Monday, May 30, 2005

Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception

I've finished reading Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, book four of the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. It was good! =) It was packed with action. There were also some touching parts. =) The Opal Deception is one of my favorite Artemis Fowl books. My other favorite is book three, The Eternity Code. The Artemis Fowl books are like action movies in book form! I find the ideas in the books GENIUS. Plus I find the writing/prose really smart and witty. I definitely recommend the Artemis Fowl books to guys who are reluctant to read because they think reading is boring. There are no boring parts in the Artemis Fowl books.

I don't know what to read now. I just know that I want to read another fantasy book. I have my own copy of Abarat by Clive Barker. I could read that and if I like it then I can buy the sequel. I want to read the A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L'Engle. But I have to borrow them first from Isaac or buy them. I don't have money right now to buy books. =( I also want to read the rest of the Giver trilogy by Lois Lowry and Newbery medal books (I just wrote an MA paper on two Newbery Medal books - I really enjoyed working on it!). But again, I don't have any money right now to buy books.

I've been doing a bit of research on blogs and I found out more about litblogs (blogs about anything and everything related to books) and academic blogs (written by academics, such as professors), and I realized that my blog is a litblog/academic blog. Cool. =)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

MA Class, Eragon (part 3), and Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception

Our last meeting for English 242: American Individualism was Friday. We read the proposals for our final papers/projects and had coffee and donuts. =) I'm going to work on Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia and Lois Lowry's The Giver, CY is going to work on Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, James will work on the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip, and Cora will work on Chinese-American female writers. Boy, summer classes went by pretty quickly. It was a good class. I had to read a lot, I learned a lot, and the class made me think about a lot of things. We've also had to do some serious writing. I had to write a report on Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt (by the way, I do NOT recommend that book); an essay on the concept of the female self as seen in Maxine Hong Kingston's No Name Woman, Katherine Anne Porter's The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, and Tillie Olsen's Tell Me a Riddle; and a proposal/abstract for my final paper. There is still the final paper to be passed on the 25th. I am definitely NOT complaining, I loved my summer class and I love my topic for my final paper. I'm actually excited about working on my final paper. This is one paper I will definitely enjoy researching for and writing. I love Prof. Ancheta. I'm going to start "courting" her to be my thesis adviser. Hehe. CY and I are thinking of taking her English 212: Pre-Shakespearean Drama class next semester. Geez, is my blog too academic? Oh well, I AM an "academic."

I finished reading Eragon 3 a.m. this morning! My final verdict? I do recommend Eragon to other readers. But don't expect it to be as good as The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. Those two series are the BEST fantasy series EVER and the (Eragon) Inheritance Trilogy is obviously not complete yet. Eragon is a good book. I say this because I found the story interesting and I can't wait for the next two books in the trilogy. I really want to know what happens next, how things develop. For example, I want to read about Eragon's probable romance with Arya. *Sigh* =) There were several times I was pierced with emotion while reading the book (not while reading about Eragon and Arya though). For me, what REALLY makes the book good is the beautiful, beautiful relationship between Eragon and his dragon Saphira. (Makes me want to have a dragon of my own, remember?) I won't give any spoilers, I just want to say that I really don't trust Murtagh and The Twins. Please don't trust them Eragon. Christopher Paolini, please don't allow Eragon to be fooled TOO much by those characters. Lastly, I think the best of the trilogy is still to come. Part Two will probably be better than Part One (there IS room for improvement from/in Part One). Part Three will probably be the best in the trilogy, one reason is because the first two books will create a reservoir of experiences we can draw from to enrich our reading of Part Three.

The next book I will read for leisure is Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception. It's the fourth book in the Artemis Fowl series. I recommend this series especially to male readers. The Artemis Fowl series seems to have more testosterone compared to other fantasy series and the stories are really stories of adventure. My brother JP didn't have the patience or desire to finish The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, or the Harry Potter series, but he's been really following the Artemis Fowl series.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Eragon (Continued)

I checked out the official website of Eragon: I read about Christopher Paolini. It's no wonder I think his prose will (and should) still develop. He's not really a writer. What I mean is: He's got this wonderful story. He's got the plot of the whole Inheritance Trilogy mapped out. But the actual writing is different from inventing a wonderful story. Paolini himself admitted that editing Eragon took two years and that he's still learning the craft/skills of creative writing. (He also admitted that some of the editing was necessary because of some grammar rules he wasn't really aware of.) He's learning by doing.

Again, please don't get me wrong. I am enjoying reading Eragon! =) (I am only halfway through the book because I have a lot of reading to do for my MA class.)

Monday, May 02, 2005

My summer days and Eragon

My days usually start around noon. I usually wake up 10 or 11am. Sometimes I wake up 12nn. I get up and have as big a brunch as I can get (usually leftovers from the previous day's lunch and dinner). Then I get dressed for school. I go to school early because I usually have to go to the library. I have to research, return books, borrow books, etc. I stay in the library to read for my class. I am in FC waiting for Prof. Ancheta outside her wonderfully air-conditioned room (it is so hot and humid outside!) by 2:50.

I'm always the first one to show up for class because I live on campus. I'm outside Prof. Ancheta's room even before Prof. Ancheta is there (she has another class before our class). Our class is 3-5, then CY and I talk and eat until 6. I get home by 7 and at home I watch tv and eat dinner. Then I watch some more tv (Darna!) before washing the dishes and taking a shower. I end my day by reading (usually for my class) until around 2am. If I am reading for leisure, I don't go to sleep until 4am. And even then I go to sleep reluctantly because I want to know what happens next...

I've finally started reading Eragon. I'm almost halfway through the book I think. What do I think of Eragon so far? In terms of the prose, the language used and the way it is used, and the "craft of storytelling/making," it's kinda obvious that a fifteen-year-old wrote it. It's not bad prose! Don't get me wrong. It's just that I can tell that Christopher Paolini's writing will definitely mature and continue to improve over the years. His best work is yet to come. Heck, he's only 20 or 21 right now I think. In terms of the actually story, the plot and all that, the story is exciting. It's about Dragon Riders for crying out loud! How can that not be exciting? There are many beautiful things in/about the book. I love the relationship between Eragon (the main character) and Saphira (his sapphire blue dragon). I love how they communicate through their minds (through their thoughts and through mental images) and through their feelings and emotions. It's really beautiful. I want a dragon too! Eragon can also communicate with other animals. But his communication with Saphira is clearer, sharper and they are always connected. The bond is incredible.

What can I do to get a dragon of my own?...