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Reading with Personality


Here’s a truism for you. If ever you are lacking inspiration in blogging, look no further than perusing your reader/dashboard. Seriously, there lies a fount of inspiration among the space you’ve reserved for favorite blogs or writers. Even if that person didn’t start a meme or picked up an outline from someone else, they are inspirations because every person puts their own signature on their scribblings.

Today, I am writing after being inspired by the lovely Kara. She wrote a post on her reading likes and the “personality” she looks for in novels. Just for fun, I thought I’d join in. Way back when, I wrote the post, Lessons Learned from the Bookshelf which I felt was kind of explanatory for where those reading preferences lie but reading through Kara’s list, I thought, “do reading habits reflect personalities?” Sure they do! Sometimes I look at my books and wonder at my intellect since they tend to be sweet romances, but I am telling you, don’t underestimate the genre! They are challenging.  
 
Below are some of the things I look for in fiction, and while I am not sure it’ll number itself into a “top ten” listing, we’ll start with number one and go from there. 

Characters 
 
Good characters speak for themselves. They stand up for things that are right, admit when they are wrong and always trust God.
 
  1. Sometimes lines blur but it’s refreshing if the hero or heroine don’t let others sway them if what they are defending is the Truth.
  2. No one wants to “deal with” or read 300-hundred some pages of the “perfect” character – not only is perfection impossible, it tends to make the character an outlet of distrust and dislike as opposed to endearment. Obviously, an author should strive to achieve the latter feeling – an endearing, “messy” character is a joy to walk with.
  3. Not every character starts out a godly person. A fictional journey is more worth investing in (both materialistically and emotionally) if characters come into an authentic, satisfying trust of Christ when the final page is closed. (Perhaps I should specify that, sadly, this applies only to Christian fiction.) 
 
Creativity 
Because we are creatures of habit, and most of us gravitate towards normalcy, it only makes sense that we gravitate towards the familiar. When a novel “speaks” to us as being authentic with a voice that is also genuine, that makes the narrative all the more realistic. Creativity might be something difficult to come by (if the books I’ve been reading lately are any indication, I’d beg to differ!) but there is comfort in the familiar. I enjoy happy-go-lucky novels even if they do fall back on clichés; which is also a charming quality I am happy with considering I actually LIVE life (nothing about it is fiction) – when I read, it’s an escape. Whether it be a fantasy or contemporary novel, the primary is to be entertained. Imagination is welcome; authenticity (transparency) is respected.
 
Genre 
Once upon a time, I almost exclusively read historical. Those of you who have put up with my ramblings about my dislike of specific eras may find this hard to believe. I started with Janette Oke and graduated to Lori Wick (and to a teenager, those books were way “romantic” after the proper sweetness of Love Comes Softly). To be honest, I cannot remember when the change happened but it came… slowly. Then one day I read a little book called, My Stubborn Heart. From that point on, I was “in love” with contemporary fiction. Obviously at this point I was already happy to limit my contemporary fiction to the likes of Jenny B. Jones (whom I discovered on a whim during a book store trip) and Susan May Warren (thanks to my mother’s love of romantic suspense). In her debut novel, Becky Wade captured everything I had been looking for from modern romances. There was depth, fun characters and since it was set in current times, I related way more than I may have had the story been re-worked for a historical.  
 
Since that summer, I’ve finally dug into Denise Hunter, Rachel Hauck, and YA author Krista McGee’s novels – between them I’ve added more than one gem to that “keeper shelf.” Ironically, I almost skipped over the opportunity to read My Stubborn Heart. Fortunately I did not. 
 
(Suspense is also one of my “guilty pleasures” (thanks for instilling love of a good mystery in me, mom). The author for whom thanks is due for re-iterating how much I like the genre is Dani Pettrey. Prior to her debut novel, Submerged, I’d fallen away from the genre and am happy to be back!) 
 
Whether it’s purely for enjoyment or a book I made a commitment to read, time is worth something and if I am going to read, I want to feel a pull to finish it – not because it’s out of “duty.”  
 
The Meet Cute
 
It’s no secret that I’m a romantic. I like to say that even admitting that, I am also able to separate fiction from reality – knowing that while a beautiful, poetic fictional can get a pulse racing, a real love story isn’t all about the “chase” or the first blush of love, it’s hard work. If you came by to look through the piles of novels littering my floor, you’d likely find more novels that were “branded” romance as not, however I appreciate those that take a more subtle approach to the topic also. Only thing I ask is, that it still be purposeful – I don’t think it’s necessary if the author added it just for the sake of having a romantic connotation.
 
