This is probably one of the most unique and intriguing books I’ve read in a while. It’s part mystery, part romance, and at times almost seems like poetry. But my favorite part of all was the characters. They weren’t glamorous or flawless or bound to change in extraordinary ways. They were real, believable, and witty in a realistic, teenage way.
As a surface-level explanation of the story’s premise, Harris Sinclair is rich. He has three daughters and each has her own children. He prides his family for being Sinclairs. The family (the father, his daughters, and his grandchildren) spends every summer on Harris’ private island. Cadence, the narrator and the daughter of the eldest daughter, spends most of her time on the island with her cousins Mirren and Johnny and their friend, Gat. The four of them call themselves “the Liars.” But one summer Cadence is found on the shore of the island with a head injury and no memory of what happened before. Every time her mother tells her what happened she forgets and the doctors say she’ll have to remember on her own. What ensues is a struggle for Cadence to understand herself and that summer on the island. On her return to the island two years later, she gradually stitches together fragments of memories into a traumatic event she wanted to forget but which she has to acknowledge to move on.
I was fascinated by the intricacy of the story, the flashes of memories Cadence has that gradually build up into a story from two summers ago. The story unfolds for readers at the same pace as it does for Cadence–I don’t think I could guess what had happened until Cadence realized it herself–something I found very compelling.
Though the story does center around a mystery, the mystery doesn’t always seem like the main focus. To me, it was more like an underlying question beneath themes of corruption, greed, friendship, forgiveness, and acceptance.
While these themes are recurring and common, I would argue that they way they are conveyed is not. The story is not like a fairy tale, and Cadence sees this too.
As smaller chapters inserted between chapters of narration, Cadence writes variations of those age-worn fairy tales that always seem to end the same way. I thought of these as her way of explaining her situation and family and trying to make sense of them. However, as she finds, and as readers find too, life might not be compatible with a fairy tale.
I think something that makes the novel rather unlike others is that the characters are not made to fit in one box. For instance, Harris, the grandfather, can be pushy and discriminatory, but he can also be thoughtful and loving. He’s not that evil witch whose actions seem purely malevolent or that fairy godmother who always smiles. He doesn’t fit a role, as a regular human probably wouldn’t either. Similarly, Gat, Mirren, Johnny, and Cadence have the conversations and awkward moments that you would expect from teenagers. They’re not necessarily flawless or consistent.
Lastly, there is some language and dark content, and I would strongly suggest this for older teens (in fact, if I had known what would happen in the book I might not have picked it up. But this is coming from a reader who still enjoys re-reading some of her childhood fantasy books. I only did pick it up because it was chosen for a book club, and then it intrigued me more than I had expected).
Baum’s first novel as a novelist was Mother Goose in Prose (1897). The book is based on a story he told his own children and introduces Dorothy, the farm girl, in the final chapter. In the introduction to the book, he says his aim was to create modern fairy tales that would not scare children as the Brothers Grimm did. In 1899, his collection of stories, Father Goose: His Book, was published, and it quickly became a bestseller. One evening, while he was telling his sons a story, he had an idea he had never had before.
While trying to calm them down, he grabbed a scrap of paper he could write on and excitedly wrote it down. This is a story about the Emerald City, and is the original idea of the Oz adventure story. The book, illustrated and covered by W. W. Denslow, was published at Baum’s private expense in 1900 and sold 90,000 copies in the first two years. Within a short time of the publication of the The Wonderful Wizard of OZ, the author had received thousands of letters from young readers asking him to keep the story going.
Baum did, at the reader’s request, write a series of fairy tales based on his fictional “Oz,” such as “The Emerald City of Oz,” “The Tin Woodman of Oz,” and “The Hungry Tiger of Oz.” He has written 14 fairy tales in this series. It does not include a collection of short stories from the The Marvelous Land of Oz Illustrated, published in 1914, or 10 other quasi-Oz-fairy tales that are intimately connected with the people of the land of Oz. In 1901, the first of the Oz series was adapted into a musical, with Baum helping to write the screenplay and lyrics.
