Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion – A Discussion (May Contain Spoilers!)

20130728_150002I often struggle to decide what to do first; watch the movie or read the book.

For Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion I watched the movie before reading the book.  I really enjoyed the movie and thought that Nicholas Hoult portrayed the Zombie R character perfectly.

The movie did not spoil the story line when I finally got around to reading the book.  In fact it actually enhanced the reading experience as it allowed me to concentrate on reading the words which is what I am trying to do more of thanks to Francine Prose‘s ‘Reading like a writer (see blog entry).

There were differences between the book and the movie and most did not bother me.  However I did find that R having a wife and kids (in the book) slightly unnecessary to the overall plot.  It was an interesting idea though.

I found this book quite touching and beautiful which sounds strange given the fact that people’s brains and limbs were being eaten.  It was such an interesting take on the typical zombie genre and gave me hope that if we ever encounter a dreaded Zombie apocalypse we would get through it as a human race.

Marion has quite a skill in making the horrific seem more poetic and I am interested to read more of his work.  The New Hunger (the prequel to Warm Bodies) has been released as an ebook.  I am not accustomed to reading in this format but will have give it a go for curiosities sake.


* ‘There is no ideal world for you to wait around for. The world is always just what it is now, and it’s up to you how you respond to it.’

* ‘What wonderful thing didn’t start out scary?’

* ‘I’m dead, but it’s not so bad.’

* ‘We will be the cure.  Because we want it.’

* ‘Laughter.  Another first for me.’


Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose – A Review

Reading Like a Writer

Reading Like a Writer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading Like a Writer‘ was one of the most helpful writing guides that I have read thus far.  It is by no means a simple how to guide on how to be a better writer.  Instead Francine Pose guides you through extracts of well written literature and cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words.  She explains that a good writer makes sure that each and every word in the story has a purpose.

Although it is not an easy feat to attempt to write as well as the authors discussed in the book (even a bit daunting), Prose has inspired me to be a better writer and at the same time a better reader.

Notes & Quotes

* ‘You can assume that if a writer’s work has survived for centuries, there are reasons why this is so.’ – Prose highlights that reading or re-reading the classics is as beneficial as reading the modern novel.

* Skimming is not my friend.  Yes I have a lot of books to read in my life time but as Prose advises ‘Skimming just won’t suffice if we hope to extract one fraction of what a writer’s words can teach us about how to use the language’

* Telling Vs Showing – ‘don’t tell us a character is happy, show us.’  There are however still occasions when telling is far more effective and time saving.

* Paragraphs – ‘A new paragraph is a wonderful thing.  It lets you quietly change the rhythm, and it can be like a flash of lightening that shows the same landscape from a different aspect.’ – Babel

* Don’t leave out the details! – ‘Details are what persuade us that someone is telling the truth.’  We need to trust the writer is in control.

More New Books!

20130712_150618A teacher on holidays in a bookstore is a dangerous combination.  I need to get my read on!

New Purchases:

* Warm Bodies – Isaac Marion

* In The Shadows of Blackbirds – Cat Winters

* Reading Like a WriterFrancine Prose

* Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan

Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire by Rafe Esquith – A Discussion

photoReturning to teaching after a relaxing seven weeks is going to be tough.  I wanted a bit of inspiration to get me through the end of holiday blues and this book did not disappoint.  It reminded me why I became a teacher and gave me some valuable advice.

Discussion notes;

*  Reminded me that in a classroom trust is the most important thing, everything else can be fixed (missing homework etc) but once trust is broken with students it is difficult if not impossible to regain.

* Rafe’s passion for reading and wanting his student’s to develop that same passion is inspiring – ‘reading is not a subject.  Reading is a foundation of life…’

* The book contains useful websites & book recommendations

* Helpful lesson ideas covering most subjects; Literacy, Numeracy, History, Science, Art

* Provides tips for helping students with studying for tests

A worthwhile read for all teacher’s, especially those returning to work after a long break.

Reading – My First Love

Enid Blytons

Enid Blytons (Photo credit: Idlepines)

I began my love of reading in my very first year of schooling.  I remember being able to read simple books with words such as ‘jump’, ‘skip’, ‘hop’ and was able to progress through reading levels quickly.

I enjoyed picture books but it was the novels that took my reading to the next level.  I remember sitting on the heating ducts during the winter school holidays with a stack of novels by my side.  I would stay there in my cozy warmth reading all day.  Enid Blyton and C.S. Lewis in particular were my favourite holiday companions.

I still keep the tradition of gathering a pile of books that I would like to read for the year ahead.  I only wish I had as much free time as I did as a kid.

I can’t explain why I love reading so much.  I tried to for the purpose of this blog but all I could come up with was that reading is something that I have always done.   It’s a part of me.

If anyone else could explain why they love reading so much maybe it will help me clarify my answer a little better.