Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Review: Slam! by Walter Dean Myers

ISBN: 0545055741
Published: May 1st, 2008
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Read from September 26th to 30th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Greg "Slam" Harris can do it all on the basketball court. He's seen ballplayers come and go, and he knows he could be one of the lucky ones. Maybe he'll make it to the top. Or maybe he'll stumble along the way. Slam's grades aren't that hot. And when his teachers jam his troubles in his face, he blows up.
Slam never doubted himself on the court until he found himself going one-on-one with his own future, and he didn't have the ball.


This was the first book that I read for my adolescent literature class that I didn't really enjoy. I think my biggest problem was that basketball played such a large role in the book. I don't tend to read sports books, and I was a bit wary of this book from the very beginning because of it. Still, I would have looked past it if there had been other interesting parts. Basketball was such a large role in the book though that I found myself skipping large chunks of the book because I was just bored of reading it. I know there are plenty of other people who would love it, but I just don't enjoy reading about basketball practices and games.

The rest of the book wasn't much better for me. I just didn't find the plot that interesting. Honestly, there didn't seem to be that much of a plot. I mean, there was I guess, but I didn't get what the point of the book was really supposed to be. For the most part, it felt just like the million basketball movies I was forced to sit through in high school, especially with the character who wants to show off as opposed to work as a team. It was so repetitive, and I almost think that's my biggest problem with sports book and movies. Every single one is exactly the same.

I don't want this review to come across as too negative. I'm sure this is a great book for people who enjoy books where sports play a large role. I'm just not one of those people, and this book didn't interest me at all.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Laundry's Not so Fun

It's laundry day for me. I just put everything in the washer, and now I'm waiting to go back down there and switch everything to the dryer. I'm not too fond of doing laundry, but I'm not really sure why. As far as chores go, it's pretty simple (for me, not so much with people who have to wash everyone in the families clothes). The worst part is lugging everything up and down the stairs in order to get to the basement where the machines are.

At least it only takes the morning. I'll be done by noon. In the meantime, I really need to get some homework done. I'm hoping to get it done rather early in the day too. I have a lot of it, but none of it should take that long, since I tend to do everything in bits and pieces over days. Then I can spend the rest of my Saturday doing whatever I feel like.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Awesome Semester

This semester seems to be going by so quickly. There's just two weeks until midterms now, but it feels like classes only started a couple of weeks ago. I think the fact that I really enjoy my classes this semester for the most part has really helped.

It's been a busy semester as well, but I haven't gotten to the point where I'm so stressed out that it's overwhelming. So far I've had a lot of work, but it's been okay, and I manage to get everything done without too much stress. I'm hoping it stays that way at least until finals in December.

I'm really excited because I'm taking more and more classes related to my majors, and those are the classes where the homework isn't quite so miserable to get through and what makes everything easier on me. I hope it stays that way in the future. I'm honestly a bit nervous about what next semester will be like, but it's still only September, so I shouldn't be worrying about that just yet. I have month or two.

I'm sure my classes will remain just as enjoyable for the rest of the semester, which is great for me. I'm really happy with all but one of them, and even that one isn't really all that bad. This semester is going great so far.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: John Paul II for Dummies by John Trigilio, Jr., Kenneth Brighenti, and Jonathan Toborowsky

ISBN: 0471773824
Published: December 1st, 2006
Publisher: For Dummies
Read from September 20th to 25th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The first Polish Pope, John Paul II, was a thinker and a leader whose religious convictions defined a new approach toward world politics--and changed the course of history. When he died on April 2, 2005, millions around the world mourned his passing. No other person in recent history has had such a tremendous display of respect and honor. The fact that so many non-Catholics honored this man attests to his effect on the world--and not just within his own religion.Now, you can get to know the man behind the papacy and appreciate his remarkable achievements. "John Paul II For Dummies" is a friendly, plain-English guide to the life and legacy of one of the world's most beloved religious leaders. You'll discover: The Pope's influences His personal struggles How he impacted the Church His approach to world politics The ways he spread his message.