Message
Inspirational II Christianity  
In the past few years, most of the Christian books I’ve read have seemed a bit “tepid.” Too often, it left me unimpressed with how Christ was represented and by the last page disappointed authors didn’t take a firmer stand. It takes skill to balance being inspiring and causing someone to hunger for “more” and coming across as “preachy,” which is more of a turn off than something to admire.  
 
 
Reading
While actually reading, each of us have quirks. Some may highlight books, others may dog-earned their pages. I am not fond of highlighting (and cannot imagine making use of the feature even if I owed a reader), however, I am a reader whose books look worn after one reading. I fold back paperbacks and if it’s a hard back novel, I make use of the inside flap as a book mark. Another of my reading quirks? Using paper clips for book marks – they work great!  
 
Quality 
 
“Quality over quantity.” This is something many of us book junkies may find difficult to live by. It’s the truth – trust me. Once, I was “addicted” to collecting every book a favorite author ever penned. That does not guarantee you’ll like a book. Do your research before committing to or buying the book – is the setting of interest? Does the plot sound good? If, after you’ve given the book the satisfactory check, it sounds like the “right fit,” of course that doesn’t mean it will be, but my experience has taught me that it prevents a lot of the quantity that you really don’t need. Some books are meant to be a risk and that’s okay – we do have to live a little now and again. *wink* 
 
…and as always, I turn the comments over to you!
Share some of the characteristics you look for in books.
Could we guess your personality by looking at your bookshelf?

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Rissi
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40 comments:

  1. My former pastor used to say he learned a lot from perusing members of the congregation's bookshelf. I think had he ever seen mine, he would have been very confused! I have a ton of nonfiction resource volumes (mostly about the Tudors and Founding Fathers), about three different sets for Sherlock Holmes, some Pratchett, Lewis, Tolkien, and Rowling and a bunch of classics. I only buy one or two books a year -- usually I get them from the library, since there's very few novels I'll read more than once.

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    1. I like to say if you were to come sort through my bookshelf, basically you'd throw everything out. ;) There's one or two classics there and I've got a few devotionals, but mostly, it's Christian/YA fiction. What can I say? I like happy reading!

      Given how passionate you are about the Tudor dynasty, I think that's great you have so many books centering on them - and who wouldn't want some Sherlock material?! That's always a source of great pride. ;)

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    2. I went through a Lori Wick reading period in my young teen years. Then, for whatever reason, I stopped reading fiction altogether for about eight years. I read some nonfiction now and again, and Rowling, but that was about it. I don't think I've picked up a Christian novel since, unless it's Peretti (and I haven't read either of his recent books).

      Why I've kept historical volumes is beyond me -- probably for future reference in case I write any more Tudor novels. :D

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    3. Never read Peretti. His books seem a bit.. creepy? I haven't read a Lori Wick novel for eons. She isn't in the inspirational fiction game anymore that I can tell. But the last trio of books I did read by her (something about "moonlight" in the title) wasn't as good.

      That seems perfectly logical. Given your love of Tudor history, you totally should write more books about them. When you're passionate about something, that's where you discover your best writing. :)

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    4. Peretti can be pretty creepy -- but his Darkness books are amazing. I love his angels, they have real personality! Those are my favorites of his... some of his later books, I also enjoy, but not as much. I haven't read his last couple of books -- I never liked Ted Dekker, so I was afraid he'd "pollute" Peretti!

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    5. Good to know, Charity. I'm always open to recommendations when unfamiliar with someone's work. That was always my impression of Peretti - his books just had that "creepy" tagline attached, no matter which one was currently under a "new release" status.

      I've not read Dekker either. Seen a bunch of them. But that's the extent of my relationship with his books.

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  2. My bookshelf consists mostly of historical fiction and fantasy. If someone perused my shelf, as well as took the time to look at what the books are about, I think that they might get a peak into my heart.

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    1. I'd bet so also, Grace - it's never a bad thing. Whatever our fiction pursuits are (inspirational romance, historical, biblical), each means something to the reader and that's what's most important. :)

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  3. Great post Rissi! :) I enjoyed reading your posts about what you read and what you get out of reading. I thought your comment on 'the message' was interesting; there's definitely an art involved in getting your message across without coming across as "preachy" or "heavy-handed".

