Book Review: Star Wars – Heir To The Empire

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I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

I’ve been hooked on the sci-fi genre ever since I first developed an appreciation for the wonderful and constantly growing and changing world of movie entertainment. I should really be thanking my dad, actually. Even though I was born into an era where computers were playing a growing part in making realistic looking special effects, because of my dad, I was able to nurture an appreciation for what movies were like before my time, back when a string and the right lighting were enough to captivate the audience for hours on end.

My love of sci-fi began, of course, with the classic Star Trek. William Shatner, Leonard Nemoy, DeForest Kelly, Walter Koenig and George Takei had pretty much become my favourite actors, although to be fair, I was still in my Pokemon and Digimon watching phase, so I didn’t really know too many other actors yet. When I was about 10 years old, my brothers convinced me to watch the Aliens movie. Let’s just say I still have nightmares about it every now and again, but it did also make me pretty much immune to other gore and horror movies. I think it was also around that time that I watched the first Star Wars movie – or I suppose it was the 4th one, depending on how you want to order them – and like many others before me, the experience just blew my mind.

My friends used to tell me that it was impossible to be into both Star Wars and Star Trek, and that I had to choose one or the other. Well, to this day, I remain to be a loyal Trekkie with a lightsaber strapped to my belt. The stories are just so different, so how can I not be into both? I think it was just one of those things that kids did in order to classify the people they meet into groups, so they knew who and who not to hang out with. Hell, adults still do that, so I guess it’s true that in some ways, we never stop being a kid.

Although I pride myself on having an open mind, whenever someone would recommend that I read a fan fiction based on one of my favourite tv shows, I would always say no. Why? Well, it’s hard to say exactly why. I think I have just always harbored this thought that only the person who originally created the world should have the right to continue expanding that world into more stories. The problem with that way of thinking is that I’m cutting myself off from potentially amazing books, which is something I never want to do. Much like people, I never want to cast aside a book before giving it the chance to show me something I’ve never seen or experienced before, otherwise I will be left with regrets.

That’s why I finally gave in and purchased my first ever fan fiction series based on the original Star Wars trilogy, and I can safely say that I have no regrets.

By Timothy Zahn

This first installment of the Thrawn Trilogy takes place 5 years after the events of the 3rd – or 6th, if you prefer – Star Wars movie “Return of the Jedi”. The Emperor has been defeated, and Luke Skywalker must now carry the burden of being not only the first of the new order of Jedi Knights, but also the brother of one Leia Solo who is set to give birth soon to two Jedi twins. . Little does he know, however, there is a new threat to the balance of the force quickly approaching, a threat which could put both his life and that of his friends in danger. With all of your favourite original characters, like C3PO, R2D2, Han, Chewbacca, Lando, Leia, and some new faces as well, this was, in my opinion, the best way to continue the legacy that George Lucas began. So, if you’re having a hard time waiting for the seventh movie installment, which has a 50/50 chance of doing really well or completely destroying the franchise, then I would recommend putting your mind at ease by reading this book.

This is coming from someone who was completely adamant about reading fan fiction, and who now can’t get enough of it… so long as it’s good :)

Until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

The Fault In Our Stars: A Role Model For Modern Romance

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I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds!

I know the movie has been out for some time now, and it seems like rather odd timing to be giving my own review for it, but I don’t believe in putting time stamps on these sorts of things. So, without further ado, here is my review of The Fault In Our Stars, which I just so happened to have written as I watched it :)

I used to always mock romance movies, refusing to lay even one eye – let alone two – on them for fear that their cliche storylines and cheesy scripts would infect my brain and influence my writing in a very bad way. That is, until I found The Fault In Our Stars.

It’s more than a story of two people finding each other and falling hopelessly in love. That may be an element of it, but that does not define this story. From my perspective, it’s about overcoming what life throws at us, which can sometimes be a lot, and accepting it all as part of who we are; taking in both the pain and the pleasures. It is, as some would put it, a story about cancer which isn’t about cancer. It’s also a story about exploring our own existence within this infinity in which we have found ourselves, even if our time within that infinity is short lived.

There is so much depth and insight, and I enjoyed seeing it almost as much as I loved reading it. I found myself laughing and crying all the way through, and at one point was even tempted to go out and buy a pack of cigarrettes just so I could stick one between my teeth, my own little tribute to Augustus’ metaphor.