Overall, I thought this book was a good resource. However, I also thought there were several things that I really didn't like about this book. The biggest thing for me was that large chunks of the book weren't really about John Paul II at all. In some cases, this didn't bother me. For instance, there's a whole chapter on history in order to set up what was going on during John Paul II's childhood. Since I love history, that chapter kept me entertained. There was also a whole chapter about Benedict XVI and other such things that got annoying. It wasn't so much that the chapters were uninteresting or bad, but the book is supposed to be about John Paul II and large parts of the book really weren't.

The book was also a bit outdated and has Benedict XVI as pope. However, it's been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read since Benedict XVI was pope, so I went into it expecting that.

If you are interested in books about John Paul II, then I think this one is worth at least checking out. The information is presented in a way that is easy to follow, although recounts of John Paul II's childhood include some weird time jumps. However, I also think it would be easy to find better books about John Paul II if you really wanted to learn more about his life.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

How I Met Your Mother Review: Season Nine Episode 1 ("The Locket") and Episode 2 ("Coming Back")

It feels so odd to be reviewing just two episodes of How I Met Your Mother and not half a season. It's going to take some time to adjust to only talking about one (or two in this case) episode at a time. I can go into a lot more detail about stuff without going on for ever and ever.

I loved finally getting the see the mother and actually discover some about her personality. I loved her interaction with Lily and how they met. I thought it was great that they seemed to get along so well and everything. The scene towards the end of the second episode with the mother and Ted a year later was also adorable. I got a bit emotional watching that. It's crazy how close we are to finally having Ted and the mother meet.

I also loved Robin and Barney in these two episodes. The part where they were worried they were related was hilarious, and the bit where Barney told him that he had Robin to show him that true love was real was so sweet.

The storyline with Marshall and the woman from the airplane was really hilarious, and now they're apparently driving to New York together. It will be interesting to see how long that drive lasts episode wise and how long she'll be around. I'm looking forward to that storyline because I'm sure it will be incredibly amusing.

That's all I really have to say on these two episodes. I'm so used to being really brief about things with the reviews of twelve episodes at a time. I'm sure I'll get used to one episode at a time reviews soon, and it will be easier for me to go more in depth about things other than just mentioning them.

Monday, September 23, 2013

So Much Subway

I had an awesome weekend, which sounds weird considering I did almost nothing but homework the entire time. Still, I did rush myself and kind of took forever with my homework, so it wasn't that there was a ton of work. I just wasn't entirely focused. Oddly, I feel like I had a relaxing weekend even though so much of it was full of work.

I did get plenty of time to write as well. That was almost the only thing I did other than homework, although I also took breaks to watch movies and TV shows several times.

I'm pretty sure that I will have tried everything on the Subway menu by the time I leave Marian. I say this because I tried something new this weekend. I got the steak and cheese because I wanted something different. What's the weirdest thing is that I think it was better after it was warmed up as leftovers. (I always get a footlong and eat it as two separate meals when I get Subway.) You know how when you work at a restaurant you never want to eat there again? That's what it's like being a Marian student, but it's the only option on campus other than the dining hall (and Knight and Day Cafe, which doesn't have much), so I deal with it sometimes.

I haven't even started school work today, so I really need to get to that. I'm in a rambling mood today, so I could probably go on forever. I won't though. I really need to focus on getting stuff done.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Book Blogs

This topic came from Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  I'm going through and doing all of the old themes whenever I get a chance here and on my Youtube channel.

I don't really have a "top ten" on book blogs. I follow a ton of really awesome ones that I would recommend people follow. For that reason, I went through my subscriptions and chose the ten that posted most recently.

