Recommended Books

These are some of my favourite books/series that either I especially enjoyed when I was little or love today:

The Beka Cooper Series: “Terrier”, “Bloodhound”, and “Mastiff” by Tamora Pierce

Excellent young-adult reading

• Fantasy, Action

• Summary: teenage girl who grew up in the roughest part of a ragged city becomes a guardswoman of the Crown with the help of quick wit, strong friends, and a bit of magic.

• Extra Warnings: Crude Language, Romance (Especially in Bloodhound), Lotsa Violence

– “Blood Red Road” by Moira Young

• Fantasy, Action

I enjoyed this when I was around twelve years old, though really, it’s for older kids

• Summary: teenage girl travels across the desert to rescue her kidnapped brother, running into all sorts of dangers along the way.

• Extra Warnings: Romance, Littla Violence

– The Chronicles of Narnia: “The Magician’s Nephew,” “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,”The Horse and His Boy,” “Prince Caspian,” “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” “The Silver Chair,” and “The Last Battle” by Clive Lewis

• Fantasy, Action, Christian

• The Chronicles of Narnia can be read at any age

• My especial favourites are The Horse and His Boy and “The Silver Chair”

– “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

• Historical Fiction

• I actually couldn’t put The Nightingale down

• I read this as a teenager (meaning: recently.)

• Summary: the stories of two French sisters with different aspirations in World War II.

• Extra Warnings: Emotional Rollercoaster, Romance, Lotsa Violence

– “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo

• Fantasy

• I read this as a child repeatedly and still love it today

• Summary: sickly mouse with unusually-sized ears rescues the princess of the kingdom, whom he loves

– Covert Affairs by Elizabeth Cage

Action

• Light reading, but enjoyable stories

• Summary: three teenage spy girls go on missions, facing governmental crisis, kidnappers, and their own pasts.

– Ender: “Ender’s Game,” “Speaker for the Dead,” “Xenocide,” “Children of the Mind” by Orson Card

Sci-Fi

• I’ve read Ender’s Game at least three times and Speaker for the Dead, but not the last two yet.

• Summary: the story of a brilliant boy being trained into a general of Earth’s fleet and how he saves more than just Earth.

Warriors series by Erin Hunter

• Fantasy

• I read these as an early reader

Summary: four clans of cats live in various parts of the forest hunting, defending their territory from other clans, and fulfilling prophecies.

“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Drama

• I read this in school and loved the writing style, but the story kind of drove me nuts

• Summary: a heart-broken widow has an affair with a coward and the not-dead husband of the not-widow comes back to a daughter of the ashamed not-widow. The not-dead husband proceeds to make coward’s and woman’s lives miserable. But it’s told so beautifull that you excuse all the drama and gracelessness.

Showdown: “Showdown,” “Saint,” “Sinner” by Ted Dekker

Action, Christian, Suspense

Ohmeegoodnees, I haven’t read Showdown, but Saint and Sinner are impeccable.

• Summary: man of a covert black ops. group is sent on a mission that changes his life. (It’s not cheesy, I promise. It gets really, really awesome.)

Skyrim

Oooh, boy.

I absolutely love Skyrim. I’ve been playing for two-ish years and yet to have a character above level 50, but I love it.

If you’re debating on buying it this Christmas, I’ll let you in on what you’re getting:

1. Beautiful Graphics

When you enter the world of Skyrim, everything is gorgeous. The trees are detailed down to the clusters of pine needles, the faces of the characters are smooth and realistic, the weather is immersive but not annoying, and the dragons are scaled intricately. I give it a 9/10 only because I’ve seen slightly more beautiful games in photos. Skyrim has a grittier, realistic animation style, and it’s wonderful.

2. Many hours of unique gameplay

Indeed, Skyrim is an open-world map of a country about the size of Texas and doesn’t seem like there’s much aim besides slaying dragons for any reason. But it is also the Companions, the Thieves’ Guild, and many other side storylines that aren’t really on the side. The guilds are immense and rich in development and you actually make a change in them, either for the better or for the worse is up to you. And, there are a few DLCs that flesh out your world only further after you’ve sucked the marrow out of the bare skeleton of Skyrim. I’ve played many characters, and the only repetitive thing is the opening scene; the rest of it is up to my own choices. Sometimes I take the normal path to Riverwood and Whiterun, other times, I go West to Falkreath and start my venturing there. It’s absolutely open world and every NPC has an interesting part to play.

3. Blood, Guts, Death, and Language

Like all things in life, there’s a rough patch in the glorious field. You can turn the blood off in the options, but if you don’t, there’s quite a bit of splatter (including on-screen or lying in pools or staining a wall). Guts, also, meaning whenever you enter a Hagraven’s lair, expect to see blood-covered eyeballs in bowls. If you have a problem with blood and death, don’t play it (the opening scene is literally witnessing/partaking of an execution). As for language, only a few common lines (spoken in passing or in battle) involve “damn,” and a few characters, but very few, use the word for female dogs. The game is rated M for a reason.

