So I was recommended this film by a friend, but I didn’t like it.
It wasn’t horrible, but this sort of thing has been done before and I felt this film didn’t really do anything new or different. I also didn’t like how she was with both the father and son.
But there was one thing I found extremely romantic, so I wanted to include it in my countdown.
Adaline Bowman was born on New Year’s Day on 1908. She married and had daughter, only to sadly become a widow a few years later.
In 1937 she was driving in a snowstorm and fell into a freezing pond. She died, but was brought to life when lightening struck the water.
Since that day, Adaline doesn’t age, remaining 29 and being forced to constantly be on the move.
I need to get out of here
This New Year’s Eve, she meets Ellis Jones at a party, introducing herself as Jennifer. He’s interested, but Adaline knows it isn’t the best idea to be romantically involved, as she has had things go wrong 40 years ago.
However, Ellis won’t give up and the two begin to seriously date. He invites her to come with him for his parents 40th anniversary. When they get there Adaline realizes that Ellis’ father is one of her past boyfriends, William, the one from 40 years ago.
At first William seems to buy that the women he met all those years ago is not Adaline/Jennifer, but “her mother”. But then William spots something that confirms that she is the woman from years past. Will Adaline be able to live in peace or have to take off again?
Most Romantic Moment: I Brought You the Type of Flowers You Want
So you guys know what I think of being given flowers.
I would prefer something that will last a long time.
So Ellis has tried a few things to woo Adalind, but nothing has worked.
But then he realizes what Adalind reallyloves:
And instead of bringing flowers, he brings books with flower names.
This is so romantic! He took the time to think and see what would make her happy and give her that, instead of something clichéd or easy.
Day 12) L is for List: Choose a book from your to-read List
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
So reading lists. It feels like they will never end.
And every time I read a book, it feels as if I add ten more.
To help keep track of that, I have a Goodreads account and I try and work through it. But then I have another problem:
Yes, so even though I have too many books that I own and haven’t read; and too many on my to-read list, I keep getting more.
My shelves are stuffed:
And I have boxes full of them everywhere:
So I tried to figure out what book to review, and settled on Moby-Dick.
Moby-Dick or The Whale was published by Herman Melville in 1851. At the time it wasn’t received, and by the time of his death the book was out of print and hadn’t generated that much money.
However, readers are fickle and in the 20th century, the book became so popular it was given the title of one of the Great American Novels. William Faulkner was known to have wished he was the one who wrote it and D. H. Lawrence called it “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world”, and “the greatest book of the sea ever written.”
I had started The Great Illustrated Classic versionwhen I was much younger, but never finished the book. I had to return it to the library and I’m not sure why I didn’t recheck it out, but I never read, or finished reading it, ever again.
This book has been on my to-read list since I’ve joined Goodreads, and my friend even gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday, but I had still not read it. Leaving it buried under all the other to-read books.
But this year I decided to read it!
So what did I think after all this time?
I didn’t like it.
I know, I feel horrible for even uttering those words…
But it is the truth.
It’s how I feel.
So let’s go over what the story is about, and then I will share why I didn’t like it.
Ishmael signs up to a whaling ship, having to share his room with a Polynesian harpooner, Queequeg. At first Ishmael is afraid of him, but the two end up becoming extremely good friends.
The ship they go on is the Pequod, which is led by Captain Ahab. Now Captain Ahab has lost his leg to a mighty white whale, Moby-Dick, and he is incensed with revenge, planning on finding him and killing him on their journeys.
The ship sails, and while the crew hunt for the whales to bring back their blubber; Ishmael shares his philosophies of whaling, his idea of the British, the different whales they meet, etc. The novel ends in a bitter battle as Ahab finds his prey; but will he be able to destroy it or just himself?
So Why Didn’t I Like It?
The biggest problem for me is that this novel is a little bit of everything and moves from topic to topic instead of being one concise story. I mean Ishmael’s thoughts seem to wander everywhere as he will switch from the adventure on the whale ship to his thoughts of religion, how the color white is evil, that the British snootily look down on the Americans but need them, etc. This random philosophizing I could definitely do without, especially as there is no segway but a real rattling on.
I mean I really enjoyed the adventures in whaling and anything with Captain Ahab, I thought he was a great character, but sadly there wasn’t more of him.
What also struck me was how hard Melville was trying to make a “great American novel.” We know people from England looked down at America at this time, and you can see how hard Melville is trying to prove that American writers are just on par as the British.
“But where this superioty in the English whalemen does really consist, it would be hard to say, seeing that the Yankees in one day, collectively, kill more whales than all the English, collectively, in ten years.”
Yeah, I don’t think he is just talking about whales, it seems there is a deeper meaning under there…
So I didn’t really care for it, but at least I finally read it! Now I can cross it off my list and move onto the next item.
Today I choose the Christmas Carol, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. It was written by Pastor Edmund Sears in 1849. At the time he was depressed and saddened by the war with Mexico and the strife that hung in the air. His friend, Pastor William Parsons Lunt, asked him to write a poem and this was what Sears came up with.
A year later, composer Richard Storrs Willis, wrote the music that the poem goes with.
I choose the version done by Celtic Woman as they are a fantastic group.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Well The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende,is definitely one of those books.
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.
The story was such a big part of my childhood, with book and film.
So the book begins with young Bastian Balthazar Bux; a shy, awkward, introvert:
Who has been grieving over the loss of his mother and feels disconnected from his father.
He doesn’t really have any friends and is bullied at school. The one thing that Bastian does have is his books.
With their help he is able to escape reality:
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:
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.
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.
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).
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!
But that’s silly. They aren’t real people.
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.
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?
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.
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.
So Atreyu returns to the Empress, defeated. He has no way to stop the nothing. He has failed.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I mean I feel like she is talking right to me!
The other movies I didn’t really enjoy, but that first one was a true winner.
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.
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!