A few weeks back I was invited to see a screener of the soon-to-be released (Feb 13, 2015) movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service. I'm a trailer watchingA few weeks back I was invited to see a screener of the soon-to-be released (Feb 13, 2015) movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service. I'm a trailer watching fiend and film junkie to the core, but I knew nothing of this movie. Having taken a gander at what it was about and who was in it (Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Mark Hamill, Samuel L. Jackson, as well as some fresh new faces) I decided to accept and went to see it with my husband. We've been invited to screeners before, most of them average flicks, but this one may be hard to beat as a favorite film of the year. I'm not even much for Bond movies but I'm all in on this one. Two of the best action sequences I've seen in a long time, good old fashioned British humor (my favorite kind), fun characters, and up and comers (I'm looking at you Taron Egerton) that just killed it. Seriously, if you like any of the above, go see the film when it comes out.
But I digress. Here's the thing. This book was written by Mark Millar, author of (Kick-Ass), with the art by Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) and co-plotted by Matthew Vaughn. I'd bet all my money to say that these three knew (especially Mark and Matthew), going in, that it would be a film and likely that it will be the next and new replacement for the Bond series. Mark and Matthew have worked together before. Mark writing Kick-Ass and Matthew directing the film. It's no surprise they paired up again to do this graphic novel and adapt it to film.
So having loved the film myself I thought I ought to read what it's based on. And sure there are differences from it and the movie. Movies and books they are based on shouldn't be exactly the same. They are different mediums and must be flexible to work best in that medium. And there were a lot of differences, many of them minor and a couple major. Ie: Samuel L. Jackson's character exists but not in the same way, there isn't much show of the other recruits undergoing training (which was an aspect I loved about the film), there isn't as much humor as the film (and this surprised me because Mark really nailed the humor in Kick-Ass), some gender and relationship differences but overall the mission was the same.
Adding to that, though, every single change they made for the movie made it that much better. I enjoyed reading this. There were a couple of typos and if I had to pick, I'd pick the movie, but I'm glad I decided to purchase it so I could see the basis of the film and well, just read more by Mark. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this GN less if I had not seen the film, but I honestly don't care. I enjoyed it.
Having only ever read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe I thought it time to read the whole Narnia series, beginning to end, in chronological ordeHaving only ever read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe I thought it time to read the whole Narnia series, beginning to end, in chronological order. Especially since it's so widely used as inspiration and influence on so many later published stories, especially within the fantasy genre. And while, as expected - knowing a bit about C.S. Lewis, this book is heavily embedded with religious undertones, it was otherwise quite an enjoyable read and a great start to the series. I look forward to reading the rest....more
Let's be honest here, Liam Neeson has nothing on Brandon Sanderson's 'particular set of skills.' Sanderson is undeniably, inarguably one of the best wLet's be honest here, Liam Neeson has nothing on Brandon Sanderson's 'particular set of skills.' Sanderson is undeniably, inarguably one of the best world builders and fantasy writers of our time. He takes such care of his characters, puts so much time and thought into his worlds and creates magic systems like no others.
If I were to sit down and rate this book on quality of writing (though who am I to do that, really?) it would easily be five stars. Easily. But that's not why we review and rate, and especially not why we read. Instead it's based on how we feel. How we feel is innate, supremely reactive and often uncontrollable. It's probably why, with every book we read, how we feel about it and react to it teaches us something about ourselves.
And having just finished the final page of the Mistborn series I'm not sure how I feel. Was it exactly what I wanted? No. But you don't, and shouldn't, always get what you want. Was it what the story called for? I do believe so. And that's where I struggle.
Maybe it is because I connected so much with the first book in this series, with particular characters and established dynamics that when it all changed come book two I was still picking up the pieces. I'm not adverse to change. Call me a changeling. While I like some consistency I am naturally uncomfortable with a lack of change. And so, while I hate it, I also loved that Sanderson broke my heart at the end of book one because it was the perfect ending to that book. I loved the doors it opened and character growth and exploration it offered.
It just feels like this crazy journey I went on, with moments of just trudging through passages to moments of, 'holy shit, how did Sanderson do that.' So, I guess I don't know what I'm saying, because I still don't know how I feel about this final book. I do know, as a whole, I really enjoyed this series and Sanderson's writing and I will, without a doubt, continue to read everything he writes and recommend him to fellow lovers of fantasy.
