Had I read this book years prior, I may have very well put it down. Hell, I probably would have scoffed at it. Now 30, writing, a deep lover of fantas...moreHad I read this book years prior, I may have very well put it down. Hell, I probably would have scoffed at it. Now 30, writing, a deep lover of fantasy, and with a greater sense of adventure now than ever, I appreciate this story, truly. Oh Mr. Baggins, you sweet little man. Every time I read a book considered a 'classic' I approach it with great hesitancy. But this little story is truly a fantasy classic, a pure story of adventure, a story of the little guy...literally and figuratively.
I loved the many characters, the songs, riddles and rhymes. I loved the setting. By golly I loved the setting. Long before reading this book we decided that we will build a hobbit house of our own. Not just because, hey they are pretty cool looking but because they are sustainable and cheap and, after reading this book, I want that house thus more. After we finish our full-time travels, like the journey Bilbo took for a time, I will return into my hole in the world...also literally and figuratively. I look forward to that time but cherish the adventure of now. Now I must turn to playing out this story again in Lego 'The Hobbit' on my Wii U and am grateful to have pushed off seeing the movies so that, come December, I can marathon them all. (less)
How does one go about writing a review on said book (taps fingers on chin). Joss Whedon has, without sounding like an obsessed fan (though I am), been...moreHow does one go about writing a review on said book (taps fingers on chin). Joss Whedon has, without sounding like an obsessed fan (though I am), been the most influential on my life, with regards to inspiring me to do what it is I want to do creatively. He is my favorite writer. For writers tell their stories in different mediums (though the most recognized writers tend to be of books). Do a search for best writers and it will only pull up links to authors, just one of the many forms writers come in. Trust me, I tried. Joss broke those bounds and really was the first ever writer of film to get such a fan base as a writer, not as a celebrity, but a damn good writer and storyteller. Like mentioned in the book, fans didn't want his autograph, they wanted to pick his brain and bond over his well crafted stories. And everything I read of his character and how he treats others, his motivations, are proof as to why he is so well supported.
This book is like a friend talking to me about a friend. I want to prop it up on my desk or wall indefinitely, as a constant reminder to achieve, to be kind, to stand up for what you believe in, and be only you until the end. Unfortunately, my cat threw up on this brand new book in the midst of my reading it. Desperate to know more, I managed to salvage it because Joss is the kind of guy you continue reading even with vomit residue on the tops of pages.
For me, it started with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A show, likely seen by some as simply a teen only appealing show. And, as I was a teen at the time, I was mesmerized by the writing, his rather famously unique way with dialogue and understanding of what he wants to tell. He gave me (along with my other favorites: Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor) a strong female character to admire. Someone who wasn't perfect, who screwed up but never gave up. Recently I watched an interview with Stephanie Meyer. Having not been a fan of her storytelling and wanting to understand her more so I knew why I wasn't, she gave me that answer when she responded to the question of how she feels about the flack she got for creating a meek female character for little girls to admire. She responded saying that we shouldn't admire fictional characters because they're 'just fiction.' That's where I realized our disconnect. For I think we should. We should take from wherever there is good, fictional or not, and draw from it to improve ourselves as people. And if written well, fictional characters are mimicked after reality, it's why we are able to relate.
From there it went on to all of his other works where he tapped into some of my favorite things, like horror - as a fresh take with Cabin in the Woods, comics with The Avengers, and even going with the unexpected with things like Much Ado About Nothing and Dr. Horrible' Sing-Along Blog. But the coolest part of this book, done so well by Amy Pascale and with a sincerely sweet forward by Nathan Fillion, was understanding how his life has influenced his writing. How he worked, how he thought about things, what role he really played, but how things in his life lead to certain characters, stories, and mediums of which he told in. He takes who he is and fits it in his work with such charm, authenticity and whit. He is a true original.
If you are a fan of his work, then this is a book to pick up. It's hard not to walk away with your jaw dropped and heart full.
Gosh I'm loving these covers. And this particular issue felt much more reminiscent of the 'old days' in Buffy, without being repetitive. I also love t...moreGosh I'm loving these covers. And this particular issue felt much more reminiscent of the 'old days' in Buffy, without being repetitive. I also love the topics being addressed, this one being about getting what you want.(less)
I wasn't sure that 'If I Stay' needed a sequel with the way it closed. But Gayle reminded me with this one that you can't just have some blaring trage...moreI wasn't sure that 'If I Stay' needed a sequel with the way it closed. But Gayle reminded me with this one that you can't just have some blaring tragedy and not deal with it. You can't have some life altering thing happen without showing the altering of life, how we as mere humans, flawed and all, deal with it. I think Gayle had a bit of guts on this one, starting a sequel with a very different person's point of view running the show and Mia (the main character in this duology) be only seen through another's eyes. Whereas the first story was through her eyes, though closed. And despite some of the parts that I felt were't as daring, and a bit 'okay, I've heard that one before,' that risk alone was impressive that she pulled it off and worth acknowledging.