In 1914, Baum was on the set of The Patchwork Girl of Oz. In the same year, he founded The Oz Film Manufacturing Company in Los Angeles (later renamed The Features Film Company), where he also directed films from 1914 to 1915. The well-equipped studio on Santa Monica Boulevard sits on seven acres. But the company went out of business and produced only two films about Oz, His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz and The Magic Cloak of Oz. In the years since, however, the story of the O.Z. has been brought to the screen many times. The Wizard of Oz, played by 16-year-old Judy Garland in 1939, was nominated for an Oscar for best picture.
This game is a party game that is coming out in late 2020 that has a lot of potentials to become a very popular game. The game is a party game where you play as clumsy animals such as dogs, cats, or even a rabbit. There were two game modes in the beta so far one was the sumo game mode where you try to knock your opponents out and make them fall off the map and the last person that is on the map is the winner. The other game mode captures the gummy which is basically capture the flag but with a giant gummy bear. The thing that makes this game special is the physics that the furry characters have. The physics in this game are super clumsy and have a good ragdoll feature that is similar to gang beasts or fall guys. So when you and another person collide it just makes you want to laugh about how absurd that just was.
In my opinion, I think that this will be a mainstream game when it comes out later this year and it will become one of the most popular games because the beta wasn’t well advertised at all and it had over 100k players playing during the short beta so this definitely won’t be the last time you hear Party Animals.
Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in Florence, Italy. According to Britannica.com’s Leonardo Da Vinci biography, Da Vinci’s father was a landlord and his mother was a young peasant woman. Da Vinci only received an elementary level education when he was young, and only decided to learn more about subjects like Geometry or Latin later in life. When Da Vinci was fifteen years old, he became the apprentice for an artist by the name of Andrea del Verrocchio. There, Da Vinci learned how to paint and sculpt. He would continue to work and live in Florence until 1482, where he moved to Milan to work for and provide service for the city’s duke, Ludovico Sforza. Da Vinci eventually left Milan after seventeen years, in which he completed six paintings. The most famous paintings he made during this time period were the “Last Supper” and the “Mona Lisa”.
After the compelling events of the first installment in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, readers will not be disappointed by the quality of the second part, The Two Towers. The Fellowship of the Ring has been divided: the bearer of the Ring, Frodo, and his friend Sam have mysteriously disappeared, and two of the Company have been kidnapped by the despicable Orcs. The rest is left to stave off the wave of darkness that continues to seep out of the dark land of Mordor.
In Book I, the fate of the remnants of the Company is described as they continue on their mission. While hobbits Merry and Pippin attempt to escape their evil captors while Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli track them across the wide plains of Middle-Earth. On their journeys, the two groups meet allies and foes, and eventually cross paths, and, in a happy twist of fate, manage to gain an advantage in the war.
Meanwhile, Book II describes Frodo and Sam, Middle-Earth’s last hope, and their perilous travel to the evil land of Mordor, with the twisted creature Gollum as their untrustworthy guide. Together, they travel throughout the land in their quest to destroy the One Ring and bring peace to all, but Frodo’s trusting nature is exploited in the cliffhanger of an ending.
Overall, fans of The Fellowship of the Ring will enjoy The Two Towers as much, if not more than, they relished the first installment. J.R.R. Tolkien does not fail to deliver a delightful combination of bewitching prose and poetry that keeps the reader engaged from cover to cover.
As a lover of historical fiction books, this novel always caught my eye when I passed by the shelves of the library, but I never looked into it because I assumed the book would be generic and clique. Recent famous novels I’ve read tend to follow the same plot line and character development, so most readers are not surprised by the ending. However, The Book Thief, written by Mark Zusak, an Australian writer who won the Margaret A. Edwards Award in 2014, has created a classic that lives up to its recognition, taking an interesting perspective on such a well known historical event. It dives deeper into the heart of World War 2, pushing the novel further through the contradictory and questionable actions of the human race.
Beginning on a train in the 1940s, the main character, Liesel Meminger witnesses the death of her younger brother on their way to Molching, Germany, where she meets her new foster parents. Throughout the story, Liesel grows as a character, unfolding the cruel reality of Hitler and his treatment of Jews and how it ties to her own story, thus encouraging her to write and steal books as an act of rebellion against the Nazis. The book grows through her normal life in Germany, yet slowly intertwines with history in a compelling manner. The main character witnesses the intimate, loving interactions between friends and family, but also the aggressive actions of others blinded by propaganda.
