I haven’t been reading much this year, just a novel here and there. I know, I know, a writer not reading is like an astronomer not looking at the stars. It’s like a five star chef living off of microwaved burritos. It’s like an artist throwing out their paint brushes. It’s like, well, it’s like a writer not reading.
I’ve just been so busy recently. I have so many side projects, besides work that actually pays the bills, that now I have to schedule everything in. At the end of the day, I just don’t have a schedule block left for reading. I need to get at least six hours of sleep in, or I don’t function well the next day and it ends up throwing off the rest of my schedule.
I miss the days when I was young and resilient. When four hours of sleep was more than enough. Ahh, I was so productive back then! FYI, you know you’re a life-long insomniac when you start remembering fondly about the times when you didn’t sleep.
Anyway, my reading dry spell finally came to an end when I found a copy of Howl’s Moving Castle at my local library. I’m a huge fan of Studio Ghibli and HMC is one of my favorite movies, so I thought it might be fun to read the novel that the movie was based on. I already know that whatever format you first see or hear a story, that’s the format you’re going to like the most. So people that saw the Harry Potter movies first before reading the books almost always liked the movies better, and it’s the other way around for people that read the books first. So I started this novel with the expectation that I just naturally wouldn’t like it as much as the movie.
After the first couple chapters, I was completely surprised. I really loved the story. But I still loved the movie too. Weird, right? The novel was like the Ghibli film, but expanded. It’s just as visual and quirky as the lush animation that Ghibli is known for, but you also get all sorts of extras, like the background story of Howl, and Letty plays a bigger role in the story, and you get a little bit of Markle/Michael’s background story. And so much more! Like have you ever wondered why Sophi was so defeatist in the movie? Well, the book explains that. I really loved this book and it just made me love the movie even more. This is the way book and movie duos should be.
It was really a great read and I highly recommend it to anyone that’s a fan of Ghibli films, fantasy stories, or funky quirky British lit.
P.S. I added in these photos because when ever I think of Ghibli’s animation I always think of lush beautiful scenery filled with flowers.