Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review | Man of My Dreams By: Johanna Lindsey

Man of My Dreams
By: Johanna Lindsey

Took this book out of the library almost 3 months ago and was no longer able to renew it so needed to read it in a day, as it was already overdue. It just missed my purging of ‘I don’t care what I have from the library I will read whatever I damned well please.’ I am glad that it missed this cut. I really enjoyed it.

It was beautifully mindless to get through.

Beautiful Megan Penworthy has been snubbed by the social matriarch Ophelia. Her revenge: to marry a duke and become a duchess. The duke she has chosen: Ambrose St. James. One problem. She has never met Ambrose St. James.

Ambrose St. James finds himself in a bit of a dilemma as his friend wants to murder him for a misconception. Ambrose is forced into hiding, and his grandmother Duchy has chosen the Penworthy residence as his hide out in the guise of a horse trainer.

And thus begins this love story/comedy. They can’t seam to get along and spend most of their time fighting, and the whole time they are fighting I found myself wishing they would just let that passion over bubble in another direction.

It was a quick read and satisfying. I love books I can get through in a day. And a decent love story always leaves me satisfied. This one is more than decent.

P.S. Roo thinks it's drool worthy.

Review | Curse Words (two different books)

Watch Your F*CKING Language 
By:   Sterling Johnson

A modern book on modern curse words. Primarily sexually oriented words.  Various examples given, not practical but humorous and witty examples.  I laughed and loved it and think that while it may not be very educational considering that we live in the times when these words are being implemented, it would make a hilarious gift to someone with that kind of sense of humor. 

It’s a good laugh, and if you can convince your teacher that it is educational as you are learning about the complexities of language and the implementation and enhancement that a curse word adds to dialogue, then by all means go for it. 

Bozzimacoo : origins & meanings of oaths & swear words 
By: Mary Marshall

This is more a history of swear words and the time in witch they were used.  I found this not just interesting on what was considered a swear word and what is still in use, but also a good history for various writing styles. 

The book was published in 1975.  The woman who wrote the book comes off to me as a Suffragette.  An activist for woman’s rights.  She also doesn’t write in a decisive manner.  She talks around ideas rather than be straightforward.  Instead of stating a fact, she uses language such as “We could perhaps be led to believe….”  I was also given the impressions that she was writing this from England, from her tone and the manner in which she referenced America and Canada.  The book was published in London.   

It is an interesting study not only is curse words an their origins but in woman writing in that time period.  I imagine that such an idea was quite revolutionary and that she had strict guidelines in which she must adhere to. 

This book is very different in form and etiquette than Watch Your F*cking Language, but fascinating in its own value.  

Article | Audiobooks Pros Vs Cons

My first experience with an audio book was when I was a child.  When they were on tape cassettes.  I believe I had taken out a Pippi Longstocking’s adventure.  My impressions, at that young impressionable age, were this I didn’t like the sound of their voice.  I also was not taken by the story, not swept up and away by it.  Keep in mind that I was probably around 8 to 10 years old, so I couldn’t sit for any sort of stretch of time.  But those are the impressions I was left with and so I stuck with them.  Also I loved Pippi, and really did want to experience it in every medium possible; however, I found that this once stunk so bad I didn’t want to keep ruining my Pippi experiences.  Kids are young and impressionable, however there is a certain truth that they can grasp as that cuts through the bullshit.  I held up that belief and kept with my audio books=evil attitude. 

Until my good friend Trevor asked me if, since I read a lot, do I also listen to audio books.  I said no and incited the above reasons.  I may have elaborated on those points in several different ways but they remained the same.  I don’t like other peoples voices.  I am not able to go back and re-read if I don’t grasp something.  I am stuck with their pace.  I only have their pronunciation.  If I am irritated by the above then I am not able to sink into the work and lose myself in it. 

And you know what he said that convinced me else wise.  “I listened to The DaVinci Code on a road trip and finished the entire book on the way their and back.”  One point and he had me willing to take my chances.  I had all this time at work that I was going very monotonous tasks that I could be entertained at the same time.  Their was a book series I wanted to read but didn’t have the time for it right now, but in looking it up at my library I noticed it was available in audio book. Two birds, one stone.  Percy Jackson and the Olympians.   

So I am older and more mature (stop laughing) and have found that my preconceived prejudices are wrong… to a point.  Their were some character voices done that annoy the crap out of me, like the Pegasus, but other than that it went pretty cool.  If I miss a point and want to go back to it later, I can’t/will have a very hard time in doing so.  In a book I just flip back pages and scan.  With an audio series I flip back tracks and listen, almost re-listening to all of it. But it is a quick/easy way of digesting an entire book. 

I admit that you need a good series, must be good at multitasking, and can stand the voice of the reader.  However, if you can do all of that it’s not a bad other medium of experiencing a book. 

Also if you listen right before going to bed get some milk and cookies, feels just like being tucked in by mom, except you know the voice is different.  

