Theatrical Thursday – Spring Awakening

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I don’t typically go to a show without at least being familiar with one of the tunes.  I like to have some idea of what I’m getting myself into before I get to the theatre, because sometimes it requires some mental preparation.  Now I wasn’t completely oblivious about Spring Awakening before going but I really didn’t know a lot and wasn’t familiar with any of the tunes.  Because I’m such a huge theatre geek/nerd/dork/loser (feel free to throw in any other suitable description I watch the Tony awards every year (June 7th this year) so I know what’s hot and what’s not in the theatre world.

That means my first encounter with Spring Awakening was this:

I do need to say that I don’t fully understand the use of microphones and don’t think that it’s necessary.  I was able to look past while watching the show.  That was really the only down side to the musical version of Spring Awakening.  

The only other thing I knew about this show is that it was written as a drama in 1891 by Frank Wedekind.  He was ahead of his time because of the subject matter that he would write about (sexuality, teen issues, and suicide).  This show was then banned everywhere it went because of the subject matter.  It was until this show was produced in its current musical form that this show saw the footlights of the stage.

Just recently I was able to get my hands on a copy of Spring Awakening from my book people at The Book Vault.  The script was translated and introduced by Jonathan Franzen (yes the Jonathan Franzen).  I haven’t read it yet but I’m really looking forward to it because it’s supposed to be much darker than the musical, which is only fitting given the subject matter.  It should be great.

The musical is fantastic and has many wonderful songs.  I’m going to leave you with a number of songs for you to listen and watch.  I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

There are so many other songs in this show I wish I could put more on here. But I hope you enjoyed what I’ve provided.

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Booking Through Thursday #33 – Worse?

 

Booking Through Thursday

 

 

Which is worse?

Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or

Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?

 

I must say I’m truly stumped on this one.  It’s probably because I’m way to judgmental when it comes to reading.  So, if I love a book a lot I tend not to read anything else by the author for fear that it will be terrible and thereby taint the book I love.  And if I don’t like a book by an author it’ll take a lot of convincing to read something else by them.  I guess I just don’t know why I would want to put a book I love into jeopardy by reading something else and maybe not liking it or disliking something else and torturing myself because if one was buy what are the chances I’ll like something else by them?

But then you get favourite authors who write with varying degrees of greatness.  Take Douglas Coupland for example.  I love Douglas Coupland and enjoy his writing.  Some of his novels I enjoy more than others – jPod (loved) Miss Wyoming (not so much) – but that doesn’t mean totally disliked the novel.  And there are other examples of this I could talk about but I’m sure you get my point.  I didn’t enjoy the book as much as ones I’ve loved but I also wouldn’t say it was terrible.

I guess this is another answer I’ll have to chalk up as one I just don’t know the answer to.

Now that I’ve gone back and read the question after that very long rant I guess I’ll really answer the question (oops).  I would have to say it would  worse to find a book I love then hating everything else they read.  That’s why if I love a book I generally don’t read anything else by that author.

Tough Decision

I seem to be having a difficult time deciding on a theme for my blog.  So, I want to take a moment to apologise for the ever changing themes.  I find I need to “live” with a theme for a couple days before I know if I like it or not.  There are some great themes and some that I can eliminate very quickly because they are too plain for me.  

If I’ve got a theme up that you really like let me know because I like to hear from you wonderful readers of That’s the Book!  I’ll be using you as a sounding board so it’s going to be huge help if you tell me which theme you may or may not like.  

I’m currently looking at this theme because it’s nice and fresh.  But my fear is that it is a seasonal theme.  If they come out with something crisp, clean, and pops for each season I could see this working really well.  

I guess to sum things up I just want you to stick with me as I try to make a decision, and feel free to voice your opinion on this.  Thank you!

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Review

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

by: Philip K. Dick

genre: sci-fi

*read on my Sony Reader

Not that long ago I finished reading my first novel on my Sony Reader.  I wanted to read something that suited such a device and while I was looking around for the perfect book I thought something Science Fiction, finally deciding Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.  I haven’t read anything by Philip K. Dick before and much of that has to do with the fact that I really have an aversion to the sci-fi genre.  But I heard good things about this book so thought I would give it a go.

Now, after just saying I have an aversion to sci-fi I have to say that I loved this e-book.  The story of rouge robots and robotic animals made this an interesting story.  I particularly enjoyed the environmental aspects of this story.  In essence Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? takes place after Earth has all but been abandoned (for life on Mars) and looks at the the reasons why people left this planet, as well as looking at what life is like for those left behind.

