Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

I read this book back when it first came out two years ago, and had thought I reviewed it.

This is a year and a half long journey that the author found himself on where he followed the laws as they are listed in the bible.
It made for some interesting trials. At first, I wasn't sure I could get into a book about religion, but found myself glued to it. AJ Jacobs uses humour and personal errors as the jumping off point for his quest.

Could modern man be able to live up to the "moral code" laid out in both the Old Testament and New Testament?
Can enlightenment and spiritual purpose be found in someone who has never really seen themselves as being spiritual or religious?
This is a book that anyone having questions about their personal spiritual beliefs should pick up.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Gonzo Challenge

Gonzo Journalism was brought to the forefront by one man brave enough to speak his mind even when it was a mill of rumours.

After having talked to people who all say they are big fans of Hunter S. Thompson, but yet can't list off more then one of his books, I am wondering if anyone in the last 30 years have read anything by him other then Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ? Or If they even read it?

So it's simple, between now and Feb 20th 2010 (the 5th anniversary of his death)
I am challenging anyone who sees this post to read one of his books and tell me about your thoughts on it.


You can leave your comments on this post or on my other blog Another Freak in the Freakdom

Buy the ticket take the ride.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Books as Comfort Food

When we are depressed, we all have a food, movie, cd or book we turn to as an emotional security blanket.

For me, it used to be Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, but as of late for me it's been Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Lover by Arielle Ford.

I have been finding it uplifting and grounding all at the same time. Beautiful stories of real people who found their happiness.

What are your comfort food books?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mid Nov Update and a Poll

Current reading list is crazy large.

The Shipping News is on the top of the pile, the one I have managed to get a few chapters read from this week.

If you hit up WWEGIRL's book blog you will find a Dracula book club online.
Not too mention, she's got a poll going at the moment, as do I.

I can't keep up with her, she manages to read more then I do, and I'm the one without any body around to distract me. Go figure eh?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Movies about Books

As I was working on my Jane Austen Challenge, I found myself returning more then once to the Jane Austen Book Club. Which is a movie about books.
And it got me thinking of the movie the Ninth Gate which is also a movie about a book.
In this case, a book written by the devil on how to bring him into flesh.
The movie is also based on a book.

What is it you think that draws us to books? To the idea of the written word? To the need to have them?
Is it the knowledge they hold, or is it the idea of what they might evoke? Wither we are reading a text book on math, a cookbook, a steamy romance or a religious text, books somehow bring out another side of us. And let's us get lost in that particular world for awhile.

The message in the movie Ninth Gate is one of caution. The book that Johnny Depp's character is chasing after is one that unlocks a puzzle to the gods. In turn, it unlocks a part of him that he didn't even know existed. Sometimes, when we go hunting for the answers, the answers are hunting for us.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Share your all time favourite book

I used my webcam so it's a backwards photo, cause my camera is still without batteries.

But my all time favourite book is The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

You can see by the condition of the book, it's been read alot.

I've had it since 1986 -this copy- I read it in Hardcover from the library when it first came out in 1985. It's traveled with me since grade 6. Lived in my purse and survived many trips across Canada.

My favourite quote is " Now and then eyes settled on me with some vague air of expectation. My white skin made them pause, but what was that when they let blood out of their veins themselves to keep their delicate parlor? ( Let me hold the basin for you and drink it afterwards) And my eyes, what were those in a sea of paste jewels?" page 273

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

What are you Reading Monday?

J.Kaye's Book Blog has had this going for months, and I just found out about it cause you know me, I spend too much time alone under my books.

But here I go:

Monday Nov 9th 2009
I am reading Shipping News by Annie Proulx

The Pagan/Witch Challenge

Pagan Girl is hosting her first challenge.
You can find out about it on her blog here

You can read about my challenge choices here

It runs from Yule (Dec 21st 2009) until just before Hallowe'en (Oct 21st 2010)

Friday, November 6, 2009

That goes against my values

I was given a book to review that I not only could not finish, it opened a genre to me I want nothing to do with. This just was not my cup of tea.
I ended up letting a friend of mine take a look at it because of the religious and military themes running through the book.
The best she could offer was the the author exposed too much of himself with the personal reflections, and the poetry seemed forced.

How do you stay objective when dealing with a genre that goes against your religious/political beliefs?
Had I known before hand the genre/sub-genre of the book I would have politely said "no". But nowhere on it (it was a download actually ) did the book in question have any listing of it's religious/political slant.

So why didn't I ask the genre before hand?

Good question Spudgun, because the author was so desperate for someone to review it. I said yes and got the file from him without any other information. Bad on my part I know.

Where do you mark the invisible line when it comes to your work and your beliefs ?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thunder and Blood-Review

I have been sitting on this review for over a month waiting for the Nov 5th tour stop with the author Stacey Voss.
Due to issues with the author there will be no tour stop this week. Sorry.

