Tag Archives: Tuesday

Quote: Anthony Hopkins

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anthony-hopkins-composer-1323441714-hero-wide-0.jpg‘My philosophy is it’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.’

‘Relish everything that’s inside of you, the imperfections, the darkness, the richness and light and everything. And that makes for a full life.’

‘We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.’

‘I think the healthy way to live is to make friends with the beast inside oneself, and that means not the beast but the shadow. The dark side of one’s nature. Have fun with it and you, is to accept everything about ourselves.’

‘For me, time is the greatest mystery of all. The fact is that we’re dreaming all the time. That’s what really gets me. We have a fathomless lake of unconsciousness just beneath our skulls.’

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above image, it is from: http://www.classicfm.com/composers/sir-anthony-hopkins/
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Christmas: Gift Guide (Male|More Expensive)

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Today’s gift guide is going to consist of some more expensive gifts with a male orientation. This doesn’t mean, of c1ourse, that some of the gifts can’t be given to women. To see the gift guide for Males but with less expensive gifts visit my blog again on Thursday. To find the items I’m recommending, click the orange links that will be displayed on certain words. Enjoy!

Males are often notoriously hard to buy for because it’s not as simple as buying an eye shadow palette or a necklace. Typically men also buy2 what they want when they want it. But I’m here to offer you a starting point. You can take my ideas for your brother, father, son, nephew, best friend – any male you need to buy a holiday present for but have no idea what. When it comes to males think gaming, gadgets, watches, tablets, grooming and experiences.3

 Let’s start with gaming, since all of my male friends right now are raving about all the new consoles and games that have come out recently. I have found three console bundles that may help you if you need inspiration for presents for your male friend 4or relative: First, the Mario Kart Wii U Console Bundle for £235. The second bundle is a PlayStation 4 Grand Theft Auto 5 Bundle for £339. My last bundle is the most exciting in my opinion, and it is the Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle for £349. All of these can be found for these prices on the Tesco Direct website.

For a similar price, you could buy your male friend or relative a 16gb, iPad Mini 3 for between £319 and £399. 5

 All men need to shave so you could buy this super stylish set, The Modern Gent’s Shaving Kit, from The Body Shop for £25. It contains Macaroot Shaving Cream, Razor Relief and a Shaving Brush. In addition to buying a present, you’ll be 6providing a child with the money to go to class: ‘The Body Shop is teaming up with War Child, the global charity for children affected by war, to grant children the wish of education. Every specially selected gift you buy, no matter how big or small, will enable a child in a country affected by war to attend a class.’ Alternatively, you could buy a fragrance such as the 7MontBlanc Emblem Eau De Toilette, £24.65 for 40ml from Feel Unique.

For fashion, you could buy this Herschel Heritage Backpack in Dusty Blush Colourblock for £55 from ASOS or this super trendy Red Doubled Sided Check Woven Scarf for £14 from TOPMAN.  You could 8even buy your friend or relative a Pebble Steel Smartwatch for £179.95 from Argos, if you wanted to spend that much.

For another gadget idea10, you could buy a 3 in 1 Powerbank, Torch and Handwarmer for £17.99 from IWOOT which is ‘designed to work universally on any phone’.

From Urban Outfitters, I have found the Globe Bantam ST 23 Inch Skateboard for £75 – this is a personal favourite of mine from this gift guide.

Lastly, if you are struggling to find the perfect gift, why not try finding the perfect experience? Tesco Direct offers several, from driving (from £38) to paint balling (£15).

Hopefully, this has helped you if you are still struggling finding something for your male friends and relatives.

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Disclaimers:

1. Some of my inspiration came from Fleur’s gift guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1Md_vBiMLk

2. All images in this post came from the links already inserted – I do not own these pictures.

3. I am not sponsored by any of these companies nor have I been asked to comment on these products.

Book: Inkspell

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Onto the second book in the Inkheart trilogy (as I recommended Inkheart last week)… Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (published in 2005). Disclaimer: there are going to be spoilers for Inkheart in this recommendation since it follows on from t553808he same story. If you haven’t read Inkheart don’t read this.

The Blurb reads as ‘Let the imaginary become real… Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of the extraordinary events of Inkheart, and the story whose characters strode out of the pages, and changed her life for ever. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater, torn from his world of words, the need to return has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the magical ability to read him back, he sets in motion a dangerous reversal that sees the characters of Inkheart transported to a charmed Inkworld, about to be fought over by rival rebels and princes.’

This book has all the same things to it which made me like Inkheart before. The characters are amazing, the narrative is cleverly written and this is especially seen at the beginning of the novel as Funke makes subtle differences between Resa’s relationship with Meggie and Mo compared to Mo’s relationship with Meggie and it makes it apparent that just because the family is reunited doesn’t mean that Resa didn’t miss out on nine years of her family’s life, and that time still needs to be caught up.