The Perpetual Page Turner

BookHounds YA (and BookHounds)

A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust

Book Junkie Joint

Coffee, Books, & Me


Nerdy Book Club

She Known as Jess BlogSpot

Fantasy is More Fun

Loving Books

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

ISBN: 0547424779
Published: October 25th, 2011 (first published April 26th, 1993)
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
(Re)read September 12th to 16th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A Newbery Medal–winning classic is reinvented in a gift edition format with illustrations from the acclaimed artist Bagram Ibatoulline. Since winning the Newbery Medal in 1994, Lois Lowry’s The Giver has become one of the most influential novels of our time.This new illustrated edition, a celebration of the book’s standard of excellence and of Lowry’s illustrious writing, makes a perfect gift. The text is complemented by thirteen
new illustrations from the acclaimed artist Bagram Ibatoulline. Also included are a new introduction by the author and her inspiring Newbery Medal acceptance speech. The new content and gift packaging now make it easier than ever to introduce young readers to this riveting modern classic, and provide a fresh edition for its legions of fans. The story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. The Giver is the first in the trilogy of books that includes Gathering Blue and The Messenger.


I read The Giver for the first time in sixth grade, and it instantly become one of my all-time favorite books. However, it had been forever since I read it, so I was extremely excited that my adolescent literature class was reading it this semester. At first, I wasn't going to write a review since this book has been one of my favorites for such a long time, but then I figured that was all the more reason to review it.

The Giver was the first dystopian book that I ever read, which seems significant considering how much I love dystopian books today.

I really have no idea what the even say about this book because I just love it so much. I think it's an excellent book to use to introduce kids to dystopian as well, as it shows a somewhat scary society but not one that's overly frightening. It will definitely get kids to think about some important stuff.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Calmer Wednesday and Perfect Weather

I'm constantly referring to Wednesday as my "busy day" this semester. I have more classes on Wednesdays than any other day of the week, but that's not such a big deal as it's still only three classes. The thing is, one of these classes is a night class that's three hours. I'm not cut out for night classes. I can't concentrate during them even though I try.

Usually, my Wednesdays consist of classes, studying, homework, and little else. This Wednesday I don't have as much work as I typically do, so it's been a bit of an easier Wednesday than most. I still have a tiny bit of work to do, but other than that I just have to get through my night class in a few hours. We're supposed to have a guest speaker in there, so that should be interesting.

The weather is incredibly nice outside today. We're supposed to have a chance of rain and storms, but it definitely doesn't look like that's going to happen, which I'm thankful for. I hope it stays like this for a while. It's the perfect temperature and everything.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Busy Day and Discussions

It hasn't been a long day exactly, but it's been a busy one. I still have homework to do, and it's more than I would typically have at this time of day. I don't really feel rushed though. I don't have anything that will take a ton of time.

My classes were pretty great today. We had some interesting discussion in both of them. In one we were in groups, and we were discussing what we were going to do our reports on. Since we were discussing the reports, the conversation wasn't really all that related to the class really. Then, we discussed The Giver in my second class. The Giver is one of my all time favorite books, so I love talking about it.

I'm going to go film a video now. It's a book review, and I really want to get it filmed. Because of my homework though, I'm definitely not going to edit it tonight. In fact, it may be a couple of days before editing happens. Still, I'm going to get filming it out of the way now.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Start of a Better Week

Overall, my weekend was pretty great. I did homework and stuff, but the majority of it was just relaxing. It was great after my extremely stressful week last week. I haven't yet been to class today though, so I'm just hoping that this week isn't as stressful. I've been over all of the schedules for my classes, and this week shouldn't be as stressful as last week. Last week was just a bunch of stuff inconveniently lining up together in addition to other random things that happened. I have a lot of hope that this week will be better.

I have about twenty minutes until I need to get ready to go to class, and I want to use that time to read some of The Giver. I have to have it read by tomorrow, and I'm almost done. I doubt I'll finish by my next class, but we'll see.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How I Met Your Mother Season Eight Second Half Review

I've been watching How I Met Your Mother for almost three years, and I've finally managed to catch up! I'm so incredibly excited about this, and I'm really excited to actually watch season nine as it airs. There was so much that happened in the second half of season eight though, and I really want to talk about some of it.

