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‘I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope that I have made them right’

I have been told to read The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak for a long time now. Before I started University so it seems like a lifetime ago. I was urged by my teacher to read it but, if I am honest, I had done a whole year of war literature and then another year devoted to heartache, or so it seemed at the time. I was tired of reading about depressing subjects and I knew my degree would bring more of that so in my spare time I chose to read easily and light heartedly.
At the end of my degree, I found it on offer on my kindle and so thought ‘THIS IS A SIGN!’ I downloaded it and wasn’t immediately hooked like I thought I would be. It took a while for the strange voice of the narrator to make me feel wholly comfortable. Well I guess I never felt comfortable in his voice, but I did more so when the subject was mainly Leisel and not his philosophy on the human condition.
As should be expected this book raises uncomfortable questions and makes you think. I watched a documentary about the Lancaster bombers last night, and where I had never really thought too much, after reading this book all I could think about was the bomb rain at the end.
This book demands to be read. It is not one which you read and put down and then read again. The complicated narrative means that it is a book which consumes you until you are done. I mean this is from the point of view of a student of war literature and history so maybe the affect is not as prominent in one who has not studied these events so much.
Moving away from the context of the story, I enjoyed the human part of the tale. I enjoyed Leisel and Ruddy in particular, one of my favourite quotes being ‘The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: I boy who loves you.’ I like Ruddy, I like that he ‘was the crazy one who painted himself black and conquered the world’ and the innocence that this act of defiance shows.

I loved that I was made to feel such a strong connection to all of the characters. This book made me care for them. I love Max and his struggle, more painful than all of the others, a Jew hiding in the basement in the heart of Nazism. And their friendship. So simple, one formed from fear, or as it is stated ‘A snowball in the face is surely the perfect start to a lasting friendship.’ These characters felt real and imperfect, which is probably why the narrative voice was easier to deal with when based on these characters rather than the musings of death.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone. For a story based around a historic event and having to fit with that time bracket, it is fast paced and interesting. A truly haunting and brilliant story 🙂
Happy reading xxx

Oops…..

I may or may not have blogged for a while…. 

Well there’s no may not about am I right?! Ha ha ha *laughter fades away…* 

Sooooo anyway, long time no see. Ha. Tea? etc and all the other things you say when you haven’t spoken to a friend for a while. 

Life was crazy, but its slowed down a bit so I am going to talk to you about ‘chick lit’ 

I love it. Well most of it anyway. I love the ones where you pretty much know what is going to happen from the beginning. I love  the mindless turning of pages and the idiotic details. It’s like watching TV and just being able to turn your brain off. 

I recently read It would be wrong to steal your sister’s boyfriend…. (Wouldn’t it?) and it was the normal calibre of chick lit. Yes I got frustrated with the language. Yes it was written pretty poorly, and yes yes I was angry and some of the content but overall it was a pretty easy read that made me feel a bit better about a lot of things. The comfort of the formula reminded me that although lots change around you everyday, some things will never change. 

Happy reading 🙂 xx

‘Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably Priced Love and a Hard-Boiled Egg!’

Happy the glorious 25th of May everyone 🙂

I know I posted earlier in the week but today is an important day! I forgot that today is the day of the rebellion in Ankh Morpork! 

For any of you who don’t know I love Terry Pratchett and the Discworld series. They are amazing, if you haven’t read them, don’t worry. Start with Mort and then go on to Guards! Guards! and follow those streams of The Watch and Death until you read Going Postal and then read the Witches and Rincewind threads and then all of the random ones. Or at least that’s how I recommend it. 🙂 

So if you haven’t read Night Watch, I’m gonna get a teeny tiny bit spoilery! 

Night Watch is a Vimes thread book (yaaaaay) and deals with time travel in the Discworld (helpfully set up in Thief of Time) There’s murderers, meeting his younger self, dodgey looking doctors, and trying to change the outcome of a bloody rebellion. Its actually a really captivating read right from the start, which is unusual as because of the nature of the Diiscworld books they tend to be difficult to get though the first 100 pages, the pay off is always worth it though. 

I think this is my favourite Discworld book, with maybe Going Postal coming in a close second. I love the humour of Vimes mixed with the complications of the time travel. Being a bit of a Sci-Fi nerd, time travel always gets my heart racing. 

It’s also a very interesting way of seeing Ankh Morpork as it was before Vetinari took over and to get a back story which is so delicious because of the refusal to really explain Vetenari at all. Pratchett dangles his story in this one and then slowly removes it without the reader being aware what has happened.

