My Go-To Juice

Some people run on coffee

Some people run on chocolate

I run on books!

They help through everything:

Whether sad or stressed:

Bored:

Yep:

For more book-filled posts, go to BYOB: Bring You Own Book

 

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A Book Only a Reader Could Write

So I wanted to publish this post yesterday, but my computer and I weren’t on the best speaking terms. We have since resolved that issue.

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And the computer has since then come along to my way of thinking. So sorry if I’m a day behind, but better late than never!

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Some books you read and you just know that there was no way this book could ever exist unless the author grew up as a huge fan of reading.

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Such as Matilda by Roald Dahl. Only someone who grew up reading could create a character that gave a voice to all us bibliophiles out there.

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Or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Only someone who truly loved to read could create the most dismal future, a time when books are outlawed and destroyed. The book is full of glimpses into what might actually happen, unless we take the time to read and value the thoughts and creations found between the pages.

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Well The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, is definitely one of those books.

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The book was first published in 1979 and then translated into English in 1983. As this is it anniversary, thankfully pointed out by Google, I thought it deserved no less than a post by me.

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The story was such a big part of my childhood, with book and film.

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So the book begins with young Bastian Balthazar Bux; a shy, awkward, introvert:

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Who has been grieving over the loss of his mother and feels disconnected from his father.

Aw, man.

Aw.

He doesn’t really have any friends and is bullied at school. The one thing that Bastian does have is his books.

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With their help he is able to escape reality:

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And here is reason number one why this book is awesome and proof, author Ende must have been a reader; he just understands us so well. I mean even today I still like to escape my reality with a good book:

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Anyways, so Bastian is being chased by bullies when he runs into a bookstore owned by Carl Conrad Coreander. While hiding out, he spots the book The Neverending Story.

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Bastian just has to have the book, but the ornery shop owner doesn’t seem interested in the idea of selling, and such a book that would be far too expensive. So Bastian does something he has never done before, he steals it.

OMG gasp

He runs up to school, deciding to hide away in the attic, reading the story and being thrust into the world of Fantastica (Fantasia in the film).

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Fantastica is falling apart. The dark nothing is destroying it, piece by piece until it will fade away and there will be nothing left. Only one thing can save them; the childlike empress has chosen Atreyu, a native of the plains, to search throughout Fantastica to discover what can be done. As Bastian reads, he becomes more and more involved with the characters. So wrapped up in the book he stays throughout all his periods, in the cold, all the while starving.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

But that’s silly. They aren’t real people.

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But yet, the characters do seem real. And it almost seems as if they know he exists and is part of the journey with them.

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When Atreyu is traveling he hears what the salvation of Fantastica is:

Born of the Word, the children of man,

Or humans, as they’re sometimes called,

Have had the gift of giving names

Ever since the worlds began,

In every age it’s they who gave

The Childlike Empress life,

For wondrous new names have the power to save.

But now for many and many a day,

No human has visited Fantastica,

For they no longer know the way.

They have forgotten how real we are,

They don’t believe in us anymore.

Oh, if only one child of man would come,

Oh, then at last the thing would be done.”

But where to find such a human child?

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Atreyu continues on his journeys, getting help from Falkor, the luck dragon.

One of the best parts of the book, at least I think so, is when Atreyu faces Gmork, the werewolf. Gmork has become an agent of the Nothing, trying to destroy Fantastica and along with it the human world. Without Fantastica, the world is filled with lies instead of truth, despair instead of hope, destruction instead of creation; pretty much containing nothing.

I love this part as it shows why stories and books are so important. They help us create, they give us hope, dreams, ideas, etc. We need stories, we need hope, we need it as much as we need life.

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And we need to start reading at a young age; so we can have the foundations to fight against all the darkness we will face as we grew older.

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So Atreyu returns to the Empress, defeated. He has no way to stop the nothing. He has failed.

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But the empress is not upset at all. In fact, she says that Atreyu has fulfilled his mission. He has brought a human child here through all his adventures. And she is talking about Bastian!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

The reader has been called into the story? And not just called, but the hero! How cool is that! And how awesome if that could happen. Can you just imagine if the characters started talking to you in the middle of your favorite story?

So cool, I want it to be true.

So cool, I want it to be true.

This is my favorite part of the book, the second half isn’t as strong (in my opinion) as the first half. But still one great book.

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The movie was just as amazing. Now they did make changes, but I thought it kept the soul and heart of the book. I used to watch it over and over.

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Even now I cannot think or say the words “Neverending Story” without singing them like in the film’s song.

I recently showed the film to my niece and realized I am not only like Bastian, but Coreander. Yes, I have the soul of an old curmudgeon who doesn’t like the youth’s fascination with technology rather than books.

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The rest of the story is just as beautiful, fascinating, adventurous, and powerful. And don’t forget the end of the film when the childlike Empress is talking right to you.  Shivers run up and down my spine, it is so good.

Creepy!

I mean I feel like she is talking right to me!

OMG gasp

The other movies I didn’t really enjoy, but that first one was a true winner.

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So there you have it. One amazing book that I am glad existed to become a part of my childhood, in both print and on the screen.

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And you can bet your boots I will most definitely be checking out the film Sunday when they rerelease it in theaters. Don’t worry childlike Empress, Fantastic/Fantasia will always exist as long as I am alive!

