Posted on September 27, 2009 by essenceofinsanity
The other day I was zoning out in my Literary Analysis class, idling doodling on my notes like I usually do. There were fifteen minutes left in class and I was counting down. It was the last day we were talking about Sent For You Yesterday, which is a very confusing and boring book. The author neglected to use quotation marks throughout the entire novel. I may be new to my English Minor, but I could’ve sworn quotation marks were a standard convention in the English language.
Anyway, the teacher had connected that book with one we will be reading in a few weeks, Anna Karenina. I have actually been looking forward to reading that one since I’ve heard it’s good. I looked up and started paying attention. Then, he told us exactly what’s going to happen in Anna Karenina! He spoiled the whole thing! I was just staring at him, trying to comprehend what he had just done. I immediately grabbed my iPod and hid it under my desk while I texted my friend who was sitting next to me (gotta love the new way of passing notes). I could not believe he’d actually done that.
I hate spoilers. I am completely anti-spoiler. I flat out refuse to spoil any book to anyone, no matter how much they want me to. I am so incredibly mad that my teacher spoiled Anna Karenina. Seriously, what kind of teacher does that?
Filed under: Other Books, Really Grinds My Gears | 2 Comments »
Posted on September 9, 2009 by essenceofinsanity
Class has been in session for over a week now, so I have sat through enough lectures to give you a sufficient opinion on my edumacation for the semester. This semester is odd because only three of my classes have meeting times. Besides them, I am working in a research lab and working on my senior thesis.
Class number one is Literary Analysis and is currently top pick for the semester’s most boring class. It is a required class for every English major and minor, hence the reason I am taking it. Right now, the only good thing about it is that my roommate is taking it with me and we get to rant about it after we leave the room.
This class involves reading five novels. The first one, which we are currently reading is called A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe. I will not recommend anyone read this book. It is awful. How it won a Nobel Prize I’ll never know. I’m quite happy that we only have one more day of discussing it.
The professor is kind of strange. He cannot stand still for more than a minute and spends class pacing in front of the chalkboard. On the first day he freely admitted that he was the toughest grader in the English department and that he has favorites. His favorites are those who speak in class. I don’t really speak in class much. Yeah, I’m kind of screwed.
Second class is Fiction Workshop and is currently holding the place of my favorite class. A few of my friends from Creative Writing are in it, which adds to its awesomeness. We each have to write two short stories and read a bunch of short stories from an anthology. All of our stories get critiqued in front of class. I’m already working on my first short story and I plan on putting it online once I’m finished. The professor is very nice and seems quite normal. Definitely an enjoyable class so far.
Third class is Animal Behavior. This class is good so far, although we’re still learning about the history of Animal Behavior. Then comes the research methods section, which is guaranteed to be boring. I’m sure it’ll pick up after that. I just can’t wait until we do the unit on animals and their desire to locate and consume food. I almost wish we had to do a paper on that because I could easily write a 20 page paper about Benny and his insane desire for food.
There’s not much to say about my other two classes. In the research lab I’ll be conducting research, but I can’t blog about ongoing research. I haven’t really started my thesis yet, so there’s nothing to say about it.
Filed under: Other Books, The Daily Grind, Writing | 5 Comments »
Posted on September 5, 2009 by essenceofinsanity
Almost a year ago one of my sisters and one of my friends demanded that I read a book called The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I agreed, as both of them have good taste in books. I got the book out of the library and read the insert. Not something I would’ve picked up if it hadn’t been recommended to me. I’ll admit that I was skeptical, but I began to read it and was completely blown away.
The plot is so gripping and the characters developed and it is one of the only books I’ve read that have kept me as hooked as Harry Potter did. That’s saying something.
A few days ago the second book in the trilogy came out, Catching Fire, and it managed to blow me away again. I could not put it down. There were cliffhangers and plot twists at the end of most of the chapters and nothing happened as I expected, which is good.
Due to the cliffhanger at the end of the book, I cannot wait until the third one comes out. If anyone is looking for something to read, I highly recommend both books.
