Monday, 31 December 2012

Think Out Loud

This week I am participating in Think Out Loud, a weekly meme hosted by Thinks Books. With this meme, book bloggers can say or post about any topic they like. So I am going to use this as an opportunity to discuss a topic that I think should have been addressed a long time ago:

That's right. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, I have a big problem with you. See, the thing is, I live in Adelaide. And not only do I live in Adelaide, but I (gasp, shock, horror,) actually dare to enjoy living in Adelaide. I also enjoy Adelaide cuisine and eating out at many of our fine restaurants such as La Trattoria and Good Life. 

Apparently, this is wrong of me. I should not be enjoying fine cuisine at all. Instead, I should be making a big deal about some semi-global chain that makes doughnuts and crying myself to sleep every single night because the closest Krispy Kreme franchise is located somewhere in Melbourne. And if I should travel to Melbourne, the point of my visit shouldn't be to absorb the local culture but to run inside one of these stores, salivate mercilessly and then purchase the entire content of the store and stuff it in my suitcase, because Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are just like, so good. In fact, I've heard that Krispy Kreme Doughnuts may even be able to establish world peace and discover a cure for cancer. 

Honestly, it's a just a doughnut. I get sick of people making a big deal out of a particular brand or product simply because it isn't available in Adelaide. Nothing screams low-self esteem like endlessly bagging your home city just because you can't find a particular brand or product. Or traveling to a whole other city to buy a bakery product that you could get practically anywhere, albeit with a different brand name on the paper bag or serviette.

Peanuts February 19, 1953

Just had to share one of my all-time favourite Peanuts Strips. This one hails from 1953 when the strip was still in its (relative) infancy. For the first time, we see a glimpse of the psychoanalyst that Lucy Van Pelt will become in later strips. (Though we're still a few years off her offering psychiatric help for the sum of five cents from a small, stand in the Van Pelt's front yard.) 

In many ways the resident bitch of the Peanuts gang (or crabby as she was known in the strips,) Lucy had the uncanny ability to accurately and bluntly point out everyone else's problems and failings, while remaining oblivious to her own--of which there were many. Lucy could never resist pulling the football away from Charlie Brown for no other reason than pure malevolence, could be cruel to her younger brothers Linus and Rerun simply because they existed and remained insensitive to the fact that Schroeder, the unlikely object of her affections, was simply not interested. Lucy probably had a higher level of self-esteem than the rest of the gang, thanks in part to her level of insensitivity. It was, quite simply, impossible to insult her.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

1990s Nostalgia: Seduced by Fame & Bewitched by Isla Fisher


Here is a confession. Back in the mid-1990s, when I was in my early teens and spending my weekends buying Dolly magazines, reading Sweet Valley High novels, staring longingly at the clothes in Miss Shop and hanging out at the local skating rink with my best friend Hayley, I was also hiding a dark and sinister secret that I didn't dare reveal to anyone. A secret so dark that it stayed firmly in my closet until one day ...

I was old enough to laugh about it.

My secret was this. I was a closet fan of Isla Fisher, the red haired star of Australian soap opera Home and Away. And when it was revealed in TV Week that nineteen year old actress was also an author, I just had to read her book. Eagerly, I devoured the sample chapters that appeared in Dolly the following month and begged my mother to buy me a copy for Christmas. (Mum obliged and also bought me a copy of Isla's second novel, Bewitched.)

Eagerly, I read Seduced by Fame from cover to cover. This was the story of a young woman who, like Isla, was plucked from obscurity to appear on her favourite soap opera. Wow, I thought. It must have been so realistic, because Isla was an actress, and Jade Silver, the heroine is an actress too. And she must be pretty damn smart, to be able to work on a television show and write books.

Afterward, I eagerly opened the cover on Bewitched. And pretty soon, I realised something.

