Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Monday, December 31, 2012

InkSpell by Cornelia Funke

InkSpell is the second book in a trilogy, following InkHeart.
 

 

It took me over two years before reading the second book so some details from InkSpell were already vague to me. As I flipped through the pages, details started coming back and I was re-acquainted with the magical world crafted by Funke. I loved it.

A year passes since the end of the first story before the second one starts. Meggie and her parents live in the mansion of her book-loving Aunt Elinor, and she still continues to fantasize about the world where Dustfinger came from. Her mother gladly tells her about the magical place, while her father would have nothing to do with it.

While Meggie had her happy family, Dustfinger continued to travel with his apprentice Farid, finding a way to get back to his story. He found a reader who would do it for a fee, but it turns out that he was conniving with the evil Basta and Magpie, mother of the late Capricorn. Dustfinger successfully re-enters InkWorld.

Farid having learned of the evil plot was horrified for his mentor. He would not accept being left behind in this world. To him, his place was beside Dustfinger. He sought out Meggie, knowing that she was possibly the only one who could use the words weaved by Orpheus to send Farid over to the other world.

His longing to rescue the fire eater leads them to a big adventure. Meggie could not pass up the chance to visit the world she's been fascinated with. She read herself into the story too, a feat not even the talented Orpheus could do. Every step in the forest, she would recall details from the book, or from stories shared by her mother, who was trapped there for 10 years.

In InkWorld, it didn't take them long to find the fire eater and Fenoglio too, the author of the book who was now living in the story as a poet. There were new characters to meet as well. It was as if InkWorld truly had a life of its own beyond the words in the published book. And that was what troubled its creator.

Sadly, Fenoglio just couldn't live as a spectator in the world he considered as his own making. He had it in his head to manipulate the story from within, and with Meggie by his side he had found a way to make it happen.

To make matters worse, the Magpie and Basta retrace their steps to Elinor's house. With Orpheus as their ally, they are sent back to InkWorld, bringing Mo and Resa with them, intending to finish them off.

With our main characters now in the volatile world made from Ink, anything could and did go wrong.

There is a sad twist in this story, one that I haven't fully accepted yet. But if there was a lesson to be learned, it's that you can't bring back the dead, and meddling with other people's stories lead to no good.

I hope it doesn't take me another two years before getting to the final book in this trilogy, InkDeath.

This my fourth and final entry for the 2012 Award Winning Books Challenge :) 

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Books to Blog About

 

I have at least three books that I've read in the past month and a half that I have yet to post about. That's a huge backlog for me. The irony is that I really enjoyed reading these books, all are keepers as far as I'm concerned. Sometimes, the mojo just isn't there, and it has nothing to do with the book I want to review.

We'll see if I can get them done before 2012 completely bids adieu! Would you bet on it? Hehe :)

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Dreams of Ada by Robert Mayer

 

It was three years ago when I first learned of the names Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot. Three years ago when I read John Grisham’s The Innocent Man. The Dreams of Ada by Robert Mayer is one of the books referenced by Grisham in his research for that book.

The two books are so similar I had a difficult time separating one from the other. As I read The Dreams of Ada last month, I kept trying to recall details of the other case.

The Dreams of Ada is about the case against Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot, pertaining to the disappearance of convenience store clerk Denise Haraway. The two young men were arrested and tried six months after the disappearance, after they allegedly confessed to the crime. As far was Tommy Ward was concerned though, he was merely telling the police about the dream/s he had after police questioned him the first time around.

Ada is a very small town, so pretty much everyone knows everyone else. When the disappearance happened and there was no clue as to who may have taken the young woman, the town was in an outrage. They were thirsty for blood, hungry for justice. When news of a confession came out, the two boys were automatically judged guilty. And because they were the filth of the town, no one cared about them when they said the confessions weren’t true.

What happened to these boys was also the product of law enforcement personnel so eager to make a show of delivering justice. They were so bent on finding the perpetrators, they cared little about how it had been done.

I still find it very hard to believe that they were convicted twice, despite the absence of physical evidence. Despite the presence of witnesses corroborating their alibi Despite of the presence of reasonable doubt.