I cannot recall if it’s fully explained what has happened to Earth but we do know that there are very few species left.  Due to so few animals remaining the cost to owning one is quite high and is sign of wealth.  Not only is it a sign of wealth to have a creature but it seems to be vital for people to have an animal to call their own.  So there are companies that build robotic animals that look like the real thing.  And the main character has a robotic sheep and has to deal with electrical problems with his sheep. 

It didn’t take very long to read this book and it kept my attention throughout.  I must say I’m really glad that I decided to read this.  It is a wonderful story and has me wanting to read more sci-fi (I cannot actually believe I wrote that).  Because I’m not all that familiar with this genre could any of you suggest novels worth reading in this genre?  And please don’t say Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card because it’s the last sci-fi I read and really did not like it.

Others that have reviewed this book include:

The Open Critic has a great discussion of this book.
http://theopencritic.com/?p=54

Fandomania looks at the book and the film version (Blade Runner).
http://fandomania.com/book-review-do-androids-dream-of-electric-sheep/

Steven Wu’s seems to have really enjoyed the book as well he gave it 9 out of 10 on Steven Wu’s Book Review.
http://www.scwu.com/bookreviews/h/DickPhilipKDoAndroidsDreamofElectricSheep.shtml

And remember if you’d like your review added just send me an email and I’ll add your review to the list.  And it doesn’t matter if you liked it or not!

An Abundance of Katherines – Review

An Abundance of KatherinesAn Abundance of Katherines

by: John Green

Genre: YA

Winner of the Printz Award

John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines is a book about Colin Singleton and his friend Hassan.  Colin only dates women named Katherine and it must be spelled that way and must be the exact name, he’s already had 19 girlfriends with that name.  After being dumped by number 19 Colin and Hassan decide to take a road trip across America in Colin’s car Devil Hearse.  The story is full of humor and I find Hassan to be the most humors, especial when he refers to his thunderstick as well thunderstick.  But I always thought their code word to make the other stop talking about a subject they no longer want to discuss was hilarious…dingleberrys.  The story takes a bit of turn when they get to Gutshot and spend their summer there meeting some of the most interesting characters.

I must say that this was one of the funniest, laugh out loud, books I’ve read in a long time.  The use of anagrams and the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability had a little something extra to this wonderful tale.  When it came to the end I was a little disappointed that the book ended, but I guess it’s a good thing when a book leaves you wanting more.  

I don’t read many YA novels but this one was read because it was selected by Geena as the book we should read for our To Read or Not to Read book club.  I must say that I’m really glad that I read this book and because of it I’d like to read more by Green.  Our next book is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.  I’ve already started reading it and I must say I’m enjoying much more than the movie.  It took me three different days to finally finish watching the movie.  

Here are some others that have reviewed An Abundance of Katherines.  And remember if you have reviewed this or any other book I’ve reviewed please send an email to thatsthebook@gmail.com and I’ll add your review to the list as well.

Megan over at write meg! has reviewed this book.  If you recall I spoke about her just a few days ago on here when I talked about some of the new blogs I’ve found and really enjoy.  Well here’s a review by her:
http://writemeg.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/book-review-an-abundance-of-katherines-by-john-green/

Lisa over at Books Lists Life did a review of this book.  She didn’t seem to like it as much as I did.
http://bookslistslife.blogspot.com/2009/04/abundance-of-katherines-by-john-green.html

Mrs. Magoo Reads enjoyed this book as much as I did, for the same reasons I loved the book.
http://www.mrsmagooreads.com/2009/01/abundance-of-katherines.html

And I had to include this review because I love the name of the blog – The Book Pirate:
http://www.thebookpirate.com/2009/03/27/an-abundance-of-katherines-by-john-green/

Weekly Review #17

Well it’s hard to believe it’s been another week already.  I’ve been living with major headaches for the last while and the doctors are still trying to figure out what’s happening.  In the mean time it’s been difficult to get any reading done.  Reading and headaches just don’t seem to go well together, in case that’s something you couldn’t figure out yourself.

So Friday, after my massage, I made a quick stop at The Book Vault to see if I couldn’t get some graphic novels that may be manageable with this headache thing going on.  Over the weekend I got several of them read.  I must say that my favourite so far is definitely The Walking Dead.  I’m really looking forward to reading the second book but I had to request it be ordered for me.  So, now it’s time to play the waiting game.

