Your Brain is 33% Female, 67% Male
You have a total boy brain
Logical and detailed, you tend to look at the facts
And while your emotions do sway you sometimes...
You never like to get feelings too involved
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
1) How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don't get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books? Go all out, sell us on it!
All the classic literature taught me more about life than all the textbooks I had to study in school put together.
2) Let's say you're vacationing with your dear cousin Myrtle, and she forgot to bring a book. The two of you venture into the hip independent bookstore around the corner, where she primly announces that she only reads classic literature. If you don't find her a book, she'll never let you get any reading done! What contemporary book/s with classic appeal would you pull off the shelf for her?
It would be a book I read last year and loved from the first pages. It’s The Religion by Tim Willocks. It has the appeal of Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. The action is breathtaking, the many issues presented there are deep and thought-provoking, and the writing, once again, is flawless. I have a review of the book posted here so instead of cheating (copying and pasting), I invite you to read the original post.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The Book of Air and Shadows is a great mystery. It starts with Jake Mishkin, an Intellectual Property lawyer hiding in a cottage in some remote place and writing down the events that brought him to the point of fearing for his life. The events were triggered by the letter written in the 17th century by Mr. Bracegirdle. The letter revealed clues to finding a play by Shakespeare that the world didn’t know existed. Of course if found, the treasure would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and there are many dangerous people who will kill to get it. The narrative switches between Mishkin’s recollections and the following of Albert Crosetti, a movie geek who happened to be the first person to lay his hands on Bracegirdle’s letter. The plot may seem complicated but even as such is easy to follow.
I have to say that The Book of Air and Shadows is no ordinary mystery novel. Gruber is very skilled on many levels as a writer. He created a great, action filled chase after the treasure, enough suspense to really keep the reader guessing till the end and also managed to inject just the right amount of clever humor into the story. I think this was actually a first for me, laughing while reading a mystery. But that’s not all. The characters of Mishkin and Crosetti are surprisingly complex and despite their many flaws I couldn’t help but like them. Both of them were complete laymen in regards to Shakespeare, yet managed to produce a lot of enthusiasm for the legendary writer during the course of action. Which brings me to my opening point. I am not positive about it, but the book certainly made me stop and wonder if Shakespeare’s personal life is indeed a mystery of the literary world. I will certainly do some more digging.
My personal favorite parts of the book were the documents written by Bracegirdle. For a literary geek it was a lot of fun and pleasure to try and read the 17th century language. Gruber managed to make them sound like originals to the point where I actually caught myself several times thinking that I was reading things written by a Shakespeare’s contemporary. I didn’t even mind the deciphering parts, which were crucial to the action but to me sounded like mathematical mumbo-jumbo at first (you can tell I am no fun of mathematics) but then it turned out to be another fun and intriguing side of the novel.
The Book of Air and Shadows is a fantastic read, never boring (Gruber manages to insult everything and everybody, yet because it is so fairly dispensed, I didn’t mind) and quite educational as well. Michael Gruber is a skilled writer, with great sense of humor and I will definitely be reading more of him.
My favorite quote from the book:
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Brook Noel’s Free Seminar can help you keep your Resolutions for this year and Beyond!
Known for the interactive experiences she creates for program members, Brook will kick off a virtual tour starting next Mon., Jan. 26, with a free, week-long workshop that will help women manage their time, get organized, decrease stress, live by their priorities, and get 2009 off to a balanced and exciting start. For more info and to register for the free program, go to http://www.maketodaymatter.net/tour.htm.
To sign up for the free seminar, you can visit Brook’s Facebook page: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=54952104896&ref=nf. Additionally, anyone who buys her book at Target or Costco stores nationwide can submit their receipt and in exchange they’ll receive a free month-long membership to Brook’s Make Today Matter Life Coaching System!