I had been tricked. Two people were credited as authors on the inside cover and on the copyright page. Confused, I turned back to my copy of Seduced by Fame. Sure enough two people were credited on the copyright page as well. Isla had not written either book all by herself at all, despite her name and her photograph being on the covers. In fact, the writing style of Bewitched was slightly different. (Suggesting that the young actress had more help with her second novel than her first.) But this was explained in a letter from Isla at the back. Apparently, she was so busy with Home and Away that she had to get her mum to research Bewitched and then to help her write it. And they were working on another book together, titled Ebony and Amber which was to be able identical twins who are separated at birth but meet each other when they grow up and swap places. 

Isla Fisher wasn't the first celebrity and she wouldn't be the last to co-author a book and get a larger share of the credit. (And the whole thing was still a damn sight more honest than hiring a ghostwriter, which is still how the majority of celebrity autobiographies find themselves published.) For me, it was an awakening, a realisation that sometimes the people that marketed products could leave out important details that might make their products less interesting to the lucrative teen girl market. The books must have sold reasonably well in their day though, neither of my copies (which I still own, and are now highly collectable,) are first editions. (At least the numbering system at the front would suggest they are not true first editions.) 

And what of Ebony and Amber? A comprehensive search on the internet has failed to produce any evidence of the book ever making it to print, though an amazon search proves that it did have an ISBN and was meant to have been released in June 1996. It also appears that an ISBN was registered for a fourth book titled Too Beautiful though, obviously, that never came to be. (Read more here and here.) Isla's mother, Elspeth Reid went on to write another children's book with a different Australian publisher, titled The Secret Pony and according to wikipedia now lives in Greece. Isla Fisher is now, of course, a reasonably well established Hollywood actress who has appeared in comic roles in films such as Wedding Crashers and Confessions of a Shopaholic (as well as a few smaller and serious roles in films such as The Lookout,) and will be appearing as Myrtle Wilson in an upcoming version of The Great Gatsby.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Feature and Follow Friday

Woot! It's Friday and we all know what that means ... I'm planning to knock back a cup of Haighs Hot Chocolate, bust out the DVDs of Doctor Who and Daria, stuff some popcorn up my nose and ... Just kidding. It's Friday and that means it's time for Feature and Follow Friday, an awesome weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This weeks all-important question is:

Q: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book?

Just one? I can think of a few ...

E.M. Forsters A Room With a View is one of the most beautiful stories that I have ever read. I'd love to gift the entire world that one, just so that everyone could share in and enjoy the sheer beauty of the story.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel offers an interesting and thought provoking concept. 

Finally, I would choose To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. 

Which books would you choose? 

PS As always, leave me a link. I love seeing what you've been up to.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Review: Gordon by Edith Templeton

In the wake of Fifty Shades of Grey, it's unsurprising to see a flood of classic erotic titles finding their way back into print and placed on romance shelves inside bookstores. One such novel to enjoy a reprint is Edith Templeton's classic novel, Gordon. Once upon a time, this novel of a headstrong young woman who enters a horrific relationship with a brute was published under a pseudonym and eventually banned in England under the Obscene Publications Act. (Read more here.)  It's certainly not reading for children, or for the lighthearted. In 2003 the novel was rereleased, with the author named for the first time. This time around, Gordon has enjoyed a much quieter reprint and will most likely be ignored by the scores of women who all so obsessively devoured Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels. 

Far from light reading and with sex scenes that are as brief as they are disturbing, Gordon offers an interesting and believable psychological study into the main characters and their relationship. Dr Richard Gordon is a psychologist and all round brute. He uses his knowledge of psychology to seek out and trap Louisa, a young divorcee living in post-war London. Within an hour, Gordon has conquered Louisa on a stone bench and spends the rest of their relationship trying to break her psychologically and forcing her to become totally dependent on him. There is no warmth or intimacy in their relationship, their unions are about sex (or sex as Gordon desires it,) and control. In fact, Louisa cannot even bring herself to think of Gordon by his first name.

