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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Coming from you, that phrase strikes me as rather funny. Sorry to bother me."
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August 06 2008

NPH Participates in First Book's "What Book Got You Hooked" Campaign. Click through for a short anecdote from Neil Patrick Harris about Bridge to Terebithia.

Some info from their site:

First Book provides new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 60 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities. First Book now has offices in the U.S. and Canada.

He looks like he's ready to hurt someone.
How cool! And how sad - Vermont is next to last in the contest. :-(
(ETA: Oh, wait, it's movin' on up :-))
It was fun to read the introductory books of Eric Carle and Lois Lowry, who wrote some of the books I loved when I was younger.

Oh, and I sort of agree with Aloha Joe, lol (no, literally, that made me laugh). That's a pretty intense gaze.

[ edited by KnitWit on 2008-08-06 22:01 ]

[ edited by KnitWit on 2008-08-06 22:04 ]
Maybe he's just intensly pensive?
Totally unrelated to NPH, but I can no longer look at a picture of Ed Norton without thinking of zeitgeist's hilarious "Ed Norton Says: Just Say No To Fandom Warfare!" photoshop job a few weeks back. And laughing out loud, thereby confusing anyone within earshot. Thanks for that, zeitgest. I think.
I. loved. that. book. I have vivid and fond memories of reading that as a pre-teen. I read it over and over.
Every child should read it. DO NOT SEE THE MOVIE that came out in 2007.
Interesting. Mine was Charlotte's Web.
Now I want to see zeitgeist's photoshopped picture of Ed Norton. :)

I loved Madeline L'Engels series A Wrinkle in Time for much the same reason. I still think about those stories.

Ah, I love those books too! Edward Norton is such a nice guy, very laid-back. He belongs in the Jossverse.

NPH does look intense in that picture, but I also feel a bit of a "devastated Billy" there as well. Okay, maybe not devastated, but sad, like he was in the laundromat confessing to Penny. I love NPH. I'm glad he's in the Jossverse.

Gotta disagree, Daedreams. Like LOTR, the book and movie are different things, and both seem to be good in their own way. But then, my expectations were so low maybe I'm just too relieved they didn't change the ending to be objective.
I read it over and over.
Every child should read it. DO NOT SEE THE MOVIE that came out in 2007.

Why do you say this? I haven't read the book, because of time, but after hearing good things about the film I saw it. And I have to say, the film was very good. Not perfect, and as always with these things the film is no doubt different from the book, but considered on its own it was very good. Good acting, powerful ending, and genuinely just a very sweet film that reminds you of the innocence of childhood.

[ edited by MattK on 2008-08-07 02:53 ]
I thought the Bridge to Terabithia film was good as well. I don't have a terribly high tolerance for the sugary, but I thought the movie did a good job of earning most of its saccharine moments. I loved all of Katharine Patterson's books when I was little, but Terabithia was probably my favorite.
And laughing out loud, thereby confusing anyone within earshot. Thanks for that, zeitgest. I think.

Hey, you're totally welcome ;).
Book that got me hooked: Honestly, Call of the Wild. I hated reading as a kid. Despite that one of my English teachers put me in this reading club and that was one of the first books we read.
So it was me, my shiny new book, a few apples, and the middle branches of the maple tree in the backyard. All childhoods should have that.

But I did read Charlotte's Web many times as a kid. It was like the exception book up until the reading bug truly took hold. (I'm stubborn.)
Matilda. I was in love with that book--and Roald Dahl--for so many years. Just a wonderful story.
Nice to see all of these shoutouts to such lovely books. I honestly can't remember a time I wasn't reading a ton of stuff.
'Fantastic Mr Fox' is probably the first book I can remember making the hairs stand-up on the back of my neck, feeling genuine peril for the sake of the characters (that fox really was fantastic ;) but i'm pretty sure it wasn't the first book I read myself and certainly wouldn't have been the first read to me.

As to what really switched me on to books ? No idea, probably just always having them in the house. I also can't remember a time I wasn't a reader though I did used to read in spurts and stop for a few weeks in between, whereas now i'm always reading something, and that switch came at maybe 12 or 13 when I got a Raymond Chandler omnibus from the library - it was of his first four Marlowe novels - and read it in one sitting, only stopping for loo breaks. I can remember actually feeling faint when I stood up afterwards because I hadn't eaten all day. Daft bastard ;). Anyway, that's when I figured it was silly not to have something that good in my life all the time.

(and we read "Charlotte's Web" at school, clearly because the teacher got off on watching 25 or so 8 year olds crying their eyes out ;)

ETA: Oh wow, just clicked on the other celebs. Clearly Scarlett Johansson and I are made for each other (whaddya mean, lots of kids read Roald Dahl ? *fingers in ears* I can't hear you ... ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2008-08-07 13:37 ]
For me, it was 'Brief aan de koning', written by Tonke Dragt. (I believe it has been translated into English as 'Letter to the King', but I don't think it was ever very popular in the english translation. It has sold tons in Germany and here in The Netherlands it received the prize for 'best childrens book of the last 50 years', last year).

I've always been a reader, apart from two or three years after highschool when doing required reading before graduation (approximately 30-or-so books) put me off it for a while afterwards. These days it's hard to combine reading books and reading magazines (I have subscriptions to - about - 10 magazines (movie, popular science, science fiction, politics and the likes) some of them appearing weekly, others monthly) in my free time, but I still read about 10 to 15 books per year, I'd say. I'd like it to be much more, but the time escapes me.

