So, my brother finished his latest art assignment, which I just had to share because I knew you all would get a kick out of it! Admit it, you would so read this novel!
Have a wonderful day, everybody!
Love, Book Club Babe
So, my brother finished his latest art assignment, which I just had to share because I knew you all would get a kick out of it! Admit it, you would so read this novel!
Have a wonderful day, everybody!
Love, Book Club Babe
I’m half-way done with The Last Guardian, the finale of Artemis Fowl, and I’ve been reflecting on my experience with the series as a whole. I started reading Eoin Colfer’s best-selling saga since the first novel was published in 2001. I was about 12-years-old at the time, so eight books later, the Artemis Fowl series has spanned half my life.
Thus, Artemis Fowl has meant almost as much to me as Harry Potter, in terms of how many years I’ve spent reading the books. And what’s funny to me, is that young-adult fantasy has not always been a favorite genre of mine. In fact, I find it interesting to see how my reading habits have evolved over time, so I thought that I would share them in a quasi-timeline, if you will…
Early Childhood (ages 5-8)
When I was a kid, I loved educational stories. I remember two of my favorites were The Magic School Bus and Kratt’s Creatures. Many of my classmates attributed my love for learning to my mother, who’s a 3rd-grade teacher, and although she contributed so much to my intellectual development, I was also very self-motivated. To this day, much of what I can recall about the human body or the ocean, I learned from Mrs. Frizzle. And that’s not a bad thing at all!
Middle Childhood (ages 9-11)
During this time, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. I’m a huge animal lover, so I gravitated toward stories about them. I enjoyed Island of the Blue Dolphins, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Because of Winn-Dixie. Toward middle school, I had an obsession with wolves, and Jack London became one of my favorite authors after I read The Call of the Wild and White Fang. I no longer want to be a vet, since I’d rather play with pets than treat their ailments; it’s similar to how I now avoid reading sob-fests like Marley and Me–why is it that I’ll mourn a human character’s death for a day, but when the dog goes, it’s a full-blown depression?
Young Adult (ages 12-17)
Originally, I scoffed at the idea of reading Harry Potter. A book about a school for wizards? Balderdash! I was knee-deep in tales about Alaskan sled-dogs. But after the persistent nagging of a good friend, I became just as hooked as everybody else. It was one of those, “Where have you been all my life?!” moments, and it unlocked the gate to some great literature. I fell in love with His Dark Materials, The Lord of the Rings, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Lost Years of Merlin, the Bartimaeus trilogy, The Young Wizards series, and–of course, Artemis Fowl. After experiencing fantasy like that, the real world never looked the same again.
The College Years (ages 18-22)
I know that I haven’t addressed required reading for the very fact that it was required. Every high school student was forced to read A Tale of Two Cities, so even though I loved it, the chances of me picking it up myself were slim. However, my tastes matured in college, and I sought out classics because I wanted to. Wuthering Heights, The Age of Innocence, and 1984 were all examples of me reading for reading’s sake. It’s no wonder that some of my favorite novels ever were read during a time when I could truly appreciate them.
That’s not to say all my reading was sophisticated. I had always passed by the romance section in the bookstore, but it wasn’t until a good friend of mine from UC Santa Cruz recommended some, that I actually got the guts to dive in. Because of my friend, I became a big fan of Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Nerd series. Now I balance out the literary with the lusty by swapping between classics and romances. I like switching it up!
Now I’d say that my reading comfort zone consists of classics, fantasy, sci-fi, chick-lit, romance, historical fiction, and memoir. There’s some genres I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, such as horror or spiritual, but my blog has made me more open to recommendations. I’ve realized how much fun audio-books can be, and once I can no longer fit anything on my bookshelves, I’ll have to invest in a tablet. I like jumping on bandwagons, as well as discovering hidden gems. Many book blogs have a niche, but I’m not the type to limit what I read. Life’s too short! Who knows what books we’ll obsess over and where our reading will take us!