Gordon charms and sometimes forces the young woman to admit her weaknesses as a means of taking control. Lousia is also forced to tell the stories of her past relationships, while Gordon analyses her behaviour and actions. Of particular interest to me was the story of her crush on Derek O'Teague, a weak and pathetic man who managed to fool Louisa into believing that he was someone important--it was only when the crush faded that Louisa realised how stupid and unimportant the man was. (To this, I can relate.) I also found myself fascinated with the hold that Gordon had on Louisa and how he sought to keep it, followed by the revelation that to many women, the brutal Gordon was a weak man who was unable to perform sexually. In Louisa, he has found the perfect woman to bully and someone who considers him to be sexually powerful. In Gordon, Louisa has found a man who she can hide behind. She no longer has to think for herself or take responsibility for her sexuality. Of course, the relationship eventually self-destructs, but the real shock lies within what the future holds for both sides.

Gordon is an uncomfortable, unsettling and sometimes unputdownable exploration of human sexuality. As upsetting as it is fascinating and without a happily-ever-after ending, this is a book for anyone who wants to learn more about sexual politics. 

Monday, 24 December 2012

Review: Girl, Stolen by April Henry

We all have that book. You know, the one that sits on the to-read pile practically forever, often cast aside in favour of bigger and brighter books. Then, the day comes when the pile is getting smaller, I idly pick it up and ... It turns out to be an absolutely brilliant novel.

That is exactly what happened to me with Girl, Stolen. I bought it from Dymocks a few months ago along with several other books (thanks for that gift voucher you got me for my birthday, Carolyn,) and somehow got stuck on the to-read pile. I picked it up on the weekend, having just finished and reviewed Daughter of Light and ... unputdownable. 

Completely and utterly unputdownable.

The novel tells the story of sixteen year old Cheyenne. Suffering from pneumonia and sleeping in the back seat of the family car while her stepmother collects Cheyenne's prescription from the pharmacy, she finds herself as an accidental victim of a kidnapping when the car is stolen. But that isn't the only problem. Cheyenne also happens to be blind. Meanwhile, her abductor, Griffin, didn't mean to take her, but he doesn't know what to do. When Griffin's dad, Roy, finds out what has happened and that Cheyenne comes from a wealthy family, he makes some big plans.

Rather than being a tragic heroine Cheyenne is a tenacious and very, very clever young woman. Her attempts at freeing herself from the situation are as bold as they are believable and I think this is what appealed to me the most about the book. Griffin, meanwhile, is basically a good kid from a bad family who has found himself in a terrible situation. I like that the author made me feel sorry for him, while still cheering Cheyenne on. A wonderfully crafted, well written book. Highly recommended. 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Newsflash: V.C. Andrews Bittersweet Dreams

While on the official V.C. Andrews facebook page today, I asked V.C. Andrews ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman (who moderates the page) if he had ever considered writing a novel about bullying. His reply both pleased and surprised me: 

Maybe not a whole novel, but certainly it could be part of a others treat our lead girl...this happens in a novel upcoming entitled Bittersweet Dreams...

So it looks like we will be seeing a V.C. Andrews novel titled Bittersweet Dreams sometime in the near future. The next V.C. Andrews titles to be released (in the United States at least, often Australia is behind,) are Forbidden Sister (February 2013) and Roxy's Story (September 2013).

Friday, 21 December 2012

Review: Daughter of Light by Virginia Andrews

From the moment I finished Daughter of Light, I knew one simple truth. Reviewing this novel was going to be hell. 

As a reader, I'm pretty black and white. I know what I like and I know what I don't like. I know what constitutes as good writing and what doesn't. As a reviewer, I like to add my emotional reaction into the mix to create what I hope is not only an honest, but a unique book review. Consequently, reviewing a novel that contained a mix of good and bad writing, as many convincing plot twists as there were plot holes and that fantastic lead up to a disappointing climax, was always going to be difficult. And then there was the fact that ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman inserted a couple of "No worries" into Lorelei's dialogue. 