Filed under: Other Books | 4 Comments »
Posted on July 1, 2009 by essenceofinsanity
I saw My Sister’s Keeper last night. I was quite excited about this movie for a variety of reasons. First, I absolutely love Jodi Picoult’s novels and My Sister’s Keeper is my favorite of hers. It’s actually one of my favorite books in general, right up there with Harry Potter and that’s saying something. Second, it inspired me to write In Moonlight’s Shadow. If you read both My Sister’s Keeper and In Moonlight’s Shadow, you’ll probably be able to see the similarities.
However, I was incredibly disappointed in the movie. They absolutely killed it. I wasn’t expecting it to live up to the book, but I also was not expecting them to completley change the plot and message. *CAUTION SPOILERS BELOW*
The first thing I noticed was that they pretty much cut the Jesse plot line. In the book, Jesse (the older brother) starts setting fires as he’s dealing with Kate’s cancer. That was cut. Honestly, I can understand why they cut that part. Movies do have to cut stuff. But then they haphazardly threw in this made-up plot about Jesse having dyslexia. Then at the end of the movie, they mentioned how he went back to school. Kind of confusing since it was never mentioned that he dropped out. I think they shouldn’t have bothered with the dyslexia plot line.
Second, the movie focused mostly on Kate’s cancer. Now, at first glance that would make sense because the book is about a girl with cancer. But it’s really so much more. The book focused so much on the family dynamics and Anna’s relationship with her mother and how she was suing her parents. It really showed how Kate’s cancer was tearing her family apart. Most of that was cut.
I could have dealt with all that. I really could have. But then they had to go and change the entire ending!!!! In the book, Anna dies and Kate gets her kidney and lives. In the movie, Kate dies. Completely different. They took a book that has one of the best twist endings I have ever read in my life and turned it into a tear-jerker Hallmark movie. I cried more at the book, actually, because of that twist ending. I did cry at the movie, but I didn’t cry much at the end because I was too preoccupied with the change of ending.
I don’t recommend it. I highly recommend reading the book. Don’t see the movie and then read the book. Read the book and then see the movie if you really want to. It’s not one I’d see again and certainly not one I would buy.
Filed under: Movies, Other Books, Really Grinds My Gears | 6 Comments »
Posted on April 2, 2009 by essenceofinsanity
Every year Harry Potter Fan Fiction (HPFF) pulls an April Fool’s Day prank on the archieve and the forums. Last year they turned the entire site into a site devoted only to Harry/Cho and Sirius/Lily ships (short for relationships, basically only stories where Harry & Cho and Sirius & Lily go out). It was my first prank on that site (I’d only been a member for a few days) and I completely fell for it. They left it up for a few days, so a lot of people thought it was real.
Ever since then I’d been anticipating this year’s prank because I knew I would not fall for it. Sure enough, Tuesday evening, HPFF turned into TwilightSauce. It became a fan fiction site devoted to Twilight. This is especially funny because a lot of Harry Potter fans can’t stand Twilight. I like them both, although nothing will ever come close to my Harry Potter obsession. The TwilightSauce site is actually incredibly funny, if you care to check it out. It’s still up. But the admins put HPFF back up yesterday. A lot of people fell for it, but I was just laughing. This was the best prank I’ve seen them pull.
Filed under: Harry Potter, Mischief Managed, Other Books, the humor of life | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 9, 2009 by essenceofinsanity
I have never read Stephen King’s novels, mainly because horror books have never interested me. I have no doubt that he is a great writer, though. He has been recognized as one of the most brilliant writers of our time.
He recently gave an interview in which he said of Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight series), “Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”
I was disgusted that he came out with such a horrible comment. I understand that a lot of people do not like the way Stephenie Meyer writes, but for such a popular author to just insult her like that is awful. He didn’t elaborate on what he doesn’t like about her writing. Telling someone their writing is horrible is not constructive criticism. I think he should have just mentioned exactly what he doesn’t like about it and maybe something she could do to improve.
Criticism like that feels awful, no matter how many books you’ve sold and how much money you’ve made from them. Stephenie Meyer is a popular author; book sales prove that. But to have someone as famous as Stephen King insult your writing like that has got to feel awful. There are so many more tactful things Stephen King could have said instead.
Just imagine if Stephenie Meyer had said that Stephen King’s writing was horrible. I doubt people would have the same reaction. More people would be outraged. I am sure she would be receiving flaming all over the Internet. But when Stephen King says that Stephenie Meyer can’t write? People all over the Internet are laughing about it and saying they agree with him.