    Ahh! I'm one of those people who try to be super careful with my books (I think I mentioned it in one of those Top Ten posts in the past about book reading habits)--I try not to crack the spines, bend the corners, lol (though with reading in the subway or public places, I've sort of loosened up about it, haha). Some of my non-fiction titles have notes and highlights, partly because I used them for research (and partly to organise my thoughts, engage in a dialogue with what's written in front of me).

    I do often wonder what people would extrapolate about me based on my bookshelf; I have quite a mix of fiction (from classics to literary, fantasy and historical fiction, some foreign language titles too!) and nonfiction (lots of Russian history from my undergrad/grad days, some political theory titles and biographies, travelogues, the odd astrophysics book (lol!). Maybe one of these days I'll post up some photos ;)

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    1. I enjoy writing them, Lianne (and reading your bookish posts as well) - however I often think that I am outstaying their welcome around here. ;) Thanks as always for reading!

      It does take a skilled balance not to come across as "preachy" in stories. I certainly realize that. One part of me respects authors who take risks though - if the spiritual elements (Christianity) don't come across as self-righteous, I am all for "more" from this theme.

      I am the biggest offender of folding back pages when I read - I miss that when I read a hardcover. Guess it's a "convenient" habit while reading - there is really no purpose to it.

      I've just started wondering what people would think of my bookshelf - I joke with Charity that if she were to come "sort out" my bookshelf, she'd throw nearly everything away. Makes me laugh how different our reading styles are. It's fun actually because we don't have to worry about spoiling a book for the other person or saying something "bad" about each others favorite books. :) As film adaptations, I enjoy the classics but I've only gotten through S&S and partially Northanger Abbey. Someday it is a goal of my to journey through some classic lit, however I don't mind saying, they intimidate me! ;)

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    2. Re: the "preachy" aspect, it's why I like Elizabeth Gaskell more than Charles Dickens when it comes to social commentary in the 19th century; Dickens can be a bit heavy-handed at times (which I think is because he goes off on tangents) whereas Gaskell balances her presentation of the social problems related to industrialisation with a rivetting plot :)

      lol, yeah, it's interesting to see how different our reading preferences and styles are but at the same time it's great to see what's out there and what's good from those different genres :)

      I think that's the great thing about film adaptations, you can still enjoy the story if you haven't gotten around to the books (yet). Btw, you should check out Persuasion when you get a chance (either the 1995 or the 2007 version), it's soooooooo romantic. My favourite Austen <333 Oh, and have you seen the 2004 adaptation of Gaskell's North & South (I don't remember if we've ever talked/flailed about it)? It's very close to the book but all sorts of lovely (especially the ending!!!)

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    3. Good to know, Lianne. I think perhaps I should (someday) try a novel by Gaskell. If I'm not mistaken, my aunt read one of hers and she liked it. Sometimes she'll read part of the book, then watch the movie to help her visualize characters and such. Most classic lit introduces SO many characters, it can be a challenge to keep them all straight. That's why some scripter's eliminate certain "unimportant" faces.

      In regards to differing book tastes and genres, you make a great point. Totally agree. It's nice.

      I have seen both adaptations of Persuasion plus the 80's series, I believe. Love the 2007 version the best minus that up-close, silly scene of Anne running through the streets. Everything else is great - still think filmmakers need to tweak the casting a bit. Oh, gosh yes! I adore N&S also. (Not sure if we've raved about it or not...) Either way, it's an elegant period drama - the kind I didn't wish to see end no matter the happy ending. :)

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  4. "I enjoy happy-go-lucky novels even if they do fall back on clichés; which is also a charming quality I am happy with considering I actually LIVE life (nothing about it is fiction) – when I read, it’s an escape."
    I couldn't agree more! That's my viewpoint on any entertainment. I rarely ever enjoy something that leaves me sad or disappointed, so matter how artistic and creative it may be.