How can I possibly hate or give a damning review to an American novel that uses "No worries" in its proper context?

On the other hand, how can I possibly love a book that has the name of a much-loved and long-dead author on the front, whose work has now been reduced to a franchise and the latest releases bare nothing of her unique vision?

So maybe I'll just be honest in my review, and let you decide whether or not it is a good book.

Daughter of Light is the second novel in the Kindred series and vastly superior to its prequel, Daughter of Darkness. To recap Daughter of Darkness is a pretty sick and twisted novel about a young woman who discovers that she and her sisters have been bred for the specific purpose of luring bait (think virile young men,) to their bad, vampire Daddy, Sergio Patio. Once his daughters grow too old for the task, old Sergio marries his own daughters and expects them to produce more live bait, I mean daughters who'll trap some food for him and then marry him when they get too old and produce more babies and ugh ... I'm sure you get the idea. When the heroine of the novel, young Lorelei Patio discovers her fathers plans for her, she is disgusted and runs away.

Daughter of Light tells the story of Lorelei's attempts to make it on her own. Ghostwriter Andrew Neiderman has made some attempts to address the many problems with the first novel, and explain some of the plot holes, such as why Lorelei would simply ditch her boyfriend at the end of Daughter of Darkness. (She feared that he knew too much and that his association with her would make him a target for her father.) Annoying younger sister Marla is pleasingly removed from the plot, and bossy older sister Ava remains a minor character. Instead, this novel focuses on Lorelei trying to make a life for herself away from her vampire family. Naturally, this life means falling in love with a wealthy and now-reformed womanizer named Liam, from who she hides her history. Liam wants to marry her, Lorelei fears that her father and Ava are watching her, a young male resident from the town goes missing, Lorelei's fears grow and ...

Well, I was looking forward to a shocking, action packed and possibly even violent ending, anyway. I was half expecting that perhaps, one, we would find out what did happen to Buddy when Sergio did catch up with him, and two, what would happen when Liam discovered that his fiancee is the daughter of a vampire? Perhaps Sergio and Ava would even abduct Liam as a way of luring Lorelei back to the family home? Perhaps Lorelei would even plot and find a way to put an end to Sergio's evil once and for all. Stake in the heart, anyone?


In an ending that is just as disappointing as that of Breaking Dawn where the characters talk their problems out, Lorelei simply strikes a deal with Sergio that will grant her freedom. She can marry Liam and become human, on the condition that if her firstborn is a girl, she will be handed over to Sergio to raise, use as bait and then procreate with. Surprisingly, Lorelei (who I considered up until then to be fairly intelligent,) agrees to this. But then, fortunately, her firstborn is a boy, Sergio buggers off to Europe and Liam never discovers that his wife was once a vampire. And they all live happily ever after, but for a woman in Norfolk Virginia who continued to spin in her grave ...

Feature and Follow Friday

Time once again for Feature and Follow Friday an awesome weekly meme hosted by the equally awesome Alison Can Read and Parajunkee, who will no doubt be helping us all to survive the apocalypse in the coming hours. (It's okay guys, I'm just kidding.). On a more serious note, this week's question is:

Q: What have you learned from book blogging that you didn't know before about the publishing industry?

That sometimes if you can prove that you know your stuff, have a genuine interest in the book or subject and if you ask nicely they will send you a review copy of new or upcoming releases, which is just awesome. 

So, what have you learned? As always, feel free to share your links. I click on them all. Except for that spammer who keeps sending links to porn sites. That person (or robot) can kindly bugger off.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

1990s Nostalgia: The California Diaries #1 Dawn

The California Diaries was one of the final spin-off series from the Babysitters Club and the only BSC spin-off to be aimed at young adult, rather than preteen, readers. As always, Ann M. Martin is credited as the author, though it is doubtful that she actually wrote any of the books in the series.

