Last, but by no means least, Channel 4 are screening The Golden Compass, the film adaptation of Northern Lights, the first of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (Northern Lights was marketed as The Golden Compass in the US). It stars Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra and features both Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.
I saw the film on its release in 2007. I had read the book a few years before (in fact I had read the whole trilogy in - I think - 2004) and I LOVED it. I re-read the book in preparation for seeing the film. I personally think the film is very good BUT, and it is a big BUT, it falls a long long long way short of the book. However, it is worth seeing as a taster/intro to the book, and it is also worth seeing if you are not really a book person.
I would recommend people watch the film AND read the book and compare and contrast the two! You can buy the book here for the bargain price of £4.12:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Northern-Lights-His-Dark-Materials/dp/1407130226/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1322967064&sr=8-2
Once you have read Northern Lights you can go on to The Subtle Knife which is my favourite book in the trilogy. And then conclude with The Amber Spyglass although, for me, by the time you get to the third and final book in the trilogy, it has all got very convoluted and, like Lost, I feel it loses its way. However, I know for a fact that others feel differently and say that The Amber Spyglass is their favourite book of the trilogy. I am asking everyone to read the books for themselves and make up their own minds!
I haven't physically seen this edition but it looks to be a lovely gift edition of the His Dark Materials Trilogy at the bargain price of £7.20:http://www.amazon.co.uk/His-Dark-Materials-including-Northern/dp/1841593427/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1322967064&sr=8-8
Cut and pasted from the Amazon website re Northern Lights:
"Without this child, we shall all die." Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. The destiny that awaits her will take her to the frozen lands of the Arctic, where witch-clans reign and ice-bears fight. Her extraordinary journey will have immeasurable consequnces far beyond her own world...