4. Detailed Character Customization

On a positive note, you can tweak your nose, colour your eyes, shade your upper and lower jaw differently, choose anything between scrawny or sturdy build, and much more for your character. You can change it later for a price at the Ragged Flagon.

5. Another Word on Guilds

You can be in all of them, your moral alignment matters not. You can be a law-abiding, glory-loving Companion of Jorrvaskr one week and the shadiest, slyest Nightingale the next. Every guild has an excellent storyline with character development and a hint at glory days. The only dull moment is afterwards, which I regret to say, when the fun quests at the beginning are over. But, there are endless task quests afterwards that help you build your skills, and, like life, an occasional exciting quest comes along (like dragon sitings, claiming cities politically, and finding cool books).

That’s all for now. I’ll probably relate my fan-fiction or a few of my stories later on.

Thanks for reading!

Emily

“Cross of Gold” Speech, W. J. Bryan

So I’m supposed to be writing about this guy named W. J. Bryan and how, according to him, the situation with money and the gold standard versus bimetalism and how it effects the country is similar to that of 1776, but I must mention the fact that his thesis is literally in the last paragraph of his entire stinking essay.

Nicely frustrated,

Emily

My Love Life According to Page 206

So there’s this funny thing that’s been going around on the internet. Par for the course. It is “pick up the nearest book to you, flip to page 206. The first full sentence describes your love life.”

Let’s try it out.

“But E, G are prime, primes are also least, and the least measure those which have the same ratio with them the same number of times, the greater the greater and the less the less, that is, the antecedent the antecedent and the consequent the consequent; therefore E measures A the same number of times G measures D.”

I don’t know what I expected from Euclid’s Elements… Let’s try the next one. Webster’s Pocket Thesaurus…

Nevermind.

The next book is Webster’s Pocket Dictionary.

The word is “Mackerel.”

Next: a little booklet of the Constitution… No 206th page.

“Billy Budd, Bartleby, and Other Stories” should be amusing. Melville writes such long sentences…

“He added, that it had got into the belfry by the merest chance.”

“It” happens to be a cup.

NEXT! To the bookshelf!

Ahhh, this makes sense. The book is “The Nightingale.”

“There were no more ‘right’ boys in Paris.”

My love life gets better every book I come across. Let’s do the next one, for funsies.

“It was not so much a better principle, as partly his natural good taste, and still more his buckramed habit of clerical decorum, that carried him safely through the latter crisis.”

“The Scarlet Letter” everyone.

How about it? You can try it too and comment your results!

Looking forward to your book selections!

Emily

De Libros

It is difficult to begin, so I might as well start somewhere.

Beauty

Books are beautiful things for a myriad of reasons. You can go ahead and read C.S. Lewis’ (one of my favourite authors) thoughts on it by researching his essay Why Read Great Literature? It discusses how books enable him to live a thousand lives in one. To see through all sorts of eyes and ears. Books are wondrous because they offer a different view according to the author.

Responsibility

Some of the best universes cost less than two bucks. Get out there when you have time and buy a stack of little books from Half-Price Bookstore or Hastings or what-have-you and just keep the books to read every once in a while. I have a number of unread books, and that’s okay, because I’ll read them when I like.

Granted, there is a responsibility that comes when you are in possession of a galaxy. Reading that little astrosphere can be quite a bit of fun, too, so long as you do it. The responsibility comes in prospecting the book, thinking about what it has to offer, inquiring what in the dickens inspired the writer to put that in there. Of course, there are meaningless books of fluff and pansies which Thoreau calls “travel books.” Thoreau also said he grew ashamed of reading them and soon returned to Homer’s Iliad, which he kept open-faced on a table so that he may read anytime. Find the good books out there. If you need suggestions, ask any avid reader what kind of story you’d like to read and they’ll be more than happy to let you in on what worlds they’ve discovered. At least, I’d be happy to.

Strength

What else to be said… Ah, yes! The strength of books. If you’ve read Fahrenheit 451, you know what I’m talking about. Books are the harbingers of its author’s ideas and opinions. Even if it’s a storybook, it will have some parallel of what the author is going through, what their ideals are, what change they wish to see in the world. It is nigh impossible to write a pure book, a book without taint of opinion or sully of thought. I say “nigh” because there are authors who can write without feeling or brainpower. Their messengers have nothing to say, however.

Thoreau says something like a written word is more precious than the most sacred of artifacts, or something like that. Written words are precious and enduring. They are passed down through generations upon generations with precision and clarity, even though there is quite a bit of flux and evolution in meanings of words.