Given the fact that the books were aimed at a slightly older audience, the California Diaries are darker than the BSC and discussed a number of real-life themes such as anorexia, a parent who is dying of cancer and friendships turned sour. Somehow, this series passed me by during my own adolescence (I suspect I was just that bit too old when they were released,) and I had never even heard of them until earlier this year when I researched a blog on the Babysitters Club. More recently, I found a few of the books and well, curiosity got the better of me ...

The first volume in the series is titled Dawn and features that California Cool girl from the BSC, Dawn Schafer, who has now been living in California for some months with her dad, brother and stepmother. It is also the beginning of eighth grade yet again, despite the obvious inconsistencies with the BSC. In a plot twist not unlike Degrassi Junior High, where the kids find themselves being prematurely moved to high school, Dawn and her pals from eighth grade suddenly discover that they will be moved out from middle school and shifted into the local high school a year early, due to overcrowding at the middle school. And the rest of the novel basically talks about Dawn and the others trying to adapt to a new school and to fit in with the older kids.

I found parts of this book, especially Dawn's fears and feelings about high school, to be quite realistic. In some ways, her experiences were quite similar to my own when I started high school. That said, reading the book left me with the exact same feeling that I got when I reread Are You There God? It's Me Margaret--I felt as though I was intruding on secret teenage business. This isn't a book that goes for both audiences, like many young adult releases do. It's a book for kids in their early teens, about scary early teen stuff. Consequently, I'm not in a hurry to read any of the remaining books in the series, but I'll be happy to recommend them to any thirteen year old girls that I know ...

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Friday, 14 December 2012

Feature and Follow Friday

Time once again for Feature and Follow Friday, an awesome weekly meme designed to help like-minded book bloggers connect, hosted by the equally awesome Alison Can Read and Parajunkie. This weeks all-important question is:

Q: What is the last book that made you cry? Tell us about the scene...

Definitely Fifty Shades of Grey. Oh, the pain. Tears of pure frustration running down my reddened cheeks as I cried, "Ana, Ana, how can any grown woman be so bloody stupid ..."

Actually, as regular visitors to this blog would know, the last book that made me cry was The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom. The scene was when Sarah discovers the extent of Ethan's cruelty and is so distraught that she decides to take her own life. I also cried a second time at the end, when I learned what eventually became of Sarah--without including any spoilers, it's certainly a triumphant ending and not in the way that younger readers might expect.

What book did you choose? Feel free to post your links below.

PS This week I'm shamelessly plugging copies of my book, Being Abigail, which is available for $12.99 from createspace. The main character is a blogger with some very, ahem, quirky, posts.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Kathryn's Inbox Exclusive: Unusual Weather Patterns Hit Sweet Valley

UNITED STATES--The small town of Sweet Valley, California has been hit with some very unusual weather patterns this December. While local residents are used to consistent beautiful days, with perhaps a small touch of snow on Christmas Eve, it appears that this December there has been a odd shift in the weather patterns. "Frankly, the weather is shithouse at the moment," Sweet Valley resident Bruce Patman, 16, told our reporters. "Twice now I've had my Porsche bogged in the mud because it won't stop raining. The second time, the mud was so bad that after I got out, no one could see my special personalised licence plates that say 1Bruce1."

The situation was nearly as dire for Patman's friends, identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield,  16, who were forced to put up the top on their red Fiat Spider for the first time ever. "I couldn't believe it," Elizabeth stated. "I was on my way to the next town, to donate some books to the Derek Zoolander Centre For Kids Who Can't Read Good, when all this water started to tumble down from the sky." Meanwhile, her sister Jessica and friends Lila Fowler and Cara Walker remain concerned about what the rain may do to their hair. "At first when we heard it was raining we didn't believe it," Lila told reporters. "I mean the first person to talk about it was that boring Enid Rollins and who listens to a word that she says? And then when she wouldn't shut up we just figured she'd started talking drugs again and was hallucinating."

