Tag Archives: beauty

I wuz bad…

Oh so busy! But that doesn’t mean I should neglect you, dear reader.

Many apologies. Please accept this Lolcat to prove my sincerity.

My predicament:

“Doctor, what ever is the matter?

The days seem to be zooming past with rapid speed, yet nothing is getting done!

No blog posts, uni work is at a minimum (as is attendance), exercise and good eating have gone the way of the wooly mammoth (ie extinct) and I haven’t even been going out that much and making a drunk fool of myself!”

“Hmm, child, I think the problem is your obsession with the book, you are a bibliophile!

Ah, stereotypes. You serve me well.

But I do believe it’s my current increase in buying books online that’s responsible for my lack of productivity.

So far, since February, I’ve read over 20 new books. This number doesn’t include books I’ve been re-reading, or ones I’ve read for uni. At the moment, I’m a quarter into Mr. Rosenblum’s List by Natasha Solomons, halfway through Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and 3/4 of the way through The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. Not to mention finishing V for Vendetta and the second Sara Donati book in the Into the Wilderness series while I was in the middle of reading the first two.

The pictures are all linked to their sources; I chose them based on the similarity to the covers that I own, but have a click on some links… some take you to pages where you can buy, some to blogs and some have great reviews.

Jeez, just listing these books is making me exhausted.

There are more but I can’t remember them… these were the particularly page turning ones, sort of in the order that I read them.

I think I need to go on a book hiatus… or at least manage the amount of time I spend with my nose in a book. While reading more fiction is definitely improving my vocabulary and is probably helping my writing, spending ENTIRE DAYS reading may be taking it a bit far. I’m 1 month off finishing this semester and I have long-term art assignments that haven’t even been started.

So I’m going to allot an hour a day to reading.

  • This can be extended to an hour and a half if at least half an hour is spent on the bike/ treadmill.
  • I can also read on public transport on the way to uni/ work ONLY if I don’t have uni readings to do. Then I have to do them on the tram.

Instead of reading I will do these things. If you are bored, or a bibliophile like me, maybe you should think about doing one of these things too:

  • Do 2 or more drawings for my art subject (or your art subject, if you have one!)
  • Play piano. Learn something new! Everything’s getting boring.
  • Paint something. Preferably a canvas. Or the wall. There are a hundred million ideas that have yet to be executed!
  • Write something. Short story, long story. Essay. Uni assignment. Blog post.
  • Plan a holiday, or in my case, overseas exchange.
  • Do some stash busting, or organize said stash.
  • Organize room. By organize, I mean clean.
  • Go through the wardrobe and do some refashioning on old pieces. Maybe make something new! Start on all those patterns that are sitting around getting moldy… ok, if there’s mold, maybe complete above THEN make something new.
  • Learn a new crochet/ knitting stitch and start a new project, or continue along an old project.
  • Visit someone for tea and bring biscuits!
  • Walk in the park or around the neighborhood and take some pretty snaps.
  • Make breakfast/ lunch/ dinner/ dessert etc. but try something new, or hard, or unusual. Play Surprise Chef and only use the things in the fridge and pantry. Don’t forget to talk to the camera.
  • Organize a party! Even a small dinner party. But do it in style; hand-made invitations, menu lists, individual cocktails, frocks, and your mum’s best china.
  • Look around for a class or new activity or group to be a part of. Drawing Straws at Burlesque Bar is taking up my Thursday evenings (along with a very time-consuming interview process for a feature article due tomorrow. So far I’ve interviewed 7 people, I think my tutor was only expecting around 4!). I would love to attend Brown Owls events but for the night they insist on holding it. Grr. Getting new knowledge from as many places as possible is such a great thing to do, having a new skill to hone and practice will take up some of that reading time.
  • Make lists… places you want to go, people you need to catch up with, restaurants and their famous this or that which you need to try. Even book lists… though this might take more time to finish ticking off now that you have so much else to do!
  • Make a card or gift for whoever’s birthday is next in advance. Woah, organization!

Finally…

  • Exercise. Bleurgh. My list is definitely coming to a close if I’ve resorted to exercise!