Plot: Two sisters are on a weekend get away when they suddenly find themselves lost in a fog. With their car having broken down, they head for the nearest house for shelter. Right off the bat there is something odd about the place given the style is over a hundred years old with no running water.
The sisters soon learn that they are in a parallel universe where vampires rule the world and blood is the only form of currency.
Each sister then goes on her own way, and each of them gets involved with a vampire. Which one of the sisters will come out alive and which one of the vampires will gain control of the land.

Now you know me, I am always up for a vampire anything so I was really looking forward to this book. As well the premise of this story isn't bad, it's fairly good.

Now before I tell you what I liked about it, I have to tell you what I didn't like about it.
Thunder Bay.
For someone living in the city of Thunder Bay, I found the first chapter really difficult to sit through. I understand for anyone living outside of the area, this will be a very new and interesting plot part, but for people like myself who have been in the shadow of the Sleeping Giant for years it's dry very dry.

Now what I liked about it.
I found the idea of having a world run on blood to be a nice story line, (yes I am aware of Repo Man the Genetic Opera has a similar plot) and the head villain Lord Radek to be worthy of the title of vampire. There was something of a flavour that reminds me of Anne Rice's character Armand. Lord Radek is the strongest character in the book with the most interesting back story and seems to have the most depth to his personality. It's a shame he's only given a small slice of actual page time.
The element of the fog (no pun intended) being a key to the space/time travel was also an interesting way to get the characters from Thunder Bay to Donner, though it does lend one to think of Shadow Over Innsmouth by H.P. Lovecraft and Evil Dead 2 and the fog sequence that Bruce Campbell encounters.
Not placing the story in this century was also a good idea, as it gave a second conflict for the two sisters in their need to adapt.

Mixing pieces that seem to be right out of the author's real life helped to ground the story in reality even though this is a sci-fi story. The good qualities out weigh the bad, but there is still something lacking for vampire fans.

It's hard to miss the shades of Vampire Masquerade and Kindred the Embraced; as the subplot stems up to offer the sectioning of land ruled by a vampire lord , but still does not hold the same edge that either offered back in the early 1990's. Or the placement of a Renfield-esque character (Gervis) in the castle of Lord Radek , who seems contented to be the male-servant to the vampire. Anyone who has seen the movie Blood and Donuts will see the psychic vampire undertones used by Lord Radek for seducing Christine into letting him drink her blood. (Again the scene in Interview with the Vampire where Louis turns Madeleine jumps to mind)

For anyone just coming into the genre of vampires this is indeed a slick and deserving take on the theme but for those who have been hanging around coffins for awhile, will find it to be treading on old ground.

As far as having vampires in Thunder Bay, it's not that far fetched, one just has to look at International Wrestling Superstar Vampiro, to know it's been done before.

Wishful Wednesday

I saw this on Bluestocking Guide

I really want to read "Dracula the Un-Dead by Darce Stoker"
But have to wait for it to go on sale.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Men of Jane Austen Part 2

This is the second part of my final All Jane Austen Challenge

Jane Austen gave her share of bad guys to her novel Emma.
The character of Mr. Elton even out weighs the character of Frank Churchill, who is the "other bad boy" in this story. Mr. Elton is viewed as being in love with one character, then confesses the fact is wrong that he is indeed crazy about Emma, then runs off and marries someone else for their money. His motive like so many of the men in Austen's novels is money.

Her big hero in this story is Mr. Knightley. Whom, as his name suggests is the knight in shining armor not just to Emma, but to Miss. Smith and to Miss Bates. A gentleman who is not only educated, and wealthy but how has a sense of real family values. It's easy to understand why so many state Mr. Knightley as a favourite among Jane Austen's characters.

How do we feel about Mr. Collins?
I did a short post on another blog a year ago on the character traits of Mr. Collins. Once again, this villain has done nothing much more then being stuck up and greedy.

Even Jane Austen's most wicked characters Mr. Wickham, Mr. Willoughby, Captain Frederick Tilney, never seem to cross the line from seducer (wither for simply sex or money) into harsher crimes (rape and murder) giving all a chance for redemption.

Mr. Darcy is seen as the design of man in perfection. But again I ask why?
So many stories over the years have copied the idea behind Darcy for their hero. Making him tall dark and stuffy. A man who practices life while looking down his nose at it. Everyone and they're dog's grandmother has said "but look at what Mr. Darcy does for love" Um what does he do? He ruins his best friend's life for a full year by talking him into running away in the middle of the night because Mr. Darcy disapproves of Jane's station. He then helps to hide the fact Jane is in the same town as Mr. Bingley, further complicating it for them. Then only when he realizes that in order for his own ego to be centered does he mastermind to get them together. Yes he threatens Mr. Wickham into a proper marriage to Lydia, but still only because otherwise his own desires would be shut out. So tell me again why we all love Mr. Darcy?

Part 3 coming soon