Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mini Review--The Necessary Cat by Nicola Bayley

This book by Nicola Bayley is a must-read for cat lovers.  Full of gorgeous illustrations, poems, sayings, and facts, it's an entertaining and colorful romp through everything cats. 

Here are some interesting facts from the book:

-Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the death of a cat.
-Ancient Romans made sure to nod respectfully to passing cats for fear of being cursed with the "evil eye."
-In 500 B.C., Persian soldiers carried cats into battle to protect themselves from the Egyptians, who were loath to harm the sacred animal.

Writers and cats:

-Colette, a French novelist, declared that "our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet."
-William Butler Yeats, rather than disturb the sleeping cat on his fur coat, cut around the resident feline of
Dublin's Abbey Theatre.
-Ernest Hemingway admired cats for their "absolute emotional honesty."  At one time he lived with thirty cats.

A poem from the book that really struck me:

On a Night of Snow...

Cat, if you go outdoors, you must walk in the snow.
You will come back with little white shoes on your feet,
little white shoes of snow that have heels of sleet.
Stay by the fire, my Cat.  Lie still, do not go.
See how the flames are leaping and hissing low,
I will bring you a saucer of milk like a marguerite,
so white and so smooth, so spherical and so sweet--
stay with me, Cat, Outdoors the wild winds blow.

Outdoors the wild winds blow, Mistress, and dark is the night,
strange voices cry in the trees, intoning strange lore,
and more cats move, lit by our eyes' green light,
on silent feet where the meadow grasses hang hoar--
Mistress, there are portents abroad of magic and might,
and things that are yet to be done.  Open the door!

~Elizabeth Coatsworth

This book was read for the following challenges:

Cat Book Challenge 2 / 12
100+ Reading Challenge  6 / 100+
Pages Read Challenge  1503 / 30,000 pages
Buck a Book Challenge

Friday, February 26, 2010

Review: Shutter Island...Book and Movie

These are going to be short reviews because to talk too much about either would give away surprise plot twists.  Without further ado...

Shutter Island--Dennis Lehane

Synopsis:

Summer, 1954.

U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them

But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems.

And neither is Teddy Daniels.

Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe?s radical approach to psychiatry? An approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing. . . .

Or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there?

As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount:

How has a barefoot woman escaped the island from a locked room?

Who is leaving clues in the form of cryptic codes?

Why is there no record of a patient committed there just one year before?

What really goes on in Ward C?

Why is an empty lighthouse surrounded by an electrified fence and armed guards?

The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island.Because someone is trying to drive them insane. . . .

My review:

Shutter Island is a first-rate thriller.  Dennis Lehane has succeeded in writing an atmospheric period piece that echoes the conspiracy theories and such that abounded after World War II and at the start of the Cold War.  The book draws you in and then pulls you along...quite willingly...to the shocking conclusion.  Along the way, the protagonists do not know who to trust and even begin distrusting themselves and each other.  More than just a mystery, Shutter Island is a master class on the workings of the human mind. 

Shutter Island...the movie.

My take:

Very seldom is there a movie that does not totally obliterate the book it is based on.  This is one of them.  Scorsese takes Lehane's book and makes a movie that is so very like the book, even large portions of dialogue are exactly the same.  DiCaprio is spot on as the detective who is trying to solve the mysterious disappearance while he wrestles with personal demons from his past.  All the performances are excellent, which I'm sure Scorsese has a hand in, as he is a fantastic director.  The movie may even one-up the book in being even more atmospheric (did I just say that?!).  Some of the critics out there have been less than kind, with which I totally disagree.  And I was shocked the other day when a newscaster on ABC World News Now gave away a major plot surprise!  Very badly done.  If you dislike the movie, say so, but do not give away the plot or at least give a spoiler warning!

Shutter Island...book and movie...definitely a must-read and a must-see!

For the following challenges:

Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge  2 / 4
Thriller & Suspense Reading Challenge   2 / 12
100+ Reading Challenge  5 / 100+
Pages Read Challenge  1429 / 30,000
Monthly Mixer Mele  6 / 74 
A Buck A Book Challenge

Click on any one of these challenges and you will be taken to my challenge blog.  Become a follower...when I reach 40 followers I will be hosting a giveaway!
  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Alis!

Alis with Reece

Today is Alis's birthday! She is three years old.  Look how excited she is as she proudly wears the birthday hat Reece made for her (not)! We gave her a nice treat of canned cat food, which she never gets except for special treats, complete with a "3" birthday candle.  Unfortunately, she didn't blow out her own candle.  Guess her wish won't come true...LOL!



Happy Birthday Alis! We love you =O)


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Monday...What are you reading? (3)

Yeah, Yeah...I know it's Tuesday!  =oP

This is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey through a world of Books.

