I think I speak for all bookworms when I say that, growing up, books were the primary way I learned about the world. The fantastical stories and worlds I was introduced to were necessarily much bigger and grander than my own life (though I have no complaints on that score), and I spent a lot of time exploring them by the dozen. There were, however, a handful of stories that have stayed with me, that taught me something lasting, and in the spirit of giving thanks, I’ve compiled them here.
In a Jane Austen mood, but would rather relax on the couch with some popcorn? I know exactly how you feel. Here are some recommendations from a fellow Janeite on movies that’ll scratch that Austen itch.
The Forsyte Saga, by John Galsworthy. This colossal tome is my touchstone.
I read it first in high school, and I still go back to particular passages from time to time. This was the first book that utterly floored me, that I filled with colored tags and notes in the margins. Whenever I reread it, I'm in high school again, melodramatically in love with a story.
The Force choke. It’s a classic move from everyone’s favorite Sith lord, the infamous Darth Vader. But how can you, and everyday human use this move? The trick is selling it like you really mean it. Here’s how.
Choose Who: Find the person you want to Force choke, and wait for the opportune moment. Vader’s first choke in A New Hope is startling because it is sudden and dramatically escalates the situation. Before the choke, it seemed that the other guy (Admiral Motti, he’s got a name) was in control. But he clearly didn’t have the power, Vader did.
Last week on Northanger Abbey, friends became less trustworthy, crushes were deepened, and oafish behaviour was endured. What fresh hijinks will our heroine encounter in the bustling metropolis of Bath? We shall soon see!
When I was a kid, I read A Wizard of Earthsea, and I read The Hobbit, and I read The Great Brain, and The Saturdays, and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and I read Judy Blume, and I read pretty much everything I could get my hands on, from Choose Your Own Adventure to the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom novelization, but there is only one book that I look back and am truly thankful for. It’s the book that saved me, the book that made me who I am today, the book that turned me into a writer. It is, of course, Famous Monsters of Filmland’s Star Wars Spectacular.