I also realized yesterday that I didn’t do a Theatrical Thursday this past week.  It’s been one of my favourite things to do on here and I feel bad that I missed it.  This weeks Theatrical Thursday will be all about Spring Awakening.  It’s the last show I saw in Toronto to just got my copy of the script by Frank Wedekind, and to top it off the translation and introduction are by Jonathan Franzen (that’s right author that had a tiff with Oprah).

I hope everyone has a great week this week.

Weekly Geeks 2009-15

wg-book-pile-url5How many of us remember a favorite pet from our childhood? Or have enjoyed visiting the zoo? Or relish in walking in the woods and hearing birdsong, or seeing a deer leap away through the brush? How many of us have been thrilled by a soaring eagle? How often have we sought the comfort of a dog or cat, or wept tears of loss when forced to say good-bye to a furred friend?

We are surrounded by our fellow creatures and often our lives are enriched by their presence, whether it be sharing our homes with them or simply being blessed to see them in passing.

This week you are asked to share books (fiction or nonfiction) and/or movies which center around an animal or animals.

  • Which are your favorites?
  • Which touched your heart the most?
  • Which have found their way onto your wish lists or TBR stacks?
  • Is there a childhood favorite?
  • Have you ever named a pet after an animal from a book or movie?

You get the idea! Have fun with this; use your imagination. Share your thoughts!

As an adjunct to this post, consider sharing photos of animals (domestic or wild) which have inspired or thrilled you, or graced your life with their presence.

There were a few books that came to mind right away when I read todays theme.  I’m sure we could all name several movies that have animals in theme, we watched those films over and over again growing up.  So, I’m going to focus on a couple of books that I just adored and had an animal connection.

The first novel to come to mind was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Hadden.  Once I reflected a little more on the book I found I was a little surprised this would be the first one to come to mind.  The dog we’re talking about in this novel is the poodle found murdered at the beginning of the book.  It’s a fabulous book and made me laugh so much while reading it.  The story of an autistic child searching for the murderer is one of those books that has the ability to change you when you read it.

The other book that came to mind right away was one of my favourite books that I first read in high school and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read it since.  I’m talking about George Orwell’s Animal Farm.  I think the reason this book stuck with me because I love history and the story of the Russian revolution is a great story.  Orwell’s retelling of the revolution is fantastic and has everything in it.  It’s amazing and if you haven’t read it forty times already you should pick it up and give it another go.

Those are just two great animal books that should be read by all.  I’m looking forward to seeing what other books have been suggested from my fellow weekly geeks.

Book Binge

Recently I’ve been rather under the weather and because of my illness I’ve been unable to do much reading, that’s what happens when you have a constant headache.  So, after my massage yesterday I made a pit stop to The Book Vault (my friendly neighbourhood book shop) to find some graphic novels.  

Well an innocent stop to look for a few books I could possibly read ended up costing me quite a pretty penny.  But I think I left with some good finds.  The guy that works at the shop gave me three cue cards full of suggested reading material.  I gabbed some of his suggestions as well as a few I thought might be of interest.  So, without further ado here are the goodies I picked up:

batman-the-dark-knight-returnsFrank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.  Something about this book intrigued me, I don’t normally read superhero books but this one came highly recommended.  I haven’t read any Batman material and given the recent hype surrounding the caped crusader.  

Not that long ago I started watching the 1960’s Adam West Batman series.  You just cannot write camp like that anymore.  I cannot help but chuckle to myself all the time with the ridiculous plots and lines found throughout the show.

fables-homelandsFor those of you avid readers of this humble blog you’ll know that I love the Fables series by Bill Willingham.  So I picked up this 6th installment Fables: Homelands.  I’ve already devoured the first five in the series and I’m always ready for the next in the series.

This will definitely be read by weeks end.  I’m not sure what it is that just makes me fall for these books.  It’s one of a few series I’ll own before too long.  

nino_god_dyslex_dog_cvrI couldn’t pass this one up because the title made me laugh out loud in the bookstore, this is something that rarely happens when I’m hunting the shelves for books.  god the Dyslexic Dog by Brian & Philip Phillipson and Alex Nino.  I’m betting it’s going to be terrible but I thought why not give it a shot?  I’m kind of looking forward to being disappointed by this one.  Flipping through the pages I can tell it may even cause pain while reading.  Should be a good time!

grimmtrade01bI really enjoy fairy tales and have always been fascinated with the Brother’s Grimm and the way they told the tails.  This is one of the books I read as soon as I got home and I have to say there were some parts I really enjoyed but others I just didn’t like.  

