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Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
5:04 am

After Dachu is really quite good. Quinn has moved on from his usual theme, but does ask a few important questions with his story. To my mind the story is better than anything he's written yet, and the questions he asks are never quite answered. It's definitely a more subtle message than the Ishmael Books or even Story of B in its approach.

While I personally think the Ishmael books should be required reading for all of western civilization, this is because of their content and message, not because of their writing style or story. AD is just a darn good story with some really thought provoking ideas.

I started it yesterday. I finished it today. I highly recommend it. I should say this: there might be one part in the middle where you're about ready to give up on the book because what you think it's saying is so out there that it starts to piss you off. This is especially true if you're already familiar with Quinn, his writing style, and his vehicle for making his points. Stick with it for a couple of chapters. I almost wrote Quinn off as having jumped off the deep end, but it turned out to be a very important aspect of the novel.

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Monday, July 18th, 2005
7:50 am

3meows asks, "could someone post instructions at making a cut to keep from spoiling [Rowling's Half-Blood Prince] for others," assuming the community takes up mkwilson's suggestion to discuss it.

The answer is in the FAQ. :)

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Saturday, July 16th, 2005
1:05 pm - curious

Would the community like to take on the latest Harry Potter installment in addition to the ongoing discussion of the Narnia books?

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2005
6:39 pm - My comments on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Sorry this is late. I actually made most of these comments on a post to this community here but teawiththecheat suggested that I post my thoughts to the community. Hopefully we can keep discussion going.

I never read any of the Narnia books when I was a child, but the preview for the movie coming out this December piqued my interest (the movie looks like it will be great, by the way). So, well, I was sort of disappointed with this book. I guess that all the Christian symbolism just seemed so overdone. And the sexism was just... aargh! "Battles are ugly when women fight," right, so I suppose they're beautiful when men fight? It was interesting to think about Lewis' works in comparison to Tolkien, who were both undertaking similar projects, and in conversation with each other. Both seem to be concerned with injecting both imagination and morality into post-WWII Britain, with a nostalgia for the simplicity of pre-modern times in the face of the horror wrought by modernity. I would have thought that Lewis would also have a overwhelming anti-war sensibility, but it seems less so than Tolkien's.

I'm a bit behind on reading the other books because I had to wait for them to be returned to the library. But Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader are in my hands, and I think I should get through them quickly.

I am still wary of C.S. Lewis for now. We'll see if these other books change my mind. I tried to read The Screwtape Letters a few years back and gave up after 10 pages or so. I'm not sure that I remember why I didn't like it, but seem to remember that it was something about the style of writing. And also I was resistant to the "preachy-ness" of it (perhaps).

Thanks for the interesting perspectives and comments! Look forward to reading more.

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Saturday, July 2nd, 2005
11:14 am - sort of on-topic

and sort of not, but brief: USA Today talks about the commercialization of the Narnia books (link from bookslut).

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Friday, July 1st, 2005
5:48 pm - Msh's thoughts on Prince Caspian

I just finished Prince Caspian. Enjoying this story took a little perspective; I had to think of it as a long fairy tale instead of expecting the character development and introspection I'm used to reading in other books. I think that it'll make a good movie, but I don't know that I'm eager to read it again. I'm glad that teawiththecheat asked us to read through this series though; it's something I've always meant to do. Although Prince Caspian wasn't as striking and visceral as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, it was still a good story, and I look forward to reading the next book.

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Tuesday, June 28th, 2005
2:27 pm - I have been poked...

by greythistle and 3meows, and deservedly so. I apoligize to those of you in the community whom I have disappointed with my absense. I don't seem to be good at this at all.

I have however enjoyed watching people comment and connect with one another over this series. I hope you all enjoyed The Voyage of the Dawn Treader last week (book three).

This weeks book is number four, The Silver Chair. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005
6:45 pm - For all of you, but not from me...

Below are the intelligent thoughts of mercede02:

I read The Magician's Nephew first, which may have been entitled The Magician's Nephew and Friend, because the female character had just as much screen time, and was as important, as the titulary character. I did enjoy that book, as it told the origin of Narnia and Aslan, and of how the Witch and the lamp-post came to be in Narnia.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe brought back fond memories of watching it on PBS when I was 12 or 13. While I enjoyed the story, I did notice (and a few people at lovesbooks noted) that within 30 pages of the story, the point that shutting oneself in a wardrobe is a foolish thing to do was mentioned no fewer than 6 times. I counted. Why did he say that so often and then completely drop the subject later on in the story, and never mention it again? Who knows? Why did it take Tolkien 150 pages to start The Fellowship of the Ring? Who knows? Perhaps it was meant to be a plot point that he dropped later on and never got back to, and was never edited out.

