Thursday, January 28, 2016

Treasure Island Book Review

Goodreads Synopsis-- The most popular pirate story ever written in English, featuring one of literature’s most beloved “bad guys,” Treasure Island has been happily devoured by several generations of boys—and girls—and grownups. Its unforgettable characters include: young Jim Hawkins, who finds himself owner of a map to Treasure Island, where the fabled pirate booty is buried; honest Captain Smollett, heroic Dr. Livesey, and the good-hearted but obtuse Squire Trelawney, who help Jim on his quest for the treasure; the frightening Blind Pew, double-dealing Israel Hands, and seemingly mad Ben Gunn, buccaneers of varying shades of menace; and, of course, garrulous, affable, ambiguous Long John Silver, who is one moment a friendly, laughing, one-legged sea-cook . . .and the next a dangerous pirate leader!


So, for the 12 Month Classics Challenge, hosted here, January's read was "a classic you've always wanted to read". Treasure Island has been waiting on my Goodreads to-read shelf since 2012, so I thought it qualified. ;)

Um...I liked the writing style in certain areas, and the sense of adventure, and plot twists. However, this book just wasn't my favorite. I'm glad I read it because it's a classic and remarkably influential in the pirate-genre, but I couldn't say I ate it up. :)

Honestly, I'm not sure how to identify what precisely I didn't enjoy.

The villain, Long John Silver, was my favorite character, the descriptions of the island were lovely, the pace of plot was over-all well done, and considering that it was a pirate story, the content issues were minimal(minus, of course, some violence).

But don't misunderstand me, if you enjoy pirates, Robert Louis Stevenson, or action stories, you should definitely give this a try, if only to gage your own opinion.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Blogging About Blogs Tag

Hello! Here I am again, this time to fill out a tag Hamlette created at her blog, Hamlette's Soliloquy. Technically, she didn't tag me, but she left it open for anyone, so thank you, Hamlette!


Thank the person who tagged you. 
Answer the questions
Tag some blogging friends

Blog that makes me laugh

Rustling Thoughts . I appreciate Chloe's implementation of humor, and her choice of gifs is awesome. :) 

Blog that makes me think

Blog that teaches me things

Blog with beautiful headers

The Day That The Lord Has Made. Seriously, her headers are gorgeous. 

Blogger who takes great pictures

Blogger whose recommendations I trust

New blog I'm enjoying

Blog I've followed the longest

Blog I've started following the most recently

Also, I think Sunshine and Scribblings. 

Not only do these blogs qualify for the particular category they're labeled under, but I highly recommend all of them! Go check them out! 

I tag everyone whom I mentioned in the blog. Besides, of course, those who have already participated.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

I Identify With Bilbo Baggins

So, a few weeks ago, while referencing my overnight Tolkien-themed movie marathon, I mentioned posting "a review or something". So here's my "something". : )

According to a small flowchart in my brother's "Hobbit Activity Book" which he acquired as a birthday present a few years ago, I am most like Bilbo. I never really appreciated that result.

Bilbo? Really? 

I wanted to be Thorin or maybe Gandalf. Someone important and serious. But on watching An Unexpected Journey again, I realized how many similarities we share, so here I am to relate those to you. :)

Bilbo Missed Bag End

I love to travel. And when we travel, I don't necessarily suffer from homesicknesses. However, I often prefer staying at home and watching Doctor Who or reading a good Sherlock Holmes mystery to venturing out and about. Of course, there are many activities outside of my neighborhood which I enjoy immensely(visiting the library, shopping at the mall, going to the movies), but hanging out at the house doesn't grow dull quickly. Which leads me to my next point...

Bilbo's Reactions To An Adventure

I'm not sure if I'm technically an introvert, since I do enjoy talking a lot(if you've met me, you know :D), but I do have some introverted tendencies. But at the same time, I totally get Bilbo's "Tookish side". I have a "Tookish side", despite the fact that no one in my distant family is named Took.

Reading adventure stories or watching fantasy movies excites such feelings, but, as with Bilbo, I'd definitely feel out of place if anything like that were to ever happen to me.

I Keep A Journal
Of course, Bilbo's "red book" wasn't exactly a journal, however he felt the desire to chronicle his adventures through pen and ink, just like I constantly jot down my thoughts and reflections on books, movies, and the world in general.

An Unexpected Gathering of Thirteen Dwarves Would Scare Me

This one might seem silly, because who wouldn't be startled if thirteen dwarves spontaneously appeared on the doorstep. But I think Bilbo's reaction paralleled mine in many ways.

I'm sorry, but do I know you?

Which LotR characters do you identify with? 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Inkling Explorations[January 2016]

My first time to participate in Heidi's monthly link-up! : ) January is:

A New Year of 'new beginning' passage in literature

When I read the words "new beginning" the first passage that came to mind was the below quote from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol.

Ebenezer's overnight shift from his tasteless, miserly habits to a warm, grandfather-esque disposition, must be one of the most famous "new beginning" experiences in literature, outside perhaps of dramatic conversion stories. So here you are--

He was so fluttered and glowing with his good intentions that his broken voice would scarcely answer to his call. He had been sobbing violently in his conflict with the Spirit, and his face was wet with tears. 
"They are not torn down," cried Scrooge, folding one of his bed curtains in his arms--"they are not torn down, rings and all. They are here--I am here--the shadows of the things that would have been may be dispelled. They will be. I know they will!"
His hands were busy with his garments all this time turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, making them parties to every kind of extravagance.
"I don't know what to do!" cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath, and making a perfect Lacoön of himself with his stockings. "I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!"
Have you read The Christmas Carol? What did you think?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Angel on the Square Book Review

I chose this book as my first re-read of the year, for the Hard Core Re-Reading Challenge. My last read was on audio a year and a few months ago. This time, reading it in print reminded me how much I love this little story, and refreshed my memory so I can finish the series.

Goodreads Synopsis: In the fall of 1914, safe behind palace walls, Katya Ivanova sees St. Petersburg as a magical place.The daughter of a lady-in-waiting to the Empress, Katya spends all her time with the Grand Duchesses; the royal family feels like her own. But outside the palace, a terrible war is sweeping through Europe, and Russia is beginning to crumble under the weight of a growing revolution. Now, as Katya's once-certain future begins to dissolve, she must seek to understand what is happening to her beloved country and, for the first time in her life, take charge of her own destiny. 

^^Believe me, it's less cheesy and stereo-typical than this makes it sound. :) 

Angel on the Square must be one of the best historical fiction books I've read lately. Gloria Whelan coaxed the bold, big font pages into evoking strong sympathy for the heroes and not-so-heroic main characters, then hatred towards the villains.

None of the characters were delicate, shallow shadows, but rather, sinful, warm, and genuine humans, so that began to I appreciate nearly each character for who he/she was.

That said, Angel on the Square does slip into some un-original tricks. The metaphors and basic character structures sag into the over-used realm, but the novel pulls off a little sparkle and freshness, anyways.

If you're looking for a simple, sweet study of Russian history, try it! The book does weigh with a teensy excessive history and gloom towards the end, but offered a beautiful story, regardless.

Favorite Character: Misha