Everything about Robin and Barney and their relationship makes me happy. I love them so much, and I'm incredibly excited to see their wedding next season. It does bother me a little that Ted is apparently still not completely over Robin though. I understand, but it's also getting a little frustrating at this point.

There were several Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars references that made me happy. They even referenced Little House on the Prairie in the last episode when talking about how Lily and Marshall's apartment no longer had phone service or wifi. I loved it.

I'm pretty sure I mentioned this in the last review, but I love when they show Marvin. He's so cute and adorable. I just love when he pops up every so often.

I'm really interested to find out what happens with the moving to Rome/judgeship thing. There's not really an all around happy way to resolve that, so it'll be interesting to see what they do.

I'm also really excited that I finally got to see the mother. I'm so happy that I finally know what she looks like. I just want season nine to air, so I can see what happens! I guess I'm lucky in that way, since I only have to wait a little more than a week now that I've finished season eight.

There's a lot more I could say, but I want to keep it kind of brief. I plan on doing reviews episode by episode now for season nine though. I'm doing it for Legend of Korra at the moment too, so we'll see how that goes. They'll both be either here or on my Youtube channel. I've already reviewed this week's Korra episode, but I haven't edited and posted it yet. It may get kind of hectic doing reviews of both every week, but I'm sure I can manage.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Another Saturday

This week has been a hard one, so I'm insanely excited that it's Saturday, even if I did spend the entire morning doing laundry. I have a lot of work still to do today too, but I've made at least some progress with that homework. Hopefully, it won't take too long.

The Korra season two premiere was last night! It was incredible, but I'm going to film a review later, so I won't say much about it now. There was just so much that I don't know how I'm going to keep myself from ranting about it for an hour.

I really do need to get my homework done though so I can move on to other things. It shouldn't take incredibly long. Hopefully.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Harry Potter Movie and Studying

Today has been a pretty great day. In case you hadn't heard, there's going to be a new Harry Potter movie! It'll be based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and I am beyond excited. J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay herself! I woke up to the news, and it was just about the greatest thing in the world. It's even going to take place in New York. We're going to see the American wizarding world!

Not only was there that news and a lot of rejoicing on the Internet, but we also talked about the movie in one of my classes today. It was in addition to talking about the various covers of the books during our discussion on book marketing. I love when Harry Potter comes up in class. (One Direction was also mentioned at one point, so yay for that as well.)

I handed in a portfolio in one class and a paper in another, and I'm quite happy to be done with both of those assignments. Still, I have my first humanities test tomorrow, and I'm stressing about it a lot. It's just the artist names (in Greek) and the list of epic qualities and such that are causing me problems. I'm hoping I'll get a decent grade because I have most of the other stuff down. I just can't remember those things for the life of me. I suck with remembering English names (it's a horrible struggle during movies), so learning these ancient Greek artist's names is nearly impossible no matter what I do.

For now though, I need to get started reading The Giver for my adolescent literature class. I haven't read it in years, and it's one of my favorites. I'm excited to re-read it!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lots and Lots of Papers (And a Korra Trailer)

I've been really worn out this week, but nothing has really happened to warrant that. Well, other than the fact that I'm having trouble sleeping at night, but I'm not really sure why that has been. I'm hoping I start sleeping better though because I'm tired of being tired.

My week so far has been a pretty normal week. On Monday I had my first meeting with one of my professors who is helping me with my portfolio that I'll need when I apply for the next "level" of the education program. (It's a bit difficult to explain it all, so I won't try here.) Other than that and classes, I've just been working on homework a lot. I have a lot of papers to write, which is to be expected since I'm an English major, but I have a ton due the next couple of days. They've been taking up quite a bit of my time. All of these current ones will be turned in on Thursday though, and that will be a bit of relief for me.