No matter what your subject matter, it’s always amusing to see what search engine terms have led people to your blog. One of my favorite book bloggers over at 101books.net shared his latest batch of search questions today, so I thought that I would offer some of mine, conveniently categorized into the cool, the confusing, and the kinky (it’s an alliterative kind of day!)
i’m katniss and i know it
Ooo, is there a Hunger Games parody of that catchy “I’m Sexy and I Know It” song by LMFAO? I can picture Katniss dancing in a Gale and Peeta sandwich like some Vegas go-go dancer. Somebody, be a dear and send me the link, because this would be sweet!
tattoos guys would get for their mom
Aw, isn’t that adorable? Whoever typed this in, I hope you found an inspirational quote or song lyric that your mother would’ve loved. Just be careful with portraits, as I’m sure you saw plenty of horrendously bad examples that make loved ones look like demons from Japanese horror films. So I’m glad you’re doing your research!
Hmmm, if I wrote a poem about Monday, what would it be? “It must be hard for Monday, whom no one’s ever liked. But Monday can be Fun Day, if your coffee has been spiked!” JUST KIDDING! Who am I, Kathie Lee and Hoda? I certainly don’t condone going to work buzzed, but why not cheer yourself up by reading Masterpiece Monday? It’s an instant mood-booster!
ed westwick teeth
I have referenced actor Ed Westwick before, when discussing the richest fictional characters, but this search term has me stumped. Do you like his teeth, or are you being a bigot toward the British? Have you seen the rest of him, because I think you might be missing the point. The man behind the best bad boy on TV, Chuck Bass, has great hair, amazing style, and brooding eyes…but his teeth are alright too, if you’re into that, I guess.
hogwarts teacher table
Are you interested in some literary home decor ideas? Or do you mean an organizational table with all the Hogwarts teachers on it, maybe categorized by subject? I hope it’s the former, because now I’m imagining an HGTV for fictional settings, and I would definitely watch that!
diagram society hunger games
I have a feeling you meant “dystopian,” since “diagram” makes no sense to me. Highly doubt this person meant Venn diagrams, pie charts, and bar graphs. Any guesses, readers?
naked women wearing glasses
I didn’t know that discussing my LASIK surgery would make me vulnerable to pervy search terms, so all I can say to this person is that I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for. I know that people might get the wrong idea from a blog called “Book Club Babe,” but I am not a sexy secretary, schoolgirl, or librarian. Can you imagine what the women over at InsatiableBooksluts.com have to deal with?
glasses sex pics
Oh, now you’re just being lazy. At least the other guy included the word “women.” If you’re going to objectify, you deserve objects only. I hope that you stumbled upon some freaky site of two pairs of glasses going at it, like some Stanton Optical commercial gone awry.
sex poems for my boyfriend
Well, I guess this could be worse. At least you sound like a giving lover. I would personally recommend “To His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell, which is like a classier version of an Akon or Pitbull song. Although I must add, nothing says “I love you,” like something homemade!
There you have it! The coolest, most confusing, and kinkiest search terms I’ve gotten so far. What did you think? Can you top mine? I’d love to hear some of your gems!
So I found this Venn diagram the other day on TheFrisky.com, and since we were discussing classic novels and their respective film adaptations yesterday, I figured you all would have plenty to say about this.
As for me, I completely agree that The Great Gatsby, The Scarlet Letter, and One Day are better as books. However, I think that Never Let Me Go is outstanding either way, and I’d avoid Beloved in any form.
I’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who hated The Godfather, Fight Club, and The Princess Bride as movies, but I’d add that Fight Club is just as kick-ass on paper. And obviously, Harry Potter and To Kill a Mockingbird deserve to overlap both categories.
Lastly, after reading interviews of the egotistical, pompous jerk that is Nicholas Sparks, I refuse to give him any money whatsoever. I only wish I knew about his arrogance before I watched The Notebook, because I admit that it was a great movie, for being a sappy sob-fest, that is.
I haven’t read or watched most of the others, so please enlighten me with your opinions. Did this diagram get it right? What would you add? Let’s keep the debate going!
