Musing Mondays: The Scorch Trials

Musing Mondays | BooksAndABeat.comThe Maze Runner series by James Dashner is one that I have enjoyed reading. His writing took me into a world of a possible future – a future in which teenagers are used to conduct experiments that will hopefully save humanity from extinction. I read the series with bated breath, flipping the pages quickly to see whether Thomas and his friends were able to overcome the obstacles that had been placed before them. As I read the last page of the series, I felt admiration for Dashner and the story he had created.

As I had enjoyed the series so much, I thought I would watch the movies (I had noticed that the titles were available on Netflix). The film titles The Maze Runner was okay – though the way it was presented could be a bit confusing to someone who had not read the book. Small things had been changed but the basic story line had not been tampered with.

The same could not be said for the second film in the series: The Scorch Trials. 

I settled down to watch the film with a sense of anticipation, expecting to relive the story Dashner had created so well with his writing. My first disappointment was early on in the film – a small thing which I could have accepted. However as the film continued, major changes were made to the storyline – changes that would affect not only the story in this film, but also in the following one. These changes are ones I could not accept. These changes affect the integrity of Dashner’s tale. I could not watch any longer and stopped the film.

As I removed The Scorch Trials from my To Watch List on Netflix, I could not help wandering what Dashner thought of the changes that had been made to his storyline. Did he know about them? Did he care? As a fan of his writing, I admit I was a little angry that his story had been butchered.

Films based on books don’t always follow the book religiously. Small changes can be accepted by the viewer who is a fan of the author. This adaptation, however, is the worst one that I have seen. The result? I will not even bother to watch the third film adaptation.

Have you watched The Scorch Trials? What did you think?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Miz B’s Musing Mondays at Books and a Beat)

Musing Mondays: Choosing a Book

Musing Mondays at ADailyRhythm

Choosing a book to read has never been difficult for me to do.

Over the years I have learned what genre I like to read, and which authors I enjoy. But a point is reached when I have read all the novels by my favourite author. When this happens, I browse the preferred sections in a bookstore or library. The cover of a book will compel me to pick it up and read the blurb at the back. (I still prefer holding the physical book in my hand as opposed to reading the synopsis online.) Once I find a storyline that interests me, I take it home to read. The genre will depend on what I want to read at that moment in time: I may wish to read a little drama, solve a mystery, or enter a fantasy world.

At times someone I know may introduce me to a book they have enjoyed. My neighbour has often lent me stories that have engrossed me. Her husband chooses well and, a few months after Christmas, I am sure to hear a knock on my door preceding the loan of a few interesting novels. Reccently bloggers have been introducing me to new authors and stories – they have certainly increased my list of books to read! I have read, as well, books that have been suggested by the teens I have taught – and now receive suggestions by my own teenage daughters.

From time to time, I may pick up a non-fiction book as well. Recently I have been reading books on education but I have read bibliographies, books on health, and anything of interest that may catch my eye when browsing in a bookshop or library. Often a non-fiction title has been recommended to me by the lecturer of a course I am following, or even by a friend.

I will never run out of books to read. The only difficulty is choosing which one to read first.

How do you choose the books you read?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Musing Mondays hosted by A Daily Rhythm)

Reading with Little Ones

When growing up I remember I was always reading: with my mom or on my own. As I reach back into my early memories, I recall my mother reading The Folk of the Faraway Tree to me and my sisters. I know she read us Noddy as well because I remember the collection we used to have. I have memories of sitting with my parents in the living room reading my book while they read theirs.

With my own children, I have created the same habits. When they were little, I read to them before bedtime – one, two, or maybe even three stories. I looked at picture books with them and discussed the drawings with them. We would lie on my bed, the three of us, all reading: me with my novel in my hand, and they with their picture books. Sometimes they would fall asleep but often just paging through the books relaxed them and gave them the energy to continue with the day.

The Impact of Nature AND Nurture on Your Child’s Reading Development
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Now I work with young children and I have come to realise that not all parents read every day with their sons and daughters. I have had to teach some of my students how to hold a book, how to treat the stories that they are reading with respect, and treat the books with care. Often I am repairing books: taping in torn pages or repairing a ripped page. I am hopeful that by the end of the school year, they will have learned to respect their reading material a little more. And to remember that there are others that would like to read the book that they are currently reading.