A light but enjoyable read, told with the same tone as the first. The first had one thing this one didn't, a sense of immediacy. I don't know that the second needed that feeling but that feeling certainly played a role in my enjoyment of the first book.(less)
After reading Mistborn: The Final Empire I was in complete awe. Every moment intrigued me, chapter surprised me. The magic system was unique and incre...moreAfter reading Mistborn: The Final Empire I was in complete awe. Every moment intrigued me, chapter surprised me. The magic system was unique and incredibly fascinating. Sanderson went straight to becoming a favorite, just one book in. And I'll still continue on reading his books. Though this second book didn't give me that same feeling. I felt let down. The main premise dragged on much too long. Much was predictable, more and more as it progressed. For me, this book, though I did like it overall, fell into the trap that many second books in a trilogy do. They become mere transitions. Just a step, less a meaningful one, to get to the final piece. It wasn't until the very end of the story that I felt what I did with the first, this eagerness to turn the next page, to stop myself from peeking. I will finish the series because I must know what happens. I'm too deep into the world not to, but I do hope it wraps up in a way that the first book started, with a level of excitement and world building I haven't read since Patrick Rothfuss' writing.(less)
I have long been intrigued by the relationship between us and technology. It's naive to focus solely on what we get out of it, for with every give the...moreI have long been intrigued by the relationship between us and technology. It's naive to focus solely on what we get out of it, for with every give there is a take, and I'm really fascinated by the takes of technology. For years now I have been slowing down my use of it. Deleting profiles on social networks, unsubscribing from what I found to be filler, letting go of my cell phone and up until recently, limiting when I allow myself on and becoming more diligent and resourceful about my use of it.
Like Carr, I noticed many changes within myself, the number one being ease of distraction. Distraction with everything. Carr does such a great job of really showing you just how distracting the internet can be. Something always vying for your attention. Even the studies about hyperlinks that he shared really enlightened me. Me, being naive, would use hyperlinks on former websites because I thought I was being helpful to the readers. But, in retrospect, I was offering distractions. That particular study he shared stood out the most to me, how people who read articles without hyperlinks comprehended the articles much more whereas those who read them with hyperlinks were distracted, clicking from that hyperlink to another, not always finishing the original article and if they did, not comprehending it quite as much.
I noticed differences in talking to people about articles. It became apparent that many would talk about an article having only read the title or first couple of sentences. That is partly the internets role in their thinking. This pressure to do so much that you end up with abstract pieces from everywhere, easily mixed together, never really understanding one because you didn't allow for that deeper thinking that the internet doesn't encourage.
I was a bit disappointed that the book focused solely on reading comprehension and the role a distracted and newly wired mind (the result of internet usage) had on reading. I kind of wanted to know more, beyond reading. Every day, everything, how it has an impact because I know it does. And gosh would I love to read a book that discusses the emotional impact the internet has on individuals and society as a whole. I've seen an escalation in envy, comparison, self loathing, enhanced egos, disappointment in others due to a lack of a immediate response that the internet allows. I would love to read about that. In addition, the book was highly academically written which isn't always intriguing. However, I did find myself talking about it to others, passing on information I learned and even recommending it. I might check out more of what Carr has to say with his other works but I surely will continue reading more on this topic.
Without being spoiler-y, I feel this that this issue really brought everything back home. It came full circle. And I loved that, getting back to the b...moreWithout being spoiler-y, I feel this that this issue really brought everything back home. It came full circle. And I loved that, getting back to the basics with still other emerging aspects to explore. And the art in this one really impressed me. I absolutely love that cover and felt everything just got better in this issue. (less)
Historical fiction is a genre I read little of, though I have yet to be let down by it. This one, in all honesty, drew me to it for rather shallow rea...moreHistorical fiction is a genre I read little of, though I have yet to be let down by it. This one, in all honesty, drew me to it for rather shallow reasons. When I heard that this book was optioned for film and Jennifer Lawrence will be playing Agnes (yet another book to movie that I've read of which she's in and will later release - the other being 'The Glass Castle') I was immediately hooked. Not only do I (for the most part) enjoy reading a book before seeing the film adaptation, but I'm also a rather big fan of Jennifer's body of work thus far.