By leaving a comment, you have the chance to win a copy of Brook’s book, The Change Your Life Challenge! Let us know what you think of your own resolutions, or what has helped you change your own life over the years. One Lucky Commenter will win a copy of Brook’s Book, and can jumpstart the challenge to make today matter!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I am very happy and really touched that someone thinks that my blog is lovely.
I am supposed to give it to five other blogs but there are many more blogs than 5 that I truly think are lovely and I really don't want to serve myself sleepless nights feeling guilty that I awarded one blog and not the other. I suppose it's a little selfish but really all the blogs on my blogroll are lovely, each of them for different reasons.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
You Are "esc"
Some people might try to say that you're unreliable or flighty.
But you can't help it. You're always finding yourself in sticky situations.
You're willing to bail if things are looking bad. You are quite impatient.
For you, having to escape every now in then is the price of taking risks. And you're not about to stop taking risks!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Let me start off with Chocolat by Joanne Harris. What a delectable novel! It is about Vianne Roche and her daughter Anouk who move into a little town of Lasquenet in France. There, they decide to open a chocolaterie, right across the street from the only church in town. Vianne is a mysterious character, with some psychic powers giving her the ability to know what her customers' favorite sweets are. Until the day Vianne and Anouk came to Lasquenet, they had been always on the move, never staying in one place for too long. Such a way of living was passed on to Vianne from her late mother, who was always running away from 'the Black Man'. Vianne thinks she meets 'the Black Man' in Lasquenet. He is Father Reynaud, a strict priest, whose rules are obeyed by almost everyone in the town. And so, when Vianne comes along, all of a sudden giving the villagers a choice, another social spot, making it clear that she is a non-believer and 'tempting' Reynaud's parishioners with chocolates during the Lent, she becomes Father Reynaud's number one enemy.
Chocolat is a small book, but just like a little chocolate truffle, it held a lot of delicious flavors. The writing is truly poetic, I did feel like I was eating my favorite dessert. Vianne is an adorable character, you can't help but like her. She transforms the little town filled with hypocrisy and bigotry. All the vices get easily exposed but so do the good traits in the residents. And one might look at the competition between the priest and Vianne as very controversial, being that the priest is shown as the most hypocritical character, but I think that Ms. Harris merely showed the difference between the good and the bad in all of us, our attitude to the change, our willingness to accept the unknown and to stay true to who we are, even in the face of great danger.
My first audiobook in 2009 was quite different. One For The Money by Janet Evanovich is a book known and read by quite a crowd. I never belonged to this readership, probably because I have this weird aversion to books that become 'million-dollar' treasures and are glorified by masses. But after having been asked hundreds of times if I read the book and having received starnge looks when I admitted I hadn't, I decided that if i can't read it I can at least listen to it. And I am really glad I did. Stephanie Plum is a girl I can't help but like. She is a ding-dong, getting herself into the most ridiculous sitiuations and yet, I completely identified with her. The book supplied me with a few laughs, many more giggles and even a thrill or two. I have to say that Ms. Evanovich did create a very likable character and supported it with good writing. It was light, entertaining and humorous. I will definitely go for no.2 and who knows, maybe I will even become a die-hard fan.
CHALLENGES: Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge, 2009 Audiobook Challenge, 999 Challenge, 2009 100+ Reading Challenge, 2009 Ban On Spending Challenge
Friday, January 9, 2009
The rules to follow are:
1. Get spiritually and emotionally fit. I think that true spirituality have always been lacking in my life. I have also always been jealous of people who managed to be serene, calm and peaceful in the midst of the biggest chaos. Therefore, I started the Spiritually Speaking challenge which I hope will help me with this side of my life. Emotions are another part of me that I never was quite able to keep under control. And funny how it’s always been the wrong ones that manifested the strongest. The good ones kept quiet and very much to themselves somewhere in the corner of my mind, heart or soul. I will be reading The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie to maybe put me on the right track. It’s a first book that will stay with me throughout the whole year since it has meditations for every day. Now, reading these meditation is all nice and dandy but my biggest challenge will be to actually apply them to my life and not let myself think that it’s all BS and drop it.
