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The Big Read

Talking about books: I don't think there was ever any doubt, was there, that The Lord of the Rings would come top of the list in the BBC's Big Read? Not that I don't agree that it should have, because even though this time, my vote went to Winnie-the-Pooh, I have loved Tolkien's masterpiece since I first read it, aged 16. But with Viggo Mortensen's visage up on every billhoarding in the country for the last couple of weeks in anticipation of the arrival of the film, reminding everyone, I'm sure the book received more votes than it would have had otherwise.

Pride and Prejudice came second, a result I'm not unhappy with either: I've always liked that book even before Colin Firth crawled into Mr. Darcy's skin. And I have fond memories of Douglas Adams's The Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, too. They're the kind of books that you never forget, and never mind re-reading even if you already know how they end.
I'd never heard of His Dark Materials, though -- does anyone know if it's any good? I'm coming to the end of my present read and will need a good story to lose myself in again soon.

As to J.K. Rowling: I've yet to read a single one (!) of her Harry Potter-books. I know they're supposed to be good fun and all, but I once opened one, read a page, and decided I didn't like her style of writing much. And I haven't seen any of the Harry Potter films, either.

Comments

( 11 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
ex_cosmicfi
Dec. 16th, 2003 09:37 am (UTC)
And I haven't seen any of the Harry Potter films, either.

Do your best to keep it that way. I have a younger brother, and as a result, I have been subjected to three and a half hours of continual Hell on more than one occasion. In terms of entertainment and intellectual stimulation, Zoolander is far superior to the Harry Potter franchise.

BTW - Don't ever watch Zoolander, either. I have a younger sister, and as a result ...
gamiila
Dec. 17th, 2003 01:31 am (UTC)
LOL! Thanks for the warning -- I'll try and steer clear from Zoolander for as long as I can. Can't promise the same for Happy Potter, though -- I am an auntie, after all, which means my life is no longer my own. ;-)
binsoup
Dec. 16th, 2003 09:45 am (UTC)
His Dark Materials
I read the His Dark Materials trilogy in 2001, and have recommended it to a couple of my friends. My daughter who've read both the JK Rowling series and His Dark Materials said that the latter is like Harry Potter, but darker, is set in a more fantastical universe, and the central character is a girl named Lyra.

One of my friends described it this way: Harry Potter is to Windows as His Dark Materials is to Linux. :-)

It's a good book for the holidays, for one's own reading list as well as to give to a niece or a friend's daughter. I remember helping bugbrain hunt for His Dark Materials all over our city during the Christmas rush of 2002.
diachrony
Dec. 16th, 2003 10:26 am (UTC)
Re: His Dark Materials
I've seen the Dark Materials books around, but have never known what they're about. However ...

The central character is a girl?!

I'm sold.

Amazon.com, here I come!
gamiila
Dec. 17th, 2003 01:19 am (UTC)
Re: His Dark Materials
And me!
db2305
Dec. 16th, 2003 10:08 am (UTC)
I read Dark Materials myself, and enjoyed it, and just gave it to my son, who loves it as well. Better than Rowling, in my opinion.
gamiila
Dec. 17th, 2003 01:28 am (UTC)
I'd better look for it, then. I'm hearing such good things about it from so many quarters now, I'm starting to get quite intrigued.
bogwitch
Dec. 16th, 2003 12:02 pm (UTC)
I was quite pleased. I'd read three of the top five (much better than my average over the 100, and funny, they are the same ones as you).

I've read the first HP book. I thought it was croppy and derivative, but if it gets kids to read then it can't be bad. Her style is very modern chidrens book, slightly too simpistic. I don't remember all those pony novels I devoured about the age of 9 being like that (maybe they were).

As for His Dark Materials, I've never heard of it either, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to try it once I stop reading fan fic.
gamiila
Dec. 17th, 2003 01:25 am (UTC)
I've gifted my nephew with the first four HP books. He loves them, and keeps bugging me to buy him the fifth as well. So that would be his Christmas present sorted, only...I still haven't forgiven him for requesting a special, illustrated edition LotR for his birthday, and then not reading it at all. Barbarian!

As for His Dark Materials, I've never heard of it either, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to try it once I stop reading fan fic.

Ah yes -- well, we both know that is never going to happen!
bogwitch
Dec. 17th, 2003 03:47 pm (UTC)
I still haven't forgiven him for requesting a special, illustrated edition LotR for his birthday, and then not reading it at all.

Philistine.

Ah yes -- well, we both know that is never going to happen!

Right, got me there...
desdemonaspace
Dec. 18th, 2003 01:56 am (UTC)
You're going to love His Dark Materials.
( 11 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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