4.18.2010

Read-a-thon

Some of the time we feel like we live in the middle of nowhere. We don’t really…but we do seem to drive a lot. And, when you drive a lot, we sometimes get sick of searching for good radio stations, or just any radio station that will play something besides country. Then, we started listening to books on cd; go to the library to see what they have. Most libraries also have an online selection where you can download books for free. That is a great way to go! Now if we are ever going to have a lot of driving or we are taking a trip somewhere, we find some books to read and we are set.

So, do you have a trip coming up? Here are some options that we liked, at least a little bit:

-Harry Potter (all 7), by J.K. Rowling

This is Brianna, and I love the Harry Potter books! When the first movie came out, a friend and I wanted to see it, but we decided we should read the book first, so over the Christmas break, we both planned on reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I couldn’t stop and I read the first four (that was all that was written at the time). I was home from BYU, and my family was kind of annoyed with me for reading the whole time, but I couldn’t help it. They were so good!

Anyway, fast forward a few years to 2005, and Andrew and I were taking a trip to Nevada, and we decided to get a book from the library on cd. This was the first time we had ever done it, and what a success! Andrew had never read any of the Harry Potter books (and hadn’t until we listened to them, although I did give him lots of details when I was reading and re-reading them), so we started with the first one. It was great and really made the trip a lot more exciting. But then we stopped. And we didn’t actually start listening to the rest of them until more recently. We finally finished the whole series together in the fall of 2009.

They are great books, and the narrator does a different voice for every character, so it is like you are watching an extended version of the movie blindfolded. But don't blindfold yourself because you will be driving, anyway, the narrator is great! But, these books are also longer than most; they are around 24 hours, so you better hope you have a lot of driving to do, or else you will want to start listening to them as soon as you get off work, when you are eating dinner, doing dishes, and so on. We speak from experience.

-Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne

We read this book last year and we thought it was pretty good. There were a few slow parts, but most of it was pretty enjoyable. We have seen one of the older movies of this and we found that there were some parts that were left out, obviously. But anyway, one was actually pretty funny to us because on his trip around the world, he was going by train through the state of Utah, and it even talked about the Mormons. It was entertaining to us, but that is because we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and well, we were surprised to even hear about the Church in the book, regardless of what was said.

-Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

We just read this one on the way to Utah earlier this month and it wasn’t at all like we thought it would be. It was good, but different, and sometimes the narrator got a little dull. We think this version must have been copied over from a tape, because occasionally they would repeat a line and sometimes the narrator’s voice would change and get a little slower or faster.

But actually, those things have nothing to do with the book, so we still recommend it. Just know that there are parts where it goes a little slow and you wish they would move on with things. Then again, did you ever know that Frankenstein is not the name of the monster, but actually the last name of the scientist who created him? Yeah, weird, huh? Also, the monster has read Paradise Lost and various other classics, he speaks French, is more agile than an Olympic gymnast, and he is not green at all.

-The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis

I read some of theses books growing up, but I didn’t remember much at all. They were actually pretty good, although there were a few that were a little slow. We wish we would have read those first, but we started reading them in the order they were written, not the chronological order. Next time, we would do the chronological order, because some at the end (like The Silver Chair) were really good.

Oh, and just in case you’ve seen the movie Prince Caspian know that the book is very different, and better. We prefer the book because there is a lot of drama in the movie that never existed in the book. Also, after reading the books, you notice minute details in the movie that are part of the book as well, but we never would have known or noticed them if we hadn't read the book, like the bears sucking their paws during Peter's fight with Miraz.

-Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne

On our way back from Utah, we started reading this book, and it was much more exciting than Frankenstein to us. It was amazing that it was written in 1864, because, although there are a few different things, it really seemed like a book that could have been written last year. It was very entertaining and interesting.

Oh, and isn’t it kind of amazing that Iceland just had a volcano erupt right after we read this book about going to the center of the earth through the extinct volcano Sneffles, which also existed in Iceland? Actually, when we were talking about the volcano eruption Andrew told me it was the same volcano…and I believed him for a second. I said, “I thought that volcano was fake,” and then he informed me that it was and just laughed. But actually, I just found out thanks to Wikipedia, that it is a real volcano in Iceland; actually there are three of them with the same name, spelled Snæfell. The one that just erupted is Eyafjallajökull. Try saying that three times fast…or even at all!
 
Out of all these books, here is our recommendation from most exciting (I don't want to get out of the car) to least exciting (when is the next rest stop?):
 
1-Harry Potter
2-Chronicles of Narnia (even though some are a little slow, some are really good, so they make up for it)
3-Journey to the Center of the Earth
4-Around the World in Eighty Days
5-Frankenstein

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