2. Stand financially on my own two feet. And I’m not even talking ‘financially fit’, just not on crutches. Yes, I do have a profession. Being a freelance translator is something that I actually enjoy. It gives me an opportunity to be also a stay-at-home mom, to go to work in my pj’s and to be pretty much my own boss. Sadly, a freelance translator also means (in my case) a starving translator, having-my- bills-in-collection translator. I know that there are certain steps that I can take to change that and hopefully I will have enough guts to do it.
I know it is only two goals/resolutions. The list is short but I already have breathing problems thinking about them. People say that when you make plans, God laughs. It’s fine with me. I’m glad to keep Him in good spirits as long as He helps me on my path, if only because I give Him reasons to be merry.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Mr. Straub has a superb skill in crafting both hilarious and scary characters. I found myself laughing at his clever humor several times. Straub’s real talent however lies in his ability to make a reader believe in the unbelievable. I was finding out one crazy twist after another, yet I never once questioned the probability of them happening in the real life. Despite the fact that I was not necessarily scared witless, I will gladly read many more of Straub’s books. Mr. X read like a perfect mystery/adventure novel with a twisted murderer, psychological suspense and even a little bit of romance. Before having read Mr. X I had always associated Straub with Stephen King, since I read two novels written by both authors (Black House & Talisman), but now I realize that Peter Straub is a great writer of his own, with his own, individual style.
Monday, January 5, 2009
27. God is an Englishman by R.F. Delderfield ( 634) - done
28. The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner (563 pages) - done
29. To Serve Them All My Days by R. F. Delderfield (594 pages) - done
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
1. Wizard by Trade by Jim Butcher - DONE
2. Mr. X by Peter Straub - DONE
3. Chocolat by Joanne Harris - DONE
4. Andorra by Peter Cameron - DONE
5. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi - DONE
6. 'A Suitable Vengeance' by Elizabeth George - DONE
7. 'Deadly Decisions' by Kathy Reichs - DONE
8. 'Slip & Fall' by Nick Santora - DONE
9. 'Friend of the Devil' by Peter Robinson - DONE
10. 'The Reincarnationist' by M.J. Rose - DONE
11. 'Firestorm' by Iris Johansen - DONE
12. The Plague by Albert Camus - DONE
13. Blessings by Anna Quindlen - DONE
14. The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber - DONE
15. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - DONE
16. Medallions by Zofia Nalkowska - DONE
17. Dragon Tears by Dean Koontz - DONE
18. The Hellfire Club by Peter Straub - DONE
19. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy - DONE
20. Left Behind by Tim LaHaye - Done
21. The Birth Of Venus by Sarah Dunant - DONE
22. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - DONE
23. The Borgia Bride by jeanne Kalogridis- DONE
24. Vivaldi's Virgins by Barbara Quick - DONE
25. The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins - DONE
26. Blessed are the Meek by Zofia Kossak - DONE
27. One Thousand White Woman by Jim Fergus - DONE
28. Father Melancholy's Daughter by Gail Godwin - DONE
29. Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult - DONE
30. The Boelyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory - DONE
31. The Return by Bentley Little - DONE
32. Lucky by Alice Sebold - DONE
33. The art of racing in the rain by Garth Stein - DONE
34. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III - Done
35. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse - Done
36. Annette Vallon by James Tipton - Done
37. Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts - Done
38. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
39. Cell by Stephen King
40. From a whisper to a scream by Charles de Lint
41. The Case Has Altered by Martha Grimes
42. Rebecca by Daphne du maurier
43. Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris
44. Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee
45. The Mosaic Crimes by Giulio Leoni
46. The Fourth Hand by John Irving
47. Vital Signs by Robin Cook
48. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman b P.D. James
49. The Trickster by Muriel Gray
50. A Matter of Roses by David Manuel