I am the product of MLK's "dream" as the daughter of a black mother and white father. Who knows, I might not be here if people like him hadn't fought...moreI am the product of MLK's "dream" as the daughter of a black mother and white father. Who knows, I might not be here if people like him hadn't fought for racial equality and against segregation.
Brilliant free BBC audio of "I Have A Dream" read by Maya Angelou, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ndileka Mandela (granddaughter of Nelson Mandela), Stevie Wonder, Doreen Lawrence (mother of murdered British teenager Stephen Lawrence), Malala Yousafzai (sixteen-year-old student from Swat in Pakistan, shot by the Taliban for going to school), and a few others.
Each reader seemed to have read a passage personally relevant to them, bringing new meaning to MLK's eloquent words from his impassioned speech delivered to hundreds of thousands of people in Washington 50 years ago, the anniversary of which was yesterday (28th August 2013).
1st read: 29th Aug 2013 of BBC audio 2nd read: 9th Sep 2013 of Paperback (less)
Not quite what the title suggests as it's not strictly incest. "Uncle" Ed is Fiona's uncle by marriage to her aunt. He's newly widowed so Fiona visits...moreNot quite what the title suggests as it's not strictly incest. "Uncle" Ed is Fiona's uncle by marriage to her aunt. He's newly widowed so Fiona visits to help him deal with her aunt's death before she goes off to college. She has always found him handsome, even as a child, and has grown to love him even more as a now adult woman.
Fiona developed physically early to the point where her mother was beating dirty old men off with a stick, and we find out Uncle Ed has secretly been admiring her for the past few years. It also doesn't hurt that she looks like her dead aunt.
There's plenty of guilt and daddy/daughter issues thrown around to make this one a realistic and interesting read.(less)
Gifted to me for Christmas 1994 by the Sunday School I temporarily attended - according to the bookplate - af...more*Cross-posted on BookLikes and Wordpress.
Gifted to me for Christmas 1994 by the Sunday School I temporarily attended - according to the bookplate - after I'd watched the 80s film adaptation at school, I remember the ungrateful disdain I felt for the novel; feeling I'd already read the book having watched the film. How ignorant I was. Granted, I only 8 years old, but we all know that adaptions are usually inferior to the original.
Unsure if I'd ever read this in my childhood during a desperately bored moment, I decided to seize upon the opportunity when this C.S. Lewis classic was selected for The Dead Writers Society's 2014 Series Project.
Immediately I was struck by the quaint simplicity of the language used 60 years ago and the innate kindness and naïveté expressed by the children of that era. Tedium and disjointed fantasist logic, though, soon irritated like mosquito bites; every few pages something caused an eye-twitch.
But in general, take my advice, when you meet anything that's going to be human and isn't yet, or used to be human once and isn't now, or ought to be human and isn't, you keep your eyes on it and feel for your hatchet. - Mr. Beaver
Anyone spot the irony? That's right, Mr. Beaver isn't human. There are no humans in Narnia, that's the reason for the children's importance. He's just warned them that every creature they encounter in his world is a physical danger to them, including himself. Ugh.
Edmund's betrayal abruptly dismissed and forgiven was one of the worst irritants as his implicit pride, arrogance and greed left him open to the White Witch's charms, and although it's hinted he punishes himself, no one berates him for betraying his siblings for the archetypal stranger offering chocolate in the windowless van.
Sheldon: Hold on. Just because the nice man is offering you candy, doesn’t mean you should jump into his windowless van. What’s the occasion? Seibert: Just a little fund-raiser for the university. Sheldon: Aha! The tear-stained air mattress in the back of the van. ~ The Big Bang Theory
While it's true that shame and self-punishment can sting more than anything anyone else could say, it still grates. Edmund's apparent hurried redemption off-stage - rewarded with a battlefield knighthood - and later becoming a 'graver and quieter man' earning the name 'Edmund the Just' feels like a cop out. However, he's the only character to be generally cautious, skeptical and untrusting as we witness him pointing out the unwise act of instantly trusting the word of a stranger, which is contradictory to his earlier aforementioned behaviour evident before he eats the tainted Turkish Delight. I suppose his complexity makes him the most interesting and well-developed character of the novel.