There are two kinds of magic. There is the kind found in fictional tales of witchcraft and wizardry. Stories that take you far far away, to fantasticaThere are two kinds of magic. There is the kind found in fictional tales of witchcraft and wizardry. Stories that take you far far away, to fantastical worlds of sword fights, epic adventure and heroic deeds. Then there is the kind of magic in the every day. In the trees, in the morning bird's song, in the way the wind wisps your hair in your face or the crunch of those discolored leaves beneath your feet. It is that kind of magic that I had not really seen, really experienced, until I became more aware of my surroundings. When I worried less of time, money, and all that is wrong with the world and changed the gears of my brain to notice all that is good, to slow down, breathe deeply, take notice and really see what is in front of me. And it's something I think many great writers of fantasy have tapped into as well.
And this is the secret of 'The Secret Garden,' much the same as Miss Burnett's other beautifully crafted story, A Little Princess, that a simple change of thinking can make all the difference. She has this wonderful way of using children to highlight this because they really are the best example. They don't hesitate to believe. To see the pirate ship in the cardboard box. It's a special skill, not yet tainted by the duties of adulthood. Their minds free to wander and hearts full of hope.
I've been called a 'non-believer.' A silly thing labels are. They do nothing but divide us. Upon realizing that I am not a religious person, an 'atheist', if you will, I'm asked, and have been asked many times, 'What do you believe in, then?' It always baffled me, that question. Caught me off guard, really. And so I say, 'Lots of things. Everything.' I believe in people, the capacity of the human heart. I believe in snow capped mountains. I believe in dreams, in the colors of the rainbow, in moss on tree trunks and snails on the sidewalk. I believe in giving without expectation, in hugs, hope and laughter. All of it extraordinary. All of it original and beautifully unique. No one tree the same, no one rock weathered the same, no one laugh of a similar tune. This, I have found, just traveling this world more. Every single time I'm put in such further awe, be it from standing on the top of a mountain looking down upon a city or hearing a story of human struggle and triumph.
What Frances highlights so well is this very belief and way of thinking. She shows how powerful the mind is. It can be damaging or uplifting. One can wallow in self pity and see only the darkness in the world. Or one can rejoice in the good, stand hand in hand for what's right and not opposed to what's wrong. A simple shift of the mind can heal the body. Years back, I remember being bellowed over in pain and told to go to the ER only to find that there was nothing physically wrong. That it was my worry, my thoughts that caused me pain. I put unnecessary stress on myself. Stress, just a thing easily overcome by a shift in the way of thinking about things. And over the years I've learned the power of thought. That I and only I am in control of my own happiness, my own liveliness. But also that that liveliness effects others. It's the case of the contagious yawn. See one person do it and so will you, or so it goes. Much is the same when in a room with a down and out person, making it more of a struggle to be joyful. But when passing a smiling face one can do much else but smile.
This story makes me think back to another book I recently read, Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality, where the author discusses that person that's always happy and joyful and no one wants to believe they really are. You really can't be that happy, all the time, right? We don't want to believe it possible. Just a facade the person puts on to 'cope.' This may be true of some but, is it possible to find your happiness, to find calm in the chaos, to plaster an honest smile on your face amidst bumper to bumper traffic? I think it so. I didn't use to until I realized, it's a way of thinking. Every single minute we are faced with a choice and that choice, when boiled down simply, is to be happy or not to be happy. To see the good or wallow in the sadness.
Frances does this with her character of Dickon and again with Sara Crewe in A Little Princess. These little dancing flames in a dark room, that light up all around them. Be that person. Make the choice to not think, "Ugh, I have to make dinner tonight" to instead, "Oooo, What could I make? The possibilities are endless!" Life is nothing but endless choices. Choose to believe. In whatever you believe, be it gods and monsters or the way of the wind, use it for good. Find the good and spread it like that infectious smile. Doing so will transform your whole way of life, alongside those around you.
And lastly, to Miss Burnett, thank you for letting me know I'm not alone when I go for a walk and see that squirrel scurrying up the tree only to stop and stare at me, thinking that for that moment that squirrel and I had a conversation, and that that conversation was beautiful.
In all my life or, really, especially this past year, I've come to learn that it's the things we don't expect to have as much meaning and placement inIn all my life or, really, especially this past year, I've come to learn that it's the things we don't expect to have as much meaning and placement in our lives as they do. It's the things we don't put stock in that surprise us. This book was like that for me.
