“World Religions” by Robert Pollock

World ReligionsI am a curious lass. I always want to know things. What’s funny though is that sometimes as soon as I read or learn something, if I don’t reinforce the lesson, I tend to forget what I learned. The exception, though, is when the lesson or reading is accompanied by an emotion or if it’s so weird that it sticks out in my mind. This is why I love stories, especially those of fantasy. Stories are always emotionally charged and those of fantasy are always accompanied by the unusual so I am sure to remember them. What does this have to do with World Religions by Robert Pollock? Well, I read the book a couple weeks ago and I’ve already forgotten what I read. 😦

I didn’t mean for this to happen. There are slight tendrils of memories lingering around in my mind, trying to remind me of what I read but it’s no use. What I do remember, however, is the impression the book made on me. I recall that I enjoyed reading it and that I felt enlightened while doing so. I saw similarities among the major religions of the world and learned about other religions that, prior to this book, I’ve never heard of.

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“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling

The 2005 cover by Mary GrandPré. I still like it.
The 2005 cover by Mary GrandPré. I still like it.

I forgot what grade I was in when this book came out but I know I was in high school, probably a junior or senior. Harry Potter was such a craze back then that almost everyone would try to sneak a read in class, especially if the teacher had assigned a video for the class to watch. We would hold the book under the desk and attempt to read in the semi-darkness of the classroom. That’s exactly what the majority of my psychology class did. We were all reading as quickly as we could because it was rumored that someone important dies in this installment. But one day my psychology teacher got so frustrated with us reading and not paying attention to the lesson that he gave away the ending: “Look. Dumbledore dies now stop reading!”

“What?!” was my reply, “why Dumbledore?” Of all the people in the novel, why did Dumbledore have to die? This question pestered me when I first read the series. Back then I couldn’t grasp the meaning of Dumbledore’s death. I saw it as just another horrible occurrence in Harry’s life. Now that I’ve re-read the novel and seen the movies numerous times, I think I now know why Dumbledore had to die: he knew too much; to throw readers off; and he is a crutch.

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Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to All!!

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year so I am spreading my joy for it by sharing this piece by Thomas Kinkade called “Spirit of Christmas.”

This painting captures how I feel about the holiday. The cottages emit warm light, seeming to signify the love of the families within. And there is chimney-smoke from every roof so you know that there’s major cooking going on. Children are outside sledding and skating and having a swell time with each other while others decorate the town’s Christmas tree. Everyone is working together, thus depicting the strong sense of community that I love about Christmas. Even the snowman in the corner seems to be cheering everyone on. 

Yes, for me, this portrays the spirit of Christmas. Merry Christmas! 🙂

Amazing Posts I Found on the Web: Book, Art, Fashion, Cake

A writing pad:

Available on Amazon.
Available on Amazon

I found this on Buzzfeed—Affordable and Clever Gifts for Your Writer and Bibliophile Friends. I’m considering to buy it since I tend to get great ideas at the most inopportune moments like in the shower, especially in the shower! The pad is waterproof and costs just $7.95.

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Tessanne Chin WINS The Voice

Tessanne is the Voice!
Tessanne is the Voice!

I just want to share my excitement. I am so happy that my country comes first again. Tessanne Chin wins The Voice!!! 🙂 Mi just love it when the whole Jamaica come together fi push we one another forward. Congrats to Chinita Goodaz!! 😀

Performing the last song for the night, written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.
Performing the last song for the night, written by Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.

“The Blue Sword” by Robin McKinley

Available on Amazon and at you local bookstore.
Available on Amazon and at your local bookstore.

I bought this book at Barnes & Noble thinking I read it back in high school. The book I recalled reading had a girl with flaming red hair, wielding a sword, and fighting a dragon that burnt off all her hair, which was never again as lustrous as it once was. After reading The Blue Sword, I realized that the book I was thinking of was The Hero and the Crown. As I mentioned in my reflection on Spindle’s End, The Hero and the Crown was the first book I read by Robin McKinley. Like Ursula Le Guin and J.K. Rowling, McKinley’s characters tend to stay with me for years. The details of the story may cloud over with memories but the characters never fade away.

At first, I did not expect any aspect of The Blue Sword to stand out to me. When I discovered it was not the book I thought it to be, I got upset and felt gypped and threw the book back in my bookcase. I didn’t bother to give it a chance. And how rude of me to do so, especially to Robin McKinley! A few months later, I saw The Blue Sword again while I was organizing my bookcase and decided to read it

A quick summary: (Here be spoilers!)

The Blue Sword is about a girl named Harry Crewe who moves to Ihistan, a military outpost in Daria, a land claimed by Homelanders, to live closer to her brother after their father died. She finds herself bored by the area but fascinated by its native inhabitants, the Damarians, or the Hillfolk, as they are referred to by the Homelanders. (The Hillfolk call the Homelanders Outlanders.) The Homelanders invaded and colonized Damar, a fabled land that is said to contain magic, to access the mines in its hills. Leaving the desert to the invading Homelanders, the Damarians retreated to the mountains that surround the desert. While some Damarians mingle with the Homelanders, others refuse to associate with them. Both, though, refuse to share much of their culture with the Homelanders, whom they see as obnoxious. The Homelanders instead speculate about what they do not know of the Damarians, who they think to be peculiar and secretive.

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“Lioness Rampant” by Tamora Pierce

Available on Amazon and at you local bookstore.
Available on Amazon and at you local bookstore.

A quick summary:

The Song of the Lioness series continues with Alanna and Coram in Maren, a country to the east of Tortall. Her purpose there is to find a friend of Myles’, who can translate a map she was given by the nameless woman who died in the last book. She discovers that the map points the way to the Roof of the World, where the Dominion Jewel is kept. The Dominion Jewel is a powerful object that only a true leader can wield. Alanna decides to embark on an adventure to claim the Dominion Jewel for Tortall to prove her worth as a lady-knight and to further fortify Tortall.

But before she begins this adventure, she meets a dragon. No, not one with pointy teeth and fiery breath but one just as deadly. She meets Liam, a member of the Shang warriors. He is called the Shang Dragon, “the best of the best,” and is lethal both with weapons and weaponless. Immediately Alanna is drawn to him and it’s lust at first sight. The Lioness and the Dragon engage in a stormy affair that’s short-lived due to their stark differences, stubbornness, and Liam’s fear of magic. After hearing of their plans, Liam decides to accompany Alanna and Coram to the Roof. Along the way, they meet Buri, a K’miri warrior, who accompanies Thayet, the exiled princess of Sarain. They both travel with children, fugitives of Sarain’s civil war.

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