17 July 2012


Twelve Things about The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

12. Well, this takes me back . . . way back . . . to 2001. (LOL!) At least it seems longer ago than it was because I never thought I'd see the day when visual effects which wowed me as a fastidious adult would look embarrassingly low-tech all of a sudden. (Naive me.)

And now I know why the best visual effects of earlier decades, which we laugh at today, weren't so awful to their first audiences. In fact, they would have been the opposite of awful--for we forgive much when we can meet good filmmakers halfway on the bridge of a strong story.

That means the question for anyone coming back to this after all that time is not so much, "Has it aged well?" as it is, "Was it truly a well-told story?"

11. Another difference between my old self and my current self is a whole lot of J.R.R. Tolkien. Although I refused to watch this film until I had finished the first Lord of the Rings book, I was still a total greenhorn when it came to Middle-earth. Since then, I've read the entire trilogy (Three times and counting!), The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, and other Tolkien texts having nothing to do with Middle-earth at all. And how delightful it was to see all the little "inside jokes" I've been missing for the past ten-or-so years. (My favourites? Bilbo's trolls!)

10. But what really inspired me to blog about this was the scene of the Council of Elrond--the part where everyone starts bickering and Frodo can see them all reflected in the Ring . . .

15 July 2012


Owl Post #3

Jenny was just saying that it's hard for her to leave (meaningful) comments under "haul" posts--and I totally know where she's coming from. I can totally tell when I'm writing something that won't inspire much conversation. =P

But even if you have nothing to say about my four new books, surely you can spare a comment for my little white elephant?

11 July 2012


AKA "Crambo"

Last weekend, I stumbled upon a really fun book called The Games Bible that I will tell you more about this Saturday. (Since I won't be doing Locus Focus at all during July, that leaves my weekends completely free for Wishlist posts!) According to this games guide, what I've been calling "Word & Question" for two-thirds of my life also goes by the name of "Crambo"--which is a Stallone-starred rebus waiting to happen. ROFL!

I think I'll be sticking with the "original" name, but I've been inspired enough by the new one to suggest that W&Q 23 be a Name & Question game. =D

If this sounds good to you--and I humbly hope it does, then check out our July schedule and e-mail me your prompts by this Saturday. (I promise that I will not throw "Rambo" into the prompts pool!)

06 July 2012


Reading Diary: Meet Molly: An American Girl by Valerie Tripp

Molly, Linda and Susan looked at each other and dissolved into giggles. It was crystal clear to them what Ricky's problem was. [He] had a crush on Dolores! The three girls started to chant:

"Ricky and Dolores up in a tree,
First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes Ricky with a baby carriage!"

Ricky threw the basketball at the girls. But they hopped up and out of the way, making loud, slurpy kissing noises. "Ricky has a crush!" they chanted. "Ricky loves Dolores!"

. . . Ricky jumped on his bike. As he sped past the girls he called, "You'll be sorry! You'll pay for this!"

Is there a more definitive way to say that a Philippine Literature Giveaway is over than to post an American Girl book review? If so, then let me know and I'll do it as soon as possible! LOL!

The last (and first) time I reviewed an American Girl story (See my Reading Diary entry for Meet Felicity!), I said that Meet Samantha would be next. And I really did have the second book all lined up . . . only to realise there was more to chew on in Meet Molly.

It seems appropriate that a children's story set during wartime would depict a mini "war" between three nine year old girls and a twelve year old boy who is brother to one of them. Predictably, the mother figure gets to set everything right and to teach everyone about peace, the father figure being away on war business. Yet as necessary as her moral intervention in the children's squabble is, her extrapolation of it to the greater conflict of World War II misses the mark by a mile . . .

04 July 2012


Westlife UK #1 Singles Smackdown, Final Winner!!!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, and Round 4)

Believe it or not, I never would have bet on this single for our winner . . .

Flying without Wings = 1 Vote
Uptown Girl = 7 Votes
When You're Looking Like That = 1 Vote

I blame all the real Westlife fans who showed up by the score (or so my stats counter tells me) then left without casting a single vote. ;-) But don't let me rain on our winner's victory post . . .

It was tough to find a good Uptown Girl performance I haven't embedded yet. I went with the one from the Turnaround tour, for the cute little tweaks they added to it. I will probably be keeping my distance from this song for the next couple of months (LOL!), but I'd like this strangely fresh-sounding version to be the last one echoing in my ears.

(Besides, unlike the completely different and almost dapper arrangement I was planning to share until I watched it again this evening . . . they're obviously singing live in this one. And I like that very much.)

Before you go to the winner announcement you have really been waiting for, I want to thank all of you for participating in both my annual June Giveaway and this completely random smackdown. I appreciated every vote more than you will ever know. And I wish I could give everyone the gift of a great book.

But alas, there can be only one . . .

02 July 2012


Character Connection 37

My June Giveaway will come to an end very soon--and indeed, it's already July as I type this--but there is one more post I'd like to write, in honour of the final book I read last month.

This is the first time since my very first Character Connection post (Read about Renton and Spud from Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting!) that I am letting two characters share the spotlight. And unlike the earlier post, which was written that way on a whim, this one takes its cue from the author itself.