30 Day Book Challenge – Day 8

Book that scares you

The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring by J R R Tolkien

This is one of my favourite books ever, direct from the gifted mastery of J.R.R. Tolkein.  Certain suspenseful scenes, however, would often leave me no choice but to put the book down during the night and wait until the light of day to continue reading.

The scenes I refer to are those of the Black Riders, the Ringwraiths…the Nazgûl, and they terrified me with their screeching in the night, the sounds of them sniffing out their prey, and their hooded cloaks hiding the grotesque faces that lay beneath.  I have also since had the pleasure of watching the Peter Jackson film adaptations, which in my opinion, quite aptly represent the Nazgûl’s literary counterparts, but which left me with further sensory images of these frightening figures.  *shudder*

Here are some of the scary scenes from my 1993 Harper Collins edition of LOTR:

“Round the corner came a black horse, no hobbit-pony but a full-sized horse; and on it sat a large man, who seemed to crouch in the saddle, wrapped in a great black cloak and hood, so that only his boots in the high stirrups showed below; his face was shadowed and invisible.

When it reached the tree and was level with Frodo the horse stopped. The riding figure sat quite still with its head bowed, as if listening. From inside the hood came a noise as of someone sniffing to catch an elusive scent; the head turned from side to side of the road.”

Fellowship of the Ring, p.108-109

“On the far stage, under the distant lamps, they could just make out a figure: it looked like a dark black bundle left behind. But as they looked it seemed to move and sway this way and that, as if searching the ground. It then crawled, or went crouching, back into the gloom beyond the lamps.”

Fellowship of the Ring, p.140

Creeeepppyyyyyy!  And yet, it is a testament to Tolkien that I would read these books over and over again, because typically I shy away from scary movies, thrillers and anything remotely suspenseful.

~storytelling nomad~

30 Day Book Challenge – Day 7

Book that you can quote/recite

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I can’t recite the whole thing, but I do like to randomly drop quotes into casual conversation.  Also, I attribute remembering so much of this book to the BBC series adaptation, which I have watched a kazillion times, and is simply amazing.

Here are some of the best bits:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.”

You expect me to account for opinions which you choose to call mine, but which I have never acknowledged.

“My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant female, intending to plague you, but as a rational creature, speaking the truth from her heart.”

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

“Here are officers enough in Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country.”

“You ought to know, that I am not to be trifled with. But however insincere YOU may choose to be, you shall not find ME so.”

“You expect me to account for opinions which you choose to call mine, but which I have never acknowledged.“

“In vain have I struggled,it will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

“From the very beginning— from the first moment, I may almost say— of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”

~storytelling nomad~

30 Day Book Challenge – Day 6

Favorite young adult book

Dammit, I already used Harry Potter for yesterday’s book challenge theme!

I used to love the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman.  Oh, then there was the Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix. But no, I think I’m going to go with another Australian series; the Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody, which are still being published.  If you haven’t heard of this award winning series, here’s the blurb from the back of the first book:

In my dream I was somewhere cold and darkly quiet.  I could hear water dripping and I was afraid, though I did not know why.  In the distance there was a bright flash of light.  A high-pitched whining noise filled the air like a scream, but no one could scream for so long without stopping to breathe.

In a world struggling back from the brink of the apocalypse, life is harsh.   But for Elspeth Gordie, born with enhanced mental abilities that would see her sterilised or burned if discovered, it is also dangerous.  There is only survival by secrecy, and so she determines never to use her forbidden powers.  But it is as if they have their own imperative, and their use inevitably brings her to the attention of the totalitarian Council that rules the Land.

Sent to the remote mountain institution of Obernewtyn where escape is impossible, she must throw off her safe cloak of concealment and pit herself against those who would resurrect the terrible forces of the apocalypse.

Only then will she learn most truly who and what she is…

I’m not usually a fan of books with a futuristic setting, but these work for me because in the story, the apocolyptic event that caused havoc on the world forces people to turn back to more primitive and medieval ways of living, albeit with certain magical influences.  Isobelle started writing this series when she was in High School and now, as an adult, she continues the story of Elspeth and her destiny to save the world (of course!).

Also, it was only recently that I met Isobelle at a book signing, and she was just lovely.

Your world rocks, Isobelle!

~storytelling nomad~