There was a new Korra trailer today! It was incredible. I'm getting more and more excited as the days go on. I have no idea how I'm going to make it to Friday.

Book Review: 52 Tips for Freelance Writers by Karen Banes

Published: July 13th, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Read from September 7th to 9th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
This freelance writing guide is for writers who want to organize and simplify their writing life. Learn the tips and tricks experienced freelance writers use to help them run their freelance writing businesses and still leave time for getting the writing done.
In this writing guide you'll find tips that will help you:
Find time to dedicate to your writing.
Get more writing done each day.
Find markets to sell your writing to.
Improve your writing style.
Learn more about the craft of creative writing and the business of freelance writing.
Edit and proof your work quickly and effectively.
Run your freelance finances.
Make a difference with the writing you produce and publish.
Connect with other writers both online and off.
Organize your online life so that you can promote your writing business and still have time to write.


This book offers some great advice for freelance writers and even people interested in becoming freelance writers. As someone who has thought about becoming a freelance writer, I thought it was a good book that was full of some great advice.

A lot of it is information that you will find other places, but the book is well organized and a quick read. I definitely recommend it to anyone with even the slightest of interest in becoming a freelance writer, but it's especially helpful to those who are just starting out. Some of it you may already know and some may make you think differently. If you're planning on becoming a freelance writer, this book will help you understand a bit more about what you need to do to be successful.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lazy Weekends and OVC

I wasn't feeling too well yesterday, but luckily, today is looking better so far. I really just plan to be lazy today anyway. I have some homework to do, but other than that my plans consist of watching Ouran and stuff.

I actually thought today was Monday last night, and when I remembered that today was Sunday that didn't seem right because the weekend had been to long. It's really weird because that never happens to me. The weekends always fly by. I'm not complaining though because a longer feeling weekend is appreciated at the moment.

There are only a handful of people who know this, but I spent a significant time for several years in my childhood watching QVC nonstop. Yeah, it's weird. I know. Eventually, I stopped watching it. (I've never actually bought anything, just so you know.) It was kind of a gradual thing where I just watched it less and less until I didn't at all. Well, yesterday I randomly decided to turn it on for some reason. It's now been on nonstop since yesterday morning except when I was asleep or left the room. This may be a problem... I don't know what started this. I don't even know what it is about me and QVC in the first place. I hate shopping. (Also, it's crazy because it's been years and good deal of the hosts from when I used to watch are still there. For some reason that kind of surprised me.)

I'm going to go get some work done so I can spend the rest of the day relaxing. Let's hope it doesn't take too long.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sentimentalism and Old Cartoons

I get TV theme songs stuck in my head all of the time. It's a problem. Oddly enough, the longer it's been since I've seen a show, the more likely I am to realize that I'm singing the theme song. It happens most often with cartoons that I used to watch as a kid. I may not have seen that show in years, but I'll just start singing the theme song out of nowhere. From there, other cartoon theme songs start popping into my head, and it continues for the rest of the day. I'd say this happens roughly once a week or so at the very least.

The worst is the rare occasion when a theme song gets stuck in my head, and for some reason I decide that I'm going to look up the theme song on Youtube, even though I know what will happen. Then I spend at least an hour going through theme songs of old 90's cartoons. Sometimes this eventually turns into watching theme songs from live action shows as well or even newer shows. However, that may be worse than the other option, which is it turning into me watching actual whole episodes of these cartoons if they're on Youtube. I can waste an insane amount of time if I get sentimental.

Netflix got rid of all of the old Nickelodeon cartoons a few months back, and I was insanely disappointed. It was probably more of a positive than a negative though, since I don't really need Netflix making these sentimental moments even more time wasting.

One thing that I do get from these type of moments though: I need to stock up on DVDs of all of these old shows. Both just for myself, but also for my future children. You better believe that I'm forcing them to watch every single show I liked as a kid.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Embarrassing Baby Pictures

You know that stereotypical storyline in movies and stuff where a teenager is getting ready for a date and the parents (or mother at least) brings out baby pictures and embarasses their kid? Am I the only one that doesn't see that as being all that realistic?