    For that reason I used to love reading inspirational romances. Just like you, I started out with Janette Oke, and went on to Lori Wick. I would go to the annual library booksale and buy boxes full of inspirational fiction, and read anything I could get my hands on (as long as it bore that stamp of "Christian" approval). But eventually I was convicted of being too obsessed with the romantic, and that it was over-feeding my already-vivid imagination. (Some "Christian" romances include scenes that I can't really approve as being totally appropriate.) So I gave away almost my entire collection (kept my Janette Oke) and began new reading habits. I had a Ted Dekker phase for a while, until he got too creepy. Now I'm reading more of C. S. Lewis and the like, and trying to get into Dickens and other old classics. I don't read nearly as much, so when I do read I often just re-read a Jane Austen.

    I used to try to be really careful with my books, but I'm starting to like the worn and loved look of a well-broken in book. I don't like highlighting or underlining and dog-earring, though. And I've started memorizing the page number I stopped on rather than using bookmarks! ;)

    Great post, Rissi!

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    1. You and I are kindred spirits here, Lizzie. I DO NOT enjoy sad books or films. I can take sadness in the story if there's a really good reason, and then the reader/viewer is gifted with a happy ending but a pointless sorrow makes me mad. Dickens is popular with all sorts of tragedy but if the film adaptations are anything to go by, things ALWAYS end well and I respect that.

      That's nice that you are changing up your reading habits - I am working towards defining my "type" of books also even if it is within the same genre. It's been helpful and I've taught myself which books are better suited to me and which aren't. Silly as it may sound, I think that's of import in any avid reader's life.

      C.S. Lewis' 'Narnia' novels are fantastic! They probably shaped fantasy fiction - and if so, they'd deserve that distinction.

      LOL! Love what you said about bookmarks - memorizing the page number seems a good way to exercise the mind, right?! ;)

      Enjoyed this comment very much, Lizzie and the glimpse into your reading habits - thank you for sharing.

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    2. Exactly! I've never understood why the writers of books/movies would tragically kill off a character for seemingly no good reason! I like to pretend that Matthew didn't die in "Anne of Green Gables." ;)

      I do sometimes miss my romances, but I have noticed greater contentment with my own severe lack of romance in my life since I've stopped... and Jane Austen satisfies the romantic requirement without upsetting my equilibrium. Maybe someday I'll be able to read Christian romances again. Defining your "type" of books makes a lot of sense! I'm going to be thinking about that.

      "The Chronicles of Narnia" are wonderful! They were some of my favorite books as a child, and I was amazed upon rereading them recently how many Christian parallels he included. I wish the movies had turned out better.

      Hehe, yes, that's what I'm hoping!

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    3. That example was a horribly sad death in a "classic" literature film adaptation, Lizzie. Good for you - you should un-wish and pretend things like that don't happen. I like your style. It's better that way. ;)

      I'd sure miss inspirational romances. Despite my self-diagnosis of being a "romantic," I feel like I can separate fantasy from reality. It's helpful if a reader has that grip on reality - because bottom line, real romances aren't like the movies or fiction. Sometimes we girls let those lines blur. Real relationships are hard work and there isn't going to be a series of "perfect" events. Glad you've enjoyed Austen. She did know how to craft a basis for a good story.

      Respectfully, I must say that I thought the Narnia movies were wonderful. The first one especially. I remember watching it on the big-screen and having just read the book, I was SO impressed with its transfer to screen. The messages are so powerful - in both the book and film form. Now that the movies aren't being made any longer, I really do need to finish the books. I was reading them in correlation with the movies. Cannot do that any more. :)

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    4. I try to do it all the time, just sometimes my imagination isn't strong enough. ;)

      My problem lies not in separating fantasy from reality, but in becoming unsatisfied with reality when it's starkly contrasted by the fantasies. Anyway, I hope this didn't come off the wrong way, because I certainly don't think everyone should have to give up reading romances! I know it's a personal weakness, and one that I felt led to control by removing the temptation. Definitely, real relationships are hard work, and there's not always going to be the "fluttery butterflies" romance. I'm just one of those girls who tends to be "desperate" for anything. =)

      You're right, the first one was very good. I was annoyed with the "Caspian and Susan" stuff that they added to Prince Caspian, and Voyage was my favorite book ever since I read it at age 9, so I guess it was doomed to disappoint me. I usually find a book to be infinitely superior to its movie adaptation. Definitely you should finish reading them! They are wonderful books.