Finished Last Week:

Shutter Island--Dennis Lehane

I'm in a serious reading rut...I'm not reading as much as I would like at all! Part of it is because I'm in school right now and I'm doing so much reading for my classes.  But I'm also being a big time procrastinator (big surprise) with reading! Where's the cattle prod?! LOL!

Currently reading:

Powers--John B. Olson (still!)

The Tale of the Body Thief--Anne Rice...continuing on audio

Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You--Dr. Susan Biali, M.D.


Plan to start this week:

The Silent Governess--Julie Klassen

Queen of the Damned--Anne Rice...hopefully (on audio)

No One Noticed the Cat--Anne McCaffrey...for the Cat Reading Challenge

Upcoming Reviews this week:

Shutter Island--book and movie review

Powers--hopefully

The Tale of the Body Thief--hopefully

No One Noticed the Cat

Coming Up in the Near Future:

The Dark Divine--Bree Despain

Under the Dome--Stephen King

Fragile--Chris Katsaropoulos

It's Monday Tuesday...what are YOU reading?!

It's after 12 am on Tuesday so it must be....Mailbox Monday!

HaHaHaHaHa!!!

Mailbox Monday is a weekly event hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

(Click on the title for book synopses)

In the Mail:

Won: 

Eat Your Way To Happiness--Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D.....won from Jennifer at Reading with Tequila.


The Kitchen House--Kathleen Grissom...won from Lizzy J. at Historically Obsessed.


Thanks again ladies for these awesome prizes! =O)



Bought:

From BookCloseOuts.com ...for $1.99 each, except for the Susan Hubbard, which was $1.49 and it's hardcover! I just love a good deal!

Farewell My Queen--Chantal Thomas


The Rossetti Letter--Christi Phillips


Poe & Fanny--John May


Leaving Eden--Ann Chamberlin


The Year of Disappearances--Susan Hubbard










From BetterWorldBooks.com:


Queen of the Damned--Anne Rice (audiobook)...I had to buy the abridged version (ugh) because my library no longer has the unabridged version and I'm not paying $70+ for it!


Kristin Lavransdatter--Sigrid Undset...Three book Omnibus edition contains The Bridal Wreath, The Mistress of Husaby, and The Cross.










Thursday, February 18, 2010

Favorite Fictional Character--Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights)

FFC is a weekly event founded by my good friend Ryan of Wordsmithonia.

Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  One of the original brooding romantic heroes,  Heathcliff is a tragic character.  Abandoned as a child and taken in by the Earnshaw family, he grows up abused and mistreated after the death of his foster father.  However, he loves dearly his foster sister Catherine and she in turn loves him.  But, as tempestuous love affairs often go, their love is doomed.  Catherine is enticed by material things and, despite her love for Heathcliff, marries the wealthy Mr. Linton.  Heathcliff, always a character prone to anger and violence due to his mean life and upbringing, becomes a bitter and haunted man.  He so loved his Cathy that her betrayal smashes to pieces an already broken man.  In this passage from Wuthering Heights, his utter despair is so evidenced:

You teach me now how cruel you've been — cruel and false!! Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears: they'll blight you — they'll damn you. You loved me — then what right had you to leave me? What right — answer me — for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart — you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.  So much the worse for me, that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you——oh, God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave?

Some of my favorite film portrayals of Heathcliff have been Sir Laurence Olivier in an OSCAR nominated role and Ralph Fiennes in the 1992 version.  I actually think that so far the Fiennes portrayal has been my favorite.  He really captured the tortured quality of Heathcliff.  There is a new film version coming out this year with Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl) as Heathcliff and Gemma Arterton as Cathy.  And somehow, I managed to miss the 2009 Masterpiece Theatre two part series version starring Tom Hardy.  I will be heading over to Blockbuster online to correct this forthwith!

Another bit of trivia...my favorite actor, Heath Ledger (may he rest in peace), was named for Heathcliff. *sob*

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cabin Fever

This is the first bad winter we've had here in Tennessee in probably 16 years.  The kids have been home constantly due to school being cancelled and I can't work when they're off so.....add to that one entire weekend of not being able to leave the driveway and this is what you get....





Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

A little late...I stayed at my mom's last night so didn't have access to a computer.  Hope everyone got to spend time with their loved ones today.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here we go:

Something inside the shack stirred.  A choking scent wafted through the air.

Page 85, Powers by John B. Olson



Addicted to the Past--Prelude to Revolution


On this day in history, February 9, 1775, the English Parliament declares Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion.  This was in reaction to the provincial congress that was held on February 1st, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during which John Hancock and Joseph Warren began defensive preparations for a state of war.  The fight for our independence begins!

- See more at: http://www.techtrickhome.com/2013/02/show-comment-box-above-comments-on.html#sthash.TjHz2Px9.dpuf