For Masterpiece Monday, I discussed the most infamous mom: Medea. But you didn’t think that I was done talking, did you?
As I have only five more days until my graduate commencement, I spent today reflecting on how grateful I am for my own mother’s love and support. Whenever I needed to practice a debate speech or read a rough draft of an essay, she was always there to listen. She’s been my inspiration and motivation, encouraging me to chase my dreams as well as keeping me grounded. I’m so glad that I’ve been able to have such a good relationship with her, and I can’t wait to make her proud when I finally get hooded.
As for moms of the literary sort, I’ll share my thoughts on the one I love and the one I love to hate. Of course, give a shout-out to your own mom and to any literary moms out there, good or evil!
Mom I Love: Molly Weasley (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Come on, this one was obvious! Molly would be the best book mom. She not only had her hands full with seven children, she also helped save the entire world from Lord Voldemort. Sure, she worries about you constantly and knits you hideous-looking sweaters for Christmas, but she’s fiercely loyal to her loved ones. She adopted Harry like one of her own and was devoted to all her kids’ best interests. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that one of the most anticipated scenes in “Deathly Hallows: Part Two” was when Molly killed Bellatrix in revenge with her beloved line, “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” Now, that’s a mom you do not mess with!
Mom I Love to Hate: Marisa Coulter (His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman)
Unlike her film portrayal, Mrs. Coulter actually had long, sleek, black hair, but her ice-cold personality was something not easily rivaled. First off, protagonist Lyra didn’t even know Mrs. Coulter was her mother, as she was brought up as an orphan at Oxford University. Marisa and her lover (Lyra’s actual father) Lord Asriel are so obsessed with power that they continually lie and kill to get ahead. At one point, convinced that her daughter was a modern-day Eve, she planned to murder Lyra to prevent another “Fall.” And, of course, let’s not forget her wicked golden monkey daemon!
However, Mrs. Coulter is an intriguing, multidimensional character with redeeming qualities. She saves Lyra from danger multiple times, and seems to experience maternal love every now and then. You don’t trust her as far as you could throw her, but her final action in the trilogy (which I won’t spoil) forces you to rethink your perception of her.
I highly recommend both fantasy series, if you haven’t already read them. Let me know what you think of these bad-ass moms, and be sure to come back tomorrow for the next Masterpiece Monday!!!
It’s been a lazy Saturday for me as I finish grading my last 20 papers and passing time until my Skype date with one of my bffs. I’ve been surfing the net for giggles, and while I’m currently obsessed with Clients from Hell and #whatshouldwecallme, I found these infographics on BookRiot.com. They all deal with the idea of Katniss, Hermione, and Bella faced with paying rent, so if you enjoy YA heroines, then you’ll like these!
Katniss from The Hunger Games:
Hermione from Harry Potter:
Bella from Twilight:
Note: All these images are credited to dr b at Book Riot. If you want to reblog, give credit where credit is due! Please and thanks!
It’s finally Friday, and although I should be writing my comprehensive paper that’s due in two weeks, I wanted to take a break to talk about what’s really on my mind: vacation. (Or yasumi as the Japanese call it). My brother and I are so excited to visit the Pokemon Center and Studio Ghibli museum in Japan, my girlfriends and I can’t wait to party it up in Vegas–even my parents are busy planning their 25th anniversary getaway. So let’s just say senioritis is kicking in full force!
For fun I thought I would share my top 5 fictional vacation destinations: the places that don’t actually exist, but I would book a trip in a heartbeat if they did. And no, Narnia is not on the list–talking beavers and lion messiahs are not my idea of a good time, sorry!
5. Fowl Manor in Artemis Fowl
Boy genius Artemis Fowl lives in a 15th century castle on a 200-acre estate an hour from Dublin, Ireland. It is covered by oak trees and stone walls, along with a state-of-the-art security system. His great-great-great-grandfather added a ton of rooms in the 18th century, but the castle still possesses its original guard towers and walkways. It’s a gorgeous home, and did we mention it comes with your own Butler? That is, Artemis’ family servant Butler, who is a martial arts and weapons expert. Whether you’re trying to escape some evil elves or just have a private weekend with loved ones, Fowl Manor puts most five-star hotels to shame.
