Pop-Up Book

Momma Bear gave me this amazingly ridiculous pop-up book a few days ago that I just had to share with you.

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Review: ‘The Magicians’ by Lev Grossman

A plus to working at a job where, on a whole, all you do is sit for hours on end: you get a lot of reading done. Before I was weary of this idea and stayed away from it, but now I’ve embraced it to the point that I have no idea what I did to pass the time before it. This week I began and finished Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

In a nutshell, the book is a mix between Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia for more mature readers. The main character Quentin isn’t happy with his average life (parallel to dear ol’ Harry?)–and keeps returning to the dream that a magical, fictional land from books of his youth will bring him happiness–until he is admitted to a college for magicians. He still clings to the idea that Fillory (the magical land) will solve all his problems if only he could find a way in (maybe through a wardrobe?), but he meets a group of friends and of course falls in love. Once he finally ends up in Fillory he realizes that it’s not the key to bring him happiness, but rather what destroys all the happiness he did have.

In an attempt to summarize yet leave out incredibly interesting parts, I’ll conclude my summary there. In my opinion, this book had some very epic moments, but also some low, disappointing ones as well. The great moments made the few bad ones seem minor, but they are still worth noting. The fact that Fillory could have easily just been called Narnia–it’s similarities where that blatantly obvious–left me feeling that Grossman took the easy way out with Fillory in order to focus on other aspects of the story. He could have at least attempted to mask the similarities a little bit better or worked to make his differences stand out more.

The writing style is fantastic. It’s mature, vivid, and you don’t feel like you’re reading a book written for children. All of the characters major and minor are alarmingly complex. Although the novel is attempting to create imaginary worlds, it does it in a way that makes it somewhat believable. There aren’t scenes whose sole purpose is to show off the imagination of the writer which help to increase the realism.

The ending left me unsatisfied which I’m sure was the purpose so I would purchase the sequel (said to be coming out in summer 2011). I think I will end up getting the second in order to feed my curiosity, but that won’t change the fact that the last 50 or so pages of the book just did not do it for me.

All in all this book was well crafted and contained an enticing storyline that was very real even in worlds that are not. Quentin stood out as a clearly flawed character, but surprisingly, not the hero of the story. I think that’s why I do actually like this novel. The main character isn’t the one who saves the day, gets the girl, and lives happily ever after. He makes bad choices and has to live with the consequences of his actions.

I always hated how at the end of reviews it goes into “if you like this and this, then you’ll really like the book I’m talking about” because each book is different, even if it does contain traces of others. The Magicians is a brilliant book that took the ideas of other beloved stories and morphed them into something dark, real, and ultimately wonderful.

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‘Julie & Julia’ Changed My Life

I’m fairly confident with that statement.  I’ve watched enough movies over the years to know when one has had an actual impact on my life. Movies like A Walk to Remember or (500) Days of Summer, sure, but others like I-Spy or Ghost Rider, not so much. My recent Netflix Watch Instantly viewing of Julie & Julia can definitely be considered life changing.

Of course this doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and buy a duck and attempt to de-bone it. I don’t even have the faintest idea where to get a duck in the first place.

It’s not the cooking that struck home, but the conviction Julie had to cook those 524 (I think?) recipes for no other reason than to say she had done it…and to later write a book about it.

 

The relationships in the film were incredibly motivational as well. Julie’s and Julia’s marriages are easily enviable. There was nothing spectacular about them, which made them not only realistic, but more obtainable. I find that very important in films. Realism is obviously a must, but making the viewer feel as if they themselves could obtain what the characters have is vital.

Julie’s blogging can be credited for my return to Under the Microscope. Well that, and the boredom of Spring Break when the rest of Grand Blanc is in Florida. She kept at it, with or without feedback. I lost sight of why I started blogging in the first place, and Julie helped bring me back with her triumphs over crustaceans.

 

You know why this movie is brilliant? It’s a true story. This actually happened.  The blog is real and everything! That’s why this movie is so freakin’ amazing.

Julie & Julia surprised me. I was just looking for a film to pass the time, and I found a movie that’ll stick with me.

It’s in the Bag

What someone carries around with them on a daily basis can be used in order to learn a lot about them. It’s what they find important that can give the most insight in regards to their character. I always have to have specific things with me at all times, or I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. So this is a blog-friendly spin-off of the “what’s in my purse” video that I’ve seen on YouTube from time to time.

 

1. BAG: I got this bag from Forever21 recently after I was shocked to discover that I’ve broken all of my other brown bags. It was just under $30 and it’s size is perfect as it’s not too large but not too small either.

 

2. PLANNERS: I have two planners that I use. I know it seems a bit overkill, but my school provided each student a planner this year eliminate the paper waste from hall passes (there’s a column in the planner for passes) and to encourage students to be more organized. There were good intentions behind this idea, except I already had a planner which I cannot go anywhere without. So instead of just picking one over the other, I use both.

 

3. IPOD HEADPHONES: I usually don’t carry my iPod around with me since I use it in my car, but I always keep the headphones with me just in case.

 

4. VERA BRADLEY WRISTLET: I’ve used this wristlet for years as a carrying case for my small electronics. It helps to keep the cords from getting tangled around things.

 

5. AUDIO RECORDER: I’ve mentioned my audlog obsession in a previous post, and the boyfriend and I are still doing them. I bring the recorder everywhere with me, because the opportunity to record in audlog can spring up at any moment.

 

6. BLACK PEN: I only write in cursive and black pen. Type of black pen in particular. I’ve done this for years and cannot remember when exactly this habit started, but there always has to be a pen in my bag at all times.

 

7. WALLET: When the hard-case wallets came out just a year or so ago, I really wanted one. I picked mine up at rue21 but you can get them just about anywhere these days. I really like the fact that the bills are kept flat so they don’t get those weird tri-folds in them.

 

8. CELL PHONE: This is a pretty obvious one. I like this particular phone (I’m pretty sure it’s the Voyager) because of the touch screen and keyboard, but a lot of phones these days now have those features.

 

9. GLASSES: I find myself wearing my glasses less and less, yet I still carry them around with me just in case I desire to see clearer.

 

10. SUNGLASSES: I saw these type of sunglasses on a YouTube video and fell in love with them. I got mine at Icing by Claire’s.

 

11. BOOK: I love reading, but I never have that much time to anymore. I always carry a book with me just in case though if I find myself with a few spare minutes to read. I’m currently reading The Starter Marriage by Kate Harrison that I picked up randomly at a used bookstore.

 

 

Leave a comment telling me what things you can’t live without in your bag/purse/backpack!!