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text 2017-03-03 05:12
Why I Read - DNF (for now, at least)
Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books - Wendy Lesser

I was off to the hair salon today and all the books I'm currently reading are bricks, so I grabbed this one off the pile to take with me.  Fortunately, I had my iPhone and some ebooks for backup, because this isn't quite the book I expected it to be.


Instead of an essay-type of read that, as the pull quote on the cover says is, "as if Lesser were writing to a friend about the most fabulous literary party of all time", what I got was more of an in-depth literary dissection.  A break-down of what's under the hood.


Discussing literature on this level is, to me, akin to revealing how magic tricks are done.  Interesting but ultimately it dulls the shine a bit.  Lesser's writing seems skilled; I only got about half-way through chapter 1 and then skimmed the first couple of pages of chapters 2 and 3 before putting it away and reaching for my iBooks app.  


It's not going into the big black box of disappointment yet, though.  I might come back to it at a future date, when I'm feeling more academic.

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text 2016-06-05 23:01
The Sunday Post

Not much to say - Sunday, adventuring, wildlife, and I got a tan.

All good. Hope you all had a great weekend, too.


(Btw, I have no idea what kind of birds these are...but they were pretty.)







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review 2015-11-08 09:08
The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins, a comfort loving creature of the land of Middle-Earth, is recruited by the wizard Gandalf to help a group of dwarves defeat a dragon and recover their homeland/a bunch of treasure.


Look if you haven't read this book, seen the movies, or have some idea whats going on you've found a mighty big rock to live under. The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, are probably some of the most amazingly epic adventure stories ever written. I am most certainly not kidding.


I have a long history with this book. At about 6 or so I remember mom getting the animated movie from the library. Totally hooked, but I had no idea what it was. A few years later I spent a night at a friend's house and spent all night reading his Hobbit graphic novel, but I never thought to look at the title. It wasn't for a few more years that I finally figured out what I was reading.


I read the book again in highschool, and at least a couple times since then. Love it. Its a classic beyond compare, probably my favorite book of all time.


Tolkien writes with an imagery that I rarely see elsewhere. His style is faintly British though it never goes to far. His words evoke a vision of a world that is both wild and beautiful.


One of my favorite things about The Hobbit is Bilbo's personal journey. It is made explicitly clear that hobbits are creatures of comfort. Bilbo likes a warm cozy home, good food, and a friend or two over for tea on occasion. He doesn't like adventure. Adventures are nasty things that make one late for dinner. But then he's roped into one by a mysterious wizard and a group of homeless dwarves.


As the quest to reach the Lonely Mountain and Smaug progresses, Bilbo changes from a comfort loving homebody to a capable burglar that the party consistently relies on. He also acquires a useful piece of jewelry which will be the centerpiece of the next series of books in the land of Middle-Earth...


For a book this special, I felt my collection need something a little...extra. A paperback is simply not good enough. A little extra got me a leather bound copy, gold trimmed pages, and complete with some very nice illustrations done by Tolkien for the original. It was money well spent.




General rating: *****

Epic: *****


Edit: For some reason it keeps turning all the photos  I took sideways.

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review 2015-10-14 09:10
WTF is it called The Buried Giant?
The Buried Giant - Kazuo Ishiguro

Why did I read this? What was the point of it? why was it so highly recommended? my life view hasn't changed in anyway, I'm not moved, I'm mainly just bewildered as fuck.

What was the point of this book? For all intents and purposes i have almost no answers after reading this book, it was shrouded in mystery from beginning to end. I think i might be even more confused about the book after i finished reading it > how is that even possible?

Well to save you guys from reading this book I'll sum it up for you. We have our two main characters, Beatrice and Axl. There some mysterious old age, lets guess 80's, they have almost zero memory of their past (this includes things that happened even an hour before) no they're not suffering from Alzheimer's, everyone is suffering from this mysterious Mist that clouds all thoughts. They all of a sudden decide to depart of this epic journey across country to meet up with a son, which the can barely remember and have no clue where he actually lives. As they travel they come across many a random strangers and monsters, some friendly some..not so much. In one town they save a boy from death by simply taking him away, they also travel with a warrior. We know almost nothing about these two, still dont except the boy has been bitten and can lead them to the mysteries behind the mist, the warrior is a Saxon here to stop the mist so he can get on with conquering the land because of horrendous past deeds. We learn about some war stories, why the mist was create, and some weird shit bouncing around inside of the boy's strange head. (view spoiler)
So yea the epic journey continues, we occasionally swap POV to the others, and everyone is talking in the hideous polite town that bores almost everything they say, because it makes a sentence much longer and more complicated then necessary. The four travelers come across a Knight, who has a not so surprising twist at the end, some messed up and twisted monks (who occasionally get eaten by crows) then the group split up, do some more traveling, some how stumble upon each other, figure out the mysteries of the mist....then I'm a little confused from there.... oh spoiler here > there's son dead! surprise! then I believe (view spoiler)
So Yea that pretty much sums up the book. I have no clue what going on and more answer than ever.