Honestly, I read that she was playing a murderer and I wanted to read it. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I didn't know it was historical fiction or that the story is inspired by a true story that took place in the 1820s set in northern Iceland. But what I did end up reading I rather enjoyed. It isn't a thriller. It's truth hidden in fiction (though, really, that's all fiction) and the thing about truth is that bitter truth is more haunting than any piece of fictional horror writing. It's no wonder the story remained with Hannah Kent, after she first heard of it on a visit to Iceland. It's haunting and the more haunting thing, is this kind of stuff still happens but the way she accounts it all is done with such care for each individual and moment in time. I surely look forward to the adaptation.
I'm not really sure where to start. I feel totally wiped of all energy, every bit of it immersed in this story. All I look for in a book is for the au...moreI'm not really sure where to start. I feel totally wiped of all energy, every bit of it immersed in this story. All I look for in a book is for the author to take me on a journey, take me away. Oh Sanderson, what a job you've done.
Not long after reading The Wise Man's Fear and falling in love with Patrick Rothfuss' writing, I sought out another book that would take me on such an epic journey. A nice hefty book I'd want to spend days with. And, for some reason, it just always comes back to epic fantasy, a sub-genre I'm falling deeper in love with every passing story I read. The current top three writers of such stories are George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson (in my humble opinion). Having read Rothfuss (now my favorite author), and planning to read Martin, I knew, after a recommendation from a friend and watching interviews with him, that I just had to read Sanderson's work. The Mistborn series is probably his most well known work and, for me, it lives up to the hype.
It has everything I want in a story and more: strong female characters growing into their strength, people who I feel and hope for, eager to see what's next, turns I'm not expecting and even the 'evil' character was probably one of the more fascinating I've read. And holy magic system Batman. My gosh is that magical system so fascinating and intricate. I am in complete awe. I think I was 50 pages into this book when I went to the store and bought the next two to complete the series. I was hooked, and that says a lot because I'm a cheap bastard who relies much on the library. But this, my friends, is an author to send your money to. I can't wait to read the next one. Though I'm so exhausted (a sign of a good story - to suck you in so far you sometimes forget to breathe) but still diving into the next. I'm just thrilled to have found such an author and boy will I read everything he has and will write.
Sent to me recently as a sweet little package in the mail (thank you Chloe!), the title alone caught my interest right away. I'm rather smitten with m...moreSent to me recently as a sweet little package in the mail (thank you Chloe!), the title alone caught my interest right away. I'm rather smitten with memoirs. I find it fascinating, the many ways you can grow up and turn out to be who you are. The many versions of failure, success and happiness - and the quest to and through all of those. While my growing up was nothing shy of different- our ideologies, how we talked to one another as a family were what made us different. Our activities were very much traditional: celebrating holidays, playing sports, going on vacations to amusement parks, playing video games and going to the movies. I'm realizing now, as Heather expresses in this memoir, that your own raising is a product of your parents' interests and limited knowledge of the world (as all our knowledge is limited). But reading other stories and now traveling the world full-time and expanding my knowledge and interests I'm realizing many things about life, about growing up, about who I am. There are so many ways to have a family and so many different forms of the word family. There are families who teach their kids sports, those who teach them outdoor activities (hiking, biking, etc), there are families of artists who encourage the creativity we all have within us, etc. There are families like mine, without kids and composed of humans and furry friends. So many ways to 'have a family.' None wrong. Each having their own impact. But it's when you leave, as Heather shows, that you find who you are. That you have to venture, to go, to explore things you haven't quite explored before - or not in that way, to find who you are.
Her raising was so different from mine but so fascinating. Growing up in Vermont, by her rather complicated mother, living off the land with little but where her mind could take her. Her growing up taught her strength in herself. It's people like Heather that I wish to know, to learn from. People like her give me that added support, even not having met her, to dream and accomplish those dreams. To be strong. To be willing to try. And to never see failure as the end but a lesson. My favorite chapters were probably 'How to Start a Children's Clothing Company' and ' How to Not Turn Into Your Mother.' The thing I loved the most was her authenticity. The way she wrote was the truest expression of her honest thoughts, experiences and voice. We need more people like that. More people to 'keep at it,' to follow their dreams, to allow themselves to fail but continue to keep going and to have faith. Faith, I've always seen to be a religious word but the chapter 'How to Have Faith,' ending with 'There was my husband, my family. And there was my faith' reminded me that your faith is in those people. Those people like my husband, Heather's husband, our own created families who believe in us, who support us, who are honest with us but always there. A lovely memoir indeed.(less)