I am giving myself my own #Readathon challenge. Between now and the 23rd of August, I hope to have finished 10 books and they are as follows;
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
Cabin at the end of the world by Paul Tremblay
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
Social butterflies by Michael Sanders & Susannah Hume
Riders by Jilly Cooper
Hanging out with the dream King – Neil Gaiman by Joseph McCabe
On Editing by Helen Bryant
Be your own literary agent by Martin Levin
Fantastic Fashion by Barbara Cox
Mad Love by Paul Dini
I am probably being unrealistic about this challenge because I usually read three book of three hundred pages a week, on a good week and some of these books are beyond the three hundred page limit; Jilly Cooper’s ‘Riders’ alone is 919 pages long, for me that is an entire weeks’ worth of reading!
But the challenge is set and I am going to try my hardest to complete it with flying colours, because I really need to read a lot more than I do. There is a massive backlog of ‘to read’ books in my Goodreads.com list, approximately ten thousand and it will take me fifty years to get to them all and by then I would have added another fifty thousand no doubt!
I love reading and I don’t do it enough to be honest. I think online gaming has to end and reading and writing should consume me more than it ever has, because I don’t actually enjoy the gaming and I don’t find it very productive to be honest and I don’t like thinking of myself as unproductive, which is a great irony considering I have been like this for five years – ever since I got much worse with my health.
So this readathon is going to become the start of a new me – a new productive me. I am determined to change my life.
Come with me on the ride if you like!
Set your own reading challenge or tackle the same books as I am in the same time frame, or decide that you are going to game less and read or write more. Only you can change your life and make the decision to do productive things!
Last night I finished a book called “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness, I won’t say this is a review per se because it really isn’t – but I would say it is more of a little chat about the characters.
I felt that this book was a huge tear jerker, it certainly got my eyes watering in parts – as for the monster, well to me the monsters in this book aren’t what you think they are, I think this book has a moral and that is “not everything is as it seems and don’t judge a book by its cover” you will misinterpret at the very beginning who the monster/monsters are, trust me, you will only find out in the ending chapters the truth of who the monster really is.
Because it is a twisty turning fabulous book, I won’t give you any spoilers other than what I have already said.
Now, about the characters, the main character is a boy named Conor who is going through a huge amount of trauma at the age of thirteen – but I am more interested in mentioning the supposed monster that comes to visit him at 12:07 every night – why skip the main character? Because he is just a human boy going through a bad time and I am more interested in the fantasy aspect of this book rather than the realism of it. The so-called monster is nothing more than a big brash ancient yew tree that comes alive like an ent from middle-earth to basically have a chat with the young boy and tell him a few stories. I loved this about the book because in the past ten years I have thought off and on about writing a novel about a tree that comes to life as well based on the Germanic folklore of the wood wives, the wood wives according to legend are beautiful female spirits of the forest who are also vampiric, basically vampiric faeries who turn into trees and bring trees to life amongst other things; I am also interested in the yew tree because it is very similar to the avenging birch tree from the short movie “The Birch” which again I believe could have been inspired by the ancient Germanic legend, the wood wives.
So if avenging wrathful trees are your thing, you know what to look out for. I got this book from the library but I have bought a copy along with the DVD from Ebay because I just find it absolutely fabulous! The movie stars Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver.
One of my most favourite songs for the imagination at Christmastime is “Marshmallow World” lyrics written by Carl Sigman, the music by Peter DeRose and was a hit sung by Bing Crosby in 1949.
It captured me with the descriptions of landscapes of snow being of marshmallows, whipped cream and sugar. I often wonder if that is where Roald Dahl got his inspiration for Willy Wonka from; it isn’t very difficult to see why.
I myself have often seen in my mind similar landscapes for a certain story I love writing. Though I am not too happy about getting that particular story published as to me it is just overly descriptive with no real plot, though I often thought about making a story based around an Easter world.
I love Christmas for more reasons than just the family time, presents and food. I love Christmas for some of the songs and tunes that are available at yuletide.
Songs that feed the imagination of the fantasy writer and artist such as; “Suzy Snowflake” written by Sid Tepper and Roy C Bennett in the 1950s and sung by Rosemary Clooney. Suzy Snowflake is a little snow fairy that beckons children to go out and play in the snow, though the song isn’t exactly about Christmas per se, snow intrinsically is associated with Christmastime. Though some will argue that Suzy Snowflake is nothing more than just a little girl dressed in a snow white gown, there is a video however that shows otherwise. In the video Suzy taps at the windowpanes of little houses with a magical wand that frosts the panes over. In my opinion, that’s not to the ability of a mere mortal child.
I like to think of Suzy Snowflake as being the female counterpart or wife of Jack Frost, another Christmas/Winter hero.
