Tag Archives: Roadtrip Wednesday

RTW: What books do you love that no one else has ever heard of?

These kinds of books are the absolute best. They’re personal indulgences, secret affairs, delightful little refuges that only YOU know about. Now mine will be less secret, as I’m going to tell you all about it, but it will still be my very own secret pleasure, a book I’ve grown up loving and will love until I’m way too old for it (or can you ever get too old for books like these?).

It’s so unheard-of (at least, I think it is?) that I couldn’t find a cover on Google images that matches the one I own. So unheard-of that I didn’t even know there was a sequel until today.

The Tower of Geburah tells the story of three siblings who discover three old television sets in their uncle’s attic during a snowstorm. And the televisions are actually portals to a fantasy world called Anthropos. Anthropos is in deep trouble: King Kardia is in prison and an evil sorcerer, Hocoino, is oppressing everyone else. Only the children can save Anthropos by journeying to the Tower of Geburah. And battling all sorts of evil creatures and befriending the coolest wolves, dwarves, and magical people.

John White’s narrator-voice reminds me of CS Lewis’s voice. He tells the story with the same gentle grace, same benevolent tone as Lewis, and makes many similar allegorical connections. I cry every time I read this book — not only at the sad parts, but at the good parts too because they’re just so good.

Plus one of the main character’s names is Wesley, and I love any book with a character named Wesley.

Now, since it’s thunder-ing and raining and hailing outside, I totally feel like curling up with The Tower of Geburah and transporting myself back to my childhood. Too bad I have class…

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By the way, I joined the Twitter train yesterday. I loitered around the sign-up page for at least two weeks before taking the plunge — and happily got six followers in about six minutes. How exciting! I’m not really sure how to best use it yet, and I also don’t know the lingo (tweet? retweet? list? what?) but hopefully I’ll get the hang of it. Helpful blog post: http://lisa-schroeder.blogspot.com/

Come visit me at twitter.com/kirstenjoyrice

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Tomorrow: AW Exposed Interview #3 with Phaeal

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Roadtrip Wednesday: Getting to know you!

First thing that popped into my head when I read this prompt over on the YA Highway blog:

Since I’m not the most interesting person in the world, you’re all invited to participate in the comments section, and we can all learn beautiful and new things about each other — comment by comment (that was a reference to the YouTube video in case you were confused)!

1) What are the three best books you’ve read this year?

Over the summer, I read Three Cups of Tea, the true account of ex-climber Greg Mortensen, whose mission to educate rural children has transformed villages across Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortensen has brought hope to literally thousands of kids through his quiet commitment to change. More than education, he spreads a positive image of American people in a volatile part of the world. The book hit the New York Times Bestseller list several years ago, showing another side of Islam and the Middle East to millions of Americans — breaking stereotypes, bringing awareness. LOVED this book.
Then I read The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde (yes, double F. Isn’t that cool? Maybe my writing name should be Kirsten Rrice). I think the extra letter gives Jasper a super-power ability to craft deliciously hilarious prose — either that or he’s just brilliant anyway, F or no F. In this book, nursery crime detective Jack Spratt has to find Goldilocks, who’s gone missing after eating all the porridge. Murder and intrigue and nursery rhymes? Good stuff. Other Fforde classics include twist-ups of Jane Eyre and Hamlet — I’m not usually the type of reader that laughs out loud, but Fforde is my exception (along with Calvin and Hobbes).
Yes… that’s only two. But that actually does tell you something about me: I have not read a book for pleasure in quite a while, so I can’t think of another one to add.

2) If you could meet one author (living or dead), who would it be?

Hm… I have to say C.S. Lewis. He is brilliant. I love how the Chronicles of Narnia incorporates fantasy and fun with deeper topics of faith and life. I love his voice — that gentle narrator that says all those quaint British things.

3) What book are you most looking forward to in 2010?

S o as this book is already out on the shelves, the rest of the world has already read it, but I’m really excited to read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I’ve heard about ten million good things about — and I would love to drop everything and read it right now. Finals say no, though, so I think it’ll be 2010 by the time I get around to it.

Your turn! Tell us your precise cup of tea (that’s another reference to the YouTube video…) in the comments section.

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Roadtrip Wednesday: Who is your literary crush?

I’m normally not the kind of person who keeps a couple crushes simmering on the back-burner. I am a very faithful person — even to plain old cafeteria crushes (if you’re not in college, you might need this definition: cafeteria crushes are crushes on guys you might not even know by name, but who you see in the cafeteria and smile at).

But when it comes to literature, I’m all over the place. I am not faithful to anyone. I’m kind of…a player. Yet for the sake of brevity I’ll stick to the three most swoon-worthy guys on the shelves.

Peter Pevensie (Chronicles of Narnia): Brave and Bold

That irresistible quality: Peter’s heart is all-around swoon-worthy. He is the bravest, strongest boy, who loves his sisters and brothers and treats everyone with respect. Did you not start bawling when Aslan told him that he could never return to Narnia?

That irresistible appearance: He is blonde (and I always love blondes) and just a little bit older than me — at least when I started reading the Chronicles of Narnia (I love older men, too.) And… have you seen the movie? William Mosely, you make me smile.

That irresistible scene: “Rise up, Sir Peter Wolfsbane, and always remember to clean your sword” (Non-verbatim quoting is my faulty memory)

Kartik (A Great and Terrible Beauty): Mysterious and Exotic

That irresistible quality: Kartik is Indian and runs with gypsies (a.k.a. automatically hot…), so he’s kind of a free spirit. And always mysterious, always doing random weird things, always keeping the reader guessing. Is he attracted to Gemma? When is he next going to pop back into the book? In my opinion, he wasn’t around enough.

That irrisistible appearance: Dark-haired gypsy boy with mud-pool eyes. What’s not to love?

That irrisistible scene: In the first book, Gemma visits the gypsy camp this one time and somehow ends up having to pretend she’s there for Kartik (which she kind of is, anyway) and that he was expecting her… So she kisses him out of the blue in front of the whole world and — surprise! — he kisses back. Good scene. Much better than that one scene (spoiler alert!) where he turns into a tree. Bah. I’m still bitter.

Jesse (Tuck Everlasting): Sweet and Unreachable

That irrisistible quality: It’s been a long time since I’ve read Tuck Everlasting, but I always remember Jesse as a sweetheart — gentle and kind and cute and full of life — and soooo out of reach. Heartbreaking.

That irrisisitible appeareance: 17 years old forever. Also: that name Jesse is (in my opinion) half the attraction. It’s rugged and youthful and smooth on the tongue. Love him.

That irrisistible scene: I fell for him at first sight — when he sits by the spring, all young and adorable, and Winnie first sees him. Ah!

Now for you: Who’s your literary crush?

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