I’m back!!

Hello, there!!  Yes, you!!

I know, I know, it’s been so long since we’ve seen each other…but hopefully that’s all about to change!!  Yes, you heard it right, I plan to update this blog much more often.  Let’s be totally honest, it probably won’t be as often as I’d like, but it’ll definitely be much more of then than I’m currently doing it!!

So what to talk about??  So much has happened!! What’s new in the world of pop culture that I love and want to discuss??

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It’s a zombie world…

The zombie apocalypse is probably one of the most terrifying, although far-fetched and hopefully impossible, things that could ever happen.  No matter which writer’s or director’s version of zombies you think of, they’re pretty terrifying.  They don’t sleep, they don’t need rest, they can’t be reasoned with.  They’re out for your blood (or brains, whatever), and nothing will stop them.  Total war, as they say.

Of course, most movies use the slow-moving, single-minded, follow-the-food zombie, which is scary, but can thankfully be outrun if you meet just one or two.  Then there’s the fast zombies that can run and climb and swarm and will fuck shit up.  They’re even more terrifying.  And, if that isn’t scary enough, in zombie master’s George A. Romero‘s Land of the Dead, the fourth movie of his Living Dead series, the zombies are actually beginning to think and plan their attacks.

Yes, they scare me. Now, I don’t actually believe that the zombie apocalypse will happen, but that doesn’t make it any less frightening for me.  Like most people, I have always been fascinated by the idea of zombies.  Besides Romero’s work, shows like The Walking Dead and movies like Warm Bodies and 28 Days Later have just fed that fascination.

So this week I decided to go all out and scare myself and watch Brad Pitt‘s World War Z, which I then followed by reading the novel of the same name by Max Brooks.  Not only would I get my fill of zombie shenanigans, but I’d see what the big hype was about on both the movie and the book.

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JK Rowling outed as author of crime novel

jk-rowling-cuckoos-callingAs I’m sure many of you have heard, this weekend it was unearthed that J.K. Rowling, beloved author of the amazing Harry Potter series, had written another book – and no one knew about it!!

Written under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, the detective tale The Cuckoo’s Calling  had sold a small number of hard cover copies.  And although it had received favourable reviews, it had not hit any best-seller lists and was generally ignored by the public.

Rowling has admitted that she is indeed the writer and that she’d hoped to keep her identity secret for a while longer.

“Being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” she said in a statement to the Times.  “It has been wonderful to publish without hype and expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”

The book has gone from unnoticed to instant best-seller, and retailers are struggling to meet the demand.  Cuckoo’s publisher, Little Brown, has ordered a second printing of 300,000 copies.

The story follows Cormoran Strike, a war veteran turned private detective investigating the mysterious death of a model who fell from her balcony.  A second book is in the works for 2014, making me hopeful that this is a new series that will have many, many books.

To be honest, I hadn’t heard anything about this book, or this author, before it was discovered Rowling was the real writer.  Having obtained an e-copy, I’m excited to start reading it as soon as I can!!  Of course, I’d like to finish World War Z by Max Brooks first, but as soon as that’s done, I’ll be giving Cuckoo’s a read.  I’ll let you know what I think as soon as I’m done!!

The (few!!) poems that reach my heart.

I heard this poem in a movie today (“In My Country,” if you’re wondering), and I loved it.  Abso-freaking-lutely LOVED it.  I’m now trying to find a way to put it up on my wall somehow: either in a print, or in stencil, or wire, or something.  Anything!!  LOVED IT.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly

-Langston Hughes

Of course, I had to share it.  It’s only half a poem, but the second half doesn’t really add anything for me, so I’m good with just those four lines.  You can read the rest here if you’re interested.  You can also read all about Langston Hughes here or read more of his poetry here.

LOVE IT.

I’m not usually big on poetry, but I loved this one.  I can now add it to the very few poems I love.

The only other one I love to death is The Riddle of Strider by J.R.R. Tolkien:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Sadly, it wasn’t used in the movies where it should have been.  The second half was said by Arwen during the Return of The King.  I think it was when they were fixing the sword to give to Aragorn.  But seriously, I don’t care what kind of nerd it makes me, but it is my favourite poem ever.

