10 May 2009

Monthly Reading: April'09

Oh boy... was actually wondering if I should post this one for April or not, considering how little I've actually read. Ouch! Just two teeny, tiny books. One a short story, the other a small collection of fairy tales for wizards. But since this is as much for me (to keep a record of what I read) and to share, well I might as well go ahead and do it!

So, first off: J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I think it best if I copy the description on the back of the book:
" The Tales of Beedle the Bard contains five richly diverse fairy tales, each with its own magical character, that will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril.
Additional notes for each story penned by Professor Albus Dumbledore will be enjoyed by Muggles and wizards alike, as the Professor muses on the morals illuminated by the tales, and reveals snippets of information about life at Hogwarts."
So in other words these are five short fairy tales for wizard children that vary from those (frequently) told to Muggle children in that the heroins are much more active in controlling their fate... and that magic isn't the root or cure of the problem but a tool used to help solve it.
I think it's a lovely little book, cute stories, though I must say what I enjoyed the most were Prof Dumbledore's commentaries on the subject matter. Well worth dropping a few hard earned pennied, particularly as a percentage goes to a children's education and welfare campaign.

The next tale was even shorter! The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Now I picked this one up out of pure curiousity. ;o) I had read on various websites that the recent movie (my post on it here) was really nothing like the original short story. And indeed, basically all they did was use the original premise: a baby is born as an old man and grows backwards into middle age, adolescence and infancy. The time periods are totally different (one starts on the eve of the Civil War, the other at the end of the First World War). In the story Benjamin isn't abandoned by his father, but said father insists he behave and dress like the child his age should (i.e. short pants, baby clothes etc...). Then later on Benjamin's own son also finds it insulting that his father should appear younger than him. There are quirky scenes about what is "proper" that are quite amusing, poor Benjamin! So a curious tale indeed... but I prefer Brad Pitt! ;o)

Here's to hoping I'm not as tired at night in May as I was in April and perhaps I'll be able to read a bit more... I have at least half a dozen books on my nightstand regularly reminding me that they want to be read!


  1. I would like to read "Curious Case of BB". I've heard good and bad on the movie..

  2. It's a short story so makes for a nice break in a day and is quite interesting.

    As for the film, the only bad things I read about it were people saying they felt it was too long or too slow. And as for that I guess it depends on the viewer. My dad and I didn't find it at all long! Au contraire, the pacing was very smooth and relaxing. The feeling I got was that of watching poetry. It's a beautiful movie. But not everyone wants this kind of films... there's very little "action" so... but I'd still highly recommend it to anyone who has a romantic spark in them! ;o)

  3. speaking of "Button", here's a great critique on why the film has so divided people into "lovers" and "haters" of it, leaving few in the middle ground:

  4. I think I would have prefered it if JK had left the tales of the bard as an exclusive book - do you remember when she made some poor folk part with millions of £££ to buy the 6 only copies of the fairy tales and now we can all read them! I would be really mad if I were one of the six! Having said that, I can't wait to read them, I really enjoy the HP stories (I know, I know....)

  5. I don't know about the "exclusive" part, they are tales for kids after all... And the people who did pay €€€ I believe got very special limited editions, leather covered, embossed, and all that. Besides, a good percentage of the profits is going to a good cause so... no problems for me there!

    They don't really hook into HP except that Dumbledore comments them (that's pretty fun in fact), but it's still nice to get another glimpse into the wizarding world after the farewell 2 years ago! :s

    Hmmm... I never thought I'd get hooked on these! A friend gave me the first one years ago as a Christmas present, and it lay on my shelf for months and months until I finally picked it up 'cause I was desperate for something to read. When I finished I went straight out and bought books 2 & 3 and have been a fan ever since! What can I say, I'm a sucker for a good yarn, no matter what the "target age group"! ;o)

  6. I'm not intense enough of a HP fan to give you exact book and page references, but Hermione is supposed to reference the bard's tales when solving some riddle... it all ties back in many ways see...

    I left you something on my blog - come and see!


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