Tag Archives: Cornelia Funke

The Fantasy World of Funke’s Reckless

Cornelia Funke is a genius. She just is. I listened to her newest book (although not that new anymore – first published in September 2010), Reckless. It captivated me from start to finish. The beginning of the story drops on the reader like a parachute out of nowhere. You are immediately immersed and confused with your surroundings. As you make your way from beneath the parachute another layer drops and another. I love this type of storytelling when it is done well. William Faulkner does this incredibly well. As a reader, you are forced to take a leap of faith that all will become clear or at least somewhat clear.  Funke can join the ranks of Faulkner-esque storytelling.

Reckless re-imagines fairy tales. Actually, it creates its own fairy tale but within a world of familiar fairy tales — however, these familiar fairy tales have become darkly twisted. The witch and the gingerbread house are real, a tailor with scissors for hands hunts people for their skin, and fairies are selfish creatures. Jacob Reckless has been living in both the real and this fairy tale world. He has been traveling through a mirror and finds solace in escaping to this hidden world where he steals enchanted artifacts for money. Everything changes when Jacobs younger brother, Will, follows him into his strange world. Will becomes infected with a curse that slowly changes his skin to stone (becoming a Goyl)–jade to be exact. Once Will’s skin becomes completely jade he will be lost forever. Jacob, Fox–a beautiful shape-shifting vixen/fox–, and Clara–Will’s girlfriend from back home–must race time to find something or someone to save Will.

Age Group: 14 and up
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Themes: Magic, Fantasy, Fairy Tales,
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, imprint of Hachette Book Group

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Book Festivals are Exhausting, but Oh So Awesome

This weekend was fantastic.  Exhausting but fantastic.  Saturday I was selling books at the Mission Viejo Book Festival.  (Side note: Latitude 33 Bookstore closed at the end of August, but I have been adopted by another wonderful bookstore located in Irvine called A Whale of A Tale Bookshoppe.)  I was able to meet Cornelia Funke, author of Dragon Rider, the Inkheart Trilogy, Igraine the Brave, and many other great titles.

Cornelia and Me

Cornelia in her amazing dress and Alex (owner of A Whale of a Tale)

My Enthusiastic Face

At the OC Book Festival myself and Non helped out Robyn Hawk (Check out her blog Reading it All) with the YA/Teen Stage.  It was a hot day but the line-up that Robyn put together was just so cool.  (See how I did that–hot and cool.  I’m a dork).  The event started with a Tween Panel moderated by the ever so funny author of the School of Fear series, Gitty Daneshvari.  It featured the following authors: Greg Taylor – Killer Pizza series, Helen Stringer – Spellbinder and Midnight Gate, Greg van Eekhout – The Boy at the End of the World, Mark Jeffrey – Max Quick series.

The Tween Panel

Me and My BFF

Gitty was a fantastic moderator and I utterly adore listening to her talk.  She is just the funniest and I like to imagine we are best friends who exchange witty, self-deprecating remarks about our imagined illnesses and ridiculous fears.  We laugh and then we cry and then we check our WebMD Apps.

Following the panel were authors Frank Beddor (Looking Glass Wars series), PJ Haarsma (Softwire series), Lisi Harrison (Monster High series), and the very likeable Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of I’ll Be There.

Frank Beddor and PJ Haarsma

Me and Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Teen Lit (Keeping it Real) Panel featured:  Jessi Kirby – Moonglass, Kirsten Hubbard – Like Mandarin, Lindsey Leavitt – Sean Griswold’s Head, and the awesome Andrew Smith with his new novel, Stick.  The portion of Stick that Andrew read made me so eager to read the entire book.  He truly has an amazing narrative style.

The Teen Lit Panel

Me, Andrew Smith, and Non

The rest of the day was filled with paranormal/supernatural lit.  The Paranormal Panel included:  Emma Michaels – The Thirteenth Chime and Anasazi, Inara Scott – Delacroix Academy, Cindy Pon – Kingdom of Xia series, Gretchen McNeil – Possess, Jeff Mariotte – Dark Vengence.  Kami Garcia, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series, and Heather Brewer, author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series and now her new series The Slayer Chronicles, drew large crowds.

Kami Garcia

The Paranormal Panel

Heather Brewer

The final two authors, Nancy Holder and Amber Benson, rounded off a great day at the festival.  I purchased Amber’s series, Calliope Reaper Jones, and can’t wait to start it.  Amber’s writing style is so smart and funny that I know it will be awesome.

Me, Nancy Holder, Amber Benson, and Non

Amber Benson

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Listening to Words – Audiobooks

I have become a huge fan of audiobooks.  For one, audiobooks allow me to be productive during the meaningless time spent driving from point A to point B.  I have always felt like driving to places is such a waste of time.  I have always wished I could teleport places so that I could spend my time more efficiently.  Since I have started listening to audiobooks I am very excited to get in the car and drive someplace.  In fact, sometimes I can’t wait.  Second, some stories are just ten times better listened to, especially if it is the right reader.  Third, when I listen to a book that frees up my reading time to read something else.  That means two books at once!

So this leads me to my post for top audiobooks (I have listened to thus far) and top audiobook readers.–

My Top Five Audiobook Readers!

If you find an audiobook read by one of these five people then trust me and buy it/check it out and listen to it!

Allan Corduner

  1. Allan Corduner – I first heard Mr. Corduner for The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Besides the fact that this book is amazingly written, it is also splendidly read!!  Corduner is a master at the German accent and even German words.  The minute I heard this book I had to pick up all other audiobooks read by him.  I have been thoroughly enjoying Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series and will soon listen to Angie Sage’s Magyk series.
  2. Neil Gaiman – Oh my goodness!  This man is perfect to listen to!  I have listened to quite a few Neil Gaiman books read by Neil Gaiman and I can’t help wanting more.  My favorite is definitely The Graveyard Book.
  3. Jim Dale – Yes, I would be remiss if I left off the talented Mr. Dale.  I am currently listening to book five of the Harry Potter series and I have been very enthralled every book (although book/year two was my least favorite thus far).  Jim Dale handles the multitude of characters very well and sometimes I am not sure how he keeps them all straight.  Dale’s newest audiobook is The Emerald Atlas by John Stevens.
  4. Xanthe Elbrick – Xanthe Elbrick is amazing!  I loved the book Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke and it was read just perfectly.  Ms. Elbrick has not done many audiobooks but I am hoping that will change soon.
  5. Brendan Fraser – I love Brendan Fraser.  When I found out he read for some audiobooks I could not help but find them immediately.  I first listened to him read Cornelia Funke’s Dragon Rider and I was hooked by Fraser’s many voices!

My Top Audiobooks (so far)!

  1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Read by Allan Corduner
  2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  3. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman, Narrated by Pullman and Read by a cast!
  4. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling, Read by Jim Dale
  5. Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke, Read by Xanthe Elbrick
  6. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, Read by Brendan Fraser

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