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    5. True that - I like to say that the BBC's Robin Hood S2 finale should be turned off about five or ten minutes before it ends. But then, how can I explain away that sorrow of series three? Hmm... it's a work-in-progress dilemma. ;)

      Not at all, Lizzie - I understood you weren't being critical or suggesting that no one should read romances. I agree with you - it's a choice every reader has to make for themselves, and I certainly "get" what you are saying. If you know your personality or tendency is to be "desperate" unhappy with reality vs. those fantasies, there's no harm in stepping away from romance if you feel like it's more "harm" than good.

      Oh, yes - know EXACTLY what you're saying about a favorite book being adapted then "ruined." When something precious is made as a film, there is always that "dread" it won't possibly match the literary form. I think many felt like 'Dawn Treader' was the least impressive. That is probably true though I thought there were some great moments - but then I have always been a sucker for the relationship between Lucy and Aslan. :)

      Basically the first movie is likely the most superior all around and I suspect all of the books are excellent - makes me all the more aware how much I need to read them! :)

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    6. And that's precisely why I'm afraid I will not be able to watch Downton Abbey season 4... there's no way to reconcile my alternate ending with how the story will continue! ;)

      Oh, good, I'm glad what I said made sense and didn't come off wrong. I know I need to avoid "too much" romance, however sorely I am tempted. Many of the books you review are very enticing! =)

      Well, I never expect a movie to completely match its book, because in every case so far (even my favorite Pride and Prejudice 1995, though it is VERY close!) the movie isn't quite as perfect as the book. Unfortunately, I did have some high hopes for "Voyage." I should probably watch it again though, now that my disappointment has had time to mellow. It might not be as bad as I remember.

      The books are great! My second favorite is probably "The Magician's Nephew" which I understand you haven't read yet. There is much debate over the correct order for reading The Chronicles of Narnia, my personal favorite is "The Magician's Newphew" next. =D I'm sure you'll enjoy them!

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    7. I get that dilemma, Lizzie - I do. Some of our preferable endings cannot be reconciled. (Do you ever wonder or think, sometimes we could write this stuff better!?) Every time I tell someone how I feel about 'Downton,' I get the feeling that I've become a foe instead of friend. ;)

      It's been helpful as a reader to learn book preferences - as you have been discussing here, you also have in your own life by stepping away from romances. That is a problem, isn't it!? Being tempted by all those reviews out there - I know I'll skip over a book, then read a review and think, "that sounds good!"

      Shamefully, I believe I've only watched 'Voyage' once also - at the theater. It's weird because I liked it. However, after talking with you about the series, obviously I've realized just how well I like the movies. Hopefully this will (finally) inspire me to finish the book series and perhaps even enjoy a re-watch of each film.

      Yes, that debate over which order to read the Narnia books in is a big one. Fun fact: had another movie been made, 'Magician's Nephew' was next in line. Glad to get your personal fave recommendation - that will have to be the next I read. :)

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    8. Hehe, I do frequently think that I could "fix" a lot of stories! But then I also wonder if not *enjoying* those sad parts just means that my taste is too confined and unvarying for true artistic story appreciation. I have heard that there's such a thing as a "good" cry inspired by sad stories, but I've never understood it myself. ;)

      Yes, so many books sound good! And giving up romances was almost like giving up chocolate or something, so it is extremely tempting to read a review of a really sweet story and suddenly get a "craving."

      Same here, I saw it in the theater at midnight (I was half asleep too!) so I really should watch it again. So have you heard that they gave up on making the rest of the movies? My sister had told me it was just going to be a LONG time before the next one, so I was still hoping they might continue. I'd love to hear what you think when you read the rest of the books! =)

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    9. There *is* something fun about trying justify (in our minds) the quirks in stories that we don't like, Lizzie - always enjoy a good gushing over the good AND bad of the scripts/stories.

      Yes! I wonder if we, as viewers don't sometimes "appreciate" (enough) how writers resolve things - I mean, I am still not a fan of needless deaths but we ask writers to take risks yet rage against them when things go array. I suppose that as a girl who's experienced "loss" on some of her favorite TV fandoms several times, I've reached the point where I am "over" the drama of bemoaning it. I mean, sure I am sad but if it opens doors to new concepts or new faces, I am all for that.

      Inspirational romance novels are one of my weaknesses - can you tell from the reviews!? ;) Most of the material Christian fiction authors are putting out is WONDERFUL and it's a feat that should be applauded.

      LOL, well, then you should rewatch 'Voyage.' Being half asleep while watching a movie is never helpful. ;)

      Not sure if they've given up on more Narnia films or not. What I do know is there is very little going on with its production now - guess I just assumed that it wouldn't happen at this point. Either way, yes, definitely looking forward to the rest of the books!

