Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekly reads

Allergies are trying to murder me. All of these little pollens must have congergated outside my window and had some sort of Mel Gibson Patriot-esque speech and thusly charged, full of spirit and ideals, directly at me. I'm losing this battle- I'm in full on British retreat mode and am in bed at 11 in the morning alternating crocheting and being despondent. That's what that extremely poorly lit picture of Tazo is suppose to represent.
That being said, here's what I'm reading this week.

The Host has been on my reading list since it was published. I'm going to be upfront with you I read the beginning of the Twilight series while I was in high school and was obsessed with it. It was a comfortable series to read if that makes sense. It stirred emotion in me, it contained a lot of detail and it wasn't challenging. However, I went back to read it after the first movie came out and was sorely disappointed. It was predictable, forced and wooden. By the fourth book I was over Stephanie Myers' writing. Even thought I had people tell me The Host was different, was better even I was just not interested.
Well, I finished The Mists of Avalon (review to be posted hopefully this week) and found that I was totally emotionally tapped out. Not wanting to lose my reading momentum (after I finished American Gods I don't think I read anything of substance for 3 months) I looked for a non-challenging book. Since the movie is coming out, or is out I haven't really paid attention, it's back on my radar.
Right now, I'm about 12 chapters in and I'm uncommitted. The parts that don't have to deal with romance are intriguing. Myers is capable of writing to distinct female leads who are opposite but not boring when they stand alone. That's all fine but her romantic scenes are just odd. Melanie, her strong survivalist character turns into Bella Swan. Seriously, you could swap the scenes out of either book and not miss a beat.
I know I'm not so far in on this book that I should just give up on it but the beginning of it was so far from the two dimensional characters of the Twilight series that my hopes seemed too high for the other aspects of the book.

I joined a classic reading group on Goodreads last summer after I read Little Women and decided that I needed to read more classics. I took a break after Anna Karenina but got back into it this month. I've never heard of Rebecca before now and every time I mention it too my mom she has the same reaction. She'll look at me for a minute as though she's remembering then she'll say "That book was just really weird." She's seriously done that at least three times. So of course I have to read it!
I just finished chapter 9 last night and so far I'm really enjoying it. I've read one other gothic romance in my life and I don't remember a thing about it except I thought it was totally ridiculous. The only I read was written in the seventies and had plenty of sexy encounters. Rebecca was written in 1938 and is so far devoid of sexy encounters but full of creepily emotionally charged ones between the heroine (at least I think that's what they would call the main character that has no name) and the housekeeper. It's totally weird and ridiculous and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I'm surprised by how easy the writing was to follow and I quickly got sucked into the rhythm of the story. I get a feeling that story doesn't end well and even though I'd rather read something with a happy ending right now the story line is engaging enough to keep me intrigued.
Well I'm going to go back to my crocheting and wondering if a nap would help kill this headache that's not letting go no matter how much medication I threaten it with.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Begonia dear, you look lovely

Saturday Ben worked with some of the neighbors to fix up our atrocious attempt at landscaping. We went out looking for flowers and came home with this hanging begonia. I spent (probably too much) time photographing it in the afternoon light. I spent even more time fiddling in photoshop elements trying some different things, and I thought I ought to share my results with you. It's always good to start the week looking at something pretty. Especially since it's supposed to be cloudy and rainy this week. 

How was your weekend? See any pretty flowers?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April, thus far

So far, April has been a good month-
We had lunch in our quaint little downtown area which was very photogenic.
There is life among us! And yes the fifth picture is just of the grass in our backyard. Everything looks prettier in sunshine.
Last Monday we spent at my parents and even though my mom wasn't feeling well she managed to make breakfast for dinner with Ben as her helper.
We are also experimenting with making our own bread and peanut butter since we have a bread machine its not too labor intensive, and there is something rewarding about eating something you made from scratch.

How has April been for you?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Review: Supergods

When I reached the last page of Grant Morrison's Supergods the phrase 'It is finished!' rang through my mind. 
The book was gifted to me at Christmas and as excited as I was to read it I didn't pick it up till mid February.
As I've mentioned before I'm new to the comic universe and I found the first half of this book extremely informative. Morrison starts with Siegel and Schutser two young men who drew and created the first Superman concept and then chronologically proceeds to talk about what the industry was at the time and how it changed and grew. He splits the chapters into Ages- "Golden Age, Silver Age, Dark Age" and also the "Renaissance." I found it all very edifying and throughout he added a few autobiographical asides that talked about he's interest in comics and how he viewed them as a child, teen and then young adult. 

It was when he reached the time period in which he started his writing career that the book went down a autobiographical rabbit hole. He spent the majority of two chapters talking about how he as a young adult was over comics and they weren't cool anymore then expounded upon the British punk movement. In part, this was  relevant because he used it to talk about how the overall population that used to enjoy comics outgrew them and moved on to other things-like punk music and drugs. 
My issue isn't so much that he chose to take up sizable chunks of the book with the stories of his life, but the tone which he wrote about himself grated my nerves. He's a good writer and he knows it and there were paragraphs of words that he chose to put in there just because he liked how he wrote- liked to "hear himself talk."

The latter half of the book was also informative but when I think about the Dark ages or Renaissance sections I have to extract the parts where he spoke of his life and what he was doing personally. It lost objective look at comic book evolution and industry that the first half had and every time he complimented a present day writer it seemed left handed and I pictured him smirking as he wrote it down. He does seem to have a great respect for comic book artist treating even the mediocre ones with more grace then I would have expected based on his writing. 
I had to force myself through to the final pages which did not resonate with me in any way. It's as though when Morrison started this book he had a clear vision of what he wanted it to be about, but then got distracted half way through with the novelty of being able to write out his own life  and ideas for an audience.

Overall, there is one part of me that throughly enjoyed the information given in this book. I now know a few things about the comic book universe that I'm sure I never could have learned by just reading comics themselves. 
The other part of me doesn't like Grant Morrison as a person- (I didn't think I would based on Batman: Arkham Asylum, but I like to give authors several tries) he comes off as arrogant and he's writing reflects that. However, it is his book and if he wants to talk about doing drugs, magic, traveling and his love life he can.

Oddly enough I'm planning on giving Morrison's writing another try. He mentioned in his book his stint on Animal Man and New X-Men which both seem to interest me enough that I might be able to change my mind about his writing though even if I were to end up on the same elevator as him I doubt I exchange as much as a hello.