Father Christmas annoyed me. Sexist old fool. The one line that really stuck with me throughout the entire book was "War is ugly when women fight." So what? War isn't ugly when men fight?

I wonder if Lewis and Tolkien didn't have similar experiences in WWI, but it affected them in different ways. The Lord of the Rings is very much a war story, but the tragedy of war and the reluctance of the participants, especially Theoden and Aragorn, is a central theme. It was captured very well, I think, by Peter Jackson. Especially in the extended version.

On the other hand, Narnia seems to be peopled with characters that are brash and ready to leap into battle, and rarely does the cooler head prevail. While Aslan is very much the teacher of a sterner wisdom, he is rather guilty of it himself, in LWW and in Prince Caspian. It seems that the people in these stories would rather die than bend an inch, when it comes to war. In five books, the only characters to actually grow are Edmund, Eustace, and Shasta. The rest stay pretty much as they are, and nothing is changed in either the way they relate to one another (Susan still acts like a spoiled child, even after being a Queen) or the way they conduct their battles, assured that, if their cause is just, Aslan will save the day.

The Horse and His Boy was a very good adventure, but, yet again, the females were placed into very meek and suboordinate roles. Aravis was, and still is, by far, the most interesting and promising female character that Lewis ever created, and even then Lewis fails her. Instead of praising her courage and quick thinking for helping Shasta, Aslan lashes her back in punishment for what she did earlier on in the story. Although Lucy takes her place among the archers, nothing more is said about her, them, how she does, or even what she does.

Prince Caspian was yet another story where the skills and brains of the girls Susan and Lucy would have been very useful, but they were kept entirely out of the war and battle, and not even invited to join in the war council. They went off with Aslan as he went about his work, but they didn't actually DO anything except take up space. I rather liked the pretext of the story, and the lovely little history that the dwarf tells the four, but after going on and on about how great an archer Susan is, and after even winning a tournament of sorts, does she actually use it in the battle? Nope. Neither does Lucy. In fact, Susan is painted to behave very much like a spoiled child, even though the children were reverting back to their Royal selves. It makes her seem very small and unimportant.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader was by far my favorite story so far, and for once Lucy was treated on par with everyone else in the story. Absolutely lovely book, and very well done all 'round.

Two curious bits of trivia. In Prince Caspian, Caspian himself is bitten by a werewolf. However, nothing more is said of it. I wonder if it will be mentioned at all in the next two books, or if lycanthropy is the same in Narnia as is is in other books.

The other bit of trivia has to do with when I was looking at a map that prefaced The Silver Chair, and saw the name Ettinsmoor in big letters across the middle of the map. I knew I had heard that name before. After a moment of thought, I went to my dvd shelf and brought out my copy of Fellowship of the Ring. On the inside cover of the case is a map of Middle Earth. North of Rivendell and Weathertop, attached to but not fully a part of the Misty Mountains, is a small grouping of mountains called the Ettenmoors. I know that Lewis and Tolkien were contemporaries, and attended literary salons together, and the similarity of spelling is just a bit too suspicious to be a coincidence. I wonder who bit off whom, or if both simply liked the name so much that they decided to include it in their work independantly.

I tried not to give too much away, for those who haven't gotten that far. I simply wanted to point out a few things that I thought were interesting or important. Or rather, treated with a lack of importance. I think Lewis would have been better off doing what Tolkien did, which was write women almost entirely out of his books, instead of using them so poorly. It is one thing to forget that women are involved; it is another thing entirely to have women in the story that are excluded from it.

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Tuesday, June 14th, 2005
1:06 pm - Book 2 in the Chronicles of Narnia

Has everyone began Prince Caspian?

current mood: cheerful

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Friday, June 10th, 2005
11:52 am

This was the first time I read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. spoilers/my thoughts on LWWCollapse )

I am certain if I had read these as a child, or was reading them with a child, I'd enjoy them more today. I can see why these tales are considered to be classics, and are well-loved by many people.

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Thursday, June 9th, 2005
4:50 pm - Mshathvri's Thoughts On The Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe

I read this book many years ago. I was so busy re-reading lines that I recall with a sense of nostalgia that I almost forgot to follow the story. Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me? Eventually I got absorbed in the story, and I spent a pleasant afternoon reading.

Yonder Be Spoilers: The Professor Reminded Me of Dumbledore.Collapse )

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Wednesday, June 8th, 2005
10:13 am

Hi. I've posted some scattered thoughts on the first half of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe over here. If anyone has comments, it's probably better to keep them at lovesbooks, for discussion purposes.

