Book Series Spotlight: Septimus Heap Series by Angie Heap

Do you like Harry Potter? Do you like a colorful magical world with vivid lovable characters? Do you like interesting story lines and quirky situations? Then the Septimus Heap books by Angie Sage are for you. The first book in the series, Magyk, introduces the reader to the kingdom and most of the main players in the story. There are the bad guys, headed by an evil wizard, the haughty Extraordinary Wizard, the lost Princess and an array of other colorful personas. While the books are definitely geared toward a younger audience, they would provide hours of enjoyment for a person of any age. So, if you want to have a good book to read, definitely chose these. Even their covers are works of art.

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Book Series Spotlight: His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman

Quite a few years ago, I got my hands on this book series and was hooked. The concepts were fresh, the story line riveting, and the characters, even the “bad guys”, had vibrant personalities. As I finished the last novel in the trilogy, it occured to me that many people would be unhappy about the overall picture painted in the books. Not to give spoilers, even though I am sure many of you have read it, but these books do not paint organized religion in a favorable light.

Now, many years have passed and I have numerous times found this series on various banned books lists. Of course, it is easy to understand that since the books are generally targeted at a younger audience, parents might find themselves concerned over the teachings in them. At the same time, every book carries in itself a unique point of view and a young person should be able to decide whether they want to be exposed to it or not.

With these ideas in mind, I want to recommend the series to whoever wishes to read it.

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Book Series recommendation: Odd Thomas by Dean Coontz

Right of the bat, I will tell you–these books are pretty dark. Not only does the main character sees ghosts who were killed in various ways, a lot of the time there is a strong level of violence involved. They can be a bit scary at times also. Yet , there is something endearing about Odd’s offbeat sense of humor despite all the danger and personal griefs he suffers throughout the novels. Along his journeys he encounters a slew of quirky and interesting characters and quiet a few celebrity ghosts. Coontz has done a great job with these novels because they show that even in the darkest hour and in the most desperate situation, someone will be near to offer help. I strongly praise them and if you have a chance to read these novels, take it.

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Apology for a too long absence! + A new blog.

So, I know I have abandoned this blog for far too long. That was mostly because real life and college have gotten in the way and frankly I felt totally uninspired to write anything. But now I have free time and ideas again. So, I will be updating this page more often. In a while, I’ll have some book reviews/ recommendations up. And also, I have a new blog. A Sims 3 story blog which can be found here¬†https://simsstoriesofviolincat.wordpress.com/ .

And to all of you who have not un-followed me in my long absence. THANK YOU! YOU’RE THE BEST!

The American Stance on Immigration and What it Means

So, it’s been a while since I posted anything but the recent events at the US-Mexican border bring one closer to realizing how many problems still remain in our thinking about what is legal and what is not. I am sure most readers are already acquainted with what happened: there were protests over the fact that many people, a large number of them children, were detained while illegally crossing the border and were being bused to the detention center for illegal immigrants. The protesters’ stance was that they should not be brought into the centers but deported back. This, in turn, sparked a backlash, with many calling out the “real” Americans as racists. However the issue at hand is much more complex.
On the one hand, yes, those people have crossed the border without proper documentation, therefore breaking the rule. But here is the thing– people do not break the laws without serious reasons. Everyone knows that there are risks involved. Everyone knows it is not acceptable. Yet, sometimes, people just don’t have a choice. In this particular instance, many of the children’s parents sent them to a foreign country alone. What kind of parent would do that? One that knows their child is not safe at home. Yes there are “legal” ways to immigrate. However, as an immigrant myself, I know that the legal way is often very lengthy, difficult, and often will not result in a person getting the visa they are so desperate for. If those parents sent their children away in this “illegal” manner, it means they simply did not have another choice to protect their kids.
In this context, the reaction of the protesters is very sad. It is understandable that they want to stop what is technically a violation of US laws. However, before we can do that effectively, we need to fix the underlying problems which lead to this violation in the first place, such as poverty and crime in South and Central American countries, many of which, are in a way, caused by our economic and political practices. Of course, fixing problems like these is not easy. So, perhaps we, as a country need to show more compassion and to create easier ways for people to find refuge here. Especially when it comes to the young.

Book Suggestion: White Cat by Holly Black

So, it has been a while since I’ve posted, schoolwork kept me busy. But here is a good book to read, White Cat by Holly Black. It is part of the Curse Workers trilogy, the first book. Do you like stories about heists and cons? Can you relate to a hero who is definitely on the shady side? Then this book is certainly for you. The cover is pretty awesome in itself and the premise is interesting: the main character is the only one without magical abilities in a family of people who can all work curses with just the touch of their hand. And now he finds himself in a situation that makes him dig deeper into the secrets his family members keep from him and from each other. If a mix of mafia and fantasy¬†together sounds interesting , pick it up at your local library or bookstore!

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Eurovision 2014

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote anything here. And almost a week has passed since Eurovision, so there won’t be spoilers, I hope. Well, Conchita Wurst won! This is quite intriguing. Why? Because she is a drag performer. Even ten years ago, I would imagine, she would never have made it to an international contest. But not only did she make it, she won! And people, overall, are pretty accepting. Of course, with the exclusion of Russia and maybe Ukraine. But overall, this win is an interesting move toward acceptance on an international scale. So, congrats to her for making it.