Sunday, December 26, 2004

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day. Steve and I had a relaxing lazy day of watching music DVDs we had given each other. I gave him Simon & Garfunkle and he gave me Paul McCartney. We saw McCartney's concert last year in Houston and it was fantastic - the best concert I have ever seen. We tried to watch the KC Chiefs football game but our cable station had the screen locked on a picture of Belle from Disney's Beauty and the Beast! And, anyone who knows me, knows I am NOT a big Disney fan! I wasn't too upset as I got to watch a Christmas movie! :-) But, we did get the last few minutes of the game and KC won, much to Steve's delight.

In the morning I wallowed in a NY Times newspaper. It was a wonderful Christmas present. It is $12.00 a piece down here so Steve bringing a copy home from one of the private planes that came in was a delight. I hope he finds another one today. The daily online NYT version just isn't the same as sitting with the paper and a cup of tea - mango green tea is my favorite at the moment.

But, I did look at the top books for 2004 included in today's online version and was glad to see that Stroud's The Golem's Eye is on the list of the top ten children's books. I am listening to The Amulet of Samarkand and have The Golem's Eye downloaded, ready to burn onto CD. Bartimaeus's sarcastic sense of humor is a delight - even Steve is enjoying this one. The narration is excellent and the use of different voices for the characters makes it even better. Steve didn't like the narrator's voice for Secret Life of Bees, but I found the young female voice a hoot, especially when she would say "shit bucket". I find it interesting how much the narrator's voice influences whether or not a listener likes the book. A badly narrated book can kill the experience for the listener whereas they may have loved the book if they had read it instead of listening to it. For example, I have not been able to finish listening to Cold Mountain. Charles Frazier, the author, narrates it and I find my mind wandering as his voice just doesn't hold my attention.

That's it for me today - need to write thank you letters and a few late Christmas cards before I start working on the Spring 2005 YA Literature course materials.