Just when I think I’ve heard it all. A “Christian” woman has rewritten Harry Potter because she’s afraid if her children read the original they’ll become witches. Yep. You’ve read that correctly. Grace Ann Parsons has penned Hogwarts: School of Prayers and Miracles. Seriously? I’m going back and forth between being outraged to laughing hysterically. Honestly. What is the matter with these people? I’m not even going to list the many Christian symbols that are in this book and the prevailing themes of love, loyalty, courage, and good triumphing over evil, because you know what? It doesn’t even matter. If you don’t like the books and you really think your children will start waving wands around and performing evil spells on an unsuspecting populace, how about reading a series like The Chronicles of Narnia instead? For some reason which I don’t understand most people who disapprove of Harry Potter love C.S. Lewis’s books. While I’m a fan, it doesn’t make sense to me because his books also feature magic, witches, etc… I think they just see that he was a conservative Christian writer so anything he wrote is acceptable. This woman has had the unmitigated gaul to think she can just take a book and rewrite it to suit her agenda. I know Jo Rowling has little patience for plagiarism so I hope she hauls this woman into court. Because that’s what this is, plagiarism, and I don’t think it should be ignored. I’m climbing down from my soapbox down.
I’ve got a gazillion books waiting for me to read, both on my Kindle and my bookshelf, so when I picked this up at the library I thought I’d just flip through this and it would tide me over until the last Percy Jackson book Blood of Olympus comes out on 10/7 (sniff). I should have known better. Starting with the introduction: “A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like,’can we do this anonymously? Because I don’t need the Olympians mad at me again.’ But if it helps you know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week.” , it’s obvious this isn’t going to be your average book about Greek myths. Told from Percy’s POV this is not only educational but hysterically funny. Accompanied by John Rocco’s beautiful illustrations, it’s a perfect addition for YA and adult fans of Percy Jackson. I underscore YA and adult, because I wouldn’t recommend this for younger children due to the numerous references to rape and incest. That’s not to say they don’t belong. I mean, let’s face it, just like Grimm’s Fairytales, nasty things happen in myths. I just think that something like D’Auliere’s Book of Greek Myths would probably be more appropriate for younger fans. Otherwise I loved this book so much that I’ve asked Santa for it for Christmas. I know I’ll be re-reading it.
My blogging buddy Emma @ http://emmakwall.com nominated me for this lovely award. Thank you Emma (: (: (: And if you haven’t already, check out her blog. She has wonderful movie reviews and awesome Top Ten lists!
So, the rules (although can I just say we shouldn’t call them rules? How about ‘wonderful ways to share a part of you and to pass this on to other awesome bloggers’?) Too long huh? Okay. Never mind. Back to the rules:
1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post and/or on your blog.
2. Link to the blogger who nominated you.
3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
4. Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award.
5. Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them.
6. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
My answers to Emma’s awesome questions:
1. What is your favourite thing about having a blog?
– I love sharing thoughts on books and connecting with such fascinating members of the blogosphere.
2. Do you have any pets?
– As you might have guessed from my gravatar, I have a Pomeranian. Her name is Lacey and she’s the sweetest girl I could ask for.
3. Do you get much sunshine where you live?
– I live in Massachusetts and we usually get a fair amount of sunshine.
4. Who is your best friend?
– My husband. He puts up with all my idiosyncrasies.
5. Which fictional character would you like to invite round for tea?
– Without a doubt Dumbledore. Wise and wacky!
6. Is blogging your full time job?
– It should be, but no. I try to post something every day, but it doesn’t always work out. I’m also working on my first book so sometimes that gets in the way.
7. Do you prefer sweet or savoury?
– Sweet. Worst sweet tooth ever!
8. What is your guilty pleasure tv show?
– Oh God. Pretty Little Liars. I’m blushing.
9. Do you remember your first post you ever wrote for your current blog?
– I think I introduced myself and asked everyone to be patient with my lamentable lack of tech skills. Um, not much has changed there.