Had it not been for meeting my husband I would likely, or it would have probably taken me more time, not be as interested in Buddhist practices. Not Buddhism, not the picture the media paints of Buddhism but the carried down practice of it, or more specifically, meditation, also known as zazen.
So, when perusing through Barnes & Noble, my husband and I were seeking another book on the topic, I asked him to pick one and we'll read it together, while I headed over to the fantasy section. I'm not going to lie, I likely wouldn't have picked up this book based on the title and cover, even though it gave me a sort of sinister but sincere smile, but I'm glad he did.
Brad Warner, the hard core punk, godzilla-type movie loving guy, with an admiration for Ultraman, is also a zen priest who really takes all that you are told by the media and pop culture (ie the pictures of shaved headed monks who chant and attain 'enlightenment') and sort of squashes it. He presents, as he intended, reality. In such a uniquely fresh way he addresses zen, zazen and you and your relationship with you and the world.
At first I was hesitant to some of the things he said but then he had me, late at night, discussing it with my husband. Tossing around the ideas, thinking them through and coming to similar conclusions.
This book is a bit of a hidden gem, I think. It's different, an oddball of sorts. But I've always been an oddball, or so I've been told. Happy to have read this along with my husband....more
I don't much enjoy writing reviews of books I less than liked, nor do I like reading them. They end up filled with bitterness or an egotistical detailI don't much enjoy writing reviews of books I less than liked, nor do I like reading them. They end up filled with bitterness or an egotistical detailed statement of what 'good' and 'bad' writing is and attack on why the reviewed book is 'bad.' Truly, few books are really good or bad. They just aren't for you or are for you. And, when I find myself in a book that I realize is no longer for me, or is not the right time in my life to read, I will move on and find another. These past couple of days I found myself halfway through two books that I realized I wasn't much enjoying and so, valuing my time, I put them down. For I rather enjoy more, have a feed and life filled with good memories, epic tales of adventure and reads that otherwise make me think deeply or feel completely submerged in beautiful storytelling. Few times will I press on through a book of the sort that isn't working for me, the exceptions being if it's for a book club pick (because I find it worth it to be a part of the discussion) or if I purchased it. In this case, I purchased this book.
I purchased this book having wanted to read it for some time. I found it so clever and such a fresh idea to both take an approach to dragons in a scientific way, to study them, and also to write a work of fiction as a memoir, a look back on one woman's life. Not to mention, I love strong female leads who admit their weaknesses but are stubborn enough to further fight and prove what they are capable of. Plus, I was infatuated with the cover. Probably one of my favorite book covers.
And maybe it was the cover that I went in with expectations and maybe it was my expectations that led me to not enjoy this book as much as I hoped to. For I expected to have many more encounters with dragons, with such a prominent cover and synopsis regarding the study of them. But, when there were, it was more of a swoop in and vanish scenario, which left me wanting more. Going in excited about the way it was told, as a memoir, I found it was that very telling of the past that made me feel less interested, less connected. I, for some reason, couldn't attach myself to the characters or story. I never felt that bit of adventure that I feel any tale involving dragons should contain.
With that, I would recommend it to readers of fantasy because, as I say, not every book is for everyone but there is a book for everyone and this may be the book for you. Give it a shot and see. But if it's not, and you don't feel obligated to read it, as I did, then pass and find another. Life is too short and we can only fit in so many books. So try and fill it with those that make you eager to give them praise and allow you to fall deeper in love with storytelling.
I hadn't heard of Amanda Palmer until her wildly popular TED talk made its rounds over to me and I fell in love with the message. In her book, AmandaI hadn't heard of Amanda Palmer until her wildly popular TED talk made its rounds over to me and I fell in love with the message. In her book, Amanda simply cracks open her heart, spills out the contents and says, here I am and here is my gift to you. The Art of Asking will hit you to the core and is a message all could take in and make good with. The simple message, trust. Trust in others. Trust in yourself. Believe in your art and that it deserves to be heard. Recognize art not as a product but an exchange, an experience, a feeling, a connection from one to another. Know that you are good enough and allow yourself to be believed in by others. Welcome in help. Be willing to be vulnerable, exposed, showing all your flaws for the world to see. Be authentically you, doing what you love and sharing that with the world. Make good. Do good and believe in good.
