December 13, 2017

Play(list) by the Book: Revival - Stephen King


Hello, everyone! I'm so glad that many of the books that I've recently read have their own Play(list) by the Book. Of course, when I pick up a Stephen King novel I expect that there will be a lot of songs montioned. So, here is Revival with one of the biggest playlists that I have created for this segment. Enjoy!




In this playlist, as you already know, I include all the songs mentioned in the novel, as well as all the albums, artists, and lyrics mentioned. In such a lengthy playlist, it's only natural that I didn't know some songs, and artists that Stephen King included in his text. The first song that I couldn't find was called Sugarland. Another song that was a mystery to me was called Aloona Ana Kaya, by the Excellent-Board Brothers. An unknown artist to me was George Damon with his album Damon Does Gershwin, although I have a hint that he might be fictional. Lastly, two groups that I couldn't find any infomation were Vo-Lites and the Staples Sisters. If any of you know anything about any of these gaps in my playlist, please let me know!


Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book

December 11, 2017

The Reading Book Post, December 11th


Hello, everyone! The Reading Book Post is officially in the mood for Christmas! And I, myself, am dreaming of all of the gingerbread cookies I'm going to enjoy during the season. And, of course, all of the books that Santa will bring me. Which book would you like to receive as a present?

Until then, let's see the most interesting literary news of the previous week: 

  • Many things were heard about Johnny Depp's casting in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Now, J.K. Rowling has broken her silence about this particular casting as Grindelwald. What did you think of this casting?

  • We all know Agatha Christie and, of course, her famous detectives - Hercules Poirot and Ms. Marple. But here are 15 mysterious facts about the author that I doubt you've heard before!

  • Christmas season is the best! And what makes it even better are all of those wonderful Christmas stories that we can read. Here is a list of all-time-favourite books about this season.

  • And if you just want to read something more modern and yound adult-ish, then you can get some recommendations from this list.

  • Which Classic Dr. Seuss Book Defines You? Take the quiz to find out! I got Green Eggs and Ham, whitch one did you get?


December 9, 2017

Play(list) by the Book: Watchmen - Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons


Hello, everyone! So, as I've promised you here is another Play(list) by the Book. This is one from -probably- THE BEST graphic novel ever, Watchment by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons! This is a great playlist, with songs that fit the mood of the story. Sit back, and enjoy!




As per usual, I included in this playlist all the songs that were mentioned in the graphic novel, as well as songs from the artists, albums and lyrics mentioned. From all of the names included in the graphic novel I couldn't find any composer named Andrew Lang, just the Scottish author. In the graphic novel, the albun Are We Not Men? by Devo was mentioned. Although I chose one song (as I always do), the title of the album was so suitable for the story, that I couldn't leave it out, without a special mention. Lastly, jamaican dub was mentioned by Doctor Manhattan, and since I didn't have any true knoweledge of this genre, I found a random song by Johnny Clarke. If you happen to know a better representing song of this genre, please let me know!


  Find more playlists at: Play(list) by the Book


December 7, 2017

Review: Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman





Title: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company

Date of Publication: February 7th, 2017

Number of Pages: 299





Summary

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Review

There is no better way to begin this review than stating that I love mythology and fairy tales. Indeed, I grew up with all those Greek myths with the 12 gods. Also, Celtic fairy tales are among my favourites. Curiously enough, I had never read anything concerned with norse mythology, although I was aware of Odin, Thor, and Loki. So, you can imagine that I was excited that Neil Gaiman's latest book would be a collection of such myths. Plus, Gaiman's take on these myths would certainly be interesting.

Loki, from an Icelandic manuscript
First of all, I have to comment on the order of the stories. Yes, there are 15 stories in this collection, but they are placed in a -sort of- chronological order. Even though I am a complete beginner to norse mythology, I was able to witness the creation of the world and by the end of the book its end. Of course, in between those two narrations there are plenty of adventures that made all those gods so famous. I was even able to witness the creation of Thor's famous Mjolnir, his warhammer, as well as other artifacts that the gods use.

But being a beginner in norse mythology also has its downside. Not being familiar with those myths, I couldn't actually find out if those retellings were in fact close to the core that they should have. I mean, if a book dealt with greek mythology (I'm looking at you Mythos) I could easily tell if the feel was right. I don't mind for certain things and actions to change in a retelling, but I am always looking for the things that made them distinctive. So, in this case I can't really be the judge of the fidelity of those myths to the original ones. I will only refer to the enjoyment of these adventures, although I do have a hint that the original ones might be slightly darker.
Thor, fishing for Jormangandr

Having made my position clear, I can finally say that these stories are pure fun! We see where the world came form, and we have a bunch of guys that seek knowledge, in Odin's case, adventure, in Thor's case, and even mischief, in Loki's case. There are adventures here, like all of the long gone heroes have to boast about. There is fighting and scheming, hidden plans and causes for celebration, there is hope, and despair, there is form-changing and what-are-you-even-doing-Loki moments, there are gods, frost giants, dwarves, and all of those creature! And there is plenty of mead!

It's funny to think that every Thor's venture came from something that Loki had started. In fact, their whole relationship is better described by Gaiman's own words:
"There were things Thor did when something went wrong. The first thing he did was ask himself if what had happened was Loki’s fault. [...]. So he did the next thing he did when something went wrong, and he went to ask Loki for advice."
BUT let's get things straight: Loki is Odin's blood brother, NOT Thor's (I'm sorry Marvel fans).

One thing that I'm not sure about in Norse Mythology is character development. Apart from the relationship between Thor and Loki, and a little bit of Odin, we don't really get to find out the true colours of each one of the characters. And there are many of them. Nevertheless, it's not a common thing in mythology not to dig into human psychology, and so this could be something forgivable in this context. Although I can't hide that I was a tiny bit disappointed by this. In the end, these are retellings - you can go wild!

All in all, Norse Mythology is a very enjoyable read. These are stories to satisfy every fantasy fan, even the ones that aren't familiar with mythology. They trigger the imagination, like every myth should, so for me the retellings achieved what they ought to. I might not be familiar with the original myths, but now I feel like I have an idea about what norse mythology is about.

December 4, 2017

The Reading Book Post, December 4th



Hello, everyone! It's been a while since I've written a Reading Book Post, but here you have it: the first Reading Book Post of December! I'm already thinking what Christmas novel I'm going to read next. Do you have any recommendation? 

  • Gayle Forman, the author of If I Stay, has a new book coming on March 27, 2018. You can now see the cover of I Have Lost My Way, which is available for pre-order!

  • Wow! This must be one of the most impressive libraries I have ever seen! It's located in Binhai destrict in Tianjin, China. Well, I'vw just added one more dream vacation spot!

  • What if classic novels were written in the modern time? How would they even be called? Twitter users have come up with the most hilarious suggestions by using the #MakeClassicNovelsModern. I would definitely read Tess of the d'Uberdrivers, please someone make it happen!

  • Books: we love them, we read them, we collect them. But after a while, books begin to get old and damaged. Can't we do something for our books to remain in great condition? These are some helpful tips for all of the bookworms!

  • Earlier this year we lost the great playwright Sam Shepard. But his last novel, Spy of the First Person, is yet to be published. You can hear Michael Shanon read an excerpt from the upcoming novel.

  • Dictionary.com has announced that the word of 2017 is complicit. It's no wonder that such a word is used to describe this year..

  • Which "Cards Against Humanity" Card Defines Your Life? Take the quiz to find out! My card is "David Bowie flying in on a tiger made of lightning"! This is AWESOME! What's your card? 


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