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For more on The Neverending Story, go to The Neverending Story

For more anniversary posts, go to Here’s to Another Year

For more book-filled posts, go to A World of Teas

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For more Roald Dahl, go to We Shall Rule the World!

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Ernest Hemingway, go to Fiction or Reality? I Choose Fiction

For more Markus Zusak, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more Richard Marek, go to Crazy Book Lady

Meet Cute: Darcy & Elizabeth Style

So I was reading this book, The Butterfly and the Violin.

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The story is told in two parts, connecting at the end of the novel. One half of the book is set in the 1940s and is about Adele Von Bron, concert violinist and Austria’s sweetheart, who is sent to Auschwitz when she is caught trying to help smuggle a Jewish family out of Austria. There she becomes a part of the Women’s Orchestra. She goes through all kinds of troubles, all the while doing the best she can to stay alive.

Aw, man.

Aw…

The other half is the story of Sera James, owner of an art gallery. She was left at the altar two years ago, and since then has been focusing all her energy into finding this painting of Adele, painted while she was serving her time. Sera has just hit a dead end, when she receives word from a California millionaire businessman, Will Hanover, who needs her assistance. Apparently his grandfather left the family business and estate to the owner of the painting, and so he needs to find the owner (he’s planning to contest the will). Sera and he have a rough first impression, but then start falling for each other. But is Will’s interest in Sera real or is he just romancing her to get what he wants?

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So the book wasn’t that good. The author suffered from trying to do too much with the two story lines that it caused her to fall into overdone clichés and have a lack of character development. The book was rushed too fast to reach a conclusion, and to quote Wayne’s World they made it a “super happy ending”.

I didn’t care for it and thought it would be better if it had been focused on either storyline of Adele or the search of the painting instead of stretching the author with these two pairings. Adele’s journey is told in half points with a quick summary of what happened next, and Sera’s search barely anything as the painting felt like it was instantly discovered after the two “joined” forces.

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Doesn’t work. I don’t like it.

So why am I talking about this?

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When I was reading the scene in which the two characters Sera and Will meet, it seemed oddly familiar…

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

Yes Will (and don’t think I didn’t notice that connection either) is rude to Sera, insinuating that she is after his money. Just like Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice, Sera becomes extremely angry with Will and storms out.

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And of course, Will tries to make it up to her, it just takes him a few tries.

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So of course the rest of the book has nothing to do with Pride & Prejudice, but it still just amazes me how Jane Austen continues to influence and inspire, even if it is something as small as a meet cute.

Here's to another 200 years!

Austen still alive in our modern times

I talked about it a little back in my post Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice, when I celebrated its 200th birthday, but I just find it amazing. I mean what a testament to your skill, imagination, intelligence, and work that people use your characters and relationships within their own work.

And I truly mean it

And I truly mean it

I mean this is just one example but there are thousands of books and films that owe it all to Jane.

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Jane you are just so incredible that we just can’t think of anything better than what you have written. Looks like you will be sticking around for a looong time.ReadJaneAusten

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary 

Folio Fatigue

Have you ever read a book and became so invested in the story?

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So much that afterwards you find yourself in a fog and not quite ready for reality.

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It’s like you’ve just been rudely awakened, and instead of doing things you have to, all you want is a comfortable chair and your book back.

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So the other day I was at one of my jobs. I run the front desk and if no one comes, then I get to spend my whole time reading a book.

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Sweet right?! Well the other day we had hardly anyone come in as there were a tone of Christmas parades, Christmas parties, Christmas craft fair, Christmas stroll, etc.

At Christmas

So I just spent the whole time reading.

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But then afterwards I had to run some errands before I headed out to the cookie exchange that I baked all those cookies for.

I went to the post office to mail some things, but it was like a fog had descended on my brain.

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I was still back in the book I had just finished and unable to answer questions immediately. I even put my pin number in wrong. All my mind could do was think back to the book I had just finished.

Oh well, I rather have my brain getting messed up on books than any other thing.

BookAddict

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For more book-filled posts, go to I Hate Those Kinds of People

For more on my everyday life, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

For more Jane Austen Quotes, go to You’ve Got to Accentuate the Positive

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Wolf Science

Today’s Christmas Carol is Christmas Don’t Be Late by Alvin & the Chipmunks.

As a kid I grew up watching their TV show and films, so they were always a staple, and this song was definitely sung around the holidays. It was written and sung in 1958 by Ross Bagdasarian Sr., otherwise known as Dave Seville.

It is a funny silly song that every kid can relate to as they can’t wait for Christmas to arrive.

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For more Alvin & the Chipmunks, go to Werewolves Roam Among Us: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000)

For more on Christmas Don’t Be Late, go to On the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Days ‘Till Christmas: The Music of Christmas

For more Christmas Carols, go to The 12 Days of Christmas

Life’s A Journey

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This is me when I go on vacation. After all, you can never know how much you need.

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And let’s face it. Vacations are expensive, and we can’t go and do everything we wish. Best option in that case? Books

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Like for instance when a group of friends want to go off somewhere but you have work and are stuck at home. Pick up a book and go anywhere.

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Books are always my answer to everything.

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For more book-filled posts, go to The Perfect Hideout

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Never Big Enough