Monday, March 19, 2018

The Theory of Everything

With the passing of Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA; this past week, we decided to watch Eddie Redmayne  take on the role  in the movie, 'The Theory of Everything'. I knew it would be moving and touching with glimses into his state of mine and sense of humour but what I did not expect to see what his vulnerable side so plain and open.

How he dealt with losing the ability to do the basic functins , that many consider 'easy'  and 'normal' he was denied at such a young age. However, it did not deter his ambition nor his spirit . His belief in ' where there is life, there is hope' resonated quite loudly with me. Hope is something we assume for people in turmoil and trouble.  Hope seems to be for those that are most destitute and have only that to cling to.

Hope can be a helper for anyone living a normal life, with no troubles , turmoils or terrible circumstance.  To have a boring life.... might be the biggest blessing you could ask for... and one that many people hope for.

So hope away, and hope for  and hope in each moment that you can . That moment will pass but the hope persists...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Exclusive Books winter sale

Exclusive books winter sale just finished, and this year I did not enter the competition to win the dash, but next year I shall!

I managed to get ‘ Pearl of China’ by Anchee Min for R48 and ‘ Dali and I ‘ by Stan Lauryssens for R56. I was captured by the stories and look forward to discovering new authors and new societies in China and the art world of Salvador Dali.

I completed ‘Vanity fair’ this past weekend and it was so worth the weight. I shall miss Thackeray’s style of writing , so I will be on the lookout for his earlier pieces. I loved his referencing to historical facts and events as well as how he made fun of society at the time. He is truly a classic storyteller. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Books for Life .... Stephen King

These are my 4 King must reads 


 A teenage boy gets is first car and it is his first love, but first love can be devastating if travelled down the road of obsession and  no return. It is  a true story of teenage angst and the cool factor. When I read it I was driving for a while and the story brought back memories of when I got my first car and that feeling of freedom and independence. I think it is a coming of age story which is essential reading for first time car owners. It is a long novel but so worth it as the story integrates itself into your psyche and experience of driving.

From a Buick 8: 

This story from King was interesting as it somehow seemed ‘ un-King’ to me. I think I need to re-read it.  I am not sure what it was but the car concept did done for me in Christine. I might not have been in the right frame of mind when I started the book.

The Shining :

 This is probably one of the most recognised King novels, due to the Jack Nicholson movie and the creepy little kid whose face was so perfectly innocent at the beginning of the story. I read the book before watching the movie and they did match up quite nicely.  The actual novel is one of only a few which had me reading into the late hours of the night just to get to a non-scary part before bedtime.  It is a quintessential King novel for any fan, to own and re-read when needing a shift back into classic King.


The first novel from King that was published. I had watched the original movie with Sissy Spaceck  and it was also peppered with a quite entertaining performance from John Travolta. I loved the movie and was intrigued into reading the book.  It is a short novel dealing with the simple idea that  a bullied outcast young girl has telekinetic powers which get better and stronger the more angry and put down she gets.  I loved simplicity of his language in this story and how he somehow managed to get into the mind of a young teenage girl. It fascinates me how he manages to get into the various characters minds and so convincingly speaks from their point of view. This book was the beginning of the King takeover and worthy of being a book to read at least once in your life. It will take you an afternoon , 3 cups of coffee and some finger snacks. You will not regret it. Also look out for the movie remake starring Chloe Moretz.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Reading for studying is fun

This past week I had a test to study for. I am training to become a volunteer guide at Ushaka Marine World, in their Education Centre. I am seriously loving it and the experience thus far has been great. 

This test was the last before our assessments and covered quite a bit of information. I studied using a method I used through high school and university. The mind mapping technique. I guess I picked it up somewhere and it has just worked for me.

But I missed out on my reading for pleasure as I was spending three days reading about fish families, mangroves and rocky shores.

 Needless to say mindmaps were bountiful on my table. When I got the test, the other people and I compared study notes and they had just read things over and over again. I guess that works if you if you are memorizing a poem or speech but to actually learn something I need to reinterpret information in my own way and then see it in my own handwriting. And then I read those notes....over and over again

The information which came to me in the test was precise and what I needed. I mean there were about 5 marks which I guessed as I really did not know the answers. But I guess I did ok anyway. My point about reading for studying purposes is that you end up  , or rather, I get tired of the types notes, I need colour an excitement... This is also why I trace drawings to my notes. Of course none of those extra things were asked in the test   but they shall prove their usefulness when someone asks me one of those questions on a guiding 

I am glad to be able to get back to Vanity Fair and a little of Latin dictionary ( for fun, I like to know the Latin origin of words ) 

Am also wanting to get back to ‘ The Legend of Colton Bryant’ , a book about cowboys which is quite interesting so far. He has a horse named Cocoa ; I like that.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Book vs Movie – Jurassic Park and others

I love my reading and I love movies and when the two intersect in the right way it can be a creative overload of epic proportion. For instance, Jurassic Park, had Spielberg at the helm and Crichton writing one of the most spectacular books ever. It was a written story that was popular and then converted into a movie which captured the essence of the film, including thrills and screams quite well. The author, since passed away, was a genius. All of his books, which I have read, including his earlier works such as Airframe, contain the same element of deception, physical danger and  risk taking, on the part of the main characters. I love that!

