The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis – A discussion (contains spoilers)

The Horse and His Boy

The Horse and His Boy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The third book in the series veers from the rest of the chronicles.  It’s sort of a story within a story and takes place during the reign of the four siblings (Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Susan) when they are adults and before they have returned to the wardrobe.

It is probably my least favourite story in the series but still has its moments of Lewis genius.

NOTES –

* I find the beginning of the story quite slow and only picks up when Bree and Shasta meet Hwin and Aravis and they are chased by lions.

* The part where Edmund and Susan are plotting how to get away from a suitor is quite entertaining.  It is interesting to see the characters in a more grown up setting.

* One of my favourite parts if the story is when Shasta is at the tombs alone and the cat comforts him.  I find it quite touching.

* The scene where the lion is chasing the horses and children  – action writing at its best.

* Shasta is a heroic character who starts off as nothing special but by the end is a long lost prince who is quite the hero.

QUOTES from the Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

– ‘Do not dare not to dare.’

– ‘I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept.’

– “That’s my fear, Susan,” said Edmund.  “Wife: or slave which is worse.”

– “Good-bye,” said Aravis, “and I thought your dresses lovely. And I think your house is lovely too. I’m sure you’ll have a lovely life-though it wouldn’t suit me.”

– “It is very true,” said Edmund. “But even a traitor may mend. I have known one who did.” And he looked very thoughtful.’

– ‘Aravis also had many quarrels (and, I’m afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again: so that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarrelling and making it up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently.’

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Quirky Books

Cover of "14,000 Things to Be Happy About...

Cover of 14,000 Things to Be Happy About

Here are a list of quirky books that will make you laugh or ponder about life.  They are perfect for gifts or when you need a bit of cheering up.

* 14,000 Things to be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer – A list of life’s awesome things

* Did I Do That? by Amber Humphrey – A celebration of the best (and cringeworthy) of the ’90s.  Toys, Tv Shows and Games

* Why Unicorn Drinks by C.W. Moss – An illustrated look into the life of a unicorn who drinks because life is not being kind to him

* T-Rex Trying by Hugh Murphy – A cute illustrated story about a T-Rex and his struggles because of his tiny arms

* A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton – Another story about dinosaurs.  This time about two dinosaurs in love.

* Toy Confidential by Aled Lewis – The Secret Life of Snarky Toys.  Hilarious!

* All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John – Humorous insights on death

* A Cat’s Life by Gemma Correll – Light hearted cat fun

* Things I want to Punch in the Face by Jennifer Worick – Chronicles all of the irritating things in life

* Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun by Elizabeth Foy Larsen, Joshua Glenn, Tony Leone – For all the times kids say there is nothing to do

Cover of "All My Friends Are Dead"

Cover of All My Friends Are Dead

Top Children’s Book Series

Cover of "Five Run Away Together (Famous ...

Cover of Five Run Away Together (Famous Five)

I would like to pay tribute to some of my favourite Children’s Book Series that made me the reader I am today.  I always hated when a good story would end and that was why a series was so special.  I could continue reading about my favourite characters for longer than just one book.

1)  The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – Still re-reading and enjoying them.  I have always loved stories where new worlds are created and explored.

Fav Book in the seriesThe Magician’s Nephew

Fav Character in the series – Prince Caspian (because he was brave and in my head handsome)

2) The Famous Five by Enid Blyton – Oh, the Adventure’s these kids had!  I always wished that I could solve mysteries as neatly and care free as they could.

Fav Book in the series – Five Run Away Together 

Fav Character in the series – Timmy the dog (because he was pretty much the reason they were all still alive)

3) Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody – I found the story lines fascinating and hauntingly beautiful.

Fav Book in the series – Ashling

Fav Character in the series – Elspeth (because it is her story and she is powerful)

4) Ramona (novel series) by Beverly Cleary – The crazy antics of Ramona would keep me entertained for hours.

Fav Book in the series – Beezus and Ramona 

Fav Character in the series – Beezus (because as an older sister I could relate to her plight and anguishes)

5) The Wishing Chair (series) by Enid Blyton – A chair that flies to magical places, genius.

Fav Book in the series – The Wishing Chair Again

Fav Character in the series – Chinky (because he is a cheeky pixie with a heart of gold and a cool name)

6) Goosebumps (the original series) by R.L. Stine – I loved being scared when I was young and these books did the job nicely.

Fav Book in the Series – Monster Blood, Welcome to the Dead House, Stay out of the Basement, One Day and HorrorLand

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

Some quotes to inspire my horror writing;

* ‘And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;’ – The Raven

* ‘It was the work of the rushing gust — but then without those doors there did stand the lofty and enshrouded figure of the Lady Madeline of Usher.  There was blood upon her white robes, and the evidence of some bitter struggle upon every portion of her emaciated frame.’ – The Fall of the House of Usher

* ‘And then I fell suddenly calm, and lay smiling at the glittering death, as a child at some rare bauble.’ – The Pit and the Pendulum 

* ‘I took from my waistcoat pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket.’ – The Black Cat

* ‘I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.’ – The Tell-Tale Heart

* ‘And his eyes have all that seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming.’ – The Raven

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The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – A Discussion (contains spoilers)

photoThere is a reason why this book is one of the best sellers  of all time.  Although I am particularly partial to the first book in the series (The Magician’s Nephew), this story was and still is one of my favourites.

Discussion Notes:

* I love the way C.S Lewis gets straight into the story.  By the end of the first chapter Lucy is already through the wardrobe and the reader knows all the background information they need to.

* The wardrobe itself  – As a child I would climb into wardrobes just to see if one of them would lead me to Narnia.

* The Lamp Post – Another integral non living character of the story.  The lamp post is where everything begins and ends.  I love lamp posts because of this story

* The scene where Aslan is tied up and killed by the queen was always horrific for me.  I remember the relief I felt the first time I read the book when Aslan comes back from the dead.

* Some of my favourite Quotes-

‘The whole wood is full of her spies.  Even some of the trees are on her side.’  – Mr. Tumnus while he is escorting Lucy back to the wardrobe.

‘When I’m King of Narnia the first thing I shall do will be to make some decent roads.’ Edmund on the way to the witch’s house.

* ‘Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious’ – Whenever I read this description of Turkish Delight, I crave it!

Edgar Allan Poe – The Master of Macabre

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I recently found this copy of Edgar Allan Poe‘s tales in a second handbook shop and of course with it’s disturbing front cover I had to buy it.

My favourite poem is The Raven and I had previously read The Tell Tale Heart but most of the stories in this book were new to me.

Poe does not disappoint, his stories are horrifying.  Here were some of my favourite’s tales from the book;

The Murders in the Rue Morgue – A clever murder mystery with quite a disturbing killer.

The Pit and the Pendulum –  A prisoner, guilty of an unknown crime is placed in a chamber and is subjected to tortures.  He is trapped under a slowly swinging pendulum and needs to escape.

The Black Cat – Perhaps the most gruesome of his stories.  A tale about a man, cats and murder.

The Tell-Tale Heart – The classic story of a man’s guilt taking over his sanity.   The beating of the heart coming from under the floor boards is genius.

The Fall of the House of Usher – A tale about a strange brother and sister who live in a creepy house where bizarre events  take place.

Eerie Settings for Writing Inspiration

Abandoned Caravan

Abandoned Caravan

I always take photos of settings that I think are creepy for writing ideas.  Here are some I have collected over the years, maybe they will provide writers with some inspiration for their next ghost/horror story.

Abandoned House in Slovenia

Abandoned House in Slovenia

Ripponlea Estate - Melbourne, Australia

Ripponlea Estate – Melbourne, Australia

Creepy doorway in Spain

Creepy doorway in Spain

Dark Stairway

Dark Stairway