As I reread the post, I'm thinking that the second-half post ought to say something about the four children. ;)

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Saturday, June 4th, 2005
12:27 pm


Pick up your copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe this weekend, if you haven't already. We start reading on Monday.

current mood: excited

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Monday, May 23rd, 2005
11:38 am - Something to Think About

This is an interesting perspective/interpretation you might want to consider when we start reading.

current mood: bookworm-y

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10:18 am - Hello, anybody here?

Hello all!

I'd very much like to awaken this sleeping community, but first I wanted to see if anyone was interested. Y'all interested?

Here's my thought: I want to start off relatively slow and in a few weeks time--so I can recruit more interested parties. I want us to read something light and fun, something that fits into our daily lives--work, school, kids, hobbies, etc. I am thinking Children's Literature.

We will start with the Narnia Chronicles in their original order, meaning we begin with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. If you are interested, please respond in the comments and try to pick up the first book in the next two weeks. I'd like to start reading on Monday, June 6th, with discussion to follow and conclude on Monday, June 13th when we would start the next book.

Plus, The Chronicles Of Narnia is coming to theaters this winter, December 9th. It would be nice to relive a bit of childhood, so let us begin with the reading (re-reading for many of us). Come on lovesbooks...WAKE UP!

So, what is everyone thinking?

current mood: bookworm-y

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Tuesday, January 4th, 2005
12:19 am - New Maintainers

Happy New Year all!

Since there's been plenty of discussion revolving around the pursuit of fine reading in these past few weeks, I'd like to remind everyone that Lovesbooks is here at your disposal. Also, (unbeknownst to the people involved), I have added three new maintainers: fnordelissa, mkwilson and mshathvri. Just so you guys know, you now have full control over lovesbooks as well. It is my hope that you will use your enthusiasm breathe new life into this community.

Happy reading!

-robini (the 4th maintainer)

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Thursday, October 21st, 2004
10:03 am

We should try this again. Lovesbooks was such a good idea, if we can just get a firm enough lasso on all of us felines.

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Thursday, March 25th, 2004
9:31 pm - undead authors

Hello, I am sorry if this isn’t allowed in the community. Feel free to delete it. However this is something that everyone should get the opportunity to see.

Recipe to Cure your Boredom and Fulfill your Need to Read

1.join undead_authors LJ Book Club

2. Nominate and Vote for Books written by authors from many cultures and worldviews

3.Read, Review and Discuss among LJ's savviest intellectuals *wink*

4.Repeat steps 1-3

5.Relax and Enjoy undead_authors

In short this is a community that doesn’t focus solely on books by old/dead straight white men. This is for all of you who are into books by today’s authors but still love the classics. This is for you no matter what color you are or where you live once you know a good book when you see one!

current mood: mellow

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Friday, October 10th, 2003
3:27 pm - Strong Women In "Daughter" - Open

More Questions:

The dedication in the front of Daughter reads "To the strong women in my life". What do you think, constitutes a strong woman? Do you think that strength differs between the genders, such that the characteristics of a strong woman are not necessarily those of a strong man. Is it possible to be strong and effeminate? How so?

This is a really vague and open-ended question, I know. But I think it will become an important theme in the novel (and certainly fodder for a future question). So give it a go!

And actually, while we're on the subject...

Someone once told me that one of the problems with the epic fantasy genre is lack of strong, traditionally feminine women in the text. To paraphrase:

"It's like putting a skirt on a girl makes her simpering and reliant on men in almost any adventure plot. Just think of Tolkein. Modern fantasy authors have tried to combat the issue with more dangerous, adventurous women, but their strategy is flawed. Instead of solving the problem of how to be strong and part of the so-called "weaker sex," they've come up with a generation of fantasy heroines that are not so much women as men in drag. Modern fantasy heroines sword-sling, they wear pants, they demand to be treated like a man, and they hide their long hair under a cap until the lucky love interest finally breaks through their "tough" shell to the woman within. Thus, many authors mistake masculinity for strength and seek to strengthen their heroines by giving them qualities traditionally assigned to men.

What do you think of this quote? Do you agree? Is there anything wrong with associating strength and masculinity the way this person claims many authors do? What are some examples of strong heroines in literature, Masculanized or not. Why are they strong?

Subject: Open to all!
No Spoilers!</i>

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2:55 pm - Daughter of the Forest - Preliminary post

So I just got finished with Daughter of the Forest and will take a shot at getting some discussion going. This particulare question is for before you start the book, or wherever you are now. Just don't put any spoilers for the book in your answer!

Marillier's book was based on the Tale of the Wild Swans, a well-known fairy tale perhaps best told by Hans Christian Andersen. Independent of this book, what do you remember of the fairy tale? Were there any themes or ideas?

Subject: Open to all
No Spoilers!

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