Category Archives: literature
I haven’t read a lot of Stephen King. I own a lot of his books, as my husband’s mom buys them for us all the time, but both of us have only read a few. I’ve read On Writing and The Shining, and now The Gunslinger.
The Gunslinger is the first book in King’s Darktower Series. I think this is the closest King ever really gets to sci-fi. King intended Darktower to be an epic, his magnum opus, and it certainly is impressive in scope.
This first book does not explain a lot about the world it takes place in, but it does give the reader enough information so that they’re not confused. It’s a great beginning, and it really does just set the stage for the rest of the books. I’ve heard that the first 4 books are the best, so I will definitely be reading all of those, but I don’t know yet whether I’ll finish the series, which I’ve heard drags on a bit in the later books.
They’re making a Gunslinger movie, and I really wish they were making a miniseries instead. The sections of the book are really each their own scene, each of which would make a great episode of its own in a series.
King sets the scene really well visually, and characterizes Roland really well while still keeping a lot of details in the dark. I read the original version, but I would probably recommend reading King’s edited version, where he fixed a few inconsistencies. The world the book takes place in has some references to our own, especially in the form of Beatles songs, but technology is very different and for the most part lacking. There is also a bit of magic and some references to gods/supernatural beings. For the most part, this book shows us this world, but none of the “why things are the way they are”. I imagine much of that will come later.
If you like fantasy and you haven’t read The Darktower series, I would definitely recommend checking it out, as it’s really engaging and interesting.
In the midst of war torn Scotland, a baby girl is born to Jacob Douglas and his young wife. The conflict between the English and the Scots breeds trials of loyalty that tarnish the landscape, while Jacob teaches his strong-willed child the skills she will need to face her uncertain future. Behind the veil of war, villains pillage their land, pilfer what is not theirs and do not fear retribution for their deeds. There is none strong enough to make a stand; no one, until Deb Douglas. Keeping her father close to her always, he radiates a courage that motivates her fight for freedom, for love, and for her land. Deb rallies those she meets to join her cause, which frees the secrets from her past that have been buried for many years. While destiny is all-knowing, Deb never backs down and faces it all with the courage of a man and the heart of a Scot!
I’ve always loved to read, as long as I can remember. When I was four years old I would wake up before my parents on Saturday mornings (that stopped as I got older), and get out my Dr. Seuss books and “read” them. I knew some of the words, but mostly I just knew the stories by heart because I made other people read them to me so often. Read the rest of this entry
How do you treat the books you read? Do you keep the pages close together so as not to break the binding? Or instead of bookmarks do you sprawl the book open at the page you’re on. Do you mark your favorite passages? Or are the pages not to be marred?
I have some very good friends who collect books and they have very strong opinions about how books are to be treated. They do not read their signed copies of science fiction. They have copies that look pretty and are in pristine condition, and copies that can be read, which they still are careful with.
I’m not the world’s neatest person. I keep my books in piles throughout my room, and sometimes they fall or get stuffed in a bag and pages get bent. Sometimes there’s water damage or tears. And it’s sad, but as long as I can read the words, I’m happy. Because the magic of reading isn’t in the mass-produced pages.
I love books. Not just reading, but books themselves. I haven’t succumbed and gotten an e-reader yet. I probably will eventually, but it’s not a high priority. Books feel nice, smell nice, and are fun to have around. But it’s the stories within that are the treasure. And no matter how ratty and battle-worn a book is, the story can shine through. That’s the real power of literature.
After all, the bulk of the heart that an author puts into their book is in the writing. Sure, they have input on the cover, maybe even create it themselves. And some authors choose the paper the book uses. But a lot of the printing process is largely impersonal, or at the very least, not unique to the story on the pages.
So whether you wash your hands before opening your favorite tome, or have to squint to read through the greasy chip stains, or slide through the words on a screen, take some time this long weekend to enjoy a story.
So, as promised, I am now going to talk about Shakespeare, Undead. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The back is not descriptive at all, so I only knew that it involved Shakespeare and Zombies.
It turns out that Shakespeare is a Necromancer/Vampire who falls in love with a Zombie Hunter who has no clue he’s undead. The playwright is haunted by the ghosts of people from his past, who he gets rid of by writing their stories as plays.
There are a lot of cheesy moments, and I wasn’t sure I’d get through the first couple chapters, but I surprisingly became attached to the characters quite quickly. I love the references to Shakespeare’s plays, though some seem a bit too overt. There are also some fun nods to Shakespeare’s influence on contemporary pop culture, referencing the wizard of oz, the sixth sense, and Star Wars.
It is clear that the author took a class on Shakespeare or two. There are plenty of nods to Shakespeare’s association with Christopher Marlowe, the inconsistencies with the educated playwright and the man from Stratford Upon Avon, and even Queen Elizabeth.
This was a fun, lighthearted read with some neat twists, a couple fun sex scenes and enough irreverent humor that Shakespeare would probably approve. I may be becoming a Zombie literature fan. I don’t know what will become of me.
My very good friend Beth who has just moved back into town has an obsession with zombies. She is not only prepared for the Zombie apocalypse; she is looking forward to it. This makes her really easy to get presents for. Zombie Apocalypse survival kits, pretty much any functional item that has been covered in decomposing limbs, no problem.
Since Beth is also obsessed with books, I have made it a point for the past few years to get her books about Zombies. First was the Zombie Haiku Book. Then Zombies vs. Unicorns. The latest is Shakespeare, Undead.
Somewhere between Zombie Haiku and Zombie vs. Unicorns, Beth and I had made a deal. She would finally read Pride and Prejudice (which I enjoy, though I do like the Colin Firth movie better) and I would read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Both of us kept our convictions about which was better. I did come out with a larger appreciation for zombie stories though, whereas Beth’s opinion of classic literature (yawn) did not change. Read the rest of this entry
In my recent requests for blogging topics, wordcoaster suggested that I create an alternate ending to a poem I love. It took me a while to choose a poem, but yesterday I was watching a cooking show that took place in Paris. The host was cutting a certain type of onions, which I refer to as SHALL-uts, and she called shul-OTTs. This reminded me of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shallot”. (Shalott rhymes with Camelot)
This poem has had a lot of allusions made to it in popular culture. In Anne of Green Gables, Anne acts out the death of the Lady of Shalott. This is also reenacted in the video to The Band Perry’s “If I Die Young.” It was actually when watching the video for that song that I ended up reading the full poem for the first time and discovering the song “Shalott” by Emilie Autumn. This song is one that I love, and I think puts a great dark imagery to the poem.
In line with wordcoaster’s challenge, I re-read the poem and decided to continue it in the same scheme and style as Tennyson. Below is the result. Read the rest of this entry