Thursday, 14 March 2013

E-reader vs Paperback (Ducks head as fight commences)

So all this week I have been posting E-reader vs Paper copies related pics on The One With Rachel's Book's Facebook Page in a build-up to my vague rant. For those of you in a rush, it is pretty well summed up by the Nerd Girl Problem posted at the bottom of the page. For everyone else, go ahead and read my random musings.

Ok... Books and me have history. Obviously, as a kid and then through my teen years, I didn't have an e-reader, and so my love of the written word was channelled exclusively through a large collection of paperbacks, and frequent trips to the school library. Books were frequently passed on to me by my Mum and my Gran- a practice that still continues today. (just last week I took my copies of The Night Circus and The Secret Supper Club up to my Gran's house for her to read) Strangely enough, it is slightly harder to share a book with someone when it is on your e-reader. There are very few people I would trust with my kindle (and I do get slightly territorial over it). In fact, the only instance I can think of in which I left my kindle with anyone... at all... ever... was with my boyfriend in a coffee shop while I went for a job interview. This was because 1. He had nothing to read, and 2. He needed to be shown the awesomeness of Oscar Wilde.

Anyway- books have this sharing/lending type nature to them (at least in my family) whereas e-readers don't.

Kindle has free reads, especially classics. My god, my addiction to free reads is out of control. My book collection on my kindle is principally (like 95%) free smut and free classics. But... if I get a classic book for free on Kindle that I find I absolutely love, I will then buy it in paperback...

I get a massive kick out of seeing my book collection in various places in my house. Currently there are 4 book shelves in my house (three are mine), and a pile of books on my bedside table, as well as random singular books dotted around (despite my mother's attempts to herd me and my belongings back into my bedroom). There are also two books in my handbag (my current read and a spare). The effect just isn't the same with my kindle- I know I have about 80 books on there at the moment, but it doesn't envoke the same sense of pride in my collection that my physical books do.

Basically, I am split on the whole book vs. kindle thing. I love both. More books for me, as far as I am concerned. Kindle is good for practicality, and yet I am a sentimental being sometimes (and so books win extra points in that department.)
I don't really get the passionate arguing over whatever way people wish to read books in. It is a bit like the xbox vs. wii vs. playstation debate as well, I suppose.   "I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school...
I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy...."
Erm... yeah, I quoted Mean Girls... and???

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Top 5 (and a half)Favourite Fictional Mums

In honour of Mother's Day (which is today here in the UK), here are some of my favourite fictional Mums, and why.
Molly Weasley

1. Molly Weasley- Harry Potter: "Not my daughter, you bitch!"

I think that phrase says it all. Molly Weasley is a bad-ass mum. Yes, she fusses over her many children, and she knits sweaters for Christmas presents, but she also takes on dark-wizards in battle and wins.

2. Mrs Bennet- Pride and Prejudice: “Good gracious! Lord bless me! Only think! Dear me! Mr. Darcy! Who would have thought it? And is it really true? Oh, my sweetest Lizzy! how rich and how great you will be! What pin-money, what jewels, what carriages you will have! Jane’s is nothing to it — nothing at all. I am so pleased — so happy. Such a charming man! — so handsome! so tall! Oh, my dear Lizzy! pray apologise for my having disliked him so much before. I hope he will overlook it. Dear, dear Lizzy! A house in town! Everything that is charming! Three daughters married! Ten thousand a year! Oh, Lord! What will become of me? I shall go distracted.”

Mrs Bennet is amazing purely because she is such an awful woman. A figure of harsh satire and general dramatic comic relief, she says the most embarrassing, tactless things.... and I LOVE IT!

3. The Aunts - Practical Magic: "My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Aunt Frances

Although they are technically Guardians rather than Mothers, the Aunts, Frances and Jet, are the crazy old women that I aspire to be in my senior years. To someone normal, they may seem completely nuts, brewing their love potions and keeping an excess number of cats... but they care (even if they don't always know how to show it), and they come out with some pretty great lines- my favourite of which I have quoted above.

4. Natalie Prior- Divergent: "Be brave Beatrice. I love you."

I loved how supportive Natalie was of Tris in Divergent. In a world where they are all taught to choose faction first, Natalie's strength to say that she doesn't care about what faction her daughter is in is pretty significant. And then there is the whole other side to her, where by the end of the book I had totally transformed my opinions of her, going from vague respect for her quiet support and strength, to... ah, damn, I can't tell you without spoiling the entire second half of the book. Basically, kick-ass character, and possibly the best actual mum of the lot I have chosen.   Scratch that.. Molly Weasley FTW, but Natalie Prior is still pretty cool.

5. Cercei Lannister- A Game of Thrones: "When you play a game of thrones, you win or you die."

I wanted to put all of the female characters from Game of Thrones in this list, but not all of them are mothers... Catelyn is pretty damn cool too, but of the GoT mums, Cercei wins. She really would do anything for her family, and indeed she does some pretty messed up and cruel things to protect herself, her children and her brother/lover. Plus, she is Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. How many mums can claim to be that?

Cercei Lannister

5.5...... OOH, massive loophole here.... my super absolute favourite character from Game of Thrones happens to be Daenerys Targaryen, also known as The Mother of Dragons (amongst many other titles). Yes, this is such a technicality, but she is such an amazing character that I can not miss her out. Her inner strength and courage, as well as how much she grows over the books, make her a fearsome being to behold.

Happy Mother's day to all mummy's out there, but especially to my own. She puts up with a lot from me, so Thank You Mummy!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Review: The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

Title: The Importance of Being Earnest
Author: Oscar Wilde
Format: E-book
Length: 67 pages
Genre: Comedy, Play
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Buy this: Paperback |Ebook

A wee while ago I saw the film Wilde, and was totally amazed by it, and immediately downloaded a selection of Wilde literary offerings to my Kindle for free. I love the full name of this play. (The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Play for Serious People). It summarises Oscar Wilde's wit so well- his one liners are packed into the play, and there are no surplus words to slow the pace.

The Importance of Being Earnest is a play about how a name can change the perception of a person infinitely. Jack Worthing and his friend Algernon both have secret identities, for similar purposes. For Jack, he becomes his fictional brother Earnest any time he wants to visit town and escape the confines of his home in the countryside, whereas Algernon uses a similar excuse whenever he wants a peaceful retreat to the countryside. The problem is that Jack has courted the lovely Gwendolyn whilst using Earnest's identity, and upon accepting his proposal she declares she could not love a man by any other name than Earnest. Algernon also temporarily adopts Earnest's identity to woo Jack's ward Cecily. Strangely enough, Cecily declares the exact same statement about loving Earnest- deception may get you the girl, but it makes it all blooming complicated. And then there is the super awkward moment when Cecily and Gwendolyn meet, both introducing themselves as the fiancĂ©e of Earnest. 

So yes, Wilde's wit is loltastic to the extreme. I genuinely had a 20 minute conversation the other day about my favourite quotes from this play. It was in the coffee shop where my parents met that hasn't been redecorated in maybe 20 years, and it was possibly the most hipster moment of my entire life. Anyway, here are a selection of my favs to round off my review (I am out of practice at review writing, and I have missed you all *hugs*)

"The amount of women in London who flirt with their own husbands is perfectly scandalous. It looks so bad. It is simply washing one's clean linen in public."

"All women become their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."

"If I am occasionally a little overdressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated."

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train."

"I have always been of the opinion that a man who desires to get married should know everything or nothing."

10 stars. Genius.