Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yet another.

I'm sure you've all heard of this one before- at least the first line or two

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure

For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I love this:

A Dream Within a Dream
By Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

It's almost Christmas!!! Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fairy Tales Retold

Hello All! Happy December! I can hardly believe that we are just around the corner from bringing in the new year of 2011. Ridiculous. I think I'm getting old.

Anyway, this time around, I read a series of books called the "Fairy Tales Retold Series" by Regina Doman. There really is too much to say about these books. Maybe over time we should discuss each one individually. Anyway, the series consists of five books, set in modern times, that are based off of a traditional fairy tale. They are:

-Shadow of the Bear (based off of Snow White and Rose Red)
-Black as Night (based off of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
-Waking Rose (based off of the classic Sleeping Beauty)
-The Midnight Dancers (based off of the 12 Dancing Princesses)
-Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves (based off of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves)

The first three books follow the story of sisters Blanche and Rose and their adventures with two mysterious young men who call themselves Bear and Fish. Shadow of the Bear focuses mainly on the beginning of their adventure when they first meet the two young men. Black as Night was centered largely on Blanche, and Waking Rose about Rose. The other two, The Midnight Dancers and Alex O'Donnell focus on characters that are introduced in Waking Rose, but no longer really follow the story of the original four characters.

As for the plot... it's pretty complex. The stories are mystery mixed with fantasy, and I thought it was beautifully done. The characters were very real and relateable, set in modern day New York. There is a great mixture of fascinating elements like criminal activity, mistaken identities, dark pasts, secrets, and mysteries. At the same time it is filled with the fairy tale lover's bliss of love, fantasy and princes and princesses, evil witches and frightening spells. It's hard to explain how that can all fit together without having a serious continuity issue, but somehow, it happens. By the end of the book, you're thinking, "Oh my gosh... that is SO clever! I never would have come up with that!" Also, there are many many references to classic literature that my book loving comrades will appreciate. There is also a strong thread of rich Catholicism throughout all five, which I thought was impressively done because it was not over the top at all, which I appreciated.

Now, some girlfriends of mine recommended this book to me and I was like "Fairy Tales Retold? Yeah. Right. Chick novel, NOT for me or any other guy with any dignity." But, I read it, and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't entirely "chick" oriented. Much of the story is told from the guys' points of view, and there is enough "real man" stuff in there to keep us interested. While I do think these books are probably most popular for teenage girls, I do admit that guys shouldn't be embarrassed to check them out.

On a precautionary note, however, I do want to point out that there is some "older kid" content in some of the books. Drugs, jail, criminals, violence and messed up people are met and dealt with. Nothing immoral is ever looked upon as a good thing. The author is a pretty staunch Catholic, and on her website has a "Picky Parents" guide to her books, so that you can find out just exactly what kind of stuff is in there. So, if you're younger, maybe have an older sibling or mom or friend read it first for you.\

Here is Miss Doman's website: http://www.fairytalenovels.com/index.cfm

I really encourage you all to read these books; once you start, I promise you WON'T be able to put them down!

Tony D.

Shadow of the Bear - 4/5 Recommended
Black as Night - 4/5 Recommended
Waking Rose - 5/5 Recommended
12 Midnight Dancers - 4/5 Recommended
Alex O'Donnell and the 4- Cyber Thieves - 4/5 Recommended

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Color of Water

by Jame McBride

This is no where near a "classic bookie" type novel. Therefore, I should not be posting on it. However, I wanted to post on SOMETHING, and this is what I've been reading so...yeah. I had to read it for school.
Well, it's "A black man's tribute to his white mother". It's a memoir.

James' mother was a white Jew who became and Christian and married an African-American in the 30s'. She went against every rule she had lived by to marry this good and honorable black man, Dennis McBride. She loved him with her whole heart. She embraced the black community, which she found to be very welcoming and kind. They never judged her. She was happy with them, despite the public rebuke she and her kids had to deal with. She had twelve half-black children, one of which was James.
James spends half his life trying to discover his mother's past, which is something she would like to forget. She finally tells him her remarkable life story, and that's what this book is about. Ruth tells James about her miserable childhood as a Jew who was abused by her father and all she had to endure as a kid. She tells about how God, her husband, and children changed her life. What ensues is a rather heart wrenching story.

A sweet little excerpt....

"Ma, what color is God?"
"God doesn't have a color. God is all colors."
"What do you mean? Is God white or black?"
"God is the color of water."

Or something along those lines... :D Anyway, that was cute.

I didn't love this book. I'd rather be reading the classics. It was good. It was interesting. But I didn't love it.

Recommended #2

You should be at least thirteen to read this book, in my opinion.