4. Howl’s Moving Castle
Originally a 1986 novel written by Diana Wynne Jones, it was adapted by Studio Ghibli in 2004. Wizard Howl lives in a magical castle that appears to be made of blocks of coal since a fire demon named Calcifer holds it together. The door to the castle actually has a doorknob with four dabs of paint, one for each of its four locations. That’s right, this castle has secret portals to four other places! And Howl can change these destinations whenever he wants, so you’re always left guessing! In the anime, the castle was made to look very industrial, and although it doesn’t quite have curb appeal, you really get the bang for your buck with all its extra locations!
3. Ouran Academy in Ouran High School Host Club
If you haven’t read this manga by Bisco Hatori or watched the anime or live-action drama, then you are simply missing out. Ouran Academy is a (fictional) private high school in Tokyo where only the richest students attend. Now although it might be weird to say you want to vacation at a school, just look at that photo from the Japanese drama! Talk about classy (pun intended!) But of course, the real reason to visit is to hang out with the Host Club, a group of insanely hot guys whose only job is to treat their clients like princesses. If all schools were like this, dropout rates would vanish, that’s for sure!
2. Hogsmeade from Harry Potter
Hogwarts would be the obvious choice, but there’s room for only one school on this list! Plus, Hogsmeade is just as fun. Nothing sounds better than sipping a butterbeer and shopping ’til you drop at Zonko’s Joke Shop. You can even stock up on all the wizarding essentials: wands, quills, cauldrons, and more! While some cynics might call Hogsmeade a magical strip mall, fans know that this destination exudes warmth and plenty of mystery too. If only travel websites could book the Three Broomsticks Inn, I’d reserve a room pronto!
1. Rivendell from The Lord of the Rings
If you know me, my #1 fictional vacation destination is no surprise. Meaning “deeply cloven valley,” Rivendell is located in northern Middle Earth near the river Bruinen. Although it does snow there in the winter, the summers are warm–in fact, many allege that it’s on the same latitude as Tolkien’s Oxford and based on a real village in Switzerland where Tolkien had taken a hiking trip. It’s probably the most beautiful setting I’ve ever seen (on film anyway). Who wouldn’t want to mingle with elves among waterfalls and forests? Move over Heaven, because you have competition!
So where would you love to stay in your imagination? Any literary locations that you want to add to the list?
Today one of the most renowned fantasy fiction authors passed away at the age of 85. Anne McCaffrey was famous for her series The Dragonriders of Pern, a 22-novel saga which spanned over 2,000 years in the magical world of Pern.
I read the original trilogy (Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon) so many years ago, but I respected McCaffrey like I respect J.R.R. Tolkien, because their skills in world creation are unbeatable. There are so many characters in McCaffrey’s books, that a character list is required. And when your series covers over two millennia, you must have an insanely extensive knowledge of its history.
In the novels, dragonriders form telepathic bonds with their dragons when they hatch in their lodgings known as Weyrs. Dragonriders must protect Pern from a deadly spore called Thread, which rains periodically due to the orbit of the Red Star. The dragons’ fire burns Thread before it can hit the earth and destroy all organic life.
I won’t bog you guys down with too many details, as this series can get awfully confusing with its large cast and various science fiction elements like time travel. And like Tolkien, McCaffrey often suffers from sacrificing easy-to-follow entertainment for seriously factual-sounding fantasy–which is why I discontinued reading the series a long time ago.
The Dragonriders of Pern is no Harry Potter in regards to appealing to practically everybody, but if you enjoy high fantasy clearly meant for adults, then definitely pick up a Pern novel sometime.
I have never liked Rush Limbaugh: he’s an ignorant, racist, sexist, homophobic embarrassment of conservatives everywhere. Usually I don’t give him the time of day, but yesterday I read something on his website that infuriated me to no end. It’s called “Deciphering the Sad-Sack Story of a Classical Studies Scholar.”