Funke’s writing is especially brilliant when it comes to describing the new world, the Inkworld. She also takes the reader through various time shifts and switches between scenes without causing confusion. Throughout the novel there can be sets of characters in four different places and Funke carefully goes between these groups. It is flawlessly well done.

Another brilliant book in the Inkheart trilogy; now onto the third one… I have to say I still like Inkheart a little bit more, but it was interesting to see the Inkworld and to see all the twists and turns as the story developed.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the picture, it is from: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28195.Inkspell

Book: Inkheart

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inkheartFinally I have finished reading a whole book, and a pretty chunky one at that. This week I’m recommending Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (published in 2003). I had originally watched the 2008 film before I realised that it was actually based on a book. I was inspired to read the trilogy (Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath) and as I write this I’m half way through the second book.

I think the most important part of the book that appeals to me is its extraordinary concept. The book is about people who are able to read characters out of their books. A skill that only a handful of people in the world have and a skill that only a few people care to demonstrate. It’s an extremely complex concept and is well explained in the novel so that the reader doesn’t get confused; although things do become even clearer in the second novel.

I think it’s apt to insert the novel’s blurb now (because if I keep going, I’ll end up spoiling something): ‘Dare to read aloud… Meggie loves books. So does her father, Mo, a bookbinder, although he has never read aloud to her since her mother mysteriously disappeared. They live quietly until the night a stranger knocks at their door. He has come with a warning that forces Mo to reveal an extraordinary secret – a storytelling secret that will change their lives for ever.’

The characters are fantastic. I genuinely love them, even the ones you should hate. Mo and Meggie have such an amazing and loving relationship as Father and daughter, Elinor goes through such a massive character development, Capricorn is a captivating villain and finally, Dustfinger is an incredibly complex and interesting character and as such is my favourite of the book.

These characters are not only well created and described, Cornelia Funke has been able to show the many points-of-view, and the many thoughts of her many characters, and through this, has been able to deepen the characterisation without utterly confusing the reader. The novel is seamless in its ability to show so much in such a subtle style.

In addition, the author is amazingly well-read and this is shown through her knowledge of so many things relating to books from simply reading a lot and knowing about trades like Mortimer’s, in the novel, in bookbinding and being a book doctor, so to speak. The book is structured by chapters, of which each chapter begins with a quote from another work of literature. This is a format that is the same throughout the trilogy and it’s not only incredibly informative and interesting and proves how well-read Funke is, it stands as an introduction to each chapter and gives some form of foreshadowing or a notion of where the chapter stands in the whole of the narrative.

As a stand-alone novel or as part of the trilogy, this is a very well-written, brilliant book. I think the characters are superb and that every inch of the story is told in detail. It is this quality of the book that makes it hard to put it down, as the narrative flows so well and ever so flawlessly.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the picture, it is from: http://www.adazing.com/young-adult-book-covers/

Books: 5 Random books

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For today’s book recommendation I, once again, grabbed five random books from my bookcase…

9781906772352.225x225-75Number One

James Bond: Goldeneye by John Gardner

I’m a fan of James Bond. I love the whole atmosphere around it, I love its concept and I love its ability to engage anyone. I picked up this book because of all of this and although I haven’t yet read it, I’m sure it’ll be brilliant even if it is not written by the original author, Ian Fleming, who of course was the genius behind it all. Gardner has written fifteen Bond novels based on the script of the films. I can’t wait to read this one and all of the others!39-clues-cover

Number Two

The Maze of Bones – Book one of the 39 Clues series by Rick Riordan.

I absolutely loved this book when I read it, which I admit was a long while ago. The story is about Amy and Dan Cahill who after a relative’s death find a whole hidden world unravelling before them. They need to go around the world hunting for the 39 clues to find out exactly how powerful their family is. I bought this book not realising that it was part of an entire 10 book series and thus I got to the end of reading it only to find out I was being left on a cliff hanger. I finally bought the 2nd and 3rd books but I haven’t read them since I’m waiting until I have the entire series to read the first again and to continue the rest of the story. I’m sure I’ll enjoy the entire story when I finally read it.

In addition, this book series runs alongside a trading card game. It always confused me but I thought it was very cbooks_11ool. Perhaps if you are intrigued and purchase the series you’ll manage to understand it better than me, since trading cards were never my strong suit when it moved from collecting into playing.

Number Three

VIII by H. M. Castor.

‘Destined for GREATNESS… tormented by DEMONS.’