It seems to happen in fiction all the time, and I just don't get it. Not that I have much experience for this sort of thing, but I can't see my parents bringing out photo albums out for that sort of thing.

Even if they did though, I wouldn't really be embarrassed. I mean, maybe I would be a bit awkward about it since I'm a bit awkward about everything, but I don't find my childhood pictures to be embarrassing. There's one picture that I know exists somewhere of my sister and I in a bathtub together as toddlers that I would prefer for no one to see, but other than that, I don't really care who sees my baby pictures. Yeah, I'm acting really goofy in a lot of them, but none of them are anything worth hiding for some reason.

This was just something I happened to think of the other day. I've never really questioned it before because it was everywhere and I just kind of accepted it. After thinking about it though, I realized that I just couldn't relate to that. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that are embarrassed by their baby pictures. I'm just not one of them.

Friday and Midnight Memories

I'm so thankful it's Friday. This entire week has felt off since the three day weekend last week, so I'm hoping that come Monday my days will actually feel right again. It's looking like I'm going to be packed with homework this weekend though, so I don't know about relaxing or anything.

One Direction's new album title and the release date was announced today! I wasn't expecting it, so it was a nice surprise. The release date is around the time I was expecting, but the title (Midnight Memories) was a bit of a surprise. I wasn't really expecting any sort of title, but that title just kind of struck me as unexpected. I'm wondering if it's a song title (like Up All Night was) or just lyrics from a song (like Take Me Home was) or what. It's supposed to go on pre-order Monday, and I really hope I'm able to order it. I'm not actually sure how much money I have in my checking account at this moment though, so it may or may not happen. I could use PayPal, but I try to avoid that option as much as possible.

I still have a decent amount of homework I want to finish today, but since it's Friday and I'm done with classes, I think I'm going to relax a bit before getting back to that. At least I can stay up late tonight if I need to without regretting it tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hectic After a Three Day Weekend

Tuesday was really hectic adjusting after the three day weekend. The biggest reason for that was that I had to go to a meeting with the education department yesterday that was an hour and a half long. There was a lot of important information, of course, but there's no doubt that it took up a lot of time.

Today is my busiest day of the week typically, since my night class is tonight. I'm hoping I can get all of my work done before that class, but who knows. I have quite a bit of it today. I've already done a fair amount though, and I haven't even been to my first class yet. I'm going to go read The Boy in Striped Pajamas. I have to have it read by tomorrow, and I want to get farther in it before my first class. It's a relatively short book, and I'm already more than half done. Hopefully it won't take long.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review: Praying in Rome by Timothy M. Dolan

ISBN: 0804139288
Published: July 9th, 2013
Publisher: Image
Read from August 26th to September 2nd, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
The Archbishop of New York offers his insight on his time in Rome, the Conclave and the election of a new Holy Father, Pope Francis.
Since February 2013, many have asked Cardinal Timothy Dolan to comment about Pope Benedict XVI's resignation, his final days in the Vatican, the Conclave, and the excitement and joy of the election of Pope Francis. Those two months--between the time Pope Benedict announced his retirement up until the election of Pope Francis--were a deeply spiritual and important period for the Cardinal. In this eBook original, he reflects on that most exciting of times. By turns, witty, provocative, and inspiring Cardinal Dolan gives a first hand account of what happened during those days and what it means for the future of the Church.


I thought this book was excellent. First of all, it's relatively short. As I read it on my Kindle, I can't give you an exact page number, but I feel as if it couldn't be more than two hundred pages at the absolute most. It's entirely possible that it's less than a hundred. Either way, it's definitely a quick read. I would have been finished with it much faster if I hadn't been so busy while reading. If you want something short to read in one sitting, I would definitely recommend this book for that.

