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