The world building was pretty awesome, we had some really interesting background and stories, problem is we never get to explore it so while the glimpses were great there not enough to make this book good.

I'll rate this book 2 stars (more like 1.5 stars) because of those little glimpses, and because i felt a little sad over the love lost in the end, did i feel for the characters? not particularly. But i have a soft spot for old fogies and they had been through so much, was kinda sad the way things ended. And because this book managed to make me read all of it even though the whole way through i was confused as to why i continued (maybe a little bit of mist crept out?) man I'm so annoyed i didnt get ANY BLOODY ANSWERS!

So yea, not something i recommend to other readers for the simple fact i don't see anything gained by reading this book, just time spent.

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review 2015-01-08 01:30
Childish and annoying
The Chosen Prince - Diane Stanley

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Now that some of my rage has cooled off, I can say with certainty that this is by far one of the most disappointing books I’ve read this year. When I first saw it on Edelweiss, I was so excited! Greek Myth combined with Fantasy sounded like a dream and I was excited to dive in. I was let down on so many accounts, it’s not even funny. Although I imagine that if anyone had been watching me while I was reading the book, they might disagree.

For starters, this book has almost no elements of fantasy. It reads like historical fiction that’s set in a time when people still believed in the greek gods. That was slightly disappointing but I loved greek myth enough to  let that one pass.

The POV this book was written in made it a lot harder for me to stick with the book. It’s written in 3rd person present tense which is just awkward. I kept on thinking it would change at some point but it didn’t and it just kept on throwing me off. At first, I felt like I wasn't being open enough to the idea of another POV and that it would become easier to read once I got used to it but I never did. I continued to look for things about this book that would make it stick out or would be even a shadow of what had been promised by the blurb.

The main character Alexos was actually pretty decent. I liked how he seemed to continue to push through in spite of all the misfortunes that befell him and while he was brave, smart, kind and giving, he also knew when he had to be a leader. Of course, sometimes I wish he would be a little bit more child-like considering he was just 13. Except when he wasn't. About half way through the book, there was a 7 year fast forward.

That really got me. What more was that the story wasn’t even being told from his POV anymore after that 7 year skip even though he was supposed to be the main character. A 20/21 year old main character for a middle grade book is a little awkward. What more was that this book some very predictable turns and there was a VERY AWKWARD romance thrown in that pissed me off so much. It’s not that the two characters weren’t compatible, it’s just that they don’t actually know each other. They meet and then BAM. Okay. I need to calm down a little because the romance still bothers me, as you can see quite clearly.

This book was lacking in the world building department as well. We are provided with the bare minimum which is basically some details on the gods that have any influence on the outcome of the story. We are thrown into a world with no other details which is why I said it read more like a historical book than fantasy. As someone who LOVES world building, I was heartbroken! Here we have such great potential yet it’s wasted. It’s barely brushed. I can only imagine the rich world that could have otherwise been created had the potential been utilized.

However, the worst thing about this book was the way in which the conflict was resolved. That broke my heart into pieces. It’s the kind of resolution you expect from picture books, not a novel. Not a novel where there is so much build up and the character goes through so much as a result of his ‘destiny’.  We have a build up for nothing because when it comes down to the actual resolution, nothing happens. It’s like when you light a firecracker that you expect to explode but all you get is a tiny crackle.

Throughout the first 60%, I kept making excuses for the book because I expected to get better, I wanted it to get better. I wanted it to blow my mind. I wanted it to be everything it had promised. The last 40% opened my eyes and by the last couple of pages I was craughing and really just wanted the book to end. So much disappointment is not good for the soul.

One might attribute the simplicity of the book to the fact that it’s middle grade. I am obviously not the intended audience but if I had read this book in middle school, I would have been heartbroken because it would have made me realize that not all books are great (I never really read a bad book as a kid… yes I am boasting. A little bit. COME ON. My bubble has already been burst.). Plus, as a kid (and almost adult))who loved adventures , it would have bothered me that something that promised to be a fabulous adventure wasn’t one.

My childish aspirations aside, it's clear that I wasn't the intended audience but I don’t know who this book is aimed towards. I suggest that if you’re thinking about reading this one yourself, you may want to skip it unless childish is exactly what you’re looking for after being fed up of everything else.

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