Thursday, January 15, 2009

CaDh 8 -- Books of 2008

Dear List Makers and Milestone Keepers,

I too am a list maker, and I like keeping track of milestones and accomplishments, so this is one for the books of 2008.

I thought the discussion of what we have read for the year was an interesting topic. I guess what you take time to read says a lot about you. It is what you choose to actively engage in for relaxation. I mean, what you watch on TV says something about you, and yet, I hope that when I sit mindlessly in front of almost anything that happens to be playing that it won't be counted against me. But what I read is real every time.

This year due to a membership to I listened to a lot of books. I started off the year with "I am Legend". This was to prep for going to see the newly released movie. I did a lot of that this year, with follow ups of The Prestige, The Kite Runner, The Day the Earth Stood Still and I started on Marley and Me before the year ended.

I really enjoyed I Am Legend. The movie took a lot of license and made changes, so both book and movie were different but good. The Prestige made a better movie than it did a book, but it was enjoyable. I have not yet seen the Kite Runner, but it was a great book. The Day the Earth Stood Still was an odd story, especially to make into a movie. And the changes they made to the movie were strange and poorly planned. It takes a lot for me to be totally disappointed in a movie theatre experience, and I enjoyed "The Day", but probably won't watch it again. Both the Marley and Me book and movie were great, but the book wins out 100%. A very enjoyable read, yet watch out for crying...should say SOBBING.

I also listened to Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinlan, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Enchantment by Orson Scott Card, Annes House of Dreams by LM Montgomery, The Joys of Love by Madeline L'Engle, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and I ended up with Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card. Sci Fi is obviously my cup of tea, but I had a mix of light and enjoyable reads. I don't want anything that is going to be to heavy to think about when I am half asleep on my way into work, and I definitely want something I can look forward to after work. Of all the books I listened to, Life of Pi was the one I enjoyed the most. I had never heard of it until I looked at the recommendations section on I am glad I gave it a try.

Other books I actually read this year include the Mars Hill Trilogy, including The Evidence, The Proof and The Return by Austin Boyd, and Truck by Michael Perry.

I did some self-improvement and Spiritual development too, including The Great Omission, by Dallas Willard and The Gift of Being Yourself by Benner, The Shack, by William Young was a really awesome read, and I loved So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson, Jake Colson, and David Coleman, He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobson, and Lord Foulgrin's Letters and The Ishbane Conspiracy by Randy Alcorn. I think that the Ishbane Controversy, although not your typical book on teenage development, is a must read for all parents. This is real stuff. Of my personal development books, I think the Shack is the most important read of the year. It will change how you see life.

Wow, when I list them all out, it seems like a lot!!

But, if I am going to nominate a contender for the Ellstrom award, it would have to be. . . Life of Pi. It was the best book I read this year. And it was not only enjoyable, but discussed deep Spiritual ideas and issues. I have always been partial to these types of stories. A boy on a boat and his tale of survival. Very Robinson Crusoe or Old Man and the Sea. It was great, and although I don't know if Pap Ellstrom would have liked it, I think he would have appreciated the writing and the topic.
So that was 2008. Can't wait to see what 2009 will hold. And I plan to pilfer off of BRD's list, because I know it will lead to my personal and mental development and betterment. So I will be starting with The Eyre Affair. Just call me an intellectual! :)

Yours truly,



brd said...

Life of Pi is a wonderful book. I agree. What do you think about a possible Ellstrom People's Choice Award.


cadh 8 said...

I like it. But I suppose you should get other nominations from other Ellstrom progeny. :)

Have you already read Life of Pi? I loved it. Great picture addition! Where did you find that? Thanks for the editing help, too.

cadh 8 said...

I saw rumors online that Life of Pi may become a movie. M. Night rejected directing, because he felt like people would expect a twist and he did not want to spoil the story. But since his movies have been devolving lately, I wish he would take this one on to get back on track. I am really not sure how well this book would do as a movie, though. I can see how it could be really disappointing.

brd said...

Absolutely. M. Night is the man for this movie. Perhaps, he will reconsider. I think that this would be one of those movies where the book and the movie would have to be quite different.

cadh 8 said...

OK, so I just watched the Kite Runner and read "the Curious Case of Benjamin Button", so I thought I would comment on comparing these books and the movies.

The Kite Runner movie was good. A tasteful portrayal of a difficult story. But if you watched this movie and liked it, you must read the book because you will love it. It is more touching and enjoyable than the movie, but of course is more of a commitment too. But thumbs up to both.

Ben Button was a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. In the movie, effects are used to make the main character go from old baby to young old man. It is also more of a psychological exploration of going from young in mind and old in body to young in body and old in mind. It was interesting in that way. The book is much more literal. He is literally born an old man and goes backward. Interesting but a little dull.
Almost 100% of the things that happen to BB in the movie are not in the book. And the movie took a good 2 hour story and made it into a 3 hour one, so I don't think they needed all that.

Anyway that is my update. :)