Grimm Fairy Tales Volume 1 by Joe Tyler and Ralph Tedesco contains: Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty and Robber Bridegroom.  This is one I thought would be worth checking out.

kcKingdom Come seemed to be the one he was probably most excited about.  As a result it was one I had to pick up right away.  Mark Waid and Alex Ross bring us the superheroes we are all use to in the not so distant future.  They are older and some slightly forgotten.  

Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl is a comic I remember stumbling across this comic when it first came out.  And loved it because the humor is dark and exactly something I’d come with.  So I picked up the first two in the collection of three Noogies and Wedgies by Roman Dirge.  If you’d like a sample of the humor you can check out the animated versions of some of these stories here.

walkingdead_book1_hc-719399Finally, I picked up a zombie book.  The Walking Dead Book One is fabulous!  I picked it up and couldn’t stop reading it.  I loved every aspect of this book.  And given the rise in all things zombie these days I thought I should pick this one up.  Robert Kirkman’s story of the walking dead seamed like something I might enjoy so I picked it up.

 

I’d be curious to know if there are any favourites you may have out there.  What comics/graphic novels have you fallen for that I should perhaps look into next?

Booking Through Thursday #32 – Symbolic? or Not?

 

Booking Through Thursday

My husband is not an avid reader, and he used to get very frustrated in college when teachers would insist discussing symbolism in a literary work when there didn’t seem to him to be any. He felt that writers often just wrote the story for the story’s sake and other people read symbolism into it.

It does seem like modern fiction just “tells the story” without much symbolism. Is symbolism an older literary device, like excessive description, that is not used much any more? Do you think there was as much symbolism as English teachers seemed to think? What are some examples of symbolism from your reading?

 

I think I’d have to agree with your husband on this one.  Sometimes closing the door is simply closing the door.  Not everything has an alternate meaning or hint of symbolism.  Now I wouldn’t say that is always the case.  I think there are some books that contain symbolism, that’s what fairy tales are all about, but I don’t it’s something we should be hunting for while reading a book.

This was a discussion that came up regularly while I attend university at CMU and discussed the Bible.  As a believer I wouldn’t say that the Bible should be read and taken exactly as it’s written.  There is symbolism in the Bible but there are other times we shouldn’t take any more from what is written than what is on the page.  

In the literary world there are times when the author is attempting to say more than what appears on the page.  Nothing is more obvious than when we read a script.  Playwrights need to be telling us more than just the dialogue. The action and the words combined often have a deeper meaning than what we see.  Take for example Shakespeare (who by the way is celebrating his birthday today!) if we take A Midsummer Nights Dream literally you’ll be missing the whole point.  And in case you didn’t already know faeries aren’t real and the chances you’ll enter the forest and get an asses head are at zero.  

I think I should stop here because I’m just rambling on and on saying essentially the same thing over and over again.  This is a great question by Barbara, thank you for the great question.

Look What I Found!

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve come across some wonderful blogs.  And I’ve been meaning to do this for some time now but haven’t really been able to get to it.  I continuously think of other things I’d like to do on here and it’s difficult to do everything.  So, it’s been some time in the waiting but here it is now.  

I’ve found these great blogs and they are worth sharing with everyone.

The book blogging world seems to be primarily the domain of women so when I find a blog by a fellow man I cannot help but enjoy the blog.  A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook is one of those amazing blogs that once you’ve come across it you cannot help but gain some enjoyment from it.  This blog is full of great reviews and a participant in other weekly features in the book blog world.

I Heart Monster is one I just came across this past week.  The postings are short and to the point.  You can also find other fun projects on the go.  If you haven’t stumbled upon this one yet you should definitely check it out.

The next blog is one run by two friends.  One is an avid reader, the other a regular artist!  Together they’ve created Readey Drawey.  The Readey part posts some of their favourite excerpts of what’s been read on any given day.  Then Drawey comes along and creates an image.  

write meg! is one of those more all purpose blogs than dedicated to just one subject.  Yes, she’s a reader and writes reviews but also spends time talking about her other hobbies.  It’s a fun blog that has lots of energy, and I find it’s one of those blogs that I’m always looking forward to see what might be coming next.

These are just a few of the blogs that I’ve come across and have enjoyed in the last few weeks.  Have any of you come across anything new and exciting in the blog world?  What blogs are worthy of checking out that I may not have noticed?