Compared to other historical fiction novels, Zusak provides readers another viewpoint on a historical event many are aware of, making readers acknowledge the other side of the war. The book makes us question ourselves and the validity of our opinions. For example, most believe all Germans were villainous because a majority were Nazi members, but there’s still a good portion of Germans that value all human life. Generally speaking, all of them are still just the same as we are; some were innocent children, others were working middle class jobs, many still wanted to live. But most importantly, what right do we have to villainize them if we don’t even feel sympathy or compassion in return? Zusak was able to brilliantly create a novel, who’s plots and underlying meanings create a puzzle–readers just have to put it together.
Despite the grand amount of pages, The Book Thief should be read slowly and carefully; every page has their own meaning and the slow pace builds up suspense to make the book a worthy read. Also, all of the characters are lovable and reveal their own flaws as humans. Overall, the author made it extremely unique, including a mixture of metaphors, imagery, and specifically, the humanistic characterization of Death. The context of the book was surprisingly poetic, even as it jumped to different passages of time. Zusak wrote a marvelous, emotional story as an ode to humanity itself, a tale that tugs at readers’ heartstrings in ways words can’t even describe.
In the middle of the 19th century, Russian society was full of contradictions and crises. The tyrannical rule of the tsar and capitalism weighed heavily on the psyche of the people. Dostoyevsky’s novels mainly depict the misery, contradiction, hardship and desperation of people living at the bottom of the society, reveal the depravity and destruction of human nature and the split of human spirit in this pathological society, and show the darkness and filth of the Russian society under the shadow of the autocratic rule and the capitalist system. His novels depict the bullied and insulted, and try to show the misery of the characters hidden in the dark corners of the slums. Dostoyevsky describes people who are divided by themselves, reveals multiple personalities and shows the return of human nature. Dostoyevsky is an expert in psychological description. He is obsessed with pathological psychological description. He not only writes about the results of behaviors, but also focuses on describing the psychological process of behaviors, especially those abnormal behaviors, near coma and madness.
The characters’ abnormal thinking and behavior are exactly the characteristics of his works. The intensity of Dostoyevsky’s psychological description is in proportion to the bewilderment of his thoughts. Dostoyevsky mainly adopts a non – temporal narration in dealing with the timing of the novel. Because he preferred to choose the most intense, terrible and extreme events as the subject matter of the novel, and was keen to show people’s psychology in the crisis, the overall rhythm of the work was extremely unstable. In the description of characters, Dostoevsky broke the tradition of describing characters in Russian literature since Pushkin. He not only described their impoverished situation, but also revealed the soul of the characters, not only sympathizing with them, but also associating with them. The strong is a story element opposed to the weak, mainly referring to those who have money and power but disregard any moral principles. Their most important characteristic is to get their own way. The rescuer and the rescued are another pair of story elements in Dostoyevsky’s novels.
If the antagonism between the strong and the weak constitutes the first clue of the narrative of the novel and highlights the author’s humanitarian feelings, then the second narrative clue composed of the rescuer and the rescued reflects the author’s thoughts full of religious meaning, which is of more metaphysical significance in thinking about the way out of the society. The latter two narrative elements are gradually developed in his novels. The story element of the savior is the perfect Image of Christ in Dostoevsky’s novels, the embodiment of the supreme good. At the beginning of creation, the image of the savior appeared in the form of a kind of good behavior, namely self-sacrificing love. After his return from exile in Siberia, Dostoyevsky shifted his focus to religious exploration, and the rescuer began to appear in his novels as a concrete and sensible figure. His character gradually became full and distinct, and he was no longer confined to the scope of love, but had a broader social content. In the novel, this element is the external manifestation of the author’s thoughts, and the author mainly reflects his own religious ideal of salvation through it.