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    10. That's true, when I really hate how a particular plot went, it's almost as much fun to rant about it as it is to rave about the parts that I really loved!

      Exactly, it may not be what I *wanted* to happen, but in some cases, I can admit that a death, or other sad occurrence might be what a show/movie/books really needs... I just couldn't be the one to write it!

      Oh, yes, and they sound quite delectable. I hope someday I'll have myself under control enough to be able to read them again. If I do, I'll be sure to come pick out some from your reviews! =D

      Definitely not, I didn't remember much of The Hobbit from the first viewing (my siblings insisted on the midnight premiere of it also... I can't stay awake in the wee hours!) so I really should give "Voyage" another chance.

      Well, my sister said 2015 stuck in her mind, and I did a little poking around on the internet and found 2018 mentioned as well. So maybe we'll get more eventually! But I'll always probably feel that the books are better. ;)

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    11. LOL, that opening sentence - so true! It can be as much fun to rant as rave. ;)

      Yes it takes a special kind of writer who takes risks - there are the kind of "dares" that readers easily accept and there are the sort that become hard to experience. For myself, I see my writing as more "baby step" risks. I might not develop a relationship where another author would exploit the "convenience" in it but in every other way, I know and accept that my writing is nothing more than "cutesy." As you allude to, I'd never be able to kill off a beloved character - a villain on the other hand, that could be doable. ;)

      Wishing with you then, Lizzie - some of the novels today are so much more than "just" romances.

      Good golly! I'll have moved on to "other" interests by 2018 - I mean, really!? Let's hope it's 2015 instead. :)

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    12. Depending on my mood, sometimes it's even more fun to rant. hehe!

      Yes! My philosophy is summed up in the words of Miss Prism (The Importance of Being Earnest), "the good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means." If I were to write any stories, that is how they would ALL end. I once read a story where the hero and heroine died at the end of the book. I was sort of traumatized. ;) I do try to appreciate the risks like that, but I'm really quite content with simple, happy stories containing only minor conflicts.

      Well, the books have been waiting a long time! Lewis wrote them in the 50's, and since the horribly cheesy adaptations in the 80's, they've just been waiting to be made into good films. Of course, I'd rather it be 2015, but I'll happily go see a new Narnia movie in my 40's if I have to wait that long! =D

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    13. True that!

      You know, that line from Miss Prism does sums everything up PERFECTLY. I like that. Perhaps I'll adopt that philosophy as well. It's basically already mine anyway. ;) You know I watched a BBC film once in which a brother and sister both die a horrible death and when I shut it off, it was like you wanted to question the entire purpose of the story. Needless to say, I don't even own that DVD any more. It was so NOT cool.

      *high five*

      That's me also - I am content with simple and happy, sometimes the sappier the better!

      For sure. Given how long the books have been around, what does it matter if the movie comes in 2018 or 2015!? Like you, I will see it no matter when the release date rolls around, there's just something "scary" to think so long term like that!

      (Always thought those 80's movies look "cheesy" - glad to be justified in that thinking, lol. ;D)

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    14. Isn't it great? I just love that quote!
      Oh, that does sound dreadful. I like my entertainment to leave me happier than when I started, and when it doesn't, I just don't see the point. Like you said, you question the whole purpose of the story. Seriously, WHY? =P

      *high five* Cheers for simple, happy, sappy and romantic stories! The best kind of story ever. ;)

      The only problem I can think of is how old the actor who plays Eustace will be getting... although, since they're planning Magician's Nephew next, they'll probably just end up recasting him if they ever get around to the Silver Chair and The Last Battle. It is kind of scary to think how far in the future that seems... what's even scarier is how fast it will get here! I can't believe it's been almost 8 years since the first Narnia movie.

      Hehe, yes, they are pretty cheesy. 10-year-old me enjoyed them immensely though, in spite of the cheese, and not-so-great quality. =D

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    15. It is grand! Forgot how much I like that film - it's HILARIOUS and Miss Prism is a large part of that. :)

      I stopped trying to justify pointless tragedy in stories a long time ago. It's easier that way.