I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to be so young, with an entire life of possibilities ahead of you, suddenly dwindled down to a nuber of days that can be counted on a single calender page. Where suddenly your greatest fear is whether you’ll be strong enough to fight through another day with the people you love. Cancer is merciless. It has taken people from my life whom I wanted to spend many more tomorrow’s with, replacing those days with relentless tears and distant memories… Well, life is too short to remain in a state of grief, and I’m sure they wouldn’t want me to only feel sadness whenever I thought about them, so here’s a happier train of thought.

Although he may never know of this blogs existence, and will likely never even know my name, I would just like to say that John Green has influenced my life in ways that go beyond what words can say. If I were to put it into words, though, let’s just say that his books managed to take a shy, socially awkward, self-conscious, anxiety-ridden, country girl, and bring her into a world that she used to only day dream about; a world with friends, love, laughter, and where the seemingly impossible becomes a little more possible with each passing day. I’ve even gotten to the point where I can look back on some of the worst moments from my personal timeline and smile, because as much pain as they brought me, they suddenly don’t seem so bad. After all, they were moments which brought me to this very moment, and even if I were given the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a damn thing, because then I wouldn’t have today. Thank you John Green for unknowingly helping me to live my life, as opposed to watching with jealousy and envy as others lived theirs.

I wrote this review while I was watching the movie, which I had never felt compeled to do before. It’s amazing how so many coherent thoughts can suddenly come flooding out through your finger tips when your heart and mind are swimming in a turbulent sea of emotions. Now, I say coherent, but for all know this is only making sense in my head. Nevertheless, I think I’ve managed to convey just how much I was touched by this film.

This is what a love story should be, and all I can think of to say to finish off is that I’m looking forward to seeing more of John Green’s books being brought into a new life like this one was, and that there will also be many more books that me and my fellow BookNerds can continue reading throughout our infinity.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Cheers,

BookNerd

A Vision Of What Could Be, And What Has Been

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I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds

Before you dedicate yourself to reading todays post, I should tell you right off the bat that you will not find a book review, and most likely no mention of a book in any way, shape or form. This is more or less just an offering of my own personal thoughts, inspired by one of my all time favourite classic tv shows; M.A.S.H. For those unfamiliar with this 1970’s sitcom, M.A.S.H. is the story of a group of doctors who worked at the 4077 mobile army surgical hospital during the Korean war. What separates it from most other war themed shows or movies is that the events are portrayed based entirely on the perspetctive of the doctors who had to operate on the soldiers, conveying the more gruesome and bloody side of the war that many people during that time were unaware of.

Why do I bring this up all of a sudden? Well, as I often do when I have run out of original shows to keep me entertained during my sudies, I fall back on the ones I have not seen for quite some time. I happened to be in the mood for something with a bit of comedy, and I thoroughly enjoy the quality of Alan Alda’s acting. It was after I had watched a few seasons of it that I was finally hit with a line of thought that has crossed my mind many times before; what is the point of war?

The history of human civilization, or more accurately our progression towards it, has been wrought with battles, violence and bloody turmoil, enough to make ones stomach turn over at the mere thought of it. We have killed in the name of religion, culture, patriotism, ideology, and some have even gone so far as to create an enemy where one did not exist. Many who have doned the uniform and taken up arms proclaim that they must fight in order to ensure peace, for supposedly peace can only be achieved through war.

At the risk of angering those who firmly believe in this truth, I must confess that I just don’t see it. I don’t see a world where war will ever achieve peace. Our history is primarily defined by centuries of killing and slaughtering, and today, nothing has changed. Perhaps it is not taking place right outside our doorstep, but the endless war still rages on.

One of my favourite quotes from the show was a bit done by the character Benjamin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce about how he absolutely refused to carry a gun. He really couldn’t have said it any better.

These views on the war are told in a comedic fashion, but there is a sincerity in those words that seeps through the jokes and sheds light on the very real horrors people witnessed during that war.

Alan Alda, who played Pierce in the show, really puts it best in an interview about the show and why it ended up doing so well.

My eyes cannot see past the death to the glory and honor that others see. My brain simply becomes scrambled from the confusion of how humans can justfy killing each other for any reason, for I see nothing that is worth taking a life for. There is an episode of MASH where the character Frank Burns is trying to explain why they are in Korea, claiming that the threat of communism will come to the United States if they do not stop it, and Pierce asks what it is that they have that North Korea could possibly want? Burns, thrown off by the question, says that they want their bathrooms, and they will do anything to get them, and Pierce answers by saying he will gladly give them his if it would stop the war. This was one of my favourite episodes, because it shows just how ridiculous war can be, especially when no one really knows what started it in the first place, or what either side is really after.

