OK all, you have 224 days to read Philip Goldman's The Golden Compass trilogy before the movie opens (on December 7). The series is another of those marketed-as-YA-though-only-because-the-main-character-is-a-young-girl books. Because, you know, all the ten-year-olds I know are busy meditating on the nature of good and evil and the mutability of the soul and whether Milton's poetics in Paradise Lost is representative of our world....yea right.... I'm not sure if the marketing in England was as youth directed or whether my Aunt is just super cool, because she sent me a copy of The Golden Compass in 1995 when it was just published in England under the alternative title Northern Lights (I do prefer The Golden Compass as a title). Since then, I've re-read the trilogy twice and I'll probably read it again in the next 224 days.
Once you've started the first book, you'll start thinking about what form your Daemon (an animal manifestation of your soul) takes--shrew? eagle? snake?
The folks who made the movie website are smart enough to realize that readers everywhere start thinking about their own Daemons pretty much as soon as they figure out what Daemons are. So they installed a nifty 20 question quiz that supposedly takes your personality traits and assigns them to an animal. (Go to the section on Daemons, then click on the Meet Your Daemon link to get to the quiz). My Daemon is named Adan (at least I think that fancy script says Adan, not Adon. I like the arty-ness of the script but find it damn hard to read).
I took the quiz twice, once answering honestly, and once answering as though someone as unlike me as possible were taking the quiz--I picture this person as an optimistic extrovert, about as unlike me as you can get. "Opposite-Kate" got a terrier as her Daemon. I'll stick with my lion Daemon--since I am kind of suspicious of people when I first meet them, I like the idea of having a big old lion there to back me up.