Stephen King may be a better writer than Stephenie Meyer, but I have a lot more respect for Stephenie Meyer. She isn’t giving interviews where she insults fellow authors. Stephen King But the fact that he insulted Stephenie Meyer like that makes me even less likely to read his books. I’ve lost some respect for him.
Filed under: Harry Potter, Other Books, Really Grinds My Gears | Tagged: Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer, Twilight | 6 Comments »
Posted on September 28, 2008 by essenceofinsanity
I just finished reading The Great Gatsby which I had to read for my English class. I had heard a lot of good things about this book and was looking forward to reading a good book after the previous book, The Ladies’ Paradise, which wasn’t good at all.
But, I have to admit that I just don’t get the appeal of The Great Gatsby. Honestly, I found it rather confusing. It took me half a chapter to realize that Jay Gatsby wasn’t the one narrating the novel. It also kind of seemed to be all over the place, as far as settings went. It would switch from one setting to the next, without really letting the reader know. Then there was the ending. That confused the hell out of me. Did Gatsby kill Wilson or not? I didn’t even realize that Gatsby had been killed, until someone mentioned his funeral.
Well, now I can say that I’ve read it, but I can’t say I’ll read it again. I have found that most of these classic books are not really ones that I enjoy.
Filed under: Other Books, The Daily Grind | 6 Comments »
Posted on September 25, 2008 by essenceofinsanity
Yoon has informed me of a list of 100 books that everyone should supposedly read. It was published by The Big Read.
Here is the list. The titles in bold, I have read. The ones underlined are ones I love. And the ones that are italicized are books I intend to read in the near future. I have also taken the liberty to put my favorite book in green and my least favorite in brown. I’ve actually read 16, which isn’t bad. There’s a bunch I plan on reading at some point, too.
1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. 1984 – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (I’m actually currently reading it)
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time- Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92.The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
Filed under: Harry Potter, Other Books | 8 Comments »
Posted on September 12, 2008 by essenceofinsanity
As I promised, I shall now make a post about the books I have to read for English. The one we’re reading right now is called The Ladies’ Paradise by Emile Zola. This particular novel was written in the late 1800′s, in French. It was translated, obviously. It is quite a tedious read, owing to the fact that Zola feels the need to describe every display and every piece of fabric that are in the store. The book itself is about a department store in Paris and how it affects the employees, customers, and other shops nearby. It’s honestly not that bad of a plot, but it’s extremely long and I have to finish it by Tuesday. I have three chapters left, at 30-40 pages per chapter. I think I will be able to get it done, but only time will tell.
Fortunately, the essay assigned with this book involves comparing a modern day store with the store in the novel. This will be quite a simple task, since I will just compare it with the store I work at. I will easily be able to write the required 3-4 pages on this topic.
The rest of the novels are The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand. I hope they are at least somewhat interesting.
Filed under: Other Books, The Daily Grind | 7 Comments »
Posted on April 30, 2008 by essenceofinsanity
Today, after I dropped my sister and her friend off at dance class, I went to the library. My main reason for going was to try sending emails with their wireless network. I recently set up Thunderbird email on my laptop, and for some strange reason I have not been able to send emails using this on my school’s wireless network. It works perfectly fine at home, but not at school. So my dad told me test it at the library and see if it would work there. It did. I’ve got no idea why it won’t work at school.
Anyway, while I was there I decided to see if they had the 4th Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book. They did and I got it. I also decided to check and see if they had Deathly Hallows on CD, since I never finished listening to it when I last checked it out. Sadly, they did not. However, they did replenish their supply of Harry Potter bookmarks!
A couple of months ago, they had a pile of HP bookmarks in the children’s section. There were 7 different kinds and I took 2 of them, one of each kind they had. Today, I noticed that they had three of the ones I did not have. I was so excited! I now have numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7. I only need 2 more and I’ll have the whole set. But I’m not sure if I’ll ever find them since these are leftover from the book release last summer. But anyway, this made my day. They’re cool bookmarks. They each have a different question on them, such as ‘Who will live? Who will die?’ and ‘Will Voldemort be defeated?’ I now have 3 new bookmarks to add to my extensive collection of Harry Potter stuff, yay!
Filed under: Electronics, Harry Potter, Other Books | 4 Comments »