In the transcript he insults a Wall Street Protester who as a Classical Studies graduate feels hopeless in this recession. He asserts that her degree is useless and calls her “Miss Brain-dead.” He doesn’t even seem to know what Classical Studies entails:
What the hell is Classical Studies? What classics are studied? Or, is it learning how to study in a classical way? Or is it learning how to study in a classy as opposed to unclassy way?
If you aren’t pissed yet, keep reading:
But most of these majors are useless, such as black women studies, women’s studies, whatever studies.
So according to Rush, not only are Greek and Latin scholars worthless, but also anyone who doesn’t worship white male Republicans like himself. I don’t know which majors are acceptable to him, but if you don’t pick one he likes, apparently you’re a socialist.
Since Rush has obviously the intellectual capacity of a dung beetle, I’ll spell it out for him. Because as a Classical Studies minor who spent two years studying Latin and ancient Greek/Roman literature, I’d like to clarify that not only am I highly employable, I have skills the average college graduate could use:
Classical Studies makes you a better reader, writer, and thinker. I have an excellent vocabulary, because I understand the Latin etymologies of English words. This is essential in my job, because I teach high school students how to make educated guesses when they’re faced with an SAT word they don’t know. The analytic skills needed to translate Latin, or any language for that matter, is similar to solving a math problem: you fit together the words one step at a time and the result is achieving a higher level of knowledge–a level Rush can’t even comprehend, let alone reach.
Classical Studies is not dead. If anyone tells me Latin is a dead language one more time, I’m going to go Catullus on their ass. Latin lives in all the Romance languages (Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.) and English to a great extent. The ancient Greeks and Romans created Western civilization as we know it: architecture, art, politics, education, philosophy, the list goes on and on. Next time Rush gushes over an American monument like the White House or references “the Founding Fathers” or “American democracy,” he should thank Pericles and Augustus instead of Reagan and Bush.
Classical Studies is what you make it. Every college grad is struggling right now. I know engineers who can’t get jobs, so don’t make the excuse that it’s all your fault if you picked a major in the humanities or social sciences. We are all victims of this economy, but Rush is too rich to have any pity for the middle class man or woman. That being said, Classical Studies scholars can either further their education to become professors or apply their knowledge to other fields. As a future journalist and novelist, my expertise in grammar and oration will greatly benefit my story-telling. Ever read a little book called Harry Potter? In case you didn’t know, most character names and spells are Latin.
To anyone who’s interested in the Classics, don’t despair. Learning Latin was the best decision I made in college, and now I know a language usually reserved for the most educated and elite people of all time. You can get a job no matter what you study, as long as market your skills accordingly. I’m optimistic that my minor will actually help me stand out in the job market, but I’m also determined enough to make my dream career come true.
As for Rush, I only have one thing to say to you: Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo!
Well, today is a day of celebration, because I finally reached 1,000 views!!! I’ve only been blogging for nine weeks, so I’m pretty proud of this little accomplishment. I love sharing my thoughts and reviews, as well as hearing from others. So before I jump into this long list, I just want to say thanks so much for reading!!!
Okay, back to the book challenge:
Day 9: Book that makes you sick = Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Unplanned vampire pregnancy, pedophilia, don’t even get me started!)
Day 10: Book that changed your life = His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
Day 11: Book from your favorite author = Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman
Day 12: Book that is most like your life = *Not applicable*
Day 13: Book whose main character is most like you = Mia from The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Day 14: Book whose main character you want to marry = Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Day 15: First “chapter book” you can remember reading as a child = Kittens in the Kitchen (Animal Ark #1) by Ben M. Baglio
Day 16: Longest book you’ve read = Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (870 pages)
Day 17: Shortest book you’ve read = Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (77 pages)
Day 18: Book you’re most embarrassed to say you like = Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (NOT Breaking Dawn, see Day 9)
Day 19: Book that turned you on = Any book from the Nerd series by Vicki Lewis Thompson