While current weather patterns remain highly unusual, the outlook is optimistic for local residents. "Lots of strange things happen around here at Christmas time and we always pull through," Elizabeth Wakefield told reporters. "We get lots of strange murders and attempted murders, and not to mention strange or not medically accurate diseases. Plus there is this really weird time loop. None of us have aged for the last twenty Christmases ..."

Monday, 10 December 2012

Abbey Road Spoofs

Found this awesome Mr Men picture and just had to share. I'm familiar with the series and the characters thanks in part to my own childhood (my brothers and I had many of the books and a record that featured Arthur Lowe reading some of the stories,) and the fact that I can now share them with my nieces--Little Miss Naughty seems to be a firm favourite. However, and maybe it is just my own ignorance speaking here, this picture would have to be the first time I've seen the characters paying tribute to popular culture (in this instance, the immortal Abbey Road cover). But the Mr Men characters (and my only criticism of the picture is that only Mr Bump should have been barefoot, in keeping with the album cover,) are not the only characters to pay tribute to the cover. Here are some more great pictures:

Dedicated Peanuts Fan Spoofs Abbey Road

The Simpsons get in on the act.

Even Sesame Street is not immune.

It seems that practically everything linked with either cartoons and children's entertainment has a thing about Abbey Road send ups. I would not be surprised if there is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Abbey Road out there, or a Sweet Valley Book titled The Twins Visit Abbey Road Studios. Still, it's art, it's decent art (or at least decent enough to spark a smile and positive discussion,) so who am I to complain. I'll just sit back, smile and wait for the next Abbey Road send up to catch my eye ...

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Review: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

My Dad loaned me this short, simple fable because he thought that I would enjoy reading it and it might make good material for a review. My poor dad didn't know what he was getting into. Three times I nearly gave up on this one and twice it had me in tears. Why? Because the story hit me so very close to home.

The Time Keeper is a fable about a man called Dor, who was responsible for the invention of time six thousand years ago. After climbing a tower that is destroyed by God (yes, many biblical implications there, no comment,) Dor is sent to live in a cave where he is made to suffer the consequences of his invention--basically he listens to every man, woman and child on earth begging for more or less time. Then Dor is granted a chance at freedom, on the condition that he find two people--one who is begging for more time on earth and one who wants less time on earth--and help them. And so begins Dor's trip to New York City where he meets the two individuals he can help.

The pair are polar opposites. Sarah Lemon is an intelligent young high schooler who is suffering the consequences of an unrequited love in the most humiliating way possible. Basically she met a boy who was part of the in-crowd, he led her on for a while, she became a little too attached and he blew her off. Then, the arrogant little sod announces Sarah's actions publicly on facebook and she gets to watch as all of his friends make humiliating and degrading comments about her. The comments are bad enough for Sarah to want to end her own life.

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, wealthy businessman Victor Delamonte, is trying to prolong his life. He knows that he is dying, but he has no desire to leave the earth just yet. He decides that being cryogenically frozen is the solution to his problems. Then, his body can be stored until such a time that his illness can be cured and he can live forever.

Naturally, Dor's purpose is to help both Victor and Sarah. The ending, which is both beautiful and surprising touched me quite deeply. But that is not why the story made me cry.

Albom is a skillful storyteller. But anyone who has read The Five People You Meet in Heaven can tell you that. What I wasn't expecting was just how deeply I cared for Victor and Sarah or how much I could identify with both characters, especially Sarah and the sting she feels from crushing on an unsuitable man. Luckily, Sarah is eventually able to rise above it and proves that she can make a real difference in the world, unlike others, who remain in their safe cloistered little clique.

As previously stated, I could also identify with Victor and his fear of his own approaching mortality. Death is a frightening thing. It cannot be reversed and no one knows for certain what happens or how it might feel. And, I think regardless of how healthy someone is or their age, it is easy to start asking questions about whether ones life has been lived to the fullest and what they would change if they had the opportunity to do so.