10. Have you ever seen a shooting star?
– Unfortunately no. My Dad and I did see a UFO though when I was 9!
Here’s the tough part. Who do I nominate? I always have trouble with this because first, so many people have already been nominated, and second I follow so many incredible bloggers that I use up my 10 slots rather quickly. Well, here goes. My nominees are:
I love all your blogs and they always bring a ray of Sunshine into my life!
And finally the really fun part! My questions for the above nominees are:
1. What was your favorite book as a child?
2. What is the best book you’ve read recently?
3. Movies. Scary or RomCom?
4. If you had the chance, what author would you most like to interview?
5. Books. What is your favorite genre? It’s okay if you have more than one.
6. What book or series have you read more than once?
7. What book or series would you like to be a character in?
8. Have you ever used a Ouija board? If so, did anything happen?
9. Have you ever seen a UFO?
10. What made you start blogging?
I hope you all have as much fun with this as I did. If you’re too busy however to partcipate, no worries. You won’t hurt my feelings.
This is so eloquently written by Confessions of a Book Addict. If you have time this week, please read a banned book. I’m choosing The Perks of Being a Wallflower which has been on by TBR list for a while.
I was always vaguely aware that there was such a thing as banned books, but I was still quite naive in my understanding of what constituted a “banned” book, and I was definitely under the impression that books weren’t banned in the democratic west of the world. I know, how wrong I was. What I found even more surprising are some of the titles that are challenged, including: Looking For Alaska by John Green, Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Banned Books Week is an annual event held in September (though on this blog I will be posting about it for the entire month of September, including a giveaway and reviews of banned books). Just to kick things off I’ve decided to share why I believe in the freedom to read.
I believe in the freedom to read.
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Are you a fan of Sleepy Hollow? Then you will enjoy The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane. The book delves into the complicated mind of Ichabod, and gives you greater insight into what makes this fascinating man tick. It includes secret case files, Freemason puzzles, Ichabod’s recollections of the Revolution, passages from his mentor George Washington’s mysterious Bible, and his own amusing thoughts on modern day life and technology. I especially loved his “Things to remember” list:
– turn off lights by pressing switch.
– the big box in the kitchen keeps food cold and it will last longer than a day.
– images on the television? might be real.
– taxes are really high.
– coffee shops are everywhere.
The book also shares Ichabod’s private thoughts regarding Abbie, Katrina, and other characters featured in the show. Interspersed throughout are exquisite drawings, photographs, newspaper articles, and letters that he has collected during his long journey. The front and back cover further give this the look of a real journal. I highly recommend this to fans of Sleepy Hollow, and if you’re not a fan yet, you will be after reading this.
The Last Town is the terrifying conclusion to Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines series. In the first book, Wayward, Secret Agent Ethan Burke comes to this idyllic sleepy little town of 451 in Idaho in search of his missing old partner Kate and the agent she is currently teamed up with. Instead of finding them, he’s hit by a car and wakes up in a hospital run by Pam, the nurse from Hell. During the rest of this book, and the second Pines, he discovers this town is not the lovely Eden it appears to be. Surrounded by electric fencing with razor wire it’s hard to figure out if it’s meant to keep the residents out, or some nightmare from getting in. None of the residents know how they got there. Just that they’re assigned who they marry, and where they live and work. And the man in charge, Dave Pilcher thinks he’s God, literally. In the final book, Ethan has reluctantly become Sheriff and told the townspeople the truth behind Wayward Pines. Unfortunately this results in horrifying results which force everyone into making an unthinkable choice. This is a truly scary, stay up all night, trilogy which will be a mini-series this Winter on Fox. The Last Town was the best of the three books and the ending left me saying “No! He can’t leave it like that!” It’s one of the few books I’ve read recently in which I was riveted as much by the characters as I was by the plot. If you like Stephen King, or even Dean Koontz’s earlier novels I think you’ll like this. You must read them in order though or you’ll wind up totally lost. Just don’t wander into Wayward Pines!
