Media Monday: Bridget Jones’s Diary

May
13
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday
Bridget Jones's Diary Poster

Image belongs to Miramax Films

Title: Bridget Jones’s Diary
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Sharon Maguire
Studio: Miramax Films
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Summary: [from IMDB]

A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary.

My Review:

I know, I’m a terrible girl. Somehow I have missed seeing most of the major “girl films” (I flat out refuse to see The Notebook mostly because I know it’ll make me cry). But, last week I needed some light-hearted fun, and when she found out I hadn’t seen this one, she wouldn’t let me go until I promised I would! And, you know, I’m glad I did, even if it is a fluffy RomCom.

There were a lot of things I didn’t realize about Bridget Jones’s Diary. For one thing, I only found out recently that it’s a remake of Pride and Prejudice. Despite only one similar name (“Darcy”) it’s very obvious that’s what is going on. While I love that type of story, in this case I’m a little disappointed in the portrayal of “Lizzie” – in the original Lizzie seems like a thinker, a woman who reads books, makes her own decisions and doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks. Bridget, on the other hand, is mainly just shown as bumbling and indecisive, and is fairly desperate to get almost any man who will have her. Lizzie is kind of a role model for me, despite her flaws, whereas the most I can say for Bridget is she makes me laugh.

I also didn’t realize A) that it was British and B) that it was quite that profane. If I’d known about A I probably would not have been quite so surprised about B, but after a while I got used to it and it didn’t spoil the movie in the least. I’d just say that maybe this isn’t the one to watch with your kids.

So, overall, I’d say it’s a good movie. It fits perfectly into its genre, despite the differences from the original Pride and Prejudice, and it definitely made me want to check out the book. If you’re one of the few people who like RomComs and have not seen this one, then what are you waiting for?





Bout of Books 7.0

May
11
7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events
Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
It’s that time again! Time to read our butts off for a whole week! If you’re interested in joining, click on the button above to be taken to the official website.

Declaration of Participation:

I do solemnly swear, blah, blah, blah etc. etc. READ! This time, however, I’m going to be doing things a little bit differently. For my own reasons, I am choosing to forgo the daily updates on the blog. I will still have goals (see below) but they will be general, low-key, and most importantly low stress! Instead, I’ll be updating through Twitter (using the hashtag #boutofbooks) and GoodReads. I may decide to do a wrap up post with a summary of my progress, but I want this to be as low pressure as possible, so we’ll see.

Goals:

Keeping all of the above in mind, here are my goals for the week:

  • Get myself out of my reading slump.
  • Attend all the Twitter chats (I should be able to this time!)
  • Clear out some of the library books that have already been renewed once (or TWICE!)
  • Above all DO NOT STRESS! If it becomes stressful, I am not doing it right, and you have my permission to tell me so, okay?

And a few books that may be on the docket – I’m not good with reading off a list, especially during a reading slump, so these may be completely wrong (entries with a “*” following are books I’ve already started and should finish soon):

  • Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by HP Mallory*
  • Serpent’s Kiss by Thea Harrison*
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling*
  • The Neverending Story by Michael Ende*
  • Incarnate by Jodi Meadows*
  • Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
  • Dodger by Terry Pratchett
  • The Runaway King by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn
  • Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
  • The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson*

And many, many more.

Everyone have fun this week! Find me on Twitter!





Discussion Day: Reading and blogging slumps

May
10
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

Discussion Day

Ah, the dreaded slump! I feel like it’s a dirty word, just saying it. There are many ways to get into them. Sometimes that last book you read is SO AWESOME you can’t imagine reading anything else. Sometimes the indecision about what to read next weighs you down and it’s weeks before you choose your next book. And sometimes you just get so busy that suddenly you don’t have the energy or even feel like reading.

That’s where I am right now. I have a strong tendency to believe I can do, well, anything. The problem is when I think it too many times and end up with way too much on my plate. I’m sure we’ve all been there – if there’s a community of people that are almost all driven and overachievers, I’d say it’s book bloggers! So this week, the idea was and is to re-center myself, find my focus, and find the things that can go so I can get back to doing what I love and loving what I do – chiefly blogging!