And then there is Dor himself, who for six thousand years is made to see the consequences of his actions.

The Time Keeper is an interesting and touching fable, easily read and bound to appeal to a broad audience. A great read, but be warned, it made me cry ...

Friday, 7 December 2012

Awesome Author Blog Hop

Big shout out to Nicole Suzanne Brown who tagged me and my awesome novel Being Abigail for this author blog hop. 

What is the title of your book?

My book is titled Being Abigail. It is a humorous novel about a young woman who attempts to rebuild her life after a suicide big goes spectacularly awry.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Being Abigail is based on a fiction blog that I used to write titled Who Was Abigail Carter? The main characters themselves have been around for a lot longer though. When I was in my upper high school years, I wrote a number of interconnected short-stories featuring a teenage version of the same character. I started the blog one afternoon after I began to wonder what Abigail Carter would be like as an adult.

What genre does your book fall under?

Either chick-lit or contemporary life. Or maybe total lunacy. (Is that a genre, lol?)

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Provided she could do an Australian accent, I think that Amy Adams would be the perfect actress to play Abigail Carter. (Thanks largely to her brilliant performance in Junebug.)

Being Abigail $12.99 from Amazon or Createspace.

Feature Follow Friday

Yeah! It's time once again for Feature and Follow Friday, an awesome weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkie designed to help like-minded book bloggers connect. This week's all-important question is:

Q: Activity! Who do you want to be? If you could choose any character from a book. What do you think that character looks like and what do you have in common?

This is an interesting question. Clearly, I am that delightful darling, Severus Snape, owing to the uncanny resemblance between myself and Alan Rickman. See:


What is that camera doing in front of half of Snape's face? Okay, in all seriousness, I don't know how to answer this question. I think that family and friends have compared me to Jo March from Little Women, or more specifically Winona Ryder's portrayal of Jo March in the 1994 film adaption of Little Women, which can be summed up in part here:

Ahh, the young writer with big dreams and secret insecurities. Jo is the most independent and strong-willed of the four March sisters and pays a heavy price for her dreams and independence. It is Jo who watches her childhood friend marry her bratty sister Amy who is, in many ways her polar opposite. Even though Jo had the intelligence to know that a relationship with Laurie would never work, being cast aside for her younger, prettier and less intelligent sister still hurt. 

Who is your choice? Feel free to post a link below.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Cookie Monster Goes to Rehab (Family Guy)

For reasons that are unknown to me, people keep coming to my blog searching for this clip. So for all your souls out there looking for that Family Guy Cookie Monster moment, here it is ...

Oh, and just so that there is some kind of discussion here (thus avoiding nasty copyright laws,) do not eat too many cookies. Cookie addiction is bad and can have some far reaching consequences, as demonstrated in the video above. Even in rehab, Cookie Monster finds himself hiding cookies and then insatiably eating the evidence when confronted with them, thus hindering his progress in the rehabilitation process.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Review: The Gospel According to Peanuts by Robert L. Short

This book was a little gem that I discovered shortly after my grandmother passed away in 2003. We were tidying up her house and this book was discovered at the bottom of a suitcase. Assuming that it was simply a comic book, I took it home. What I got was a highly subjective analysis of the popular peanuts comic strip and a search for religious meanings and messages within the Peanuts comics. Apparently, this book was quite a big deal during the 1960s, and (at least according to wikipedia) sold more than ten million copies. 

Interestingly, Charles Schulz himself liked the book, though he described himself as a Secular Humourist, rather than belonging to a particular religion. This to me seems more consistent with the comics, which seem to comment more on human nature, rather than making the case for any one religion. If Christianity appears dominant throughout the comics, it is probably more a reflection of American suburban life in the 1960s, rather than an overt religious message. But that is just my own, equally subjective opinion.