Another interesting book that I have not read and yet I believe will be good and quite interesting. I found this book in Aldi, it was £1.99, and I thought it looked good because I‘ve been studying Henry VIII and the Tudor period in my History A-level work. Since I can’t describe the book I’ll insert the blurb: ‘VIII is the story of Hal: a young, handsome, gifted warrior, who believes he has been chosen to lead his people. But he is plagued by the ghosts of his family’s violent past and, once he rises to power, he turns to murder and rapacious cruelty. He is Henry VIII.’13035

Number Four

Bleach by Tite Kubo (Volume 1)

About six years ago I was obsessed with the anime Bleach. I was introduced to it through friends who were equally obsessed and we all watched the episodes on YouTube. Soon enough we found other things to be obsessed with and I fell out of love with anime in general. But I still appreciate manga, the print version of anime. I enjoyed reading the Bleach manga, although I’ve only ever read or owned volume 1 and volume 4. I will try to quote the blurb here: ‘Ichigo Kurosaki has always been able to see ghosts, but this ability doesn’t change his life nearly as much as his close encounter with Rukia Kuchiki, a Soul Reaper and member of the mysterious Soul Society. While fighting a Hollow, an evil spirit that preys on humans who display psychic energy, Rukia attempts to lend Ichigo some of her powers so that he can save his family; but much to her surprise, Ichigo absorbs every last drop of her energy. Now a full-fledged Soul Reaper himself, Ichigo quickly learns that the world he inhabits is one full of dangerous spirits and, along with Rukia-who is slowly regaining her powers-it’s Ichigo’s job to protect the innocent from Hollows and help the spirits themselves BuffyNovelColl1find peace.’

Number Five

Buffy the Vampire Slayer by John Vorkholt, Arthur Byron Cover and Alice Henderson.

Stories – Coyote Moon, Night of the Living Rerun and Portal Through Time.

‘In every generation, there is a chosen one. A slayer destined to protect the human race. She alone must fight the demons of hell. She alone must risk her life to stop the spread of evil. Buffy is the chosen one.’

We all know Buffy the Vampire Slayer is my favourite TV Show (or you should if you’ve been reading my blogs long enough) and so it was only natural that I would purchase this series of three BtVS novels. Each book has three stories within written by three different people. I think this first book is my favourite and I absolutely love the stories and of course I love the further development of my favourite characters. My only problem is that I wish these stories were made into episodes of the programme too.

The blurb for each story is: ‘In Coyote Moon, a typical night at the carnival becomes deadly as shape-shifters turn the amusement park into their own house of horrors. Buffy starts having past-life nightmares in Night of the Living Rerun, and must face her historic counterpart before the events of the past repeat in the present. In Portal through Time, Slayers over the centuries are in danger and Buffy must protect them in order to save her own life and legacy’.

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Disclaimer – I do not these pictures, they are from: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/goldeneye/id672157889?mt=11, http://buffy.wikia.com/wiki/Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer_(novels), http://www.booktrailersforreaders.com/The+39+Clues+Maze+of+Bones, http://murrayhill.wikispaces.com/Read_Review, http://neilspencephotography.com/book-covers.html.

Books: Serenity Graphic Novel

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SerenityToday’s book recommendation is the Serenity: Those Left Behind graphic novel. This book belongs in the canon surrounding the wonderful TV show Firefly. For those that don’t know, Firefly was a TV show that ran from 2002 to 2003. It managed 14 episodes on FOX before it was cancelled. When the show was ended rather unfinished, Joss Whedon, its creator, decided to make a film to round it all off. This film was called Serenity after the ship Serenity of which the characters live and where most of the show was set.

Written by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews this graphic novel contains a completely new story, never before seen, giving the firefly fans another chance to see their favourite characters; Mal, Zoe, Wash, Inara, Jayne, Kaylee, Simon, River and Shepherd in a new adventure. The graphic novel also has incredible art inside, based on the actors from the show, with whole page drawings.

I enjoyed the show and I enjoyed the graphic novel.

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Book: Asterix

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Outside Today my book recommendation is actually a comic… don’t worry I will eventually recommend a proper novel but being back at school limits my reading time, so for the next few weeks I’ll be recommending more comics and graphic novels.

So today’s is Asterix. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the French comic book series but in case you aren’t; the books are a series of comics written by René Goscinny and later Albert Uderzo after his death. I assume they still continue as Jean-Yves Ferri has been writing them since 2013.

The comics follow the activities of a village of Gauls as they struggle to resist Roman occupation. In doing this they follow the protagonists of Asterix and Obelix in their personal adventures. A full summary can be found on Wikipedia: ‘The series follows the exploits of a village of indomitable Gauls as they resist Roman occupation. They do so by means of a magic potion, brewed by their druid called Getafix in the English translations, which gives the recipient superhuman strength. Tinsidehe protagonist, the titular character Asterix, along with his friend Obelix, have various adventures. Many of the stories have them travel to foreign countries, though others are set in and around their village. For much of the history of the series (Volumes 4 through 29), settings in Gaul and abroad alternated, with even-numbered volumes set abroad and odd-numbered volumes set in Gaul, mostly in the village.

I remember growing up watching the cartoons of Asterix and the film. I found it funny and I know it’s a favourite of my Dads. I hope you’ll enjoy the characters and the stories as much as me.

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Disclaimer: I found additional information on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterix