell! May your doom be other than mine, and your treasure remain with you to the end!" (page 982) Should we take this the wrong way because it sounded like Celeborn is being a jerk. Aragorn just rode off without responding.

07 - I really like that Legolas and Gimli are traveling together to the places they spoke about going after the ring is destroyed. I really like this pair. They seems like fun traveling companions.

08 - Are we to pity Saruman and Wormtonuge when we see them in rags? I find that scene very odd. They not only didn't seem like they are repenting. Saruman seemed a bit snobbish about meeting Gandalf and company. I just can't pity them nor do I think they can be redeemed not when you think about all the people that died because of their doing.

09 - I didn't except a battle in the Shire when Frodo and company returned home. And I didn't except Saruman to appear in the Shire either. His attempt at stabbing Frodo seems a bit dumb but I suppose that's what's to expect from a guy who is such a sore loser that he refused to even admit defeat. And his nickname is Sharkey is kind of hilarious. Wormtongue killing Saruman seemed unsurprising to me but I guess this is what happens when you treat other people badly.

10 - So Sam married Rosie and he and his wife moved in with Frodo because he couldn't decide between Rosie and Frodo. Sam remained a very faithful servant because he continued to take very good care of Frodo. Isn't it nice but kind of weird when Sam thought of naming his first born Frodo though she was a girl? I'm thinking now Frodo is like Sam's father and he even named Sam as his heir so that probably make some sense. Why do we care what kind of relationship they have? Heck, Merry and Pippin aren't married and they live together so why do we speculate about relationships between people when really, we should just think of everyone as family who cares deeply for one another and that's that.

11 - I kind of understand why Frodo had to leave the Shire since he is no longer the same person who started the journey with the ring. But is Haven some type of heaven or perhaps those retreats for people who needs help, like those rehab centers and yet it seems like a permanent stay for Frodo and perhaps Gandalf is going there too.

12 - Sadly, there is only one scene with Treebeard. I really like that character and his people, the Ents. I had thought they would show up at the end to sort of help with some of the fighting but we just get a farewell scene. It's a shame they haven't found the Entwives.

13 - That's the end of The Lord of the Rings and I enjoyed reading it. Though I have to admit, I like to see more of Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas and a little less of Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, to even out the perspectives. But I think now this is a hobbits-oriented tale more than the other races. Éowyn remains the only woman in this book who actually did something worthy aside from Lady Galadriel who gave useful gifts to Sam and Frodo but really, women here are pretty much nonexistence.
    I still don't quite like the lyrics/poems/singing throughout the books. I sort of think of characters breaking into song like those musicals and maybe it's why I don't like them much. Everyone here seems to love to sing or listen to other people sing. Even Legolas sang a song.
    There is so many landscape details and history and back stories and I guess with my short attention span, I'm not made to read this type of book. Honestly, I would have quitted reading after a couple of chapters with book one if I had not taken breaks in between reading. And also, writing about it keeps me interested in the story. Overall, it's not a bad reading experience but it was pretty slow seeing it took two months to read three books that gathered together is a little over 1,000 pages.
14 - There are appendices at the end full of annals of the kings and rulers; tales of years which is a timeline and it tells you who came and left, who died and born and such; hobbits family trees; Shire calendar; writing and spelling; and there is an index but I only flipped through these. They are more like extra backgrounds and histories for people who are interested in the little details. And there was a map at the end of each book with enlargements. (My copy is the HarperCollins 2020 edition.)
Have you read The Lord of the Rings? If you did, did you enjoy it?