Thursday, June 28, 2012

Welcome to Bizarro Book Club featuring Howl's Moving Castle

Hello, Whitney here, awhile back Robyn and I thought it might be fun to read the same novel and then talk about it, you know, kind of like a book club, except we'd meet via mail or fb. (Total side note here, but my sister-in-law actually set up one for our family where we "meet" in a chat room to discuss our book once a month and it is the most fun thing ever).  Anyway, when I was about three quarters of the way through the book, we came up with what we think might be even more fun...bringing it to the blog! Do you love being test subjects for the random ideas?  You know you do. 

We're calling it Bizarro Book Club!
Here are the logistics...
  • I came up with a set of questions that will allow us to discuss the book without really giving anything away for those of you who haven't read it. (Just so you know, I have no idea if it's going to make any sense if you haven't read it.  You tell me.) 
  • Robyn and I both answer each question and we'll take turns answering first.  We've written our answers beforehand so as not to be influenced by the other person's ideas.
  • We do have a chance for rebuttal or additonal commentary after we've read what the other person wrote. 
  • If you've read the book and you want to weigh in with your own answers, reactions to ours, etc. we'd love that! 
Are you still there?  Great!  The Book is called Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.  Away we go....


#1- IF TWO BOOKS HAD A BABY AND THE RESULT WAS THIS BOOK, WHO WOULD IT'S PARENTS BE?
Whit:  Ok, this is actually an easy question for me.  It's got to be Harry Potter books married to Pride and Prejudice.  Potter because of all the new magical characters that turn up, the spells, and particularly the spells going wrong, the question of whether or not dark magic is involved.  Then Pride and Prejudice because you have the sisters and their relationships, and whole 'do they get along, don’t they get along' sort of deal going on.

Robyn: You answered that way better than I did, I can totally see that.  Well done.

Whit: You're silly!

Robyn:  First of all, I’m not good at answering questions like this.  I think if The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe got married to James and the Giant Peach then Howl’s Moving Castle would be their daughter.  (Btw I like the kid better than either of the parents)

Whit: That's funny you think it's a daughter, how'd you decide that? I think it's a son, it's named after a male character after all.

Robyn: I don't know, just seems girlish to me.  Btw I got my answer because of the time traveling and how inanimate objects move and magic and Englishness...

#2- WHICH CHARACTER DID YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH AND WHY?
Robyn: Definitely Sophie (who happens to be the main character, does that make me egocentric to most identify with the main character?)  She’s confident and self conscious at the same time, sometimes awkward, not very romantic, doesn't dress well… I relate.

Whit:  I most identified with Sophie because she is always cleaning up after people and she’s a bit bossy— yup, that’s pretty much me. I might be more than a bit bossy though. (And now after reading your answer I feel very egotistical, so thank you for that-- before I was just bossy.)

#3- WHICH CHARACTER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO BE AND WHY?
Whit:  I’d most like to be Howl.  I think it’s intriguing that he has sort of a secretive and well organized agenda that no one else even has a clue how to follow.  And he’s a wizard.  And people just can’t seem to say no to him.  I wish people, especially the small ones who I feed and clothe, would stop saying no to me.

Robyn: Again I choose Sophie.  She’s strong even though she doesn't know it.  She’s adventuresome even though she doesn't know it.  She’s beautiful even though she doesn't know it.  She’s a cool character.  (I'd never choose Howl... he's so self absorbed and moody!  Plus he cares so much about his appearance, what a bother!  Though I could use a little bit more of people not saying no to me...)

Whit: Well, when you put it that way... and he is a HUGE drama queen when he's sick which is a trait I detest!!

 #4 IF YOU COULD HAVE HOWL CREATE ONE SPELL FOR YOU, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Whit:  The spell I’d ask for—I think it’d be a stain remover. Seriously, a stain remover—I mean you’ve seen Fantasia and spells that do your work for you seem to end up with a mind of their own.  If I had an actually good and 100% reliable and effective the first time stain remover, for all fabrics and colors--now that would be a serious time saver!

Robyn: How bout a spell that cleans clothes… seriously laundry has been getting me down lately.

Whit: Do you love that we both picked laundry?  These are the problems that plague America people. 

#5-RATE THE BOOK ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN, TEN BEING AS GOOD A TRIPLE SCOOP ICE CREAM CONE AND ONE BEING A CAN OF WET DOG FOOD.
Robyn:  on our scale I'd give this book a 7.5... you know like a tasty BLT, I really liked it!

Whit: Umm, this is my hardest one.  I think about a 7. (And now after reading your answer I have to think of a food to compare it too...I'm thinking potpie-- tastes good, hearty, lots of different ingredients. Yup it's a potpie 7--not the frozen Marie Callendar's one, if you're wondering.) 

And, that wraps it up!  Has anyone out there in internet land read this book?  (I hear there's even a movie.) What do you think?  Are we spot on? Way off?  What spell would you want a wizard to create for you?  (Something to do with laundry, right?)

 If you haven't read Howl, that's okay because we're gonna do this again in two months! We'll be reading The Borrowers by Mary Norton (the first book in the series).  We'll post the bizarro book club questions and our answers on August 27th (or very near then.)


Pick up a copy and join the craziness.  As they say, the more the merrier!   
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