Fun Facts Friday: Ivanhoe
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / October 19, 2012

Yesterday I posted about Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. I truly enjoyed the book and found out some fascinating things about it I’d like to share. 1 ) The novel is credit with the revival of interest in Medieval England when it was published. 2 ) Current perceptions of Robin Hood (loyal, joyful, patriotic and descent) are all thanks to his depiction in Ivanhoe, including him splitting a competitor’s arrow and the title of “Locksley”. The original placing of Robin Hood in 16th and 17th Century ballads and stories are about two centuries later during the reign of Edward. 3 ) The novel is written in contemporary English, but in the 12th Century nobles spoke a mixture of medieval French and medieval English. 4 ) The name Cedric was first used in Ivanhoe. The name is actually Cerdic but Scott misspelled it and it stuck. 5 ) The first Jewish female college student in the US, Rebecca Graz of Philadelphia, is said to be the inspiration for Rebecca, daughter of Issac of York. 6 ) There are at least 6 well known takeoffs or sequels for Ivanhoe. 7 ) Scott was a conservative at his time, he set his novel at the time of the Magna Carta which he “regarded as…

Book Review: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
5 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / October 18, 2012

Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a Saxon knight who has just returned from the Crusades and is still loyal to Richard Plantagenet. Ivanhoe returns to a disapproving father who disinherited him because of his alliance to Richard and his love the Lady Rowena. But the protagonist doesn’t announce himself, and takes on the guise of Knight of Ivanhoe, The Black Knight, which causes many collisions.

Are You Intimidated By Classic Books?
Latest Posts , Opinion / October 17, 2012

Classic books are intimidating, I know because they intimidate me. One has to get over the issue that we were forced to read them. Who wants to read a book that you hated in high-school? Hated it because you were too immature to understand it. Hated it because you couldn’t wrap your hormone riddled head around the petty lives of characters who make a big deal out nothing (so, you’re a bastard – big deal). Hated it because it wasn’t relevant to you and your trivial problems. Hated it because it wasn’t “cool” to like it. Or simply hated it because you were forced to read it. My advice – screw them, you’re not in high school anymore, get over it. You have to get over your fear of legitimately hating a classic. Are you not smart enough to like it? Are you not intelligent enough to understand the complex undertone of humanity involved? Maybe you simple don’t have the right vocabulary to enjoy it? And maybe, just maybe, it’s a crappy book – classic or not. My advice – Don’t worry about it. So you didn’t like a classic. Guess what? Nothing will happen and no one will think…

Guest Post: Forbidden Secrets Revealed
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / October 16, 2012

The Forbidden Trilogy, an award-winning YA paranormal romantic thriller by Kimberly Kinrade, is now complete with the launch of the third and final book, Forbidden Life. Described as “thrilling, dark and deeply romantic” (Refracted Light YA Reviews) with a “plot that is very ALIAS and DARK ANGEL-like with X-MEN as its backdrop” (Sour Skittles Book Blog), the Forbidden Trilogy tells the story of a group of paranormal teens raised in a secret school and rented out as spies to the rich. When Sam, a girl who reads minds, meets Drake, a boy who controls minds, they discover a deep secret that could destroy everything and everyone they love. Together, they must escape and save their friends, before it’s too late. In Forbidden Life, all the secrets of this corrupt organization are revealed, with more page-