Archive for January, 2012

January 26, 2012

Another win for WHW!

Another win for world horse welfare as a woman in Kent is issued a 5 year ban for keeping her animals in appalling conditions. One of the ponies was found with only sand in his intestine and three ponies had to be euthenised as there was no hope of saving them. Without your support WHW would not be able to save such animals, so please, Donate!

January 25, 2012

Keep calm…

January 25, 2012

Dressage Lover?

Huge opportunity with World Horse Welfare to participate in a once in a lifetime event- Andrew Gould, world renowned dressage expert is going to be in Norfolk on Thursday 22 March 2012, giving a dressage workshop. For those of you interested, check out the the full story! 🙂

January 24, 2012

Currently Reading…..

I think I committed a cardinal sin by not reading The Picture of Dorian Gray before the film, but I’m doing it now 🙂 Until then…enjoy.

January 24, 2012

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ

“There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are either well written or badly written. That is all.” (Oscar Wilde)

Mostly, I agree with him, but after reading ‘The Gospel According to Jesus Christ’, I wasn’t so sure.  The book is actually written by Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago. I’m always surprised by the fact that despite its english translation, very few anglophones have even heard of this book- which is amusing because it caused such controversy in Portugal.

The book is written in a sort of pseudo-gospel manner, but with the narrator of the story as an omniscient writer who reveals a tyrannical God using Jesus as a pawn in his endless play for power, and the devil as a reasonable, but misunderstood helper of Jesus. Jesus himself enjoys many pleasures of worldly life, including copulating with Mary Magdalene and at one point being asked whether he wanted to have sex with a sheep (random). It doesn’t focus on the gospels, but rather on Jesus’ childhood and how it formed him into a man. Written in Saramago’s a-grammatical, quirky style it’s not a book to take on lightly, but it’s certainly a must-read.

There is no doubt that this book is superbly written, but as for its morality, I’m still entirely unsure- there seems something incredibly perverse about setting Jesus up as a such a pitiful figure, of turning God into such a monster. But perhaps what must be borne in mind is that this is really just a book- it’s not an attempt at a new and dynamic gospel, it’s just a novel, about Christ,written by a (incredibly pissed-off Catholic-hater) communist atheist. Enjoy!

January 24, 2012

The English Language

I thought this might amuse some people.

January 24, 2012

Legacy

There are books that should just never be published. For the good of literature everywhere. Legacy, by Cayla Kluver, is undoubtedly one of those books. I wrote recently about a book called Daughter of the Forest, which I found clichĂ©, but its faults pale in comparison to the immense amount of just awfulness that this book has to offer. The plot follows Alera, a princess in the fictional land of Hytannica who must ascend the throne on her 18th birthday. However, as a woman, she must marry before she may do so. Her father’s only approved choice is Steldor- a boy whom Alera despises. The reader is then subjected to an incredibly whimpy heroine and a derth of anything actually happening in this novel. Safe to say, I’m reviewing it not to add to my 100 book work count but just to warn fellow book lovers that it is awful.

It’s only saving grace is that the author, Kayla Cluver, was only 14 when she wrote it. As anyone can tell you, a writer can only write what they know and what she knew at 14 clearly wasn’t very much- so for that she is forgiven. What is more, for a 14 year old, the piece is frankly spectacular, and I am certain that in time her writing style will improve. The real blame should lie with the publisher in allowing someone with such a terribly naive world view (who can blame her) to actually publish. That said, when the second and third books come out I will still make an effort to read them- Cluver is not without talent, and perhaps as she matures, so will her writing.

January 24, 2012

Horse Slaughter

People buy free range chickens because they believe in eating food that has lived in humane conditions before we eat it. The same is not true for horse meat- every year, 80,000 stressed horses are packed into trucks and driven long distances across Europe to slaughter. Exhausted, diseased, injured and travelling for days over thousands of miles: these horses are desperate for food, water and rest. Please help WHW tell the European Comission that this needs to stop. Sign the petition– it will only take you two minutes!

January 24, 2012

Catching Fire and Mockingjay (Hunger Games)

I don’t think I’ve ever described a work of fiction as “harrowing”, but that is what this trilogy was. I’ve been affected by books before- I cried when Dumbledore died, and rejoiced when Frodo got rid of the ring, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotionally drained, so distressed and left a series feeling so empty as I have with this one.

I’ve been attempting to emotionally detach myself in order to review it, but I must say that it is genuinely difficult to do so. If you’ve read my first review, you will see that I was excited to be embarking on a new relationship with a series, no matter how gruesome the premise. However, as I closed the final page of mockingjay I was not elated, but rather crushed. All the best writers drag their characters through suffering-it’s part of the transformation of the character, but this series follows one girl’s descent into what can only be described as complete madness. The author’s ruthlessness is so relentless that I would even describe Collins’ treatment of her characters as callous.

The second book- Catching Fire starts a few months after Katniss’ win at the games, and follows the her through what is known as the ‘Quarter Quell’- where once every 25 years there is an even more gruesome tribute to be paid- this years’ Hunger Games sees the pool of tributes taken only from previous victors. At the same time, Katniss’ defiance at the previous games has started a rebellion – of which she is the mascot. Mockingjay then follows Katniss after she has escaped from the arena and the rebellion against the Capitol is in full swing. With Peeta captured Katniss must be the symbol of the rebellion- she must be their Mockingjay.

I’m not sure what is more heartbreaking- watching Katniss transform from a flawed but sweet young girl, confused about her feelings for two men, into a half-crazed, almost suicidal head case- or the realization (both hers and yours) that the regime which Katniss brings to power is only marginally better than the one left behind. I read an article in which a mother asked for the Hunger Games to be removed from her child’s curriculum because it was giving her child nightmares and she didn’t approve of the message it gave. Whilst I continue to think this woman is clearly a moron, before you begin this terrible journey with Katniss, you do have to prepared to accept extreme loss and darkness- because that is precisely what you’re going to get. Don’t forget to Donate to World Horse Welfare- it’s all for a good cause!

January 23, 2012

Juliet Marillier – Wildwood Dancing

More Juliet Marillier, haven’t read it myself, but it looks interesting.

Fyrefly's Book Blog

166. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (2006)

Read By:Kim Mai Guest
Length: 432 pages

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Started: 08 December 2011
Finished: 29 December 2011

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it?Corinne’s fault.

Five sisters learn that
life is not a fairy tale,
and no gifts come free.

Summary: Jena and her sisters have always been warned to stay out of the woods surrounding their home: dangerous creatures live there, and their cousin Costi drowned in a pond during a childish game. However, the five girls have a secret – on the full moon, they’re able to open a portal into the faerie woods, for a night of dancing and celebration with the folk of the forest. When Jena is 15, though, their father becomes ill and is taken to the coast for the winter to recover his health. Jena tries to…

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