Changing Opinions: Five Years in the Making

Guys, Book Heaven is five years old. It’s like a time capsule, looking back to my thoughts during my early teens (God help me, please don’t look too far back in the archive, it’s embarrassing). It’s interesting to see the different fads I went through, and how my opinions on certain topics have changed, but some have stayed constant.

For example:

  • I still LOVE the Septimus Heap series (and yes, I know I’ve mentioned them twice in as many posts, but I’m rereading them all before reading the final book, super excited!)
  • I still consider reading the best pastime ever
  • Pirates are cool (4eva)
  • I still believe books create a community

I love the fact that I still love (some of) the same books, as it really shows the staying power of some beautifully woven tales. In the words of the fabulous Carl Sagan,

Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.

However, in counter balance to that, there are also quite a few things I now shudder at the thought of loving. Not really because they are now considered “uncool”, but more because on rereading I have found that either the style is severely lacking, or that there are worrying messages/ideals that permeate the text. One example for me would be the Twilight Series. I really, really liked these books when I was younger, and I still might pick one up if stuck, but I can’t shake off an uncomfortable feeling when thinking about how controlling and almost abusive Edward is towards Bella.

Similarly, certain science fiction holds less appeal for me than it once did, because I have spent the last five years learning a lot more about physics, so some stuff just seems implausible. When authors get their science mixed up, it ruins the magic of the story for me.

So I’m planning on doing a full blown discussion on why some fiction has staying power, and some doesn’t, and since I think books (and blogging) belong in a community setting, I want your input. What books have you loved long-term? Are there any books you were fanatical about but have now lost interest in? Please leave a comment below.

P.S. I’m also looking for some book-themed blogs to read and add to my blogroll, so please comment with a URL if you know of one/write for one. Also, any input on possible format changes would be appreciated: would you like more book reviews, more theme discussions, less of anything? I’m excited to be publishing on Bookheaven again!

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Stick to the Originals

Recently, when in a bookshop, I noticed a shelf of pretty odd looking white-covered books. After a momentary shock, I realised that they werre the Twilight Saga. With white covers. Enough said.

The original covers were so visually effective: the main colours in the pictures, red and white, standing out well on the black background. This fit so well with the series: dark, attention-grabbing, and, lets face it, depressing. The German versions of the Saga all have beautiful covers, mainly in greens, browns and natural hues. This made the books look more antique and pretty, and made it much less likely for the reader to be annoyed with “Oh, you’re reading Twilight,” over and over again- unless you happen to be in Germany.

Then, in keeping with the big American franchise thing they stuck God-awful pictures from the movies on the covers. Eew. I mean, if I want to see a cover for the film, I’ll look at the DVD case, alright? Then I noticed a rather odd set of covers also with a white background, but with pale drawings/photographs on them- like the German covers morphed with the Snow Queen, or perhaps the cover to Cornelia Funke’s Reckless (which I just couldn’t finish, by the way). But then, the horror of these new covers just blew me away.

I mean, the photos were taken specifically to sit on a black background: thats got to affect he technical aspects of the colouring. I mean, besides the symbolism of the fair skinned vampires/Bella’s practically amaemic colouring, the hands and arms on the first cover are particularly pale, so that they contrast well with the dark background. They weren’t suposed to be put on a white background, only a few shades away from their own colour! That seems to be what the publishers have done: copied and pasted the pictures onto a white background, for some ridiculous reason.

I mean, really. Have they no taste? 😛

Oh, and by the way, what is with publishers bringing out Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice with new black/red themed covers, and things about how the characters are alike to the characters of Twilight? I don’t mind so much about Wuthering Heights, because it is actually mentioned a good few times in the book, and it deserves a dark, depressing cover, because it’s so ridiculously depressed. On the other hand, Pride and Prejudice is a fantastic book, with little or no reference in the Twilight Saga. Besides this, it is a happy, sparkling book that does not need a black cover, nor does it need its reputation tarnished by linking it to Twilight. I mean, if you were Jane Austen, how would you like it? None of the characters are similar, nor can any plot links be draw. And the worst bit is that they tried to modernise it. In one such version I saw a section on what Elizabeth and Darcy’s Facebook profiles would be like!!!

Hmm, guess what book cover this is meant to look like? Above book sold by “Dazzled by Twilight”. I mean, can you possibly come up with a worse name for a store?

There are two sides to every story… The Short Life of Bree Tanner

Promised you this post…

And to confirm the dates: It will be released in print form on the 5th of June, and will be available online from the 7th of june until July 5th for free.

There are two sides to every story….

Learning Clair de Lune- free sheet music and video

Learning this piece now- see, this would be perfect when played along with the Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven) in a small little cabin, on a baby grand, in a beautiful caravel …  (sorry, a bit ship-mad!)

For all you Twilight-mad fans, you probably allready love it. For you who aren’t sure about that connection- it’s one of  Bella and Edward’s favourite songs. Personaaly, I prefer the Moonlight Sonata a bit better, but I still love this. 

Very sweet and beautiful, and not too complicated. So here’s the PDF and a little video to help you get started. If you succeed, please post it on youtube and leave us the link in a comment!

 P.S. please tell us what the link is otherwise it will be deleted as spam!

Free sheet music
Debussy, Claude Debussy, Claude Clair de lune (From “Bergamasque Suite”) + MIDI / Video Piano solo Early 20th century Public Domain

For any of you here who love playing the piano, this post is also published on http://piratesatheart.wordpress.com (minus all the bookish bits) and is soon to be followed by lots more free sheet music.

Midnight Sun…

Since Midnight Sun was illegally leaked, many copies of it have been sent around the web. Please, please respect the authors rights, and don’t send it on, if you receive it in an email. Stephenie Meyer has responded heroically to this scandal, by publishing the first chapter on her web page, stepheniemeyer.com. This is a rough draft, a sneak preview, but it is exceptionally good. I can’t wait until she publishes the full version!

 

Remember, always respect author’s, artist’s and musician’s rights by avoiding downloading copyrighted material illegally.