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I’m not quite sure why I’m still reading the Anita Blake series. They’re laughably bad and have kind of just degenerated into porn. But I’m still enjoying them but not for the same reasons I was 10 books ago!

Perhaps its just because I’m stubborn and when I start reading a series, I will follow it through to the end. But sometimes, like now, I’m almost regretting yet… but still care enough about Anita’s storyline to want to know what’s going to happen – and to hope it’ll get better?

It started off really really well. Anita is a professional zombie raiser, vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police. The series takes place in a parallel universe where supernatural creatures and powers are real and their presence is considered to be public knowledge. The supernatural beings are considered to be citizens with most of the rights of regular humans, which is sometimes the focus of some of the strife in the series. The novels follow Anita’s ongoing conflicts with the supernatural as she attempts to solve a variety of supernatural mysteries, come to terms with her own abilities, and navigate an increasingly complex series of romantic and political relationships. As the series progresses Anita’s perspective on the supernatural changes, as the character initially sees the supernatural predominantly as “monsters” to be fought and later grows to see them as communities to be protected and as potential love interests.

It’s not even so much ‘love interest’ as sexual partners and she just seems to be have sex with everyone and everything and orgies and really weird stuff. I just miss the urban fantasy thriller crime stories and if I wanted to read books with sex as the focus, I’d be reading some of ‘s porn!

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I believe

My stepmum Jade Rachel and I were talking about how some ideas or lines from books stick with us.
How sometimes a fictional book will make us want to find out more about a topic (like reading Angels & Demons and wanting to know more about the Illuminati).
How sometimes there’s a line or a passage that for some reason always sticks with you. For her, that’s the opening to I Lucifer by.. um whoever wrote it.
Or how something just resonates and makes sense.

I keep remembering a bit from American Gods by Neil Gaiman that I read earlier this year. I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.
I googled the whole thing because it’s quite long and I can’t remeber all of it

“I can believe things that are true and things that aren’t true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they’re true or not.

I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen – I believe that people are perfectable, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkled lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women.

I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone’s ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state.

I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste.

I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we’ll all be wiped out by the common cold like martians in War of the Worlds.

I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman.

I believe that mankind’s destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it’s aerodynamically impossible for a bumble bee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there’s a cat in a box somewhere who’s alive and dead at the same time (although if they don’t ever open the box to feed it it’ll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself.

I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn’t even know that I’m alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck.

I believe that anyone who says sex is overrated just hasn’t done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what’s going on will lie about the little things too.

I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, a baby’s right to live, that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.”

I like how its all about how belief is such a personal thing and no-one should have the right to dictate to anyone what they can or should believe in. I believe in what I believe, whether it’s true or not.

And I’ve never really thought about religion or anything, not really. I mean yeah we do RE in school but its boring the way it’s taught. My mum was an Atheist and Jade Rachel is a Wiccan but none of it was ever a part of my childhood. Except now I’m starting to wonder about all the religions that’re out there, about what people believe in, their myths and legends and kinda wishing comparative religions was taught. I’ve picked up one of Jade Rachel’s books about Wicca to read and I think I’m gonna go to the library and find books about others too!

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Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee

I think one of the reasons I love Urban Fantasy is that there’s so many characters I can relate to, characters I can aspire to be like, really cool really strong women characters. Yes, they’re like witches or vampires or werewolves or werecats or preternaturals but they’re still, to me, really good role-models.

They’re strong, kickass independent women who know what they want and have the passion and drive to work towards it. They’re educated and thoughtful, they give a shit about more than just makeup and clothes and hair and trying to find a boyfriend. They don’t need anyone else to look after them or fight their battles for them. And I find that really inspiring.

My favourite character would probably be Hermione Grange. She’s clever and logical, she can be bossy but she’s loyal and you can count on her to have your back and/or save your life. She’s a voice of reason and really protective of her friends. She’s proud of who she is and I love the fact she embodies the spirit of knowledge is power.

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You’re The One That I Want

One of the coolest things I’ve found since I started blogging is that lots of other blog about books, and post reviews and talk about books. It makes me feel a little less weird and makes me feel like I’m part of this really cool online community and I want to get to know everyone. I was getting very excited about it earlier and Jade Rachel laughed at me, she also said I reminded her so much of my mum.