Edmund and the White Witch in her sleigh a.k.a. her windowless van
Crowning these sons of Adam and daughters of Eve for just showing up one day, also appalls me. Hardly meritocratic, and yet the 2005 movie changes this aspect. All four children earn their crowns by bravely fighting the good fight using the weapons bestowed upon them. Due to the time period in which this was written, Lewis only allows the Sons to wage war as Father Christmas claims "...battles are ugly when women fight" when gifting the girls with a bow and arrows (for Susan) and a dagger (for Lucy). Despite this, the boys do very little in the way of violence or strategy. Again, I can put this down to the age-appropriate and historical tolerance for violence in the media during the late 1940s.
Susan actually uses her bow
And now I'm reminded why I shouldn't read pre-teen fiction; it's never quite realistic enough for me to enjoy. However, I do wonder if this classic would make it past editors in this condition in the present day. Instinct tells me the manuscript's syntax would be tinkered with and more contractions added for a smoother reading experience, at the very least. Its current form left me eager to abandon it to the never-to-be-read-again shelves, if it hadn't been for the DWS Series Project, I would have, although I won't be reading the rest of the series.(less)
"I need to buy more gold!" Seriously, that was my first thought upon finishing You Slay Me. It's a fun, entertaining read. Yes, it had some ridiculous...more"I need to buy more gold!" Seriously, that was my first thought upon finishing You Slay Me. It's a fun, entertaining read. Yes, it had some ridiculously silly moments but I went in knowing what I was getting into so I didn't mind. It brightened my day and that's all I required from it. The sequel, Fire Me Up will be read very soon!(less)
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this immensely. I love alpha males especially werewolf ones but I felt a bit uncomfortable with the hero treating the he...moreDon't get me wrong, I enjoyed this immensely. I love alpha males especially werewolf ones but I felt a bit uncomfortable with the hero treating the heroine so badly. It was the same with the first one. I feel guilty for enjoying the rest of the story when she's kidnapped, terrorised, suffers sexual abuse verging on rape and then goes on to have a happy ever after with him. Stockholm Syndrome no doubt played a part in these girls eventually falling for these guys. I'm not a die hard feminist but I'm ashamed to say that I will be continuing with this series.(less)
Wow, I’m so glad I acquired all six of the books (out so far) at the same time. The cliffhanger ending left me so hungry for more that as soon as I fi...moreWow, I’m so glad I acquired all six of the books (out so far) at the same time. The cliffhanger ending left me so hungry for more that as soon as I finished Glass Houses I started reading The Dead Girls’ Dance right after just so I could find out what happened next. For a young adult book and a first in a series I was impressed, it’s rare to find any series that starts with a bang.
I didn’t have a problem with Claire that others have expressed. Her attitude was justified, moving away from home to go to university is tough and to do it at sixteen as a child prodigy must be even harder especially when you are being targeted by a group of murderous bullies. If you wouldn’t feel scared and depressed in that situation then you’re a robot. She was entitled to a little whining.
I haven’t read the whole of Caine’s Weather Warden series but I did read the first book, Ill Wind which wasn’t really something I could get into so if you couldn’t get into it either then you may want to give the Morganville Vampire series a try though I have to warn you it is addictive! (less)
I had high expectations. So many have given this 5 stars but it didn't quite reach those lofty heights for me.
I enjoyed the story but the prologue re...moreI had high expectations. So many have given this 5 stars but it didn't quite reach those lofty heights for me.
I enjoyed the story but the prologue really put me off, it was a lengthy and slightly dull history lesson which was difficult to read. It should have been incorporated into the story instead.
In general, The Smoke Thief was dry in parts but I required more from it. We didn't get to see Rue's rise to Smoke Thief status or her reception from the general population of the Shire when she returned as alpha.
We saw little of the council, who were drawn as the villains, bar the scribe. It would have been nice to have had another individual written in more detail who wasn't cast as a completely evil/ambitious council member.
On the upside, the turning to smoke was interesting. There aren't enough dragon shifters in my opinion and we got plenty of dragon action. I've read the free excerpt at the end of the next one, which I'm interested in but Zane seems to have grown into a jerk. Oh well, perhaps that will change during the course of that book.(less)