I’ll probably still be a little MIA for a while. Once I overload myself it takes a little time for me to find that balance again. I am planning on participating in Bout of Books, but I’m choosing to not involve my blog beyond the goals post – often I find the updates more stressful than the actual event. After that, I’m hoping I’ve found my mojo again (I’ll go sit in a quiet room and have a good  think to figure out where I’ve left it ;))

In the meantime, everybody take five minutes to yourself sometime this weekend. If you think you don’t have 5 minutes, take half an hour. Trust me – it’s better than accidentally forcing yourself into a slump!





Book Review: Team Human

May
08
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Team Human Team Human in 2012
Pages: 352
Goodreads

Residing in New Whitby, Maine, a town founded by vampires trying to escape persecution, Mel finds her negative attitudes challenged when her best friend falls in love with one, another friend's father runs off with one, and she herself is attracted to someone who tries to pass himself off as one.

My Review

For a long time it felt like everyone but me had read and raved about Team Human. I don’t know why I put off reading it for so long – it certainly sounded like it was right up my alley! While I wouldn’t say I loved it quite as much as some of you do, I did enjoy it, and I can see why some people would really love it.

Read more »





Bookish Bucket List: Blackwood

May
06
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Bookish Bucket List
Bookish Bucket List Banner

Thanks to Kristilyn from Reading in Winter for designing the banner!

Have you ever finished a book and said “Man, I wish I could ________ like that?” Bookish Bucket List is a semi-regular feature for the things I’ve put on my bucket list and the books that made me do so.

Blackwood cover
Title: Blackwood

Author: Gwenda Bond

Summary: [from GoodReads]

On Roanoke Island, the legend of the 114 people who mysteriously vanished from the Lost Colony hundreds of years ago is just an outdoor drama for the tourists, a story people tell. But when the island faces the sudden disappearance of 114 people now, an unlikely pair of 17-year-olds may be the only hope of bringing them back.

Miranda, a misfit girl from the island’s most infamous family, and Phillips, an exiled teen criminal who hears the voices of the dead, must dodge everyone from federal agents to long-dead alchemists as they work to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony. The one thing they can’t dodge is each other.

Bucket List Entry: Visit the Roanoke tree Read more »





Wanted: Death Myths

May
03
1 COMMENT • This post is filed under: Wanted
Wanted Button

Thanks to Kristilyn for designing the button!

Have you ever wished you could find that one book that was about _____? Have you ever found yourself wondering what a book with a certain kind of theme or message would be like? That’s exactly what “Wanted” is all about. A semi-regular feature, I use “Wanted” to talk about all those books I wish I could find that nobody seems to have written yet. If you happen to know of some books that fit my criteria, I would love for you to send them my way through the comments!

One of the nice things about paranormal books in recent years is they’ve started diversifying – there’s a YA paranormal on just about any paranormal creature out there (although not quite: I’m still looking for some Elves and some Unusual Shifters). But one kind of paranormal that I would love to see more is the death myth paranormal. Every culture and religion has its own version of what happens when we die, and many of them could be turned into some incredible paranormal novels – in fact a few already have! Take, for example, Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson, the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent, or on a less culturally specific note Croak and Scorch by Gina Damico. I would love to see more paranormal novels exploring the lesser known death myths!





Book Review: Black Heart

May
01
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Black Heart Black Heart in 2012
Pages: 296
Goodreads

In a world where Magic is illegal.

Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object - including a person - into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he'll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?

For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She's the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can't stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn't keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can't remember where she put it.

The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?

Time is running out, and all Cassel's magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.

My Review:

Wow! What an ending for an awesome series! I have always loved the premise of the Curse Workers – mobster magicians! What’s not to like?! But what really carried the story through to the end of Black Heart for me were the interpersonal problems.<!–more–>

The really big issue that threads its way through everything is the repercussions of prejudice. Everyone in the Workers’ society is incredibly prejudiced against them. It’s to the point that most workers have no choice but to go into gangs, just so they can protect themselves. Even though the series is thoroughly fictional, the dynamics of the society are an incredibly interesting commentary on prejudice and its effects on society. Let’s face it – as interested as we are in abolishing prejudice in our country, we still deal with it on an almost daily basis. Just look at the reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes after the Boston bombings and you know it’s true.

