The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

This is a post about the six-book series “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” by Michael Scott. The first thing I must say is: read it. I’ll try my absolutely hardest not to spoil anything about the books, especially as some of my friends who read this haven’t read the last book yet, but I recommend it to everyone young and old who enjoys fantasy stories. Or stories in general.

The second thing I must say is that this series made me cry. Multiple tears, that actually ran down my face. I make a distinction because the last episode of the BBC show “Sherlock” made me cry one tear that sort of stuck, and Les Miserables (the movie that just came out) made me tear up. Messenger, by Lois Lowry, makes me cry about one or two tears also, but The Enchantress, which is the sixth book in the “Nicholas Flamel” series, made me cry at least five tears, which is pretty much a record for me for any book, movie, or TV series.

Michael Scott, the author, is apparently an authority in Ireland on mythologies and folk tales, and it comes through in his writing. All of his characters (except the two main characters and the island of Danu Talis) are directly from different mythologies, from ancient American tales to Celtic myths to the gods of Ancient Egypt. It takes place in modern times, so the characters have cell phones and fly in airplanes, but nearly all the characters are historical in some way, which pleased me no end when I first read them.

I could probably talk for hours about the series and everything that happened in the books, and particularly the things that made me cry in the last book, such as-no: spoilers. But I shan’t, as that would make for an incredibly long post, and probably an incredibly boring one for those of you who either haven’t read the books or have read them and didn’t find them interesting (which to me is unimaginable, but I’m sure there are people who don’t like them). And so I leave you for now the way I greeted you: read the “Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” series by Michael Scott. I truly hope that you will enjoy them and feel them as much and as immensely as I did.

And til next time dears: Read on!

4: Into the Stories

This assignment from my brilliant English teacher? “What story would you put yourself in if you had the chance?” With barely a moment of hesitation:

Camp Half-Blood(taken from camphalfblood.org)

My favorite series of books that I have literally ever read (and I’ve read quite a few series). Rick Riordan isn’t someone like a Dickens, an Alcott, a Lewis, or a Rowling, who are easily considered “classic” authors, but his writing is very good, and highly addictive, and they’re heavily based on ancient mythologies which is something I’ve always had a passion for.

I have read the Percy Jackson books so many times (I think I’m averaging 10 times each?) that I’ve practically memorized them all. Although I still get annoyed at Percy’s stupidity occasionally, everything else in the books makes up for it for me.

If I were to insert myself into the Percy Jackson books, I would definitely be a leading player. Well, as much a leading player as Grover or Annabeth, as the books are written in first person, so I wouldn’t be able to be the narrator. I would definitely want to go on all his adventures and things, primarily because I would get to use a sword, but also because it would be actually interesting. I’d probably miss the food they had back at the camp, but I would love to go gallivanting around the country trying to save people and meet new ones.

If I were a leading(ish) character in Percy Jackson, it would totally change the books because traditionally only three demigods are allowed on quests, and if I went, either Annabeth or Grover wouldn’t be able to go, which would probably be detrimental in certain parts of the quests. Of course, I would like to think that if I went instead of one of the other two, they/we wouldn’t get into quite as many of the predicaments that they find themselves in in the books. Also, I hope that I wouldn’t have the dyslexia that nearly all demigods have, so there would be more exposure given to a demigod without dyslexia. (In the Heroes of Olympus series, the follow-up to Percy Jackson, there is a demigod without dyslexia but it’s not as relevant to the story as it is in the Percy Jackson books.)

One thing I wouldn’t like about being inside the Percy Jackson books (theoretically) is the amount of disgusting places they get in to. I mean, yes obviously if you’re fighting monsters and mythological beasties you’re likely to get covered in blood and saliva and other kinds of nasty junk, but one would think you would have the sense to attempt to wipe it off on something! That is one of the few things that bother me about fantasy books: the characters don’t always try to wipe off disgusting things from their clothing.

I would sincerely hope that I would get along with all the characters in the Percy Jackson books. It would be really awful to enter one of my favorite stories and have everyone think me an annoying incompetent prat. It would be cool if Annabeth and I got along like she and Rachel did, or the way that Rose and Donna did when they were talking about the Doctor.

If you haven’t read the Percy Jackson books, I highly recommend them. They are definitely aimed towards 12 or 14 year olds, but I think anyone could find them enjoyable if they at least appreciate Greek mythology. And as to entering the books, I highly doubt that it’s possible, but that’s why we dream, isn’t it?

Read on!

The Bookworm Re-Emerges

Although, bookworms eat books, so if a bookworm has re-appeared, is it really re-emerging or re-entering?

Anyway.

This is just a quick note to say that though in the fall I succumbed to schoolwork and the beautiful dangers of the BBC on Netflix, over Christmas my ever-hungry bookworm reemerged in full force. At my best guess, I acquired 16 books over the Christmas holidays. So, yeah… John LeCarre (accent on the “e”) is absolutely brilliant, Lois Lowry is such a powerful writer, and I’m seriously addicted to book series. XD So read on dearies, and I shall update you next either with the latest in my book addictions or with a post for Honors English. Most likely the latter, actually. Cheers! 😀

Lord of the Rings

So Lord of the Rings:

I’m sure you’ve all heard of it. It’s rather popular, and has been around for a while. 😉

I read The Hobbit when I was about 8 or 9 and I loved.
So I decided to read the actual trilogy.
Halfway through The Two Towers, I quit. I couldn’t take it any more. After that, I swore never to read them again. I actually hated them, because they were so boring. I didn’t even remember what about them I didn’t like; I just knew I didn’t like them.

So when one of my friends suggested watching the Lord of the Rings movies, I was skeptical. Lord of the Rings? Really? But, I figured, I was older, maybe I’d like them.

I LOVED the movies. I watched the extended versions, and someone else I knew had complained about the extended version, saying it had too many dramatic shots of them walking and not enough action. I didn’t find that at all. I actually bought part of the soundtrack because it was so cool.

And since I loved the movies, I decided to give the books another try. I was about to go to DC for 10 days, and I knew I would have plenty of time to do nothing but read, so I borrowed them from a friend and started in. Again.

I really liked the first two books. I loved comparing the books to the movies, seeing what they did differently, and how it affected the plot. The language got a bit clunky and old-fashioned, but it was bearable, because I was in the right mindset.

And then I came back home. And I came out of the mindset. I’m still maybe barely a third through The Return of the King. But I have hope. Some of my favorite parts from the movies are still before me. I hope to finish it by the end of the month (I’ll let you know). But for now, I wonder if the best parts of the trilogies lie behind me, and if I’ll feel satisfied when I finally come to the end.

I hope I will.

And I really want to see the movies again.

AUM Common Reading Program

Today was the first day of the Common Reading Program at AUM! The Common Reading Program is where faculty and students get together for lunch (pizza!) and discuss different aspects of the book we’re reading. The book that the faculty chose for this semester is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is the story behind the HeLa cells. HeLa cells have been used all over the world to make important scientific advances, such as the polio and shingles vaccines. But what many people didn’t/don’t know is that the HeLa cells were actually cancer cells taken from a woman named Henrietta Lacks in the 1950s. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the powerful, moving, and in places, horrifying story of the journey not only of the HeLa cells, but of Henrietta’s family and of the struggles the author Rebecca Skloot went through in order to write this book. Rebecca Skloot artfully weaves different parts of the past together to tell this story.
So during the Common Reading Program, we discussed not only how Skloot tells the story, but also the moral, ethical, and financial problems presented and discussed in the book. It was a very enlightening discussion, but also very enjoyable. I would highly recommend The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to anyone looking for a fast, enjoyable, and thought-provoking read.