      That actor will have likely "grown up" by now, so I suspect you are right; Eustace will be re-cast. Depending on who the role goes to, I don't think that'll make a great difference like it would have had Lucy or Edmund or any of the Pevensie children been re-cast because we grew to love them as they were played by the four actors over three movies. Either way... seeing more movies made will be epically good. Or that's my hope. :)

      Had I seen the 80's movies as a kid, I would have likely LOVED them and as an adult, they'd have still been "special" because of the childhood memories. Since I didn't, I kind of lack interest now. :)

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    16. Everything Oscar Wilde I've seen is great! And you're right, Miss Prism is a great part of the hilarity!

      I'm not particularly attached to Will Poulter's Eustace, but I did think that his physical appearance was PERFECT for the part. The Eustace in the 80's movie was very good, too, though, so I'm not despairing of finding another good actor for the part.

      The 80's movies are special to me, but I'm a little scared to watch them again, for fear that my memories will be ruined by seeing them through my "adult" eyes. ;)

      I have greatly enjoyed this conversation! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me about all these rabbit trail topics I've gone on... I could talk about books and movies and happy endings forever. Especially with such a kindred spirit! =D

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    17. For me also, Lizzie. He was a man of questionable repute (or that is my impression) but he knew how to "do" humor right. I can appreciate that. :)

      If I remember correctly, Will did play Eustace well, though seeing him replaced wouldn't be too much of a challenge given he only joined the saga for the one movie adaptation. Unless the actor who replaces him is horrible, I think it can be done well and without ruffling too many feathers.

      You know, I know just what you mean about watching something with "adult eyes." That happened to me also recently with a couple of television films - where they once were fun and cute, watching them now made me realize how painfully cliché (or cheesy) they were. Nonetheless, they still had their good points - as I'd imagine the "oldie" Narnia movies do.

      Me, too! It's been fun - and I don't mind the "rabbit trail" topics in the least, Kindred Spirit. :)

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    18. Yes, I was pretty disappointed to discover more about his personal life, since I so enjoyed both "Importance" and "An Ideal Husband." Nonetheless, they are still hilariously funny and charming! It just sours the stories a little for me - I wish I didn't know.

      I agree completely, Rissi. I just hope they eventually get around to Eustace's other movies!

      Definitely, I have some very vivid memories of the really good points (that I tend to compare with the points I didn't like so much in the new adaptations) but I'm just worried that those parts might be eclipsed by the painful bits (since I noticed them a little even as a 10-year-old). Some things are best left to the rose-tinted memories of childhood, I think. ;)

      I'm so glad your great blog made it possible for us to "meet." The internet really is a marvelous invention. ;)

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    19. Usually an actor or writer having a bad personal life doesn't effect a character or story for me. I've found out immoral things that I don't believe in about favorite actors who portray beloved television characters yet I still can put that aside and enjoy the talent of the actor or the humor of the character. In some ways I suppose that's an oxymoron since I'm contributing to "support" of things that go against my convictions but really, all of Hollywood is insane. If we started to pick and chose, they'd be hardly any movies we *could* see.

      Love both of those Wilde stories - they are "wit" personified!

      That'd be AWESOME. Looking forward to more from visual Narnia. It's a gorgeous place to visit. :)

      Well said. Some things of our childhood are best left unvisited. That way our memories stay intact. When I was a kid, I didn't think about production and the like, I just wanted to be entertained - preferably with a prince and princess somewhere in the story. ;)

      Me, too! Always nice to chat with you, Lizzie. :)

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  5. I really enjoyed this post. :)

    Most of the Christian fiction I read is historical. I'm not into the two you mentioned (I've only read Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke), but Deeanne Gist, Siri Mitchell, Karen Witemeyer, etc...I love those types of stories. :) I have a hard time getting into contemporary Christian fiction, though! I enjoy it when I do read it (love Jenny B. Jones' books and Janice Thompson's Weddings by Bella series). But ironically, I started out reading contemporary because when I was a teenager I practically lived in the Christian bookstore, reading nearly everything by Melody Carlson, Frank Peretti, and Ted Dekker.

    I try to keep my books looking as nice as possible, though of course my most loved and read ones show their wear. I buy a lot of used books, and I don't mind too much how they look, as long as they're not falling apart. I never dog ear pages (haven't done that since I was really young), and the only books I highlight in are nonfiction devotional type books that I love and reread, like Natalie Lloyd's Paperdoll.