It’s really hard to review a third book without spoiling the rest of the series, so all I’ll say is this: I think Black Heart wrapped the series up perfectly. There were still a lot of unknowns for the imagination to play with, but I don’t desperately need another book in the series. That’s not to say I wouldn’t read more if it became available – I think it’d be fascinating to read a second trilogy, set a couple of decades in the “future” perhaps with Cassel’s kids as the main characters. But I will be perfectly content without more as well.

In short, this is one of my favorite series EVER and if you haven’t read it, you should ASAP!





Media Monday: Coraline

Apr
29
5 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday
Coraline Poster

Image belongs to Focus Features

Title: Coraline
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Henry Selick
Studio: Focus Features
Genre: Childrens
Summary: [from IMDB]

An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

My Review:

Don’t you just hate it when a movie doesn’t live up to your expectations?<!–more–>

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors from high school – I read just about anything he wrote and several of his works hold places on my “favorites” list. While Coraline never quite made it that high, I was really excited for the movie. The only other movie adaptation of one of Gaiman’s works that I’d seen was Stardust and it is an all time favorite movie of mine – even though the book isn’t at the top of my Gaiman favorites. So, I was incredibly excited to see what they did with Coraline, hoping it would turn out just as well.

Unfortunately… it didn’t. I don’t know if it’s just because I hyped it up in my head or what, but I went in expecting “AMAZING” and got “pretty typical” instead. It has a decent storyline with a good lesson, but it didn’t inspire me to watch it over and over again. Maybe I am growing out of kids movies!

That’s not to say the movie was terrible. I thought the animation was pretty good, and some of the characters were pretty unusual and imaginative. As a kid I probably would have found it terrifying – but compared to the book I wasn’t scared at all! Basically, this movie is great for kids, but otherwise, watcher beware!





Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 35

Apr
28
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description and banner borrowed from On a Book Bender]

Announcement:

Creativity’s Corner is still looking for associate reviewers! If you or someone you know would be interested, please see THIS POST.

The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)

Read more »





Discussion Day: I have an anti-canon handicap

Apr
26
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

Discussion Day

I have a confession to make: I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to imagining things in books happening differently. This is especially true of “ships” – once an author has made a ship canon, I can’t see any other way for it to turn out. To me the canon of a story is kind of like the spell in Sleeping Beauty – it can be transmuted into something similar (sleep for death) but it cannot be undone. It’s kind of annoying sometimes. Often I’ll have ideas for a REALLY COOL fanfic for a favorite TV show or series and as soon as I think of it, the latest installment comes out and proves my theories entirely wrong and I have to start all over again. GEEZ!

This is a pretty serious mental block too! Remember way back before J.K. Rowling told us that

View Spoilers »
Hermione was going to end up with Ron
and everyone was taking bets on who would end up with who? And when Rowling finally did tell us those that lost still tried to convince people that they should have been right? I didn’t get it. It helped that I had guessed before she made the official announcement, but I honestly could not see how those who shipped the couple that lost couldn’t understand how PERFECT they were for each other! And don’t even get me started on Dra-Mione shippers!

It even applies when in real life I would know better. Twilight is a great example – My head knew that Jacob would be a better, more healthy choice for Bella, but I could tell from early on that she was going to end up with Edward no matter what I wanted, so while I was reading all I wanted was for Jacob to GO AWAY so I could get back to more of the “real” story! I wasn’t Team Edward or Team Jacob, I was TEAM STORY! I honestly can think of only one instance in which I might be shipping anti-canon. I say “might” because it’s incredibly unclear at this point and there’s only one book out – I might turn out to be right!

Please tell me I’m not alone in this? I feel borderline OCD for even admitting it! On the other hand, it does give me a little insight into why I like certain kinds of stories and mediums better – the more left “unsolved” outside of the main plot the more room my imagination is willing to work in!





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