Therefore, such characters are flat and are the “mouthpiece” of the author’s thoughts, often giving people a sense of paleness. The rescued person is the most important story element in his novels. Compared with the rescued person, this kind of character image is more abundant. The image of the rescued first appeared as the image of the visionary in Dostoevsky’s novels. This image inherits the tradition of superfluity in 19th century Russian literature and has the characteristics of superfluity: dissociating from the society, holding a critical attitude towards the society and possessing the characteristics of thinker. So his novels end with the triumph of the savior’s mind. But as an artist, Dostoyevsky always triumphs over himself as a moralist. He was deeply aware of the social reality at that time when people still had no way out depending on religion. The contradiction of his thoughts makes the main part of the novel present an open structure, and the ending presents an open state in a closed form.
The foundation of Dostoevsky’s novels is binary opposition, mainly composed of four story elements: the strong, the weak, the rescuer and the rescued, among which a theme of “salvation” runs through. Secondly, the structure of Dostoevsky’s novels is inconsistent. The construction of elements in his novels mainly consists of three parts: the antagonism between strong and weak — the conflict between good and evil in the heart of the saved, and the conversion of the save and the saved. However, due to the mutual influence, interweaving and inhomogeneity of various contradictions, the novel is open and incomplete in content. The reason why Dostoevsky adopted such a structure pattern in constructing novels is closely related to his religious thoughts and perplexities. Dostoyevsky’s novels mainly adopt two perspectives: inner perspective and omniscient perspective. First of all, his novels mainly show people’s self-consciousness. All kinds of consciousness have a relationship of equal dialogue, so the first-person inner perspective and the third-person indefinite inner perspective are the perspectives often adopted in his novels.
This perspective reflects Dostoevsky’s religious confusion and exploration. Secondly, the omniscient perspective of Dostoevsky’s novels is mainly reflected in the beginning and the end of the novels, which has two functions: one is to serve the characteristics of the perspective inside the main body of the novels, and the other is to serve the religious thoughts of Dostoevsky, thus forming the characteristics of the closed form of the novels. In addition, there are some “meta-novel” narrative modes in Dostoevsky’s novels, which also convey the confusion in his religious thoughts, no matter for the narrator, the hero or the reader. Thus, we can conclude the perspective mode of Dostoevsky’s novels: the main body of the novels mainly narrates from the inner perspective, and the beginning and end of the novels often adopt the omniscient perspective. Dostoyevsky’s construction of the time mode in his novels is mainly reflected in the following aspects: first, he no longer places events in the process of time like traditional novels, and is keen to describe the process in detail; instead, he cuts time, adopts a non-temporal narration, and pays attention to the synchro meaning of time. Secondly, it is also reflected in the psychological time intervention in the novel. He always likes to put the characters in the two poles of contradiction and in the atmosphere of tension, so as to describe all the secrets of the human heart. Hence, the psychological time is much longer than the story time.
Tolstoy has done a lot of thinking on human nature in his novels. From these thinking, we can see the most real aspect of Tolstoy’s spiritual world. Tolstoy’s reflections on human nature were inspired mainly by the history and reality of Russia at the time. On the one hand, traditional Russia was a patriarchal society, and the Orthodox Church determined the way people thought and felt. Tolstoy was also deeply influenced by the Orthodox Church, whether his attitude was one of acceptance or reservation. On the other hand, the European spirit of enlightenment also exerted a deep influence on Russia, which shook the foundation of traditional Russian belief to a great extent.
The influence of the spirit of enlightenment on Tolstoy was also significant, which made Tolstoy suspect the basic doctrinarian system of Orthodox Church, and he would not think about the issue of faith like ordinary believers. However, Tolstoy did not fully move towards the Enlightenment position of individualism in Europe, so his thinking on human nature often drifted between the two, sometimes like a believer, sometimes like a humanist. The utopian thoughts in Tolstoy’s works are mainly reflected in the resistance against violence and slavery, the opposition to private land system, and the opposition to the promotion of capitalist material civilization and evolution.
