Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday 5 for September 28: Bookish

Friends of Aina Haina Public Library Book Sale

Scrivener's Friday 5 Questions - Bookish

1. What’s your favorite book you’ve had read to you? I sort of mean read aloud in person, as opposed to read aloud on a recording, but answer it however you want.

When I was a kid my parents used to read many books to us. These included Mother Goose nursery rhymes, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, A Fly Went By, The Little House (loved this book about urban sprawl), Little Toot, Dr. SeussCat in the Hat series (Green Eggs & Ham) of books, Where the Wild Things Are and others. Of course I read them again and again because most of them were fun. I memorized many of those old nursery rhymes.

2. What book (or series of books) would you like to see turned into a film?

OUTCAST Stallion of Hawaii by Harlan Thompson

It's a young adults book that was written back in the 1950s about life on a Big Island of Hawaii ranch that featured characters based on actual people (some of the characters in the book used the actual names) my Mom grew up with on that ranch in the 1930s to the early 1950s. After reading this story, which is about a boy and his renegade horse, I thought that it would make for a good family movie. If I had the financial means I'd secure the rights from the author's estate and try to get the book turned into a film.

The book is out of print.

3. We often complain about movies not being as good as the books upon which they are based, but what’s a movie that was as good as (or better than) its book?

A movie that for me was better than the book is Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 movie version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. I think our sixth-grade English class had the story as a class assignment and after we had laboriously plowed through this book, we were treated to the movie which was playing in our second run movie theater at Honokaa. The movie certainly brought the complexity of Shakespeare’s prose into a much clearer light for me… and of course what guy did not fall in love with Olivia Hussey’s beautiful but tragically doomed Juliet? As I recall this was probably the first “adult” oriented movie that I saw. I was either 11 or 12 at the time this film came out.

I was happy to find the DVD in the $5 bin at WalMart a few years back.

4. Songs often take us back to specific times in our lives, or remind us of specific people. What book does that for you, and what’s the explanation?

A book that takes me back in time like songs? Huh... one that I am disappointed at is a Childcraft reference book (Volume 5 on Technology) that came out in the 1960s. My parents had bought us kids the World Book Encyclopedia (1965 edition) and the Childcraft series of books too (about 14 volumes in the set). The one book that I was fascinated with as a child (I was 8 in 1965) was the volume on Technology. They had so many articles about past, present and future technology.

I was most fascinated with the future technology that was predicted in that book, much of it were supposed to come true before the end of the 20th century. I’d figure by the time I was 30 or so I would be able to live in a glass domed city, glide on cars that floated on a cushion of air (no wheels), use a fixed highway system not for trains, but for your car where some kind of technology was used to glide it on its air cushion at high speed.

Floating car, with slender couple and Doberman

Today more than 40 years later I often ask myself where is my flying car, domed city and other fantastic technologies that were presented in that book I read as a child. About the only thing in that book that just about became true was the “picture phone” where we now have that capability in many smart phones, computers and electronic tablets (Facetime, Skype, etc.).

By the way, the World Book Encyclopedia was a fun read for me from when I was 8 to about maybe 15 years of age since it had general articles about all kinds of subjects many of which were richly illustrated and photographed. I used to just sit down and read random articles in each book whenever there wasn’t anything better to do. It was a reference source to go to before we had computers and Google.

Another book that is a place marker in my life Flying Saucers: Serious Business written by radio commentator Frank Edwards. That book scared the heebie jeebies out of me when the author wrote about extraterrestrial visitations to Earth… one incident recounted in the book included something about this couple who spotted a craft with green men coming out of it. It’s been ages since I read this book. Writing about it now makes me want to read it again.

I read Flying Saucers: Serious Business when I was around 10 or 11 years of age.

Edwards did not go too far with his radio career as he was dismissed from his radio show because of his belief in UFOs.

Twenty years later we have Art Bell and his contemporaries on Coast to Coast AM on-air where UFOs and all other sorts of strange things are discussed on radio nightly to this very day.

5. What book do you know well enough to quote from once in a while?

I am not so good at remembering lines or quotes, so I guess for this question see answer #1 on Mother Goose.

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