Also add me to the list of people who liked the Terabithia movie. I never read the book, but the movie was everything MattK wrote above.
My gateway books were Enid Blyton's Famous Five. Thinking back on it, they're not particularly sophisticated, and they have a really strange contrast between a very strong female character (George) and a completely stereotyped one (Anne). Ah, but they were fun anyway.

GVH, I can't find an English translation (only a Spanish one), and according to wikipedia none of her books have been translated into English. I've been looking for a translation ever since you mentioned her books in that other thread.
Thanks for that, zeitgeist! I love Edward Norton! That shot looks like Fight Club, but maybe not. *saved to desktop* :)
Ah, yes, Famous Five. I read those as well, MattK. Wasn't there an issue with racism in those books? I seem to remember reading something about that a few years back.

Also, it seems you're correct re: Tonke Dragt. I was thrown by an english title on amazon, but that turned out to be a spanish version as well. They really should translate her to English some time. I'd imagine 'Letter to the King' and 'Secrets of the Wild Forst' would seem somewhat clichéd nowadays to readers accustomed to historical fiction and fantasy books dealing with quests and battles and the likes in a middle age setting (although original dutch language childrens stories on those subjects are still extremely scarce), but they were completely magic to me back then. And despite familiar themes, they're still very well-told stories rereading them today. And some of her books (like her very, very intriguing 'The towers of February' or 'The other side of the door') would totally stand up to the test of time. I'm sure they'd be a succes if translated. Ah well.
I can remember that I was always hooked on books. When I was 5 I couldn't wair for my mother to read to me and was impatient, when she didn't read fast enough. That's when I taught myself to read. I still remember my first book, about an innuit kid that had to catch a seal to keep his family from starving and met lots of animals on his way. I can't imagine my parents choosing it for me (I was still 5 at the time), but it was certainly in the house and it had beautiful pictures. can't remember the title though.

But the first book I read and reread and read under the covers with a flashlight was a tarzan comic when I was 8. My mother threw it away, she was afraid I was making myself sick and/or stupid (no comics allowed in our house) and I've been trying to get ahold of it ever since. At every flea market I look for it. ebay, online, comic book stores, you name it. But I can't even remeber the title. It was a big book though, telling the beginning of the Tarzan story. Must have come out in the 1970's. I still miss it.

[ edited by Harpy on 2008-08-07 21:33 ]
Wasn't there an issue with racism in those books? I seem to remember reading something about that a few years back.

I don't remember the Famous Five books too well (always preferred the 'Secret Seven' anyway ;) but they were mainly written in the 1940s and 50s so i'd be amazed if they weren't full of racist, classist, sexist attitudes, just like a lot of books from that time.

Blyton's probably more associated with racism from the Golliwogs in her Noddy stuff. But then, is that any worse than George Lucas in the Star Wars prequels ? And surely he should know better.
Like Tintin! I loved Tintin as a kid, but If you were to give those to your kids now, you'd have to have A Chat first about the era and the awful representations they're going to see.

And yay Bridge to Terabithia! What a beautiful book. The first book that got me hooked was The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. When my mother first tried to teach me to read, I was a horrible brat about it and insisted that I hated reading and threw little tantrums whenever it was Time To Read. Then I fell completely in love with The Worst Witch but was too proud to admit it, and so I'd wait impatiently all day for my mother to force me to sit down and read, and I'd kick up a fake-fuss and then dive in. By the end of the book, I'd given up all pretense.
And before I could read there were the hours I spent staring at Arthur Szyk's illustrations in this edition of Andersen's Fairy Tales.

Definitely formative images - which explains so much. Check him out.
I've always loved books and wanted my mother to teach me to read when I was about three. Since she was a teacher, she thought it was too much like 'pushing' me so I didn't officially learn to read until I was five or six.

I didn't have a clothes closet in my bedroom, but I did have a bookcase that covered most of one wall and held all kinds of books, including a series of Junior Classics. (The bookcase is now in my living room.)

My sister was five years older than I was, so my mother would read me a story while I was in bed and then go to my sister's room to read her a chapter in a book. I could hear her and the first books I remember her reading were Freckles and The Five Little Peppers, both of which I still have and have reread many times. My mother finally gave up trying to get me to sleep first and would just read the same book to both of us. ;)
The first book I read was the Bible. Now I'm gay and agnostic. I think there's a connection.

But seriously, I read it just like a book not a religious manual. It was my Grandmother's Catholic Bible (the language is actually more straight forward than any other version I've seen). It just always caught my eye on the shelf as it was ornate and so large I could only drag it. And there were colorful photos of paintings that were totally inappropriate for a 5 year old. After that was turn of the century editions of Grimm and Andersen collections.
The book that got me hooked was The Lorax. It was the first book to ever make me cry but at the same time I also felt really powerful. I was may 8 or 9 at the time.

Of course, if you're going to comment here, I hope you took the time to vote on the site, too.
Katherine Paterson's son, a screenwriter, wrote the film adaptation of his mother's book, which is why Bridge to Terebithia is so true to the novel.
I voted but I had to make up an answer. I can't ever remember NOT being hooked. So I just put down a picture book I don't ever remember having read to me but which influenced every story I wrote as a kid for the next 10 or more years- The Little House by Burton.

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