    ~Kristin

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    1. Thank you for reading it, Kristin. :)

      I think I may have underestimated Deeanne Gist if her last book was any indication. Siri Mitchell's last novel disappointed although it was the first and only one I've read by her, so I am planning on reading her new one next year with the hope of better characters. I think for historical authors, I am a fan of Susan May Warren, Elizabeth Ludwig, Lisa Bergren (LOVE her latest series) and sometimes Tracie Peterson.

      Oh, yay! Another Jenny B. Jones and Janice Thompson fan! How fun. :) The former is a "classic" favorite (cannot wait until there's an announcement from something new from her) and the latter name is newer to my keeper shelves. Have you read Janice's new spin-off series? Read the first one and thought it was quite good.

      Would you believe I've never read anything by Frank Pettri? I know he's one of the most popular Christian fiction authors... but well, I haven't. Some of his books sounds a bit "creepy."

      Some of Melody's books have left me with a feeling of skepticism just by their synopsis (plus I don't like how they sound being geared towards teens) so... I've steered clear of them.

      I like to keep my books nice also but sometimes... it just doesn't work out that way. By the time I get done with them, they are usually bearing the look of having been well loved - or well read at the least. :)

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  6. Love this Rissi! I agree, I want real characters, not perfect ones. ;-) Oh, and I'm totally annoyed with you on the "light" Christianity trend in fiction. Either Christianity has a part in it, or it doesn't. I'm not afraid of a book that can stand without a faith message, but if it has one, by golly, let it shine! :-)

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    1. Let it shine - I like that turn of words, Gwendolyn. Thanks for coining it.

      Perfect characters are NOT fun. They're annoying and unrealistic. In my experiences, there can be a fairy-tale quality to any book but authentic characters are a must! That way, the reader can relate - plus it offers better background to a genuine story.

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  7. I love looking at bookshelves of other people when I go to their house for the first time. I really believe it can tell me a lot about these persons. And I'm always overjoyed to find books there which I also have or love!

    If you looked at my bookshelves... Well, it's quite a mixture: classics, Christian fiction (mostly historical), secular fiction (mostly romantic) and just a little bit of non-fiction. You'd probably learn I love stories more than facts, I'm a dreamer and a romantic and I love animals (I have quite some books in which animals feature quite heavily)

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    1. Finding book commonalities - or any shared passion, is fun, Birdienl. The joy in it is finding people who share similar tastes. It's always more fun to share fandoms. ;)

      I like the sound of your bookshelf. It's great to have such a nice mix-up of "everything." Mine has a few classics but not many because, well, I just don't read the epic tomes. As do I - books with "facts" and I don't get along. I have read a coupe of biographies that have been good, although for the most part, I like fiction. :)

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  8. Well, I am very happy I could help inspire you, my friend! When I saw this post via twitter, I admit that I grinned for quite a while afterward. Thanks for that! :D

    I so agree with most of your "quirks". I still like historicals and I do highlight like crazy on my Kindle. ;) But your thoughts on characters and quality over quantity are spot on. Well said!

    And those meet cute's and sweet contemporary romances fill my bookshelves also. Not 100% completely but mostly. I also agree that I like a little substance with that meet cute. Tacked on plot points, whether romance or no, are usually pretty obvious unfortunately.

    I think I do a pretty decent job of separating real life from fictional stories when it comes to romances. I can certainly understand the need to be careful with that however. As you basically said, it shouldn't cause us to become dissatisfied with our real life. I think that also goes along with putting the book down and getting out and having a social life. Does that make sense?

    Anyway, great post. Very thought provoking and fun! :)

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    1. Ooo, fun! Thanks for sharing you saw the tweet. It's my pleasure to copycat your great posts - so long as you don't mind, of course. :)

      You know, I think I remember you talking about highlighting on Kindle - I think it'd take a really hard-hitting section of a book to get me to highlight (and to be honest, I have experienced many portions of late that would fall into that category!), just because I'm not like that in other aspects of life. Who knows.

      Love me a good meet-cute. Certain books feature very realistic and "stale" meetings between couples which are then dubbed "normal" and that's okay also because life isn't always about "happy accidents." So even if there is no real "spark" in a first meeting, that might be just what the novel "needs." Know just what your saying about life vs. fiction - you made perfect sense.

      Thank you for commenting and sharing all your quirks in your post - I think I veered off what the original idea behind this was, but hey, guess that's okay. :)

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