Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

I’m a bit behind in my book reviews.

Posted: August 18, 2015 in Misc

Well folks, I am quite behind in my updates. Some things, no matter how much you love them, just get set aside when battling depression. Even reading can become impossible. I liken my depression to the The Nothing from The Neverending Story – it consumes everything, destroys all that is beautiful and good, and with it comes a terrifying monster.

image

But with help, with medications, therapy and loving, patient support, the good days begin to outnumber the bad ones. It will always be there threatening, and you never know when the bottom may fall out, but each day is a new day that could also bring laughter. For today, in this moment, I feel really good. And so, I can write.

Well, it’s been a while but I finally finished another book, and can check off the next box on my 2015 Reading Challenge list: A book based on, or turned into, a TV show. I borrowed an actual, physical book and read Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. This is the first of 7 books about Dexter Morgan (the 8th and final installment is coming in July of this year) which inspired the very popular Showtime series, Dexter.

Dear ol’ Dexter is a sociopath, but a good sociopath. He works hard to fit in and pretends to care and fakes emotions to appear normal. He has a good job as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami PD, and even has a girlfriend. But inside he has an evil need that calls to him, his Dark Passenger. With help from his foster father, he has learned to control this need, and feed it after careful research and preparation. For his victims he selects people who deserve to die for horrendous acts they have committed. Does that make Dexter a good guy or a bad guy? Well, it’s complicated.

What I do know is that Dexter Morgan is witty and his story has a dark humor to it which i greatly enjoyed. I am one of the few people who has not watched the Dexter series, but reading this book has inspired a binge watching.

image

Jedi Suffering From Capgras Delusion

Posted: April 16, 2015 in Misc

The Fate of the Jedi series is made up of nine books set in the Star Wars universe revolving around young Jedi Knights slipping into madness — one-by-one they succumb to an unseen enemy and begin to manifest long-hidden powers of the Dark Jedi. Believing that everyone they see has been replaced by nefarious look-alikes, their fear and rage cause them to strike out violently against everyone around them, family and civilians alike. The onset of the delusion is so sudden that it can overcome the victim in the midst of a conversation, resulting in extreme panic…and there’s not much worse than a panicked Jedi, what with the flailing lightsaber and magical powers. Luke Skywalker and his teenage son, Ben, must go on a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious illness before the Jedi Order is destroyed.

Back in a galaxy right here and right now, Capgras Delusion, also called Capgras Syndrom, is a disorder in which a person suddenly believes that a loved one has been replaced by an imposter. Yes, this is a real disorder. I heard about it on a season 12 episode of Law and Order SVU (Thank you, Dr Wong!) where a mother believed that her daughter had been replaced by an imposter. While actual victims of this disorder don’t suddenly learn how to Flow Walk, it’s amazing that this neurological disorder can be based in reality. I can’t even imagine the terror that would be induced by suddenly believing that a loved one has been replaced by something evil, and the fear of not knowing what happened to the real loved one.

In the series, the madness is orchestrated by an insidious being awakened by Jacen Solo during his fall into the Dark Side. Abeloth, “The Bringer of Chaos,” had been imprisoned for thousands of years until Jacen unintentionally released her in his battle for control of the Galactic Alliance. Her twisted mind craved companionship, and she sought it out through the Force. Each time her mind touched another’s, the corruption was too much and the result was an apparent psychotic break.

“Once you were with me, here in the Maw. Once you were all with me. Now you are apart, but one by one, you are all awakening. And once awake, you can hear my call, and come to me.” ―Abeloth

The foundation of these delusioned Jedi is actually more frightening than fiction. In the Star Wars universe, good conquers evil and sets things right. But the reality is that the real-life victims of these delusions cannot be cured. The patients have visual memory of the loved one, but cannot access the associated emotional connection. As such, the patient recognizes the loved one, but there is a delusion that it isn’t the person.

This is a great commentary on the story of Beowulf. I wanted to share it with you all.

Interesting Literature

What happens in Beowulf, the jewel in the crown of Anglo-Saxon poetry? The title of the poem is probably the most famous thing about it – that, and the fact that a monster named Grendel features at some point. But because the specific details of the story are not widely known, numerous misconceptions about the poem abound. When was Beowulf written? This is a matter of some conjecture, with guesses ranging anywhere between the eighth century and the first half of the eleventh century. Critics can’t even agree on what the first line of the poem means. The poem continues to enjoy popularity, thanks to a bestselling translation by Seamus Heaney and a translation by J. R. R. Tolkien, which was only published in 2014. We’re here to offer a brief overview of the plot of Beowulf, along with some interpretations of the poem. So, to begin, a brief…

View original post 1,976 more words

A little more about literary me

Posted: August 29, 2014 in Misc

I posted a few questions and answers from 55 Bookish Questions list that I found. You can find the first set here. So I thought that I would give you a few more.

(continued)

13. What is your reading comfort zone: A large portion of the pleasure I get from reading is the ability to escape the here and now.  So that obviously lends itself to the SciFi and Fantasy genres. I know those are two very different categories, and I enjoy them both dearly for very different reasons. SciFi is almost an educational escape into a world of fiction. Each author has spent time to create technology that is fascinating to imagine. Fantasy is a chance to check disbelief at the door and conform to whatever magical or mystical world the author has crafted. But I also really enjoy Historical Fiction. History itself fascinates me, so when authors can take the few pieces we know about a certain event or figure and develop it out into a living breathing story…I can easily get lost in that world.