It is always better to read a classic in its original tongue. Take the Bible, for instance. We have thousands of ways to translate it, and sometimes, a translator writes a very wrong depiction of it, even though it is technically correct. But if a reader were to look to the original text, they can absorb all of the meanings and have a complete picture of what was meant.

Vocabulary

Also, in older books, we see very different language used, even though it might be English or French or what-have-you. The way authors of older generations use words in very different contexts than we would today teaches us also their respect and understanding of the language. Perhaps we learn a new meaning behind a word we thought of as “common” or “base”. This is another reason to enjoy reading.

I can tell you, my understanding of the word “good” has increased phenomenally since I’ve begun reading classics. The word used to be a shallow “alright” word that should be replaced with a more specific and beautiful word. But now, after having read multiple texts on virtue (Especially by Pieper), “good” now means “prudent” and “beautiful” and “worthy” and “true” and “withstanding”. The word “good” will never be used in little, demeaning context ever again in my writing.

Experience

That brings up another point: Reading better books makes better writers. Even though the common rule of thumb is “Writers write.” you must also say on your other thumb “Writers read.” If you do not read, you will not grow in your writing skills. For instance, I read The Scarlet Letter once and I role-played online during that time as well. I was no longer typing “I leap across the ledge”, I was typing some crazy stuff such as “I bound across the cliffs, eager to join the battle yonder.” It was astonishing! Even though it might not happen to everyone in this fashion, you WILL see yourself thinking of various ways to say things.

That’s all I have to say for now. For now.

Thanks, you wonderful, patient book-lovers!

Emily

Hello, Readers!

Welcome to my domain.

Muahahaha.

No, seriously, thanks for coming and seeing my site/diary/doodlebook of (in progress) Twitter-sized anecdotes and novel-sized comments. I’ve only got a few things on here since I began November 21st, but soon it shall be an empire of our opinions and thoughts. Glorious days are ahead.

Thanks again, and please, make an account for thyself and get your ideas on here!

Emily

All About Part of Me

I have quite a lot of things about me that I could say. But, in summary, a phrase that describes me is “a forming masterpiece.” As for petty details about me, they can all be summarized as “Renaissance.” Thank you, spell-check.

But I should elaborate. So here are even more nitty-gritty details about me:

Hobbies

1. The Violin. I love, love, love my violins. I have an electric and an acoustic (Neko-Neko and Hobbes, respectively). I have been playing for four years this Spring. I am in two orchestras and a band this year.

2. Reading. I adore words. Words of any language, really. I’ve been reading since about the age of six or seven.

3. Gaming. Board, card, or video, I enjoy all, so long as it’s fun to play.

4. Listening to music. I’m more of a type-of-music person than a fan-of-artist person. I’m currently going through a Swing Jazz genre faze right now (Frank Sinatra and people like him). I also really like Mozart and his Requiems.

5. Dancing. I have a history of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Hip-Hop classes that causes me to occasionally break out in improvisational dance moves. I also really like Swing Dancing, Waltzing, Two-Step, and whatever anyone else is willing to teach me.

6. Writing. I took an IEW Course when I was nine and I haven’t stopped writing since. I like to think I’m good at it.

Views

Christian conservative who loves discussing philosophy and seeking Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.

Backstory

I grew up in a trailer park in some suburb between two really cool cities and had lots of opportunities. My family wasn’t always well off, but God helped us through all of it. My sister and I were home-schooled and going to co-ops. Our brother, who lived with his mom, visited us regularly and we always had a blast. Dad worked and kept getting amazing promotions. Mom stayed at home with us and gave my sister and me the best childhood ever.

Now, my family and I have moved to an awesome house this past Summer, my brother has graduated high school, my sister and I are in an impeccable middle and high school, and we have wonderful, wonderful times now and ahead.

Favourite Things Ever

Animal: Cats (Tigers, Lions, Gryphons, Housecats)

Colour: Jewel Tones (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald), Shades of Black

Pencil: 4B

Holiday: Christmas

Book: *rapid shuffling of notebooks* *panting* *deep breath* *explains in essays the size of the Federalist Papers* (In simpler words, it will require several books for me to explain my favourites and their differences)

Game: Skyrim

Song to Listen To: *See “Book”*

Song to Play: Concertino in Ungarischer Weisse

Movie: *See “Book”*

Composer: Wolfgang Mozart

Author: Ted Dekker, Clark Lewis

Play: Hamilton

Play I’ve Been In: Fame

Dessert: Brownies

Restaurant: Jason’s Deli (It has free ice cream, man!)

Anime: *See “Book”*

English word: Lass

Teacher: *See “Book”*

To Do: Make lists, Roleplay, Talk, Learn

 

I think that’s all that’s necessary for you to know about me. It’s fun writing about yourself! You guys should try it too in the comments and tell me what your favourite stuff is!

Thanks, all!

Emily