As some of you may know, I work at a major thrift store in Provo. We get thousands of items donated daily. I work in the back sorting through those donations to see what’s good enough to be resold and what’s not. I have been working there for eight months now and I have seen lots and lots of geeky items. If you follow me on I Love the Star Wars Prequels, you know that I post updates sometimes about prequels-related merchandise. Star Wars is perhaps the biggest franchise represented as far as action figures, toys, and collectible items. This is a sampling of some of the geek items I’ve seen at the store from a variety of fandoms and favorite media.
My wife challenged me recently to come up with a list of my ten favorite books. This was a pretty big challenge. I don’t know that I could say that his list would be my definitive list, since I am continuing to read new books all the time, and meeting new favorites all the time. In other words, I feel like this might be my ten favorite books right now, but that could change in a month. As I put together my list, I thought about series, like Harry Potter or Wheel of Time. If I included all the books from those series, it would be impossible to keep it down to just ten. I decided I could only count one from any given series. I even tried to keep it to just one from each author (I also cheated on both of these rules). I also excluded any religious texts. Yes, I love the Book of Mormon, but I thought of this as more secular titles. So, all of that considered, here is my current, as of today, list of ten favorite books.
Our favorite movies wouldn’t be as cool without the amazing musical scores behind them. This is a sampling of some of my favorite movie tunes.
- ‘This is Berk,’ James Powell, How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
(I’m writing my Christmas post now because my next post is most likely to be my reaction to The Force Awakens)
This is a bit of my OCD talking: I’m a skeptic when it comes to mixing sci-fi and fantasy with Christmas. I was raised in a family where the religious side of Christmas was always observed, and I’ve continued that in my adult life. Mixing Christmas with Disney princesses or superheroes or so forth can make me a little uncomfortable. Holiday specials featuring these characters can get a little on the cheesy side so I tend to avoid those. Storm troopers in Santa hats? I’ll have to tell you no. If we’re talking fan art, I might be a little more receptive. Yes, I believe that Christmas is “magical,” but I don’t like to mix it with other people’s definitions of that magic. Christmas should be about Christmas! I’m not a total purist, I’m just really picky.
Whatever happened to Narnia?
It’s not that there aren’t any more films coming. After years of rumors that The Magician’s Nephew was going to come next, instead we are getting The Silver Chair. The film is being developed by the Mark Gordon company. The screenplay is completed but in the process of rewrites, and it was written by David Magee. Magee wrote for the film adaptation of Life of Pi , which as far as book-to-film adaptations are concerned was fairly decent so I have some hope.
But why did the Narnia we were expecting in 2005 never come to fruition? Maybe it’s the audience. Or maybe it’s Hollywood. I’ve read in different places that movie audiences are seen as disillusioned and more inclined to gritty, realistic action films than fantasy. Narnia isn’t supposed to be gritty and dark, it’s supposed to be an idealized world, an escape from the rough, urbanized society of today. The books worked because they were about ordinary children doing extraordinary things, and the battles between good and evil were very clean-cut. Narnia is a codeword for escape: it is the quintessential fantasy.