He demanded the return to a healthy farming life through the work and moral practice of everyone to establish brotherhood, equality, harmony and fraternity of all human beings. Tolstoy created epic novels. The historical facts are blended with artistic fiction, and the bold and unrestrained brushwork is mixed with delicate description. Tolstoy shows his personal face in a large group portrait. The epic’s solemnity is interspersed with lyrical monologues, which are varied and magnificent. He is good at handling the structure of many clues and the threads are all joined together seamlessly. He can break through the closed form of the novel as magnificent as life has no beginning and no end.
Tolstoy’s artistic charm lies not only in reproducing the macro world, but also in portraying the micro world. Tolstoy has mastered the dialectical development of the mind unprecedentedly in the world literature and described the evolution process of the mind under the influence of the outside world in detail. He dives deep into the subconscious and show it in a harmonious connection with the conscious mind. Tolstoy’s artistic power is real, and it is evident in the shaping of character. He faithfully describes the multifaceted, rich, and complex nature of his characters, not just their dominant side or a dominant state of mind.
He does not conceal the faults of his beloved, nor does he stifle the glimmer of light that flashes in the heart of the character he reveals. He does not sugar-paint, exaggerate, idealize or caricature, but always shows his true nature by the help of real and objective description, thus seeing greatness in the ordinary or, conversely, showing its horror in the ordinary phenomena. Tolstoy’s style is chiefly characterized by its simplicity. He strives for the fullest and most accurate reflection of the truth of life or expression of his own thoughts. Therefore, although he is strict in art, he does not seek to win by skill alone, nor does he seek formal delicacy and avoid long compound sentences, but only seeks the maximum expression. In order to show the disillusionment of the characters in structure, he often adopts the method of flashback. In language, the novel strives to be simple and concise and easy to understand, close to folktales.
Clever criminal Neil Caffrey has finally been caught after years of Agent Peter Burke chasing him, yet manages to escape jail only to be caught once again. While other agents would immediately put him into a different jail facility, Peter Burke sees an opportunity in Neil. They work out a deal where Neil can’t go outside his two-mile radius and is tracked at all times by his anklet and he stays out of jail by helping Peter catch other criminals. Neil had skill as he was one of the top criminals and Peter saw that as an advantage because who else would know how someone committed a crime better than a former criminal! The show, White Collar, follows Neil and Peter’s journey. It’s one of those shows with the perfect balance of new mysteries every episode and ongoing mysteries.
I watched this show at a friends house, but we watched something from season 5 out of the 6 seasons and I believe that’s why I was so drawn in. Personally, I have trouble committing to shows which is why I stick to movies, but seeing all the action made me want to continue watching it from the beginning. If I had watched the first episode, I probably wouldn’t have been motivated enough. Now I’m not saying to randomly watch an episode from the middle, but I am encouraging you to watch a couple of them in order to fully get an idea of your preference on the show. All the twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat and I continuously admired how clever Neal truly was. I would definitely recommend this show to anyone who likes crime and adventure. It has some hints of romance in there as well. This show will always be my favorite!
Midnight for Charlie Bone was written by a British author named Jenny Nimmo. It is the first of eight books in the Children of the Red King series. This series is among my favorites. The books refer to an ancient magician known as the Red King. His magical powers have passed down through his descendants for generations.
Charlie Bone is a ten-year old boy living with his mother, uncle and two grandmothers. Throughout his childhood, Charlie has been told that his father is missing. Despite this, Charlie continues to hope that he will see his father someday. Life is otherwise normal until one day he discovers that he can hear people talking in photographs. Charlie realizes that he has a special power.
Charlie’s three strange aunts soon arrive for a visit, pleased to learn of his power. They enroll him in a special school for gifted children called Bloor’s Academy. Charlie begins to realize that other children in the school have magical powers as well. He also learns that the Bloor family in charge of the school is engaged in dark and sinister schemes. Charlie realizes that there is more than meets the eye in this academy, and he is determined to uncover the truth.
I found it hard to put down this book once I started. The story is engrossing because of its many mysteries. I became anxious to find out about Charlie’s missing father, and about the history of the children who possess magical powers. Many questions are left unanswered in this book, so I was excited to read the other books in the series. The adventures are fast-paced, so I enjoyed reading the series in quick succession. You will likely want to read the other books in the series as well after reading this one.