My mum used to love Hilary Duff, which always made Jade Rachel laugh because my mum was a total goth. But she found this online forum all about Hilary and she got talking to people and got all excited because there were other people out there who liked Hilary and she was making friends.

That’s not what I was saying though. I keep reading all these blogs talking about books and they all sound really good and make me want to read them. And I keep adding books to my goodreads to read shelf and I think I’m gonna need a few lifetimes to read everything I want to read.

Mostly right now I’m really wanting to read 50 Shades Of Grey and A Game Of Thrones but they’re never in the library when I go. I hear so much about those two (ok and lots of others as well) but those ones have really peaked my interest. I want to read more by Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Nicholas Sparks, Sarah Dessen, Neil Gaiman… I want to read all the books I can find with vampires and werewolves and witches and… and… and…

I REALLY hope I get reincarnated as another bookworm!

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Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book

So many of my classmates think I’m a bit weird, because I’m always reading, because I love to read. They think it’s a waste of time. They also think I’m a total nerd because I get good grades and because I love to learn. I wonder if they’ll still think the same think in just over a year when they’ve failed their GCSEs and I’m starting my A-Levels?

I just love reading. I love curling up on my window seat, in the sun, with music playing and a good book. Usually Harry the cat sprawled out next to me

My mum loved to read, and so does Jade Rachel, and they gave their love of reading to me. They always read to me when I was little and I was reading by the time I was 4 or so. It was love at first read, or something like that.
I love all the places a book can transport you to, all the different worlds you can explore, all the different lives you can live. You can be anyone – a heroine, a damsel in distress, a warrior, an elf, a witch, a vampire, a werewolf. You can be in the past, the present, the future, London, Paris, New York, outer space, under water.
It’s an escape – I had a horrible few years when my mum died and I was really unhappy. Reading gave me something to do and I started reading the books that she loved and it made me feel close to her.

What’s the old saying? Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book

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By any other name

My name, Regan, is quite unique but without being really out-there like some of the names – especially ones that celebrities seem to give their kids these days. Kim Kardashian, I’m looking at you! It’s nice to be the only person I know with my name. Like, there’s two Chloe’s and three James’ in my class so you’ve got to be really specific which one you’re meaning (Chloe H, or blond James or football James), but when people say Regan, everyone knows they mean me.

It’s even got quite a cool story behind why my mum and Jade Rachel called me Regan. Originally, I was going to be called Aimee (or Connor, if I was a boy) which means beloved. But my mum had been reading King Lear just before she went into labour and fell in love with the name. I’m glad I’m not named for Goneril, Regan’s older sister – and wouldn’t have minded Cordelia, the younger one either.

Regan, in King Lear, is not a very nice character though. She’s the middle child of Lear, married to the Duke Of Cornwall. She and her sister Goneril are both in love with Edmund, both eager for power and even convince their father to hand over his land using false flattery. Then both of the girls reject him when he wants to live with them and Regan drives him out into the storm. Goneril then poisons Regan when she finds out Regan’s  in love with Edmund. I think my favourite quote about Regan is by Stanley Cavell “[S]he has no ideas of her own, her special vileness is always to increase the measure of pain that others are prepared to inflict; her mind itself is a lynch mob.” 1

I don’t just happen to randomly know all these facts – I read the play and did some research after finding out why I was called Regan. I’m a bit of a geek like that. And you know what else I found out? Shakespeare’s kinda cool. I love how poetically he wrote and he told some really good stories – stories that are still relevant today which in a way sucks that humans haven’t changed much in the last few hundred years, but at the same time shows that people will always be people.

I took a break from writing essays for school and feel like I’ve just written an essay on my blog instead!

1 Cavell, Stanley. The Avoidance of Love. Must We Mean What We Say?. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1976

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Top Ten Tuesday: The Best Of 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme at The Broke and The Bookish and this week they’re asking for the Top Ten Books of 2013

This is where I’m really glad I’m listing all the book I read and that I have a goodreads account! But I also found it hard because I’ve read lots of series this year, rather than individual novels and it’s hard to pick one or two out of a series!.

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry
The Alexander Cipher by Will Adams
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K Hamilton

If I had to narrow it down more, I could pick three as being the best so far: American Gods, Angels & Demons and The Templar Legacy because they all made me want to learn more about their subject matters. I’m not saying I have gone out there and learned about religions and the Illuminati or The Knights Templar, just that I’m interested in learning more. Maybe over the summer holiday, depending on how much summer reading/assignments I get!