This could just be my idealism talking, but I really do hope there will come a day when people from every country and continent around the globe will realize that we are all on the same side, and that this senseless war amongst ourselves will never come to an end unless we all throw in the towel and grasp each others hands in friendship.

Thank you for humouring me, for I realize that this rant went on quite a bit longer than I had meant it to. Next time, I assure you it will be of a more literary nature. Until then, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Yours Truly,

BookNerd

As One Journey Ends, So Another Begins Again

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I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds

It feels as though eons have passed since my last post, and I suppose in the world of the internet that would be an accurate measurement of time. There is a very good reason for my absence – notice how I say reason, and not an excuse, although more times than not they are one and the same – and that reason is my future.I’d say that’s a pretty good reason ^_^

Time really does seem to fly when you spend four months in a town you’ve never heard of, working for people you’ve never met, trying to meet tight deadlines without succumbing to the stress of the job. Don’t get me wrong, though, I would love more than anything to relive it all again, because as I keep telling people, I learned more about journalism in the past four months than I did during my four years of university. It’s further proof that hands on training is the best learning experience.

So in case you haven’t caught on by now, I am a journalist… or rather, I am training to become one. I spent four months out in Huron County doing an internship with a newspaper in the rural town of Blyth, a place I had never even heard of until I applied, and a place I will not soon be forgetting. It was one of those places where everyone knew each other, and it seemed like they all contributed to the paper in one form or another. Although I highly doubt that any of my future jobs will be anything like it, I still feel that it was a step in the right direction.

The place I got to know and love the most, I think, was Goderich, which apparently has been designated as the prettiest town in Canada. I can see why. Just driving into the town is a breath-taking experience, with trees as far as the eye can see, the glistening Maitland River running through and around it, flowing right into Lake Huron, its shores upon which the town rests. I have never been to a place quite like it, and I hope to return one day to marvel in its beauty once more.

Until that time, however, I shall continue my studies in Ottawa, and time permitting, catch up on my blogging. This is perfect timing, to, as I have officially finished reading the first book in the Mistborn Trilogy. All I could really say when I got to the end was… wow. Just, wow. It was the same feeling I got after watching Joss Whedon’s Serenity; a combination of amazement, shock, tears, giggles, and interspersed with moments of utter disbelief. For those who have read it, I think you understand those sentiments. I hate to sound redundant, but there really is no series out there like it.

I shall bid farewell to you for now, and I need not remind you all that any comments, questions or suggestions are always welcome if you wish to jot them down in the comment bubble, and until next time, happy reading.

Cheers,

BookNerd

I’m Back… Well, Sort Of

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nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Its been one of those weeks where everyday, I think about posting something on my blog, but then by the time I get back home from work, I’m either too exhausted or have too many errands to run to even think about sitting down with my computer for more than a few minutes. Still, my typing fingers are kept busy, which makes me happy no matter how busy and stressful things get. I managed to get an internship with a newspaper for the Summer, which up until April I was starting to feel was a fruitless endeavor. They’re not kidding when they say it’s hard to get a job nowadays when you get out of university. Even though I got this job, I still have to worry about finding somewhere to work once Summer is over. It’s a never ending cycle. 

On a less anxiety ridden note, there is less than a month until the release of The Fault in Our Stars movie! I am both nervous and excited; nervous because I have no idea if it will live up to the expectations I have for it after having read the book, and excited because… well just because! I’ve only been reading John Green’s books for the past few years, but I’ve been in love with his writing ever since I finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His master of the English language combined with his innate nerdiness produces literature that is fresh and interesting, something that I feel has never really been done before. He is one of a kind, and I hope he continues to write books for a very long time. If you have never even heard of the TFIOS movie, then I implore you to take a moment and visit the official movie website: www.thefaultinourstarsmovie.com. You can also watch the movie trailer below:

I haven’t had a chance to do much reading these days, not since the first book of the Mistborn trilogy which I still haven’t reached the very end of yet. I’m hoping that the weather this weekend will have bring less rain and more sun so I can take it down to the beach and read to my hearts content. The one thing I love bout this job is that you work from 9 to 5 for five days a week, and then the weekends are yours to enjoy as you wish. I’m sure there will be a time or two when I have to bring work home with me, but as an intern, I’m doubtful that that will happen too often. I’m hopeful that by the end of this summer, I will have finished reading the first book, and gotten through the second installment, which I am really looking forward to.

In closing, I apologize for my blogging silence, and I do hope I will be able to remain more on top of things in the future. If you have any books you would like to recommend, or any suggestions about what you would like to see appear on my blog, feel free to write a blurb in the comments, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd