The Prince of Tides (AKA The King of Self-Absorbtion)

Rating: Pear

The Prince of Tides is a novel by Pat Conroy, first published in 1986. It revolves around traumatic events that affected former football player Tom Wingo’s relationship with his immediate family. Tom’s elder brother, Luke, met a tragic and premature death and his sister, Savannah, a published poet, has attempted suicide and is now in a deep depression.

After much thought, I have decided that March is my least favorite of the twelve months.  It doesn’t hold any sort of holiday, my birthday has already come and went, it tricks you into thinking that it might be warm and then it dumps snow on you, AND it just feels looooong. 

Last week, I looked at my calendar and concluded that we were almost out of this dreadful month.  I envisioned April showers and rainbows and the snow disappearing.

Well, guess what.  We are still in this month.  Worse, it seems to have turned April against us as well.  Tomorrow, my area is scheduled to get 8-12 inches of snow.  WHAT?!!! 

Just as I have had bad luck with certain aspects of my life this month, I also have had questionable luck with my book choices.  Continue reading

What is the Best Fantasy Series?

I have put great thought into this question as I am smitten with a number of them.  This week’s Bookworm theme is just that.  In the comments, please tell me, which fantasy series do you think is the best?  The winners will be announced on Friday. 

I have recently finished a fantasy/science fiction/adventure series that takes a heck of a lot of committment, and that is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Series.  As you can see from my posts on the first three books of the series, I have gradually warmed up to Mr. King, despite his penchant for terrifying me. 

After finishing the entire series, I can safely say that the fourth book, Wizard and Glass, is my favorite.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved all of them.  This one has a special place in my heart because I set out thinking that I was going to be frustrated with it and rush through it.  In the long run, this was the one I most savored. 

In 1978, Stephen King introduced the world to the last gunslinger, Roland of Gilead. Nothing has been the same since. More than twenty years later, the quest for the Dark Tower continues to take readers on a wildly epic ride. Through parallel worlds and across time, Roland must brave desolate wastelands and endless deserts, drifting into the unimaginable and the familiar. A classic tale of colossal scope — crossing over terrain from The Stand, The Eyes of the Dragon, Insomnia, The Talisman, Black House, Hearts in Atlantis, Salem’s Lot, and other familiar King haunts — the adventure takes hold with the turn of each page. And the Tower awaits… The Fourth Volume in the Epic Dark Tower Series… Wizard and Glass. Roland and his band of followers have narrowly escaped one world and slipped into the next. There Roland tells them a tale of long-ago love and adventure involving a beautiful and quixotic woman named Susan Delgado. And there they will be drawn into an ancient mystery of spellbinding magic and supreme menace.

The longest book so far of the series is a giant flashback. 

When I started this books, my initial reaction to the flashback is, “You have got to be kidding me.  I just want to find out what happens next!”  There may have even been some “grrrrr”s thrown in. 

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The Bookworms: Character You Would Least Like to Come to Life

Welcome to the first-ever presentation of the Bookworm award!  If you missed last week’s post, check it out to find out the guidelines to participating in the Academy for these prestigious awards.  Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find out the category for this next week!

After seeing your nominations for The Character You Would Least Like to Come to Life, I have come to a few conclusions.

1)  We are more fearful of men than of women. 

The award might as well have been for “Male Character…”  because all of our nominations are for characters of the male persuasion. 

Personally, and I say this as a card-carrying female, I think women can be much more psychologically destructive than men.  However, men have the tendancy of bypassing psychology entirely and going straight for physical damage. 

This leads to Conclusion #2.

2) We are more afraid of physical distress than emotional or psychological problems. 

Physical damage may hurt for the moment, but, with the characters, you have nominated, you will not live long enough to feel much pain.

Psychological problems, however, can cause pain for a lifetime and even lead to bodily pain.  hmmmm.  Perhaps we are more afraid of our lives ending quickly than of enduring long lives of torment. 

Anyway, enough on my random observations.  Without further ado, here are the nominations and the winner of the first ever Bookworm! Continue reading

How Many Have You Read?

I was poking around facebook and I remembered this challenge from a while back.  Considering I didn’t have a blog to share this when it first came around, I thought that I would post it up here now.
According to a rumor that I never found validated, BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?
I ended up with 60 out of the 100. I’m not feeling too badly about that. 
What I do feel badly about though is the selection of books that we have to work with here.  The BBC chose these books based on suggestions from their readers.  At a certain point, however, I wonder why certain books are in there and others aren’t.
 
Why do they pay such homage to Victorian Era writers?  I love Jane Austen as much as the next girl, but do we really need to include four of her books? 
 
Why The Five People You Meet in Heaven instead of Tuesdays With Morrie
 
Finally, and perhaps most important, how does this list not include The Giver
 
I’m tempted to make my own list, so take that BBC! 
 
Let me know what you think!  Which books should stay on the list, which ones should get the heck off of the list, and what should the replacements be?

Italicized and Bold= Read

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen 
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

In Support of Buddy the Elf’s Syrup Policy- Maple Weekend

The film Elf teaches us that children have a wisdom that is superior to the intelligence of adults.  Will Ferrell, as Buddy the Elf, teaches his newfound, city slicker father that love is more important than a corporate job. 

Buddy’s policy on food is also brilliant.  Instead of getting all caught up on servings of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, he divides his diet into 4 basic food groups:  candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. 

Much simpler…

Now, while I do think that a select few other foods do need to make their way into his food policy (come on, where would pizza go?), I do strongly support syrup.

After all, as I learned yesterday, syrup comes from trees, meaning it must be good for you.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend time outside, basking in the blue skies and shining sun.  My oldest friend (as in, we have been friends since Kindergarten) and her dad showed us the nuts and bolts of how to make maple syrup. 

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Because Books Deserve Awards Shows Too…

You see this cookie?  Yeah, that one.  The one right under this sentence.  It’s a winner.

This baby is a dark chocolate pistachio oatmeal cookie. Somehow, I managed to squeeze three of my very favorite things into one cookie.  To make it even better, it has elements of green in it!  This is a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all year!

Let me cut to the chase.  I’m not here to talk about cookies.  I mean, they’re delicious, but no, I’m here to tell you about The Bookworms.

(If you want the recipe for cookie- you know you do- look at the bottom of this post.)

You see, I was thinking about it and I realized that even though I devoted so much time to preparing for the Oscars, I will never be able to devote that kind of time to a mass-marketed, televised literaturapoolooza.   The sad truth is the Oscars get viewers because people have seen the movies. Many people have not read the books.  **hangs head in complete and utter devastation**

I decided to do us book lovers a favor then and I am taking a stand!  We not be able to have James Franco announce the winners, but The Very Hungry Bookworm would love to host The Bookworms!

Here is how it is going to work.

  1. Every Friday, I will announce the category for the following week.
  2. Sometime over that next week, you let me know who/what you think should win the category.  You can do this in a number of ways.  Post a comment.  Email me.  Write a blog post of your own.
  3. The following Friday, I will round-up any responses that I received and link to any blog posts you have sent to reveal the nominations and the **Drumroll please** winner!
  4. The lucky winner will receive the satisfaction of a job well done and a virtual golden bookworm-shaped statue called a  Bookworm.  Pretty sweet deal man.

In this way, my fine people, we become the Academy.  After all, we readers are the experts right?

So, without further ado, I announce the first category:

Character You Would Least Like to Come to Life

Happy voting!

Read on for the winning cookie recipe…

Continue reading

Stay Green on This St. Patty’s Day

Every year around this time, the supermarkets are flooded with all things green.  Hats, necklaces, those poor dyed flowers, plates, napkins, teddy bears, stuffed leprechauns, beads, jewelry, etc. 

A few days ago, while walking through the store hunting down ingredients for the recipe below, I saw specialty green sunglasses. SUNGLASSES?  In March?  Really?  These aren’t just normal sunglasses either.  They are prescription sunglasses, meaning they cost a fair amount of money.  Who buys specialty glasses for St. Patrick’s Day? 

These are the great quandaries of my life. 

In retaliation, I have developed my own list of ways to go green in honor of this lovely Irish holiday that celebrates…drinking …and rioting.  Yeah. 

  1. Save some green and be crafty.  We are crazed buyers.  Every time we need something or we have to give a gift, we automatically head to the store.  I bet that you spend a lot of money every year on things that you could probably make yourself.  Instead of buying a scarf, knit one!  Paint a picture.  Take something you don’t use anymore and find a way to revitalize it or give it away.  Make a personalized frame to hold your favorite pictures.  Even cooler, make your own book.  
  2. Grow Some Green.  This is the time of year to start some seeds for those herbs and plants that you want to see growing in the summer.  Head to your local hardware store or garden center and grab some seeds and soil.  That, and a lot of love, is all you need to give life to those beautiful flowers and delicious herbs that you can grow outside.  If you don’t think you have the space, trust me, you do!  My herbs happily flourish on the balcony of my apartment and I never have to buy herbs during the summer! Continue reading