Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The mysteries of a secret room

While knitting over the past week I have finished listening to two audiobooks, both written for young adults: The Spiderwick Chronicles (Books 1 and 2) by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, read by Mark Hamill and The Magician's Nephew, by C.S. Lewis, read by Kenneth Branagh. The Magican's Nephew is a prequel, if you will, to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Both books have many of the elements that I really like: kids who are somehow without a complete family(in the case of Spiderwick, living with their recently divorced mother, in the case of The Magician's Nephew, his mother is sick and father is away), a spooky house with secret doors or rooms, and a discovery that opens up new worlds for the children (my dream house still includes a secret passage or room filled with wonderful things that the children in my life can find). So the basic premise of the books is not new, but they were both enjoyable to listen to. The reading of both was excellent. I find that the reading of the audiobook can make or break the experience. I really do not like multi-cast books or a lot of music (i.e. at the beginning or the end of a chapter); I find it too distracting. But these two were done very well, and I recommend these books - both the written and audio versions.

Picture from Yesterday
This makes me ridiculously happy - we (my husband and I) spent a couple of hours clearing the sleet off of our sidewalk, not a insubstantial task given we live on a corner lot. This is something that was important for me to do. For the last few years I have been walking to campus more often than I drive. In the winter I really appreciate the people who have taken the time to clear even a narrow path out of the snow. Many people walk by where we live now, and I really wanted to make sure to have a least a partial path through the sleet. It is part of my so-called "New Year's Resolutions" - which basically is to be the person in real life that I want to be.

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