~Lady Arwen

Friday, November 12, 2010


Here is the booklist again so that everyone can read up!! I should be posting on "Fairy Tales Re-told" later today or possibly tomorrow. Enjoy! -T

Hello All,

I'm so sorry that it has been so long. But I promise to make a valiant attempt to keep this blog going strong.

Now, I mentioned in a previous post that we are going to try a new method in order to fit our busy lifestyles. Here, I will post a list of books that I will be reviewing- in the order of the list. So, as followers, you will know what's coming up! As time and schedules permit, our other contributors will post on something of their own choice, for some variety.

Lately, I've been really into the fantasy, "this isn't really happening" style of book. So, I think that sort of reflects on the list. :)

Here's the list, and I hope to be posting on the first one within the next week:

-The Last Unicorn, Peter Beagle
-The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
(finally, right?)
-The Fairy Tales Retold Series, Regina Doman
-Animal Farm, George Orwell
-Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
-Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
-Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmond Rostand
-All Creatures Bright and Beautiful, James Harriot
-Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes
-Come Rack, Come Rope, Robert Hugh Benson
-Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi
-North to Freedom, Anne Holm

Well, that's probably good for now. Happy reading!!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Hobbit

Hello All,

Let me first begin by apologizing for the serious delay in activity. I have some ideas to maybe enliven things a bit, but renovations are slow.

Now, in lieu of the fact that The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, is being made in to a movie, supposedly coming out in 2012, I think it is probably a very good thing for everyone to read and re-read this tale, just in case the movie is nothing like the book. It will be such a shame if people think that the movie is the same as the book if it really isn't. Perhaps the movie will be exactly like the book, and all will be well. :) Who knows what will happen, but regardless, it is a good book to read, especially if you have read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and have always wanted to read "that first one that has something to do with the Lord of the Rings!"

If you have read (or seen- I highly recommend read) The Lord of the Rings, then you know how the story ends. The Hobbit follows the beginning of the tale, when Bilbo Baggins first comes in to possession of the ring. This book really is more of an adventure story than the Trilogy because it follows Bilbo as he travels through unknown lands with a band of dwarves, battles with a dragon, finds hidden treasure and becomes a legend in his own time.

If you have read The Lord of the Rings, then you are probably thinking, "Gosh, I don't have enough time to read The Hobbit- the Lord of the Rings took me three months!!" Don't be dismayed. The Hobbit is actually written in a much easier style than the Lord of the Rings, and the plot line is miraculously more simple. I read somewhere that Tolkien had actually written the Hobbit with the intention of children in mind, so, hopefully this book won't take you a few months to down. :D

I highly recommend reading this book because it is fun to know "the beginning" of the Lord of the Rings saga. It is totally not necessary to read it before the Trilogy, but is absolutely worth reading at some point in time. I don't like this book as much as the Trilogy, but it is still very well written and a good adventure story for a rainy day.

I also highly recommend the Lord of the Rings movies, which follow the books pretty well, surprisingly. (I have high hopes for the Hobbit too.) Don't get super super critical though because there are a few things that are wrong. I admit that I like them anyway. Some book lover I am. :)

Thanks for reading! And pass us on.... it feels like DC is dying.


Recommended 4/5

Sunday, September 26, 2010


By William Shakespeare

I read this because I've always truly enjoyed Shakespeare's histories, and I also love Roman history in general. It took me a while to get through this one though...the thing about the histories is that, there is A LOT of dialogue. I really did like it! But it got just a little slow at parts. I felt like Caius Martius (aka Coriolanus) kept repeating himself over and over again. Luckily, though, the language was suprememly amazing, and that made the draggy parts wayyyy more enjoyable!

This play is about a man who is an excellent military leader. He leads the Roman army to a great victory. The common people love him, until the conspiring bad guys, Brutus and Sicinius, cunningly turn them against him. They convince them he is proud and too high and mighty (sounds a lot like Julius Caesar, doesn't it!). In a way this is true; in a way it is not. On one hand, Caius is very condescending towards the plebeians (commoners), but at the same time, he is so humble that he detests all the praise he is getting for being victorious. He's a rather confusing character! Anyway, they eventually get him banished, so he turns against them and amalgamates his powers with...THE ENEMY (the Volscians). At this, Cori's very strong-willed and controlling mother, Volumnia, begs and convinces him to relent. He returns to Rome, a hero. But the Volscians, feeling slighted, assassinate Coriolanus.

It definitely got exciting at times. I delighted in studying the awesome vocabulary!

Recommended 3 / 5

If you're into Shakespeare or Roman history, I would recommended this higher than if you are not.

Next, I am going to read a Mark Twain and post on it! We'll see how long it takes me to finish this time :P
Hope everyone is having a GREAT school year so far!!