The movies were in line with his thinking for the 3 movies which they produced. Part 3 was not based on a book but was entertaining nonetheless. I would have been curious to see what his reaction to JP 4 would be.

The Devil wears prada is an example where I could not comprehend how the movie was made with so many significant changes from the book. I had watched the movie and loved it. But then I read the book and was severely disappointed that the movie had left out so many important pieces of the story which impacted the development of the characters significantly. I still do love the movie, but the derivation from the movie is very thin. The level of bitchiness in the book , in all the characters, was toned down so much. And the Andy character had a better growth period and life changing experience in the book than in the movie. 

Tommyknockers by the master Stephen King was a great meeting of the minds, as the movie got the scare factor down really well. It didn’t matter that the effects were not the best, because the acting was great and the storyline was so captivating. I enjoyed both but the book took me into the world, and I was seriously scared every night when I was reading my chapter or five before bed.

I watched Silence of the Lambs many moons ago and got the book recently. It is a shorter book than I thought and the movie , thankfully, was very true to the book and did not change the impacting lines, and important story. I love the movie because the casting was so perfect and the directing had such a ‘light touch’ , I could sense how the actors were absorbed by the characters.

Gone with the wind is a classic novel and a classic movie. The book took me 2 months to finish and I relished every southern accented word. I was reading in a southern accent ,which I got from the movie. The movie is by far one of the most beautiful pieces of film I have ever seen. I love the wardrobe, the casting and the stunning backdrop moments, which were spectacular for their time.

I love reading books, and will never give it up! But when an adaptation is done correctly , and the book was read before, there is nothing better than seeing your imaginations vision of characters and scenery perfectly represented on screen to delve your senses into a story once more…..

Saturday, June 16, 2012

2012 books so far

I have been completely absorbed in Vanity Fair and it has really taken a while for me to get into it but now I am hooked and sad that I am almost at the end of the story. The copious amounts of reference footnotes adds quality to the story with historical references and cute little stories about the author and his personal stories. I am thoroughly enjoying all the language which is so convoluted and intense that it requires such commitment to the story. I am quite keen to see the movie when I am done to see how it was caught on camera and the time span of the story is achieved.

In other reading news, I am paused mid-Wizard and Glass as I am awaiting my copy of the next part of the Dark tower series and would rather read and start the next chapter asap instead of waiting for the next one so it has a special place on my bedside table awaiting a continuance. 

I also real the In-between world of Vikram Lall which was stunning and very well written. I finished it quite quickly. The story was relevant as it was about an Indian family living in Kenya and their story of being locals who were not African.  I was glad to find a new author to add to my collection.

God of War by Marisa Silver was an interesting read. I had won it in the Exclusive Books spree of 2011 and was not sold on the cover but then I read the premise of the story and got into the entire story quite quickly. It is deserving of its awards and reminds me ever so slightly of  House Rules by Jodi Picoult as the autism aspect was covered in the same intensity.

I managed to read Eat Pray Love this year and was consumed by the amazing story. I then decided to read some reviews of the movie and they completely convinced me to not scar the memory of the book by watching it so I did not and will not unless forced to.  I loved her writing style and will check out her other books if I come across them.

Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice has got my back in her world and I loved it! I  used to read her books through highschool until my mother decided it would turn me into a Satan worshipper! I picked up again and now this book of hers with Lestat is so amazingly beautiful, I have bought more of her books. I will love to get her entire collection.

Dennis Lehane is now also one of my favourite authors. Mystic River was so hauntingly beautiful, and unfortunately I had watched the movie ages ago so I had Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon in my mind but that was ok! I think the casting was done really well and the story was captured fantastically. I enjoy Lehane’s writing style as well as his portrayal of Boston. His other book Any Given Day was also very inspirational and had a captivating story which solidified his standing with me as an author of note.

The rest of the years books for me to read are the Millenium Trilogy as I am awaiting the 1st part to return to me so I can start. 

Then I have a few more books lined up including Zorba the Greek and Doctor Zhivago and Christine by Stephen King.

Will do a post as soon as Vanity Fair is done and the next book is started.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My chicklit experiences

I was never into foofy female writers who made every single book have a happy ending. I enjoyed male writers when I was younger, and delved occasionally into a Patricia Cornwell and a few classics by the Bronte sisters. The my English teacher Mrs MacDonald let us know that she used to be friends with a famous Irish author, Maeve Binchy...  I thought, well if she was her friend, lets see what type of writer she is!

I ended up devouring 'Circle of Friends' and then every other Binchy I could get my hands on! I loved the Irish quirkiness, mannerisms and writing style! It really did make me laugh so much that I found myself astonished that a female writer had actually linked with me!

I still love Binchy's novels, but one of my favourites has to be 'Tara Road', just in that there is something about that story which tugs at my heart and makes me want to visit that house on Tara Road!

I enjoyed the film adaptation, but truthfully Ria should  have been a little less glamourous in the beginning of the movie and then the makeover would have worked more.. Loved Andie McDowell as the American!

It is a beautifully told story about friendship. family ( annoying and lovable), houses that become homes, internal power and love at the basis of everything.