This book is a great resource & fantastic read for anyone interested in writing/publishing popular fiction. I participated in a year-long certificThis book is a great resource & fantastic read for anyone interested in writing/publishing popular fiction. I participated in a year-long certification program taught by the author, James Thayer. The book is basically a crystalized version of Thayer's writing courses. I highly recommend the book, as well as the certificate program....more
I absolutely love Banana Yoshimoto for her novel writing. And, truth be told, when I grabbed a copy of Lizard at Half Price Books, I thought it was aI absolutely love Banana Yoshimoto for her novel writing. And, truth be told, when I grabbed a copy of Lizard at Half Price Books, I thought it was a novel.
I got home, read the first story, believing it was a chapter in a novel. I got to the second story, and for a minute (or two or three) I was a little confused and disappointed. Not because the writing was bad (it's light and dark and brilliant!) But because I was expecting a novel.
When you are in the mood for a novel, it seems that only a novel will do. Well, I kept reading anyway, because the stories are facinating and beautiful, and I finished the whole book in one sitting. It was worth the momentary disappointment.
All of the stories have intertwining themes (life and death, supernatural, natural world), and Yoshimoto's writing just... floats. I love it.
I saw Mari's post about this one. He said it made him want to write, and I agree. He said it made writing look easy. Yup. It's true.
Good book. I recommend it for a rainy gray day, with a blanket and some tea, mmmm. Oh PNW. So gray. So, so gray....more
This pragmatic/cute book of Mom-to-be/Mom essays by Muffy Mead-Ferro is a fast read. I sat in a bookstore for an afternoon, and woosh: finished.
ThereThis pragmatic/cute book of Mom-to-be/Mom essays by Muffy Mead-Ferro is a fast read. I sat in a bookstore for an afternoon, and woosh: finished.
There are a couple reminders I'll take away from the book: (1) You will never please everyone with your parenting style--don't try; please yourself & do what seems right for your family. Think.For.Yourself. (2) Marketing for kids stuff is MEANT to make you feel like a terrible parent--but you don't need all of that sh*t. ;) Making due with what you have is excellent for your sanity and for your kid(s)'s wellbeing and growth as creative and resourceful humans.
Oh, one more thing. Remember, remember: Kids love playing with/in/on boxes, and they love throwing stones into water. Remember your love of boxes? I still like throwing rocks into rivers... :)...more
I liked this book fine. It was a good followup to the last book, but still, the two books seem like such filler in the series overall... We'll see ifI liked this book fine. It was a good followup to the last book, but still, the two books seem like such filler in the series overall... We'll see if that is the case. I have a feeling the storyline of Pillars of Creation and Naked Empire will be abandoned in the last three books of the series. ;)
**spoiler alert** For the sake of time, I will give 5 things I didn't like and 5 things I did like. Spelling will probably be terrible.
DISLIKED: * The**spoiler alert** For the sake of time, I will give 5 things I didn't like and 5 things I did like. Spelling will probably be terrible.
DISLIKED: * The main character of the SERIES is not introduced until around page 637. * Repetative language. There were certain words that really stood out to me because they were used too often in too short a time or were used in a way that was awkward/stood out: "moan" and "beautiful" (which is NOT descriptive) and "momentous" immediately come to mind. * How weak the character description/actions for Jajang are. I understand that Jennsen doesn't know he's the bad guy, but seriously, he's pretty displicable in all of the other books and it doesn't make sense to not give Jennsen more clues around this. * I didn't believe the "chase" scene in Adyndril... really, Jajang is that stupid? I'm not impressed with foolish villains. * The Scooby-Doo ending.
LIKED: * The story stood on its own (since it essentially adds nothing to the series as a whole) and was cleanly wrapped up at the end; related to that, there were a manageable number of characters/POVs so it was easy to keep track of what was going on. * Jennsen's POV was interesting in that her self perception and the perseption that others had of her were mismatch; Goodkind did a good job of showing this. On a related note, I think stunningly attractive characters who don't realize their attractiveness are endearing. * Goodkind left some questions unanswered until the very end and didn't leave us hanging about the missing goat. * Very little back story compared to the other books in the series. * Some good quotes that are philosophically relavant/interesting; continuation of the "freedom" theme from the last book in the series (Faith of the Fallen)....more
The beginning was a huge back story slog. The end had a great deal of action and I couldn't put the book down. One of the developments in the later paThe beginning was a huge back story slog. The end had a great deal of action and I couldn't put the book down. One of the developments in the later part of the book seemed to come out of nowhere. A twist, yes, but something about it seemed off... too convenient? Anyway, I liked it, but I'm dreading the slog that will come at the beginning of each book in the rest of the series....more
I love this book for the illustrations and the best idea ever: putting freezing hands on your ski partner's warm belly to keep yourself from getting fI love this book for the illustrations and the best idea ever: putting freezing hands on your ski partner's warm belly to keep yourself from getting frostbite--even if you are in no way in danger of getting frostbite, but just want to strike terror into your ski partner's heart :) Mm terror....more
Neil Gaiman's novel, Neverwhere, is a story about a kind-hearted but dull man who gets pulled into the secret world of the London Underground, where hNeil Gaiman's novel, Neverwhere, is a story about a kind-hearted but dull man who gets pulled into the secret world of the London Underground, where he finds adventure and friendship, and transforms into a more confident and couragous fellow.
This book is told in a fantastical way that speaks to Gaiman's experience writing graphic novels. It is action packed, with vivid characters and imagery, as well as interesting settings and dialog. For now, I'll just talk briefly about the characters, but I'll come back and flesh this out a bit at a later time.
