Friday, April 29, 2011

Some of My Favorites

The way I see it, there are four types of books.  Those that should never have been written, those that are okay, those that are really good, and those every person should read in order to have a truly fulfilling life.  Here is my short list of books everyone should read:

The Bible:  Other than the obvious spiritual reasons, The Bible is an amazing history text (I know, “gag,” but I’m sort of a history buff.)  Like it or not, it is what our nation was built on, and its always good to understand your own country’s laws, and finally, it has amazing plot twists.  Check out the book of Esther.  You just can’t make that stuff up!

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien: Even if you’re not a fan of Fantasy, you know a masterpiece when you see one.  Tolkien’s world feels so real you forget it is a place you’ve never been.  I could go on about how I believe I’m at least half hobbit, but I won’t.

The Song of the Lioness quartet, Tamora Pierce:  This series turned me on to Fantasy as a young teen.  It’s all about girl power and chasing your dreams, set in a land where magic really exists.  And to make it even better, if you fall in love with the Tortall universe, Tamora has written about 20 more books Tortall books, some following the descendants of the main characters in the Song quartet.  You feel like you’re part of the family.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen:  Okay, maybe the guys can have a fulfilling life without this one, but at least watch the movie.  Girls, at the very least, be grateful we can be successful people without the help of a man.  It wasn’t always that way.   Every time I read this one, I catch more of Austen’s subtle humor.  She was a genius.  But my favorite part is that the love stories are full of misunderstandings and having to swallow pride and apologize.  Much more realistic than most other love stories.  Speaking of which…

Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare:  Most of us were forced to read this in high school, but it seems like most people didn’t really get it.  Why else would people be searching for their Romeo, or comparing their love to Romeo and Juliet?  Romeo was on the rebound and jumped at the first pretty face, Juliet was a defiant teenager, and oh yeah, they didn’t end up together.  They ended up dead.  I hope my own romance turns out much better than that!

Wolfskin and Foxmask, Juliet Marillier:  These books have it all.  Love, betrayal, war, redemption, and hope.  The pieces of the story fall together beautifully, but you have to stick with it to the end, or you miss the biggest message.  Hands down the best two books I’ve read since high school.  And I read a lot.

Iliad and Odyssey, Homer:  Yes, I know that these are long poems, not books.  Read them any way.  At the very least, you can impress someone by quoting them.  Its amazing how much of our culture comes from the Greeks.  And if you really want to have some fun, do a little research on the psychology analysis of Odysseus’ journey.  It’s…. interesting.

Okay, that’s my short list.  My long list has about 50 titles, and I’m sure it will keep growing.  What books do you have on your list?  I’m always in the market for another awesome book, so feel free to share!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review: Bones of Faerie - Janni Lee Simner

The Plot:  Fifteen year old Liza starts having visions of her mother, who had vanished long ago, in the water.  The problem is that Liza lives in a world permanently scarred by the war with the fey.  Any type of magic is forbidden.  Liza knows the law, and knows that her father will not hesitate to inforce it, even though it means killing her.  Liza has no choice but to run.
This is a very promising first YA novel by Simner.  I had to read it based on the title alone.  And like the title promises, the story is slightly dark, without being overly creepy.  The future world (centered around St. Louis) where Liza lives, is an interesting combination of a post-apocalypic land where only small remnants of technology remain, and a completely wild place where even the plants are enemies.  My only comlpaint is that some of the secondary characters could be strengthened a little.  But perhaps they will be stronger in the next book, which I plan to read. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The First Step

  Hi.  My name is Keshia, and I'm addicted to books.

Everyone says that the first step is admitting you have a problem.  But I don't want help.  I just want another book.  Any book will do, really.  A classic, a good mystery, or maybe even a well written romance (if I'm mad at my husband).  But my favorites are all lumped together in the genre of fantasy.  A good fantasy leads you to wonder how the past might have been, what may be in the present, or what could be in the future  The way I see it, I live in reality, and I don't always like it.  Why would I chose to entertain myself with more reality?  When I settle in with a good read, I want to be taken as far away from my problems as possible.  Is that so wrong?

So, a little about myself and my blog.  I believe ghosts exist, King Arthur was a real person, and Atlantis really did  sink into the ocean.  But, no, I don't believe the majority of what is written about them. It is called fantasy for a reason, after all.  Fairies, Aliens, and the Loch Ness monster do not exist, but wouldn't it be cool if they did?
I'll be using this blog to review books, discuss books, look for suggestions on new books, (seeing a pattern here?) and occasionally, just to share a random thought or two.  So if you're like me, or if you think I'm nuts but would like a good laugh, follow along.  :)