This is a pivotal read in the Discworld series, explaining a lot about the running of Ankh Morpork before we as readers are introduced and in the present. The time travel creates obvious hilarity and is just a really captivating tense read.

I love Terry Pratchett

Happy Reading everyone! xx 

 

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt

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Hello again!

I am on the final stretch of my degree and my brain is the substance of mush right now. 

I don’t really know what I’m writing… but stay and read it might make sense…. Maybe. 

So…. I am in a very uncertain point in my life. I don’t  know what I want to do career wise (I do, but I don’t know how to get into it or how to start) and I know lots of people are the same way. 

So I thought I would pass on a post that I saw on a friends fb wall. 

                                                                     ‘If you are depressed, you are living in the past.
                                                                     If you are anxious, you are living in the future.
                                                                     If you are at peace, you are living in the present. 
                                                                     -Lao Tzu

So I think we should all try and live in the present, tomorrow will come when it will come, but all you can do is make sure that you live in the present and work as hard and as best as you can.

 All I really know that will be in my present when I hand my essays in will be finally finishing Raising Steam and writing a very gushy blog everyone. I am so excited to read again 🙂

Happy Reading everyone! xx

‘Goodness is something to be chosen. When a man cannot choose, he ceases to be a man.’

Not a book today. 

I know, you are probably all freaking out, running for the streets, screaming, hugging family, maybe sharing an intimate moment with a stranger before the world ends. As that is the only explanation as to why this is happening. 

Actually it isn’t that strange. I wouldn’t call myself a movie buff, but I definitely know my stuff. *brushes shoulders because of all the poetry swag I have*

And now for something completely different…. 

So I have put off watching A Clockwork Orange for a very long time. And when I say a very long time I mean a veeeeeerrrryyyy long time. My brother, http://lucasartsreview.wordpress.com/ if anyone is interested, has been trying to convince me to watch it for so long. However, I am not a big scary film person and I let the hype about all of the violence and rape put me off. 

But last night, I got brave. 

Armed with a friend to hide behind and cry on and make stay with to fight away the nightmares I persisted in watching this film. And it was pretty meh. I say meh because it was clearly a very good, thought out commentary on what society could potentially become and arguably is kind of going in the direction of. It is still relevant in terms of story, even if structure, costume, views of the future and the logistics of nudity are very outdated. 

The thing that makes this film meh for me is the anger and hatred I felt at the end of the film. Which I suppose means I should be saying this is a great film, as that is clearly what the film is trying to do. I participated and I felt what the film intended to make me feel. I was so dissatisfied that the protagonist was not raped or murdered, and I feel never really suffered that the artistic nature of the film was completely lost on me. 

Yes, all of the rape was as grotesque as I was led to believe, The violence very outdated. But the thing that got me was the threesome. It was essentially porn, although my brother disagreed on that point. I was shocked that a sex scene that explicit hadn’t received wider coverage. As well as the scene being shocking because of the pornographic nature of it, the seeming disinterest of particularly one of the women taking part was shocking as well. Are we as the audience to assume she knows who he is and what will happen to her if she says no? Is this another example of rape, only just not so gruesome and violent? I don’t know but that is how I saw it. 

And the whole notion of ‘the cure’ angered me. He still wanted to do horrible things. He hadn’t changed, he hadn’t repented. HE SANG SINGING IN THE RAIN IN THE BATH OF THE HOUSE OF THE WOMAN HE RAPED!!! That sickened me. Beyond most of the other things. I was prepared for the violence. Sadly I was even prepared for  the rape. I was not prepared for the persecution of the victim and the self glorifying and victimisation of an inherently evil character who got away with his crimes.

So, no. This was not a meh film. It is a great film. I just don’t think I can ever stomach to watch it again.

Happy watching everyone.  

‘And the look in his eye, seemed to say to the sky, ‘Now how to amuse them today.’

I am ill. 

I don’t like being ill. I feel like I have been laying in bed for the best part of my life now. 

But being ill always makes me think (about everything in life) about all of the books that I read and what I want to read, And especially when I am ill I think about a poem called Sneezles from ‘Now We Are Six’ by A. A. Milne. 

This poem is just a really fun one, really quick rhythm, rhymes, just really really fun. And the last stanza is just the most amazing thing. 🙂 

Illlness means this is all I’m giving you, but look the poem up and tell me what you think 🙂 

Happy Reading everyone 🙂