What else do I love??  Kid Cudi‘s lyrics (amazing!!) and one unfrogettable line in Bilbo Baggin’s birthday speech (“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”)

City of Clockwork?? Let’s talk about my newfound love for Cassandra Clare.

Cover of "City of Bones (Mortal Instrumen...

Cover via Amazon

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been reading a lot lately.  I found a bunch of reading challenges, and I’m determined to do all of them.  And if I finish, then to just keep reading as much as I can.

Two of the books that were on my list to read were by the same author, Cassandra Clare.  I saw the two books and though, “Oh, great.  If I hate them, I’m stuck going through two of them!!”  But then I decided to just suck it up and read them.

And wow, did I love them.  Two days later, I’d read through all six books.  Two days!!

Cover of "City of Ashes (Mortal Instrumen...

Cover of City of Ashes (Mortal Instruments)

So far, there are six books in the two series.  Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince are the two books in the Infernal Devices trilogy, with Clockwork Princess coming out in December.  In the Mortal Instruments, there is City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, and City of Fallen Angels.  City of Lost Souls will be out May 8th (thankfully, it’s soon!!) and City of Heavenly Fire will be out in March 2014 (really sucks that it’s like two years!!).  There will soon be another series, The Dark Artifices, coming out soon.

Both series are related – they’re both about a group of people, called Shadowhunters, who essentially police the world we don’t see, full of demons and werewolves and vampire and faeries that live all around us, and destroy demons who threaten our existence.  The Infernal Devices are set in Victorian London, while the Mortal Instruments are set in present-day Manhattan.  The Dark Artifices will be set in present-day Los Angeles.

That may sound a little out there, but honestly, they are incredible books.

Cover of "City of Glass (Mortal Instrumen...

The characters are some of the best I’ve come across in a while, and I find myself thirsting for more stories of the happenings in their lives.

Simon is another character I’m a huge fan of.  His humour is fantastic, and often plays off Jace’s remarks.  His quick acceptance of things, his comparisons to DND, his quirky questions, and his ability to help out the gifted and trained Shadowhunters makes him one of my favourites.

I like Clary too.  I think what I like best about her is her loyalty and devotion to those she loves.  The lengths she goes to for Simon, her mom, and Jace are pretty incredible.  I mean, I love my best friend, but would I go into a vampire lair to save them??  I’m not so sure.

City of Fallen Angels

Magnus Bane is also incredibly entertaining.  He’s in all the books so far, and I love reading about him.  His penchant for rainbow coloured clothing is amazing.  I do hope he’ll be in the rest of the books, and maybe even in the new series!!

I think that part of the reasons I love these books so much is the simple fact that Clary is a regular, everyday girl, until the day she accidentally stumbles across the three Shadownhunters: Jace, Alec, and Isabelle.  And suddenly, she’s involved in a world that she should have belonged in but had no idea existed.  I mean, who doesn’t wish that it turned out that really, their life is supposed to be much more interesting and exiting that it is??  I think the answer is no one. Secretly, everyone wishes it.

Cover of "Clockwork Angel (The Infernal D...

I also love the idea that all this is happening around us, but we can’t see it.  It would explain a lot of things, don’t you think??

The Infernal Devices are also pretty good.  They’re set in Victorian London, but honestly, sometimes I’ll be reading it and forget they’re supposed to be in the past until they mention something, like having to use candles.  The characters in this one are also pretty appealing.

Will Herondale is pretty freaking awesome, and I don’t care who it hurts or how it happens, but I really hope he gets the girl.  Jem is pretty good, but I’d push him aside for Will any day.  Tessa is pretty cool too.  Henry and Magnus are the two spots of comic relief in this one, although Will is pretty good at being entertaining as well.

You should all check out her books!!  I promise, they’re addicting.  She’s also got some extras on her site, so after you’re done reading, head on over and take a look.

You won’t regret it.  I promise!!