When I am asked by parents what they can do to ready their child for school, or even what homework they can do with their child, I suggest that they read with their son or daughter – no matter in what language. It is in reading with the little ones that you can teach them how to handle books, to look at the images of the picture book, to predict what the story is going to be about, to retell the story. And it is reading with little ones that you foster within them a love of reading, and a love of learning.

As I am readying myself for the start of the new academic year, I find myself relaxing with a book in my hand. Not only am I doing so, but so are my daughters. It is the visits to another world that I hope to encourage in the new crop of students I will meet in September.

Do you have the habit of reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by Miz B’s Musing Mondays)

A Reader is Born

File:Tampere library shelves.jpg

“I was born in a library, in the fiction stacks.” -Luanne Rice

I came across this quote by Luanne Rice last week – and I loved it at first sight. My reading skills and soaring imagination were certainly polished by my many visits to the library. One of my early memories is of my mom taking us to the public library a car ride away. I recall the largeness of the space, the silence that echoed among the stacks, the many shelves filled with books: picture books, adult books, and the books in between.

The memory that comes to mind is of the time when I chose Dickens’ story A Tale of Two Cities to take home and read. I remember the thickness of the book, the cream-coloured paper, the scent of the pages as I turned them. I enjoyed the detailed drawings in the novel, and the intricacies of the story. I spent time engrossed in the plot while sitting on my bed, or in a shady part of our garden. I was a young reader at that time and would often forgo playing for travel into the world of the imagination.

Reading, and the many visits to the library, has definitely affected the many aspects of who I am: my sense of imagination; my ability to see in my mind what it is I am reading; the ease with which I currently write (whether for work or for pleasure); my vocabulary; my general knowledge. Would I change this part of me? No. And would I cease to visit those stacks that encourage me to wander into different worlds? I think not.

Within the fiction stacks, a reader was born. And among those shelves of books, a reader will continue to thrive.

musingmondaysDo you spend time among the fiction stacks of a library?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by Luanne Rice’s quote and Miz B’s Musing Mondays)

A Childhood Gift

As far back as I can remember, I loved books. My favourite past-time was taking the book I was reading and finding a quiet place to read: my bedroom, the shade underneath the tree in the garden, the sofa in the lounge. I would turn the pages for hours, engrossed in the story and the lives of the characters on the pages.

Cover of "The Secret Seven"
Cover of The Secret Seven

As a certified bookworm, my favourite gifts were those that gave me the written word. My mother and grandmother understood my desire to receive stories – especially the series’ written by Enid Blyton: The Famous Five and The Secret Seven.  Between them, my collection expanded each year. I had many hours of enjoyment reading these stories again, and again … and again. I looked forward to December as this was a time when my collection was added to: from both Christmas and birthday gifts. I would open these presents knowing I would unwrap a book – it was just a question of which title.

The gift of books encouraged my desire to read and has helped with my reading fluency. The gift of reading is one I am always thankful for as my fluency has stood me in good stead during my school career, and even during my life as an adult. It is now a gift I wish to pass onto my own children.

What was your favourite childhood gift?

(This post was inspired by Kellie Elmore’s FWF prompt and Miz B’s Musing Mondays)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Reading on the Sofa

Reading on the sofa
Reading on the sofa (Photo credit: JoLi-esse)

One of the things I enjoy about the summer vacation is the time I have to read. Chores are done quickly (laundry, dishes, a quick sweep of the floor) so that I can spend some time with the characters of my current story.

Silence engulfs the apartment as I carry my tea to my spot on the sofa in the living room. I hear the sound of the fountains running outside, the hum of the traffic, the occasional banging of a hammer. But all sounds fade as I open the page of my book and allow the words to pull me into a created world. I begin to feel at one with the characters, living and feeling the experiences that have been printed onto the page. The sound that echoes in the quiet room is the one caused by the quick page turning that happens when I reach the last phrase on the page. My tea grows cold as I sit curled up on the sofa.

But I am not alone. I may be engrossed in my own tale but I do have company. My children also sit in their own spots on the sofa. They too are engrossed in the worlds authors have created. A giggle may come from one of them from time to time; otherwise they are silent. What a joy it is for me to see my children enjoying the world of reading and of the imagination!

Yes. One of the things I do enjoy about summer vacation is reading on the sofa. I think now I will go make a cup of tea and settle in on the sofa 🙂

Do you enjoy reading during the Summer?

(This post was inspired by MizB’s Musing Mondays

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013