In addition to being on the shorter side, I loved the writing style. It's written in a very conversational style that I loved. It's not formal at all. It's also very honest. It's intriguing to read about the conclave from the point of view of one of the cardinals, and since it was Dolan's first conclave, his views on it is even funner to read. He is fascinated by everything happening, and that helps make the reader just as fascinated. His writing style makes me want to check out his other books as well. I'm a big fan of it.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about the conclave from the point of view of someone who was there. I think it's a fascinating look at an event that few actually get to witness, and the writing style in this book is great. I just all around loved this book, and I would recommend it to just about anyone who has any interest at all in the conclave. As I said, it's a quick read, so it can't hurt to check it out and see if you like it.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Traveling

I should not be writing this since I still have a decent amount of homework to do and it's somewhat late. However, I think the fact that I have no motivation to do homework is what's causing me to write this. I really have no motivation to do anything.

I just got back to school less than an hour ago, so I was in the car for almost four hours. Once we got to Indianapolis, we walked around downtown Indy for a while. My sister is currently going to school with a Swedish exchange student, and she came with us. It was fun because she seemed really excited to see Indy. It was the biggest city she'd been to in the United States other than the Chicago airport. Still, I'm exhausted after the car ride and that all day, so I'm not happy to be doing homework now. Hopefully, this work won't take too long.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long week, even if it's only four days of classes...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

ISBN: 0393926354
Published: January 1st, 2006 (first published 1911)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Read from August 22nd to 26th, 2013
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Born in England and transplanted to New York toward the end of the Civil War, Burnett made her home in both countries, and today both countries claim her as their own. The Secret Garden, her best-known work, became an instant modern classic and world-wide bestseller upon its publication in 1911. The text of this Norton Critical Edition is based on the first edition and is accompanied by explanatory annotations. "Backgrounds and Contexts" and "Letters" illuminate important aspects of Burnett s life and work and include her own writings on gardens and their spiritual healing. Four illustrations point to Burnett s prominence in popular culture. "Criticism" includes fourteen contemporary reviews and nine recent critical views of The Secret Garden, including Jerry Phillips s sociopolitical interpretation and Phyllis Bixler s comparative analysis of the Broadway musical adaptation of the novel. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.


The best word I can think of to describe this book is "cute." I read this for my adolescent literature class, and when the entire class was asked what they liked and disliked about the book, quite a few mentioned that they were put off by the cuteness of the book. I didn't have that problem at all though. I quite enjoyed how cute it was, but maybe that's because I went into the book expecting that and I had kind of accepted it or something.

Prior to taking this class, I'd heard of The Secret Garden and had absolutely no desire to read it. I only had an extremely vague idea of what it was about, and it didn't sound interesting to me at all. I'm kind of glad that I had to read it for school because I really enjoyed it. There were parts where I got a little bored, but overall, I thought it was a really good book.

The Norton Critical Edition (which is the edition required for my class) also has essays and such on the novel, and we're currently reading some of those for the class. I really enjoy those as well because they present quite a few different ways of looking at the novel, and many of them are about things that I would have never thought of on my own.

I definitely don't think this book is for everyone, but I found it enjoyable. It's definitely a "cute" novel, so if you think you would enjoy that, then I recommend checking it out.

Back to Hogwarts

It's September 1st. It's also nearing nine at night in Britain as I'm writing this, so I'm going to assume that the Hogwarts Express has already made it to Hogwarts.

We were supposed to all go over to my grandma's today, but she's apparently hurt herself (pulled her neck is what I was told), so she canceled it. It sucks that I won't get to see my family, but it does mean that I've had time to get homework done today (fun, I know). I'm pretty much done with all the work I need to do at this point, but I do need to read a bit of The Illiad. I think I'm going to take a bit of a break before getting to that though, since I've been doing homework for a while now.

After I get my work done, the rest of my day is probably going to be watching Little House and/or something on Netflix. This is pretty much the only day I get to relax at home, since I go back to school tomorrow and was busy the past two days. It's nice.