I am aim to write about a Christmas song at least once a week leading up to Christmas, all of them are secular Christmas songs and could be considered food for the imagination.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold churns most reader’s stomachs whenever they pick up and read the first page, let alone chapter; it is purely because of the subject matter, a young girl barely in her teens is raped and murdered by her neighbour. Although I did find the subject matter very difficult, I saw over all of that and continued to give the book a chance. It is something outside of the genre I would usually read, but as I read on, I realised that actually, this book deserves to be noted as a fantasy novel rather than a crime one which most people assume it to be.
When you overcome the violence and the graphicness of this novel you will come to realise that it is a beautiful story about a young dead girl coming to terms with her own death and trying to let her living family go. Until she lets them go in her heart, they cannot stop grieving, she is the key to how much they grieve or not – the more she clings onto the living the less likely they are to heal quickly from their loss of her.
This is a lesson that Susie Salmon is learning throughout the entire novel, as well as realising that her little experience of heaven is only the beginning of what is beyond that mysterious door she keeps seeing. It is a story about Susie’s observations of the living, including the life of her murderer Mr. Harvey and her adventures in the limbo heaven with other murdered victims. How they are trying to use their imagination to create a world in which they want to be in, whilst dead.
The mysterious door can only be opened to Susie once she decides to move on and try not to think and worry too much about the living, when the door is opened, she can in effect find peace. Perhaps she gets reincarnated? Perhaps she goes to true heaven? Nobody knows, but it would be lovely to think of it in such terms. That is why I find the book is beautiful. Forget the violence; forget the sordidness, just read the book to the end. It is a treasure; it is in my top ten favourites of all time. It is very touching and there is justice in this book, though it is very obscure and indirect.
I always loved my PlayStation 1 when I was a teenager and one of the games I loved to play was Civilisation II, I am so excited to discover that Civilisation has since gone through another three generations which I didn’t know about until just now. 2016 has released Civilisation VI, for both PC and Mac, for me it is a must have.
I love games like these. I wish they would make a newer version of the game Black & White and perhaps EA Games could work on making Sims 4 as good as Sims 3 instead of taking bits out of it like they have.
As well as loving fantasy, horror, writing and art, I am a huge game buff, as you shall see in the future as I mention various new games I play.
My son is getting quite excited about a new movie coming out called ‘Dr Strange’ he is a huge Marvel fan. I was shocked to discover that Benedict Cumberbatch will be taking the lead role, because I would have thought he’d be too busy for it, but also thrilled at the same time, he is a very talented actor.
He is looking forward to the prospect that other characters from Marvel will be having their own movies in the future that would be suitable for his age; he is six years old. He wants Elektra, Blade and Dr Octopus.
I will say however, he has never seen Elektra or Blade the current movies, but he knows them from his Trump card collection. He also knows Elektra from DareDevil the movie, which he watched only last week.
I finished reading Peter Pan in November 2015 because it is one of the children’s classics I’ve never picked up to read before; I liked it a lot and the characters seem more real, solid and not as passionate in their hatred for one and other like I thought because of various movies.
I was told by a fellow reader of the book that “it is a book about dead children”, though personally I don’t see it; because then you would need to explain to me why Wendy remembered Neverland and grew up and had a grandchild who took her place with Peter in Neverland at the end of the book.
Anyway, there are many things to note about the tale. Peter Pan was more of a bully than a hero in the book, unlike what media portrays and Hook is more of a softy than you are initially told. Perhaps I see this because I am a sympathiser of villains in most books and movies? Though from what I got from the book, Wendy and her brothers were more or less bullied into staying in Neverland for much longer than they wanted, until eventually Wendy put her foot down and went home with her brothers in tow.
I am also surprised at how young Peter Pan is supposed to be in the book, he had all of his milk teeth still, this puts him around three to six years of age, yet it’s a very popular idea that he is between nine and thirteen.
Also, my husband gave me some information about Peter Pan, because I noticed that the dog, Nana, was a Newfoundland in the book, not a St Bernard which again, is a very popular notion in movies – this was apparently popularised by the fact that Walt Disney’s artist for Nana in his Peter Pan adaption didn’t know how to draw Newfoundland’s properly, whether or not this is true or not I have no idea, but it is funny how easily lead society is with new notions, isn’t it?
The closest movie to the book in my opinion is Hook with Robin Williams, because it focuses on the most forgotten aspects of the book; such as the sheer conceitedness of Pan to Hook and how Hook was very noble and proud and despised Pan’s arrogance and the fact that he felt a little guilty fighting him because of the age difference. Then there is the fact that Wendy grew up and Pan reacted badly against her aging and developed a relationship with Moira her granddaughter. I personally think that if J.M Barrie had ever written a sequel to Peter Pan then this movie adaption would be the closest thing to what I think Barrie would have written himself!
I enjoyed the book much better than the movie adaptions out there and I have often thought of my own stories regarding the characters, which I suppose should go into my fan fiction blog, whenever I am ready to set it up.