As I understand it, the two are now free. But not after spending half of their lives (over 22 years) in prison. What life did they still have to go back to?

Tommy Ward, in a way, was better off for having a family who had supported him all the way throughout the years of injustice he suffered. Karl Fontenot had not. Karl, seemed willing to stay in prison despite his innocence because he had guaranteed food and shelter. That was more sad.

Here in the country, there is still an ongoing fight to free Paco Larranaga, one of the young men convicted for the rape/slay of the Chiong sisters in Cebu. There’s a documentary film released about his story, I hope to get to watch it some time. Months ago, Hubert Webb and his co-accused for the Vizconde Massacre were finally released after being in prison for over 15 years. When they were convicted, they were just starting their lives. Now, they are old enough to already have high school kids themselves.

This type of injustice happened in America, it is with no doubt, happening everywhere. There must be something that can be done to prevent it from happening. We need to be able to trust the justice system.

On a completely different matter…

I attended our company Christmas party the other night, the first time I did in three years. After the party, we went searching for food and it brought us to Makati’s red light district – P. Burgos. It’s like a totally different world there all the flashing lights that are permanently there and not just Christmas d├ęcor. Haha. It’s a very short, but very bright strip. Made me want to go out and find custom banners made just to decorate the outside of this compound. Haha. Why not? Smile

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

60% off for Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set

Are you a fan of the TV series Downton Abbey? For a limited time, get the DVD copy of Seasons 1 and 2 for 60% off from Amazon: Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set - Original UK Version

A Bluray version is also available via this link: Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set - Original UK Version Set [Blu-ray]

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image source

I have only seen a few episodes of this UK TV series but I liked what I’ve seen. Grab the chance to own original DVDs/Blu-ray copies for a fraction of the cost!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Click (2006 movie)

You’ve seen the movie Click right? It stars Adam Sandler and Kate Beckinsale. I love this movie!

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I’m surprised (really?) that I haven’t written about this movie before. I must have seen it at least five times over the years but I know we saw this in the cinemas when it was released here. Apart from Linger being one of my favorite songs and the couple’s theme song in this movie, I love this film for a number of other reasons. But first, a quick summary.

Sandler plays architect Michael Newman, and Beckinsale is his wife Donna.  They have two young kids. The story begins with Michael not getting the promotion he was expecting in return for all the work he’s had to put in. The wife is supportive, but for sure, Michael just can’t wait to get promoted already.  With all the confusion of which remote controls what appliance, he heads out to the retail store Bed, Bath and Beyond. In the Beyond section he meets Morty who gives him the Universal Remote.

Michael soon finds out the amazing features of his new gadget. He can pause everyone and everything around him, and rewind to any point in his life – in fact, this is how he remembers what their song is. Since he can rewind, he also tries to fast forward. That’s what he does for arguments with the wife, traffic, and even for sex – because he has loads of work to do for his boss Mr. Ammer.

Despite having missed out on time with the family, he finds that his promotion keeps getting delayed. He decides to fast forward to when he is finally promoted. The thing is, he skips through an entire year. He has no memory of it but it happened. A version of him who is on auto-pilot goes through that year. When it stops, he is being congratulated for his promotion, but he is also undergoing marriage counseling. The wife’s complaint? He’s just never there.

The thing is, the remote records the user’s preference, so without even hitting a button, it already knows when to fast forward – arguments, sex, traffic, promotion. So the boss just had to promise a promotion (to CEO) and Michael finds himself waking up to the day he is made CEO – ten years later.

And so the story goes. Michael can’t get rid of the remote control that he thought was meant to let him control his life. Only he finds that it actually set things out of control.

So why do I keep watching this film?

  • I love Adam Sandler
  • Maybe I got girl crush on Kate Beckinsale
  • Perhaps for its message?
    • It makes you think about what you value most, and how you show it.
    • There are no shortcuts in life. Or at least, they come with consequences.
    • The movie tells us that each day we have an opportunity.
    • Good guys deserve a break.

Alfred and I were supposed to leave for the mall this afternoon but Click was on. Our afternoon became a two-movie marathon afternoon. The second movie was top billed by The Rock. Kwento ko next time. Smile