There is much distrust and disbelief in the world, in others, in ourselves. Just the other day I had a Skype call with my dad. I love my dad to pieces (love, love, love him) but he's a believe it until you see it kind of guy, even if you've proven yourself otherwise. One of my desires that I will do is build my own earthen off-the-grid home. Most anyone who knows me knows this as one of my greatest goals and dreams. There are may things I want to do but this is something I will do. I know it in my heart. Just as I knew I'd join the military and travel the country full-time in an RV. And in a moment of chatting he said to me, with emphasis, IF you do it. IF you build the house of your dreams. What he's really saying is, I don't believe you. I don't believe in you. It's similar to the time I was taking old furniture and rebuilding it into something new. When my family came to visit and my dad saw one of the tables I worked on, I could tell he was impressed. He said to me, and I don't remember the words exactly, 'I didn't know you were capable of something like this. It's beautiful.' While complementary, it was still saying, I didn't believe in you to do it, and especially not like this. It was in those moments that I realized how easily we can convey to one another whether we believe in their skills, their art and whether we don't. It's made me stop and think about how I respond to others and what message I ultimately convey to them. For art, in all its many forms, is a vulnerable thing in and of itself, especially at the moment of sharing and a simple word or phrase can crush any artist at work.
In the end, that table I revamped, I gave away. My dad was baffled by this. I worked so hard on it, why would I give it away? The truth is, it's not always about the product. It's not really ever about the product, the final outcome. Any author will tell you that they learn the most and get the most from the actual process of writing the book, not the day it's released. It's the doing that's so much fun. It's why it was so easy to let go of that table and pass it on to another. Not for lack of want for it. I got what I needed of it, that experience of creating and building belief in myself. It was my time to share my creation. A message Amanda elegantly touches on, that moment of exchange and sharing. To let it go and let others in.
This book opened my eyes to all the many ways to ask and to allow help in. If we could all simply trust in others, believe in them and join in one big collaboration of love, trust and belief, the world would be better off. Our art would be better off. Our relationships. Much could be healed.
I've always been a rather open book, but when jousted in the stomach with unsupportive commentary, I coil. I, with the little bits of self-confidence I can muster up, feel unworthy, the art I create unworthy to be called art - in the face of others' disbelief in me. I feel, with this book, Amanda hands over that power and gives readers the option to really feel comfortable in their own skin, working how they work, and believing in who they are and what they have to offer the world.
I can't recommend this book enough. And feel my heart more full and eyes more open having read it....more
I first found out about this book through the Goodreads awards and the title is what drew me in, particularly the part of, 'how I tamed the voice in mI first found out about this book through the Goodreads awards and the title is what drew me in, particularly the part of, 'how I tamed the voice in my head.' For I find that voice to be very irritating and the exact thing from stopping me from making positive progress, living authentically me. The voice is relentless, negative and repetitive in a circular fashion, the same thoughts/worries coming back again and again. I can't count how many times that voice in my head, and we all have it, has utterly wasted my time with unnecessary worry, self-doubt and misdirection. Dan Harris calls this voice the ego. The 'ego' has been referred to many things, but, in this book, it refers to that pesky incessant talk in your head.
The quick synopsis: Dan Harris is a correspondent for ABC News, an anchor for Nightline and co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America. One day, on national tv, he had a panic attack. This was the spark for him that made him look more inward. Through a series of events, questions and the meeting of one a many 'gurus,' with different takes, he ends up finding that adding meditation in your life can make you at least 10% happier. It can rest the mind and allow you to be more fully present and mindful.
I have had small doses of experience with meditation. I once tried it on an all vegan cruise, which had a class that walked people through meditation. I wasn't expecting much. Though I was expecting it to be too 'spiritual' for me and likely not work, but I wanted to take that unique opportunity to try something new. I was wrong. I remember returning to my mom to tell her just how much it changed how I felt, physically and mentally. You didn't have to buy into any bit of spirituality, if you didn't want to, to benefit from it. After that, even having seen results, I only tried it once again and then made the excuse that I 'don't have time.' A very illegitimate excuse, especially for someone currently jobless. I have nothing but time.
The reason I connected so much with this book is that I had/have the same trepidation and questions about meditation as Dan had. Every step of the way, every question he had, I had. Every bit of hesitation, I had too. I also loved his more 'unconventional' way of approaching it. It felt nothing but organic and real, how he came to these different realizations from the people he met to the practice of it.