So there. Lots of things to do before I get to curl up with a book on the couch.

I hope this super long post has made up for the days of neglect… with my new system in place, I PROMISE it will never happen again!

P.s. This post is number 96. When we get to number 100 I’ll be doing a giveaway. How excitement!

Beauty vs. Beastly

I read both of these in quick succession and now… which one is better?

Well, Robin McKinley’s Beauty is quite fun. I loved the description of the family, how they are developed characters rather than cardboard cutouts. Beauty’s sisters, Grace and Hope, have romantic struggles of their own despite their good looks and charms, but are both as generous as Beauty herself.

The character of Beauty, from whose perspective the story is told, severely dislikes the nickname as she’s quite bookish and plain, but becomes more confident as they move to the country. Towards the end of the book, Beauty discovers that she has suddenly become tall and gorgeous, something that didn’t sit entirely right with me. Something a bit more subtle rather than outright magic may have been a more positive message to girls bookish and plain everywhere.

I found the Beast in this version a bit passive; he talks about how he can’t control himself and all that, but he’s never a very threatening character, and the flowery ending was probably a bit too Disney. Actually, it was more flowery than the Disney version, even if the Beast is greying. The procession of villagers towards the no-longer-enchanted castle seemed a bit camp. But there are some beautifully written passages within the book that give it a slightly darker, more gothic/romance feel, when Beauty is lost in the woods, or when she swoons and awakens clinging to the Beast in his arms.

Beastly, by Alex Finn, set in contemporary New York, was a more personable narrative. The main character, Kyle, reads like a Gossip Girl character. Pretty, popular, rich, influential, arrogant and cruel. Finn should probably have called him Chuck…

When a witch curses him for a petty prank he plays, Kyle is forced by his very rich and famous father to live in Brooklyn with a blind man as a tutor. Beauty, or “Lindy”, is a rednut with bad teeth and a junkie father that Alex watches through his fantastical mirror.

Kyle is quite a likeable character, and this novel shows the transition from dick (who knows he’s being one) to slightly pathetic but ultimately unselfish. He’s a much more convincing character than McKinley’s Beast, although that might be because we get to hear the story from his side. Lindy doesn’t get any more beautiful, but it doesn’t seem to matter much.

The only bits that irked me were the superfluous chat room scenes. Totally unnecessary with annoying “teen talk” that is very obviously written by an adult. I have a massive dislike of very current slang and MSN style chat in books; I refuse to read Lauren Kate anymore because one of her characters used the term BTDubs. Bleurghh.

But all in all, I think it’s Beastly that won for me.

 

I just bought these books:

Lots of short stories from one of my favourites. I love the way Neil Gaiman will turn you about, pop you on your head, spoon you a cup of tea laced with stardust and put you right side up, staggering down the windy path towards reality while not quite sure if you will make it.

Beauty & the Beast is my favourite Disney movie of all time. Therefore this book, as well as the next book

… is a retelling. Sue me. In the normal way of things- well, for me anyway- I will also see the film no matter how bad the reviews. Once I like a narrative I tend to hunt down every interpretation of it and judge them all.

And the last-

They hooked me by writing “fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series will love this“.

I’m out of Outlander books. The next one doesn’t  come out till 2012, so I need a nice long series to keep me going.

These are next on the to buy list:

 

 

 

What have you read lately? Anything you would recommend? I highly recommend Neverwhere and Stardust by Neil Gaiman (yes, again) which are both fantastical and funny and sweet, one being about a fallen star who uses the word “fuck”, and the other about a slightly scattered Scotsman who finds himself in a secret world that exists underneath, above and all around London. Also The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl, a collection of short stories that have the humour and magic of his children’s stories, but with some grown ups in them. Also also, a book called Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks which features a boy whose father expects to go into the evil mastermind family business, but at fourteen decides to use his genius to rebel.

So many books, so little time… or money, for that matter. I use The Book Depository when I know what I’m looking for. Everything is so gosh darn cheap and free shipping is the delicious pile of ice cream on top of the apple pie that is the awesomeness of the site. Now, I’m going to go and find a book to re-read as none of these books have actually arrived yet.