Monday, January 26, 2015

William Shakespeare: His Life and Times, a Book Review


I loved the scrapbook inspired layout of this book, though at first it was rather confusing, as I wasn't sure what to read first, but after I developed a system it wasn't confusing at all. The book is written partly in Shakespeare's voice and partly in the narrators. There are small cards, letters, pictures, scattered through out with tidbits on history and his plays. It's a wonderful book for anyone who loves Shakespeare or even just the time period in which he lived.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Writing and Reading

Great Idea

There's not much going on with me right now. I have a book waiting at an agent's and am looking into submitting some of my short stories to online magazines. I just need to read over the guidelines and brush up the stories.  I've been working on my own fiction writing and haven't done much for the one freelancing site I write for though I do have some posts to be published.

The important thing is to keep writing. I've fallen drastically behind on my journal but I hope to rectify that very soon.  I've also been reading quite a bit and having a great time.I think it's important to keep reading because it is studying the styles and habits of other authors, even if it's "what not to do" lesson!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Big Four, a Book Review

This was an odd Agatha Christie book. Rather than solving a murder or even murders it dealt with international intrigue in the form of a spy ring, The Big Four, though there were plenty of murders involved. While it wasn't a terrible read it did not have the same tone of any of her books. In fact I became annoyed rather than transfixed with the multiple times Hasting and Poriot found themselves in the clutches of the The Big Four, being knocked out, only to awaken with headaches, but free of their enemies. It seemed rather redundant after the first two times.  Another redundant theme was that of clues being gathered via death bed confessions.

Still, the far fetched, James Bond feel of the book is a bit fun, if not up to the standard of her usual books and one of the few that the movie version was better. In the BBC movie, the whole Big Four was a farce fabricated by a disturbed man to cover his own crimes and win back an old girl friend and as crazy as it sounds it made a bit more sense than the book which was quite out there. However, even a "bad" Agatha Christie book is a good read. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Very Fond Farewell

A few days ago my father and I continued a tradition we began when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released into theatres. We have gone to see the Hobbit movies every year as part of his Christmas present.  Now, this is not a movie review, rather my sentiments toward a story that has been a major part of my life.

I was first introduced to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien as a toddler when my father would read The Hobbit to my brother and I. Later on we watched and re watched the animated version of not just The Hobbit but The Lord of The Rings as well. I loved the stories then and began reading the books in fifth or sixth grade.  I remember being quite taken with Legolas, his bravery, his kindness, and his willingness to befriend a dwarf when other elves scorned them. I highlighted most of Aragorn's and Sam's speeches and copied many quotes into my diary. I admired Bilbo and the dwarves for facing the dragon and Bard for finishing the dragon off.  In truth, I loved all the people of Middle Earth because even ones like Gollum had valuable lessons to teach.  People ask who my favorite person is and I list about ten.

When The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out during my high school years, I was both excited and apprehensive, after all, I loved the books and did not want them ruined. Though would some disagree, I do not feel they have been.  Yes, there are bits and pieces of the LOTR and Hobbit films that annoy me, but all that I love far outweighs the flaws.

I will always remember how I felt sitting in that movie theater and seeing The Shire on the big screen. I cried. It was like going home somehow, seeing this land I had loved since childhood.  Bravery, family, friendship, courage, are all lessons I have learned from the people's of Middle Earth and I hope to continue to live out those lessons in this new year.

Though, I would be quite happy with new Middle Earth themed movies, this is , as Bilbo would say, "the end". While I am disappointed with this, I am thankful for the books and movies that brought so much joy and happiness into my life and changed it in the process.