What a powerful and incredible statement and poem. This is one that everyone should keep in their hearts.
Roll off the tongue
For things that are done
The hateful words
You frequently say
Hurt our children
The hatred spewed
And directed at me
Haunt our children
And what they can be
For within their hearts
So pure and true
is part of me
And part of you
Each word spoken
and slip of the tongue
Damages our children
And cannot be undone
So hate me if you must
But speak only kind
For our children’s tender hearts
Are tied up in a bind
Each word destroys
A part of their soul
And hurts them more
Thank you can ever know
Each word spoken
in jest about me
Tells our children
What they can be
For fellow Harry Potter fans, how awesome is this?
I always found Huckleberry Finn more interesting than his friend Tom Sawyer, so I was delighted when I saw that NetGalley had this book offered for review. I must have been so excited that I entered a giveaway for it on Goodreads also, because I now have it in ebook format as well as print. Thank you NetGalley and Goodreads! Luckily I really did like this book. Artful picks up where Oliver Twist left off, and with a lot less whining. I apologize if I’ve offended any fans of Oliver. So, we all know that Jack Hawkins is a bit of a rogue, but did you know he is also a courageous hero? After saving a mysterious damsel in distress, The Artful discovers an insidious plot by some familiar villains (cough, cough, Fagin) who are plotting to not only terrorize London, but to bring down the British Monarchy itself! And you probably won’t be all that surprised to learn that Fagin and his cohorts are vampyres, which actually explains quite a lot. Oh, and they’re not the good looking, brooding, sparkling kind. Thankfully, The Artful is joined by Isaaac and Abraham Van Helsing, Princess Victoria, and The Baker Street Irregulars, in stopping this nefarious plot. This is a clever and amusing parody much in the same vein as Pride and Prejudice, and Zombies. It even has amusing chapter headings that are as fun to read as the story itself. For example: “In Which The Reader’s Patience Is Rewarded By Explaining The Seemingly Inexplicable And The Jailer Is Introduced For As Long As He Suits Our Purposes.” The book is a little slow in the beginning but it doesn’t take long for it to turn into a rousing adventure. I would recommend this to fans of supernatural horror, Victorian Fiction, and books that don’t take themselves too seriously.
Frederick Snow has been a footman for Lady Balrumple since he was fifteen and found shivering and dressed in rags on her doorstep. During the last ten years he has earned the respect and admiration of everyone “below stairs”. But he continues to keep a part of himself hidden even from his best friend Tall John. What is this secret? Charlotte Erlwood, the grandniece of Lady Balrumple arrives at Charmont Park after the man she’s in love with proposes to her sister. She’s selfish and completely self involved. Her sole purpose now is to land herself a wealthy husband. How can two people with such completely different personalities and backgrounds fall in love and save each other? This is a charming, loose retelling of Snow White with Frederick playing the lead. It’s set in a Regency period world which also has fantasy elements. It also reminded me a little of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs because you see so much of the servants’ lives. The people in it are all distant descendants of the Fae. Everyone has magical powers, but the nobility have the strongest ones. I fell in love with Frederick immediately. He’s passionate and loyal, and my heart just broke because of what he’s been through. Charlotte was originally a little more difficult to like. She’s intelligent, but completely obnoxious and makes it a little difficult to have any sympathy for her. Fortunately, Frederick brings the best out of her and she winds up being funny and compassionate without losing her feistiness. Elizabeth Vail does a good job with the world building except for a couple of things. Frederick’s “curse” is very confusing through most of the book. I didn’t really understand what it was beyond that it could be harmful to the people he was around until I was halfway through the book. She also doesn’t really explain what happened to the original Fae. And finally, she drops in a catastrophic “Blight” that wiped out an entire segment of the population, but doesn’t really specify what happened. Because I found the book so enjoyable otherwise, this was a little frustrating. I still would recommend this to those of you who enjoy romance, historical fiction, and fantasy. I’m hoping the author will write more books in this enchanting world which will not only introduce new characters but also further develop what led to it’s creation.