Inspired in large part by a blogger that I follow and also by the fact that full reviews are exhausting to write, I’ve decided to give quick reviews of some recent books and movies that I’ve experienced. Hopefully they’ll be helpful to you.
The Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
I first read Inkheart more than a year ago and loved it. For some reason, though, I didn’t get around to reading its sequels, Inkspell and Inkdeath, until recently. In this trilogy, Meggie’s father has the gift of reading characters to life from any book. He views it more as a curse, though, since it also sucked his wife into the book Inkheart. Through the course of the trilogy, the book’s author, Fenoglio, becomes an important character himself, Meggie discovers that she, too, has the gift, and everyone finds that the Inkworld has a mind of its own. These books are incredibly thick, and I loved every moment of them. Funke’s characters are deep and layered, and her world is breathtaking. The only caution I have is that, though they’re considered children’s books, I would hesitate to give them to anyone under about thirteen, because of violence and occasional language. Beyond that, though, I highly recommend them as an absorbing and imaginative read.
Gah, I love this movie so much. That is my rather unprofessional summary statement. Anyway, in Inside Out, the latest release from Disney/Pixar, we’re transported into the head of Riley, an 11-year-old girl, to experience the story of her emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. Each is a distinct personality, but they’re all bound together by the collective “we” of Riley. When the young girl’s idyllic childhood is interrupted by a move to San Francisco, chaos erupts in Headquarters. Joy and Sadness are lost in the mind, and Riley quickly spins toward a breakdown. The film has, of course, gorgeous animation and appropriate humor, but its real draw is the emotional impact. I’ve seen it twice, and I was struck both times by its themes about growing up, learning to grieve, and letting go of childish things. Inside Out is very possibly Pixar’s best film ever, and, from me, that’s saying a lot.
Gods and Kings by Lynn Austin
I love Lynn Austin’s books, but, until recently, I hadn’t dug into her biblical fiction. With Gods and Kings, I rectified that. In this book, Austin tells the story of King Hezekiah, brought up in a land of idol worshippers but destined for God’s work. Bringing together biblical stories of Hezekiah, Zechariah, and Isaiah, Gods and Kings is enthralling and filled me with an incredible sense of history. I’m on book three of the five-book series now, and I’m enjoying every minute. Austin doesn’t shy away from the pain that sin brings, on full display in a land where the One True God is barely noticed while children are sacrificed to Molech. Nonetheless, God’s redemption is painted in a beautiful light, and I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical and/or biblical fiction.
Now, to round out this post, a few albums I recommend:
Title: Diamonds by Hawk Nelson
Favorite Track: Only You
Title: I Will Follow by Jeremy Camp
Favorite Track: He Knows
Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 by Alexandre Desplat
Favorite Track: Courtyard Apocalypse
What books, movies, and music have you been enjoying lately? Let me know in the comments!