I know that meditation will be a lifesaver for someone like me. And with Dan sharing his bit of life experience and proof of concept, I feel fully equipped to 'make it happen,' to really let that inner voice rest and stop making excuses for myself and start benefiting from this long shed and proven simple concept of meditation. I'm thrilled to keep learning and applying it, starting now....more
I suppose I picked this book up for a rather odd reason, after reading in Joss Whedon: The Biography that it was Joss' favorite book. As someone I looI suppose I picked this book up for a rather odd reason, after reading in Joss Whedon: The Biography that it was Joss' favorite book. As someone I look up to creatively, I quickly went on a search to find this book and find it I did. I hadn't ever heard of it prior and didn't know a thing about it before turning the first page. Sometimes that's the best kind of way to enter into a new story, knowing little of it. I was truly delighted by this book, and particularly by Sara.
While rich, Sara was never struck with greed nor self-interest as I would expect a young child of her circumstances to be. Instead she was humbled by the love of her father. And when all that she loved was taken from her she didn't react in a way many would, when forced to become a servant - to feel the pain of hunger. Though she hurt, she found story and hope in everything. Gosh to have her ability, I would be a much less anxious person. I would worry much less if I too found story in everything. Sara has taught me a great deal and reminded me that everything boils down to the way you look at it. She chose to find friends in mice, to make believe things weren't the way they were - and that she was instead a princess, to give when she too was in need. She wasn't delusional. She knew her chilling circumstances. She was hopeful. She was a dreamer and she shared her dreams with all so that they too would have enough hope to be able to smile that day. I loved this little story and all its characters and look forward to reading more from Mrs. Burnett....more
I picked up this anthology solely for reading Rothfuss' short story in it, mostly because I have to read some more of the other authors before readingI picked up this anthology solely for reading Rothfuss' short story in it, mostly because I have to read some more of the other authors before reading their stories. It's a simple story of the ever popular Bast and was a light and fun read. Rothfuss always has a way of putting storytelling within storytelling and I find that quite delightful!...more
I have been following Tammy's blog, Rowdy Kittens, for quite some time and am happy to have finally read her writing. Sure, much of her findings are aI have been following Tammy's blog, Rowdy Kittens, for quite some time and am happy to have finally read her writing. Sure, much of her findings are already apparent to a fellow simple living soul. It's true. But I didn't much tune in for her findings but more for her story. Her passion, her felt friendship of a like-minded individual. As someone who too has radically simplified my life, I felt a connection with Tammy - a kinship, and sometimes you need that when you feel as though you are one of few who understand a certain way of things. It was truly a pleasure to read her take, offered with such honesty and authenticity. A reader can't ask for much more....more
This past half a year or so we've been living full-time on the road in a house on wheels. We've seen such beautiful places with landscapes varying froThis past half a year or so we've been living full-time on the road in a house on wheels. We've seen such beautiful places with landscapes varying from mountainous depths filled with elk and reindeer, the unique colors of the desert to a flatter place here in Florida covered in lakes and a wide array of birds. I love nature. I love this planet and I want to keep it beautiful.
Unfortunately, we are trashing it without acknowledgment for our waste and actions. Granted, the planet will always be here. It is ourselves we are dooming to extinction, but we're taking others down with us. We're depleting the oceans with our waste, the bees and dirt with our pesticides, our air with our poor choices of what we eat.
Since roughly 2007 I have made strides to live more sustainably. And now, knowing there is always more I can do, I'm pleased to come across books like this and people like Bea who are showing what is possible. Even if viewed as extreme, it's no sweat off my back because I've always been viewed as extreme. To me, extreme is what we are doing to the planet and how often we are willing to look away and not take responsibility. All it takes are little actions that build up to being great things. So, I now strive to live as plastic and completely waste free as I can. And boy has it been liberating and enlightening all the same. I'm excited for this next chapter and hope more consider living with less waste, a smaller impact but a greater and more mindful heart....more
Back in late 2006 (my last bit of time in the Air Force) was when I first became both environmentally conscious in my impact and active about it. It sBack in late 2006 (my last bit of time in the Air Force) was when I first became both environmentally conscious in my impact and active about it. It started with unplugging unused electronics and boy did it drive my co-workers nuts. They even had a nickname for me. But hey, you do what you think is best, given what you know, as best you can. From then on I made change after change after change.
It ranged from the typical change of the type of light bulb I used, to going completely plant-based in diet (the best change you can ever make environmentally - see the new documentary 'Cowspiracy' for why that is so - more so than the impact cars have on the environment), to composting in my apartment, going garbage bag free and many other ways I can list. But it's my belief that there is always more you can do, more aware you can be of your impact, the consequences and how you can combat those consequences.
