“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” —Paul Sweeney
I really didn’t think I’d feel that way after reading Artemis Fowl. It’s a middle-school level book, claiming genres of science fiction and fantasy. Not things I regularly read. Upon suggestion I tried anyway, a couple times. On the third attempt it worked and I found myself in that enjoyable ride that occurs once you make it inside a book.
I wish I had done this from the start, but halfway through I decided I ought to be a bit more active as a reader. After skimming through many possibilities of what my reading log should entail, I came to the following guidelines, which I’ll try and best answer for Artemis Fowl although I didn’t start the book with them in mind.
1) Write down your thoughts at the beginning, middle, and end of the book.
I thought this book would be a lot more elementary.
I found myself on Artemis Fowl’s side. Also, this is all so clever.
LOVED the book. I was kind of confused as to why the sentiment behind the transaction with Holly was retracted a bit.
Though I may not immediately read them, I was pretty glad there are seven more already-written parts.
2) Record any parallels with other writing, experiences, people, etc.
Artemis Fowl reminded me of someone I know, until I read on and realized Artemis is a little too sinister. Later on, Mulch kind of reminded me of the same friend in terms of wit.
“Kleptomaniac” was a description/syndrome Mulch had—it reminded me of the Alf episode, where I had first learned the term.
The Mud People kind of reminded me of the Muggles in Harry Potter. Also the time-stopping concept was somewhat relatable to the time-turner in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The camaraderie between Foaly and Commander Root was reminiscent to that between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in Sherlock Holmes.
At some points the inventive quality was like the stories in my favorite fairytale book, Feefo, Tuppeny and Jinks.
3) Record vocabulary terms.
I love vocabulary. And I was pretty delighted to see that Colfer employed them quite liberally. From the halfway point on, I recorded the following:
consternation: a sudden, alarming amazement or dread that results in utter confusion
dispassionately: unaffected by passion; impartial
levity: lack of appropriate seriousness or earnestness; an instance or exhibition of this
untenable: incapable of being defended
fortuitous: happening by chance; lucky; fortunate
dubious: of doubtful quality
larcency: the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another from his or her possession with intent to convert them to the taker’s own use
lucrative: profitable, moneymaking
prodigious: extraordinary in size, amount, extent, degree, force
languishing: becoming weak or feeble; losing vigor or vitality; to be subjected to delay or disregard
ricochet: rebound, deflect
welt: a ridge or wale on the surface of the body, as from a blow of astick or whip.
reprobate: a depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person
loamy: a rich, friable soil containing a relatively equal mixture of sand and silt and a somewhat smaller proportion of clay.
architrave: the lowest part of an entablature that bears on the columns
moon: to act or wander abstractedly or listlessly
(definitions paraphrased/quoted from dicionary.com)
4) How have you changed after reading this book? What did you learn?
My opinion about newer authors sure shifted. After several bad experiences, I reflected to find that unlike adult-level novels, books intended for the younger audience are just as refreshing and creative. It seems like Eoin Colfer and several other writers exhibit a great use of imagination in their work. It’s inventive, clever, and really quite artistic.
5) Record scenes, phrases, observations that stand out.
The scene with Commander Root meeting with Artemis Fowl for negotiation and the following scene with the commander’s interaction with Foaly and the doctors was very engaging and thrilling.
I kind of loved this line:
Mulch: “Fine, Commander. No need to blow a gasket. I’m not a murderer, you know, just a petty criminal.”
Commander: “From what I heard, you nearly made the transformation below in the cells.” —pages 169-170
Before I decided to write things down, I did take a picture of a line I thought was pretty:
“They crept into the night with practiced silence.”
6) What did you not like?
I think the introduction of a lot of technical terms created by the author for specific use in the plot became hard to follow at times.
7) “Do research on the subject. For example, reading Devil in the White City (fiction) > research Chicago’s 1893 Worlds Fair, possibly read a non-fiction book that connects with the history.
It’s beneficial because you get a great story and a historical understanding, or simply get inspired to try something active—maybe there’s an exhibition on the Worlds Fair at Navy Pier or something.”
—sought and sound advice from the beautiful Alicia Diaz
I loved this idea, but in all honestly, haven’t figured out yet what supplement to use with this particular book.