The characters were dynamic and each was portrayed in stark contrast to the next. I loved Richard, for his innocense (or ignorance, if you prefer) and kindness, and for his eventual paradigm shift. Door's elfin actions and magic, and the kindness she had, too, were all delightful. The marquis was exquisite for his mannerisms and his imperfection. The villians were excellent... those who were trapped between evil deads and good deads were also great. Those characters who redeemed themselves in the end were stunning. Those who were secondary, were obviously secondary, and were described in a pleasant sketchiness that set off their unimportance.
I would recommend this for fans of Neil Gaiman, as well as anyone who feels like reading something that is entirely unrelated to real life, something fun and scary and mystical. Think James and the Giant peach, but darker. Think Labrynth. It's an imaginative and relatively quick journey that you are sure to enjoy....more
This collection of talks by Pema Chodron are on the topic of "shenpa," an idea roughly translated as "hooks" or "attachment." When we get trapped in oThis collection of talks by Pema Chodron are on the topic of "shenpa," an idea roughly translated as "hooks" or "attachment." When we get trapped in our head instead of being present, it's this shenpa we're experiencing. Shenpa is not the thoughts we have or the emotions we feel, but the sticky part that keeps us from getting back to the present moment. When we realize that something is hooking us, we can take an attitude of curiosity and joy at discovering the shenpa and get back to the present.
I liked this audio collection a lot, and I'd recommend it for anyone interested in Buddhism, meditation, and spiritual growth. Pema Chodron is a delightful speaker, who displays and advocates curiosity, compassion, and humor for everyone (including ourselves). Her explanations of techniques, terms, and reasons for both are helpful and accessible. She explains everything a few different ways, so even if something doesn't make sense at first, it will eventually click.
All of my previous meditation experience had been in silence, with closed eyes, and generally in connection with some sort of yoga practice. This audio collection was useful for helping me realize that that isn't how meditation has to be, and in fact, there are other ways that work better for some people. For instance, being present with sound (as oppose to breath) is much more effect for me. I'm sensitive to sound, and half oblivious to inner-physical sensation.
I appreciated Pema Chodron's explanation of how and why to touch thoughts, emotions, and sensations without attachment. The whole idea of meditating to lessen shenpa's spiral effect, instead of meditating to quiet the mind and dull pain, was very helpful. We have noisy minds, but it is okay and possible to think, feel, touch while being present in the moment and not trapped in some sort of potentially harmful dream space.
Pema Chodron is pretty neat. She is an American Buddhist nun who speaks internationally and donates money from her events to a variety of worth-while organizations. You can learn more about her at her website, here: http://pemachodron.org/...more
**spoiler alert** In Stone of Tears, the second book in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth Series, he fleshes out an interesting and dazzling world for u**spoiler alert** In Stone of Tears, the second book in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth Series, he fleshes out an interesting and dazzling world for us stringing an intricate web of betrayal and illusion from ceiling to floor.
I liked the book, the magic, the passion. All great. Each night I felt compelled to read more than I had energy for. Each morning on the bus, I read even though I knew I'd be motion sick for work. I'm in love with the characters, new and old (with one exception), and the story does a good job of foreshadowing and tying loose ends in a satisfying way.
But (you knew a "but" was coming, I know you do) there were some aspects of the book I found frustrating.
1. The plot was tight, succinct, and action packed in some places, but in others it was loose and wobbled and felt like sloppy, summarized, last-minute writing. 2. The main character doesn't understand anything that happens to him so there is no account of how or why his magic works in certain situations. That was occasionally boring and too convenient for me. 3. In order to make the book stand on its own Goodkind added and repeated a lot of back-story from the Wizard's First Rule. I might not have taken issue with this if I hadn't just read Wizard's First Rule. 4. Our beloved antagonist from SWizard's First Rule is underpowered in this one... or Richard is overpowered. Anyway I never feared he'd lose. 5. Pacing... sometimes the book is hardcore, in-the-moment action. That was fun, great, made me love characters and world so much more. Sometimes Goodkind summarizes the story for pages, taking me out of the action, but also moving the story faster (double edged sword). Feels like a greater balance could be struck. 5. The last few chapters of the book I had trouble keeping track of the sisters. I kept reading anyway, assuming it wasn't important that did. I was right. So maybe that says something. Maybe it doesn't. 6. Was there any foreshadowing about Charlotte having an egg? That seemed to convenient... maybe I missed something. 7. The time warp could have been made more interesting. There could have been more interesting/odd clues, and there was never any show of how this actually had an effect on Richard related to other main characters. It just seemed like a gimmick to add tension, and so, didn't really add tension. 8. I was sort of annoyed with Richard for a good third of the book. Maybe more. So whiny. Oh Kahlan doesn't love me I'm a prisoner I don't understand blablabla. 9. Nothing was lost.
Okay, so I'm nitpicking in some respects. I will own that about this rambling mass of words. But to counter some of the negative, here are some things I liked. 1. The scenes and dialog that were action and description rich. 2. Kahlan, because she is a badass but also sympathetic and virtuous. 3. Zedd, because he brings a different, feel-good texture to the chapters he is in. 4. Love, false-believed betrayals, forgiveness parallels: Richard and Kahlan; Adie and Pell; Richard and Gratch (I think I may have misspelled that... I'll come back and fix it sometime). 5. Richard actually shows some great badassery, sympathy, and virtue 2/3rds of the book. 6. Chapters from Rachel's POV; this was something I liked about Wizard's First Rule, too.
Okay maybe I'll come back and fill in details, like what the Wizards' 2nd rule is and how that ties into the underlying themes of the book. I might even put these notes into paragraph form and back up my absurd claims with evidence from the text. But right now I really need coffee, and I have writing of my own to do...
Anyway, despite my nitpicks, I'm continuing onto the next book after I finish up my Women's Traveling essays. So obviously I like the series enough to continue.