I've known for a long time that plastic is not good for the environment. It doesn't take many brain cells to figure that out. I remember learning, years back, about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (just one of five gyres in the ocean - this one being twice the size of Texas consisting of swirling plastic). I went BPA-free but something in me recently wanted to learn more, and also felt a little gyped by this 'BPA-Free' craze (call it my lack of trust in corporations caring about my well being).
So about a week ago I sought out more information on plastic. First I watched the documentary 'Bag It.' 'Bag It' is an incredibly good documentary of one guy trying to make a difference by going plastic bag free and realizing much more in the process, learning more about plastic, it's effects on the environment and our health, and taking action beyond that 'urban tumbleweed,' also known as the plastic bag.
Then I heard of Beth Terry, a woman who did the same. She started with herself, with counting her plastic, informing herself of plastic, the laws regarding plastic, the incredibly damaging consequences of it to our wildlife, oceans, children and ourselves. She started with one website. I had known of her website some time back but didn't much stick around.
Now, having read her book 'Plastic-Free: How I kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too,' I'm inspired. I love that feeling you get after you read a good piece of non-fiction or watch a quality documentary. You feel empowered. Sure, there is anger at the lies you've been told in the past, the truths hidden by big business and large wallets but in the end you walk away with knowledge that you can do something, anything.
Since watching that film I have made drastic and rapid changes in my life regarding plastic and I will continue to do so. I realize know why BPA-free doesn't necessarily mean better (in fact, it's worse). There are many changes in my home I've made. My pantry now free of plastic, near all plastic appliances donated - realizing other ways I can do what I did with them but without them. My shopping habits have changed, who I'll buy from, letters I will write and so on. My home is almost completely free of plastic and damn it feels good.
It's not much different then when I read 'The China Study' or saw 'Meet your Meat' and realized the power of food. I made a connection. We live in a very disconnected world. Sure, we have some pretty incredible advancements in technologies. But even with that we've become more disconnected. We are disconnected with one another, with knowing how our food was made, where that new product we bought came from. It's so much easier to put our heads in the sand on touchy topics and instead have hope that other people will 'figure it out.' Unfortunately that method only gets us so far. Anything that has ever positively impacted this world has started first with you, on a grassroots level and then on a collaborative level. To make an impact we have to connect. To make change we have to connect. Connect to each other, understand where, how and what is in our stuff, become more knowledgeable of our impact. For our future, right now, is not just unknown (as the future typically is) but very bleak, shaky and quite scary.
I am on a mission. To go beyond just myself and what I can do but also on a collaborative level. Because, while small changes are good - and we absolutely need those changes - they aren't enough and they aren't quick enough. And I'm hoping, with my ability to move full-time that I can utilize that gift to learn more from others along the way - around the globe, to document it on video, share it with the world on a website, give people tools to work with, and when - after our next 2 years on the road- we settle down and start building our off-the-grid earthen home we've dreamed of for some time, to use that knowledge for further power to help, to keep giving, for we have taken enough from this world and one another. Because, the truth is, the planet will be just fine. It always bounces back from catastrophes. Lives are lost, species go extinct and things shift but it's us we are going to kill off, without a doubt. We, the 'smartest species on the planet' are both slowly and quickly killing ourselves via our action and lack of action. And damn it, I'm on a mission. A mission to keep this now eight year learning process going at a more accelerated rate, to find ways to take it to a level beyond just me and keep my head out of the sand. Because plugging your ears to not hear doesn't mean what is being told isn't true.
In a nutshell, I recommend this book for absolutely anyone. ...more
All of us have this inner battle in our minds, with whatever struggle we go through in that moment in time. We can be the happiest of people but stillAll of us have this inner battle in our minds, with whatever struggle we go through in that moment in time. We can be the happiest of people but still have thoughts that conflict, questions we have, things we have to work through. It could be a decision we have to make, a relationship gone downhill or any otherwise change that sets us aback in thought. In the end, how we feel is up to us. There's a balance we have to find. That balance between self-righteousness and self-judgement. And it's a journey to find that balance. This book really helps to give you the tools to combat that. It's not going to do it for you, obviously, but instead open its hands of wisdom and say 'here.'
I'm glad my husband picked this little book up on a whim in Denver, CO in the clearance section. I have already passed it on and would like to grab a couple more and pass them on too. There is too much in these few words that I think could better the world, if we start with ourselves. Make us more giving, more mindful, and more understanding of our own thoughts....more
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 fantasHad 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. ...more
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), beenHow 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.