Review | The Last Unicorn By: Peter S Beagle

The Last Unicorn 
By:  Peter S Beagle

Was like drifting on a cloud up in he sky looking down on a magical kingdom through a fog without being able to get a clear view but metaphors only.  This was like this, but not quite like that.  It is beautifully written and poetic.  And I would like to emphasize poetic.  The story is like a giant poem.  He has very insightful and witty pro’s that made me giggle.  But as beautiful as his writing was, and it was absolutely gorgeous, I never truly came to care for the characters to the same level I would expect in my reading.   

This book is meant to be read as viewing a magical mystical world that one will never get to touch or fully understand.  And because we can’t understand it, we are unable to grasp it in the palm of our hands.  It’s like trying to hold onto a fistful of water.  It can’t be done.

The story told is of a journey that the last unicorn takes in trying to discover what has become of her kind.  She travels through lands that she doesn’t understand because all that she knows is her own forest.  She gets trapped and caged in carnival were she meets a magician who can’t quite master his own magic. Schmendrick, the magician, has had a curse placed upon him.   When he is able to master the magic only then will he bet set free into the sands of time, until then he does not age.  Schemendrick sets the Unicorn free from the carnival and negotiates his reward as the privilege to travel with her.   Upon their travels they eventually meet bandits, were the third member of their party, Moly, is acquired.  Moly is older in her life and sad that she was not able to meet the unicorn when she was a young maid.  They then continue their quest together for the Red Bull, the creature rumored to have destroyed the Unicorn.  Their road leads to King Haggard and his curse. 

The book was originally published in 1968 and that would explain the obscurity of the writing.  What was popular/publishable then might not be so now.  Our current trend for fantasy is much grittier and less mystical.  This is truly beautiful work, and will transcend time, however you must realize what it is that you will be reading and be in the right mind frame for it.  Be able to float along and forget reality.   


Review | Blueberry Girl By: Neil Gaiman

By:  Neil Gaiman

I thought this was beautiful and poetic and something that would bring tears to my mom’s eyes.  It is in the form of a children’s book and has wonderful vivid and bright images that can lead an imagination almost anywhere.  It was visual dynamic as well as poetically written. 

The downside, it doesn’t make a very good children’s book for children.  It is more of a keepsake for growing up than a story that will make much sense to a child.  If I were a kid I would have a lot of why’s to ask about the story, because the story is something for an older mind to grasp, as it is more metaphorical.

This would make a beautiful gift, but more so for the parent of the child than for the child itself.  The child will understand the beauty of it when they are grown and on their journey to parenthood and the wonders that it brings. It is a strong medium for the message provided but the intended audience perhaps is a bit diluted.    

Article | Why Comics are not to my Liking / Review | The Sandman By: Neil Gaiman

Author:  Neil Gaiman

I had read Neverwhere and loved it so much I felt the need to take out all of Neil Gaiman’s other material from the library.  However, the time consumed with being in the play hasn’t allowed for me the time needed to be able to read all of said material acquired.  And so I have been renewing the material.  The problem with that is that other people want it and put it on reserve and then I have two days to get through 8 books/comics.  Yes I am talking about the Sandman series. 

Here is what I realized though:  I am not a Comic person. 

I may have thought that I was a comic person because I do have comic books at home; however, mine are based on books/short stories that I have already read.  Or in the case of the Watchmen scene the movie.  What this means is that I am already quite familiar with the plot and story lines, so I find it quite fascinating to see how the visuals match up with what I thought they should be.  What this means though for comics that are only presented in the one medium is that I have no other structure to compare it to.  I don’t know the story.  I am missing some of the key details of description and emotion that I would have picked up from the written material that I am now expected to pick up from the visual dynamics of the strips.  I can’t.  I can’t fill in those blanks left with the visual dynamics.  For me the visual dynamics are an added bonus to what I already know another means of flushing out the story.  In this case I feel blind trying to grasp the story.  I feel like I am missing key information.  This is by no way shape or form the fault of those who have created the comic.  It just turns out that comics are not my prime medium for story telling. 

And so without the information to really delve into the visual dynamics provided, I found myself skimming the comics barely looking at the graphics, reading the blurbs and feeling lost.  I skimmed the graphics because they were very dark and gritty, in reminisce of a horror.  I am also the type of person who does not watch horror movies or read horror books.  Therefore the visual medium of this comic was also not appealing to my tastes. 

I want to be perfectly clear though.  As I was unable to get though this I can not say with absolute certainty that this work is either good or bad.  From what I have read of blurbs of the material and what I have gotten thought of it, it has some interesting potential.  And perhaps at a later date I may try my hand at it again.  However, it is summer and I am a million things I want to sink my teeth into without forcing myself through some works I am not giving my full attention to.  It is unfair to myself.  It is unfair to the works.  It is unfair to those who have created the works.  And it is unfair to those who wish to have access to the works. 

It irks me to no end to send material back the library that I was unable to read.  It makes me feel defeated and like a traitor.  But sometimes you need to cut your losses.  Therefore, I am releasing them back out into the world with the hopes that someone else will come to love them in a way I could never appreciate them.  Good luck.