14. What’s your policy on booklending: I believe that books are meant to be shared and appreciated.  I have converted to paperless ebooks, but occasionally I will pick up a paperback that someone has passed on to me exclaiming “you HAVE to read this book!” With ebooks, the lending process is a little more difficult, and less personal. But back in my library building days I was absolutely okay with book lending.  A character just sitting on my shelf collecting dust is sad and lonely.

15: What will inspire you to love a book: Wow, I never really thought about the qualifications a book needs to meet. It just has to have that…something. I think it starts with the effort and passion of the author, because it shows in the crafting of the characters and the developement of the story. I also appreciate a book with a story arc that is evident throughout, even with unexpected twists, and doesn’t get lost on tangents just to fill pages. But most of all, I need to connect with the characters. I don’t need 4 pages of what they look like straight off the bat; a good author can build it into the context of the story. But more than that, it’s the character of the character that matters…who is this person and how have they come to be this person they are at this very moment that I am meeting them.  When an author can create a character I call a friend, that is something truly special.

16: Favorite reading snack: I am an equal opportunity snackist. Although not too often (read that as never) will I pick carrots or cauliflower as my snack of choice.

17: How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews: I give honest reviews.  Every author put a lot of hard work into their book, some more than others and sometimes it shows. When I give a negative review it is solely based on the book and nothing to do with the author personally. I don’t know that person, it might be the best work they could possibly do and if so…perhaps writing isn’t the field for them.  Or my honest review may make them realize that they could have done more research, or spent a little more time polishing some rough edges. Of course I would love to give great reviews because that meant that I really enjoyed the book…quite selfish really.

 

Interview with Colin M Drysdale

Posted: August 28, 2014 in Misc

Last year I read Colin M Drysdale’s first novel “For Those In Peril On The Sea”, and was absolutely enthralled. I just finished his second novel ” The Outbreak, and was again completely consumed by this terrifying world of raging zombies Colin has created.

In a genre that has become increasingly more popular, Colin’s books bring a fresh new look at survival. What I find so engaging about his books in particular is the energy and life the sea brings as kind of its own character.

I have recently had the opportunity to interview Colin for an article on Bookkaholic. You can check it out here.

Colin was gracious enough to give me a shout out on his own blog here.

A little about literary me

Posted: August 23, 2014 in Misc

(In my best Julie Andrews voice)

Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me.

I got this idea from 210darryl and thought I would adapt it slightly. It’s a list of bookish questions I will answer about myself so that youJulieAndrews can get to know me a little better..and hopefully get you to like me.

1. Favorite childhood book:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a book that I read over and over in my childhood.  So many times the I remember the cover coming off and STILL reading it again.

2. What are you reading right now: I am reading Hollow City by Ransom Riggs, the second novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.  I’m not typically a YA genre reader, but the first book just sucked me in so completely that I had to pick up the second book the moment I finished the first.

3. Bad book habits: Is there such a thing as a bad book habit?

4. Do you have an e-reader: YES! For a long time I swore that I couldn’t, wouldn’t, daren’t give up the feel and smell of a traditional book.  But then I gave it a try, just a little test drive…and I LOVED it. I loved that I could carry my thousand page fantasy novels around in my pocket, anywhere and everywhere. I love that I can highlight passages that stand out to me to reference later.  And I LOVE that I can touch a word I do not yet know and get the definition … BOOM … right then and there.

5. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once: I can read multiple at once if needed, but I PREFER to give all of my attention to one set of characters and the story we are living together.

6. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog: My first instinct was to say no. But I spent a little more time thinking about this one and I realized that yes, I do think my habits have changed. I think more about what the author has to say in his crafted story more than just the book on the surface level. I think about how much time a particularly great scene may have taken to perfect, and I can appreciate fantastic character development more.

7. A book  you expected to like but didn’t: The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick was a disappointment to me. I love Steampunk. I love the historical fiction. I love the wild wild west.  So OF COURSE I thought I would love a book that covered all of these.  But I didn’t.  It fell flat.

8. A book you didn’t expect to like but did: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty was quite a surprise to me. I read this as a part of a book club and so I begrudgingly read it.  But I REALLY REALLY liked it!  The author’s writing is like butter, so smooth and effortless I couldn’t put it down.

9. Are there any books you have avoided reading: Yes, one in particular.  A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.  This is the final book on the Wheel of Time series and I don’t want it to be over. I feel that I have grown up with these characters, and I am terrified to face the end with them.

10. Favorite film adaptation of a book: Well, this may be cheating as it is not a film, but I am really digging the Game of Thrones series on HBO.

11. Most disappointing film adaptation of a book: Stardust by Neil Gaiman.  This book was fantastically fantasy, and the movie was so so bad that we (that’s me and another person, not a royal we) couldn’t sit through the whole thing.

12. Favorite Biography: Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex & Addiction by/about Claudia Christian. She bares her soul to all who will read her story in hopes spreading hope and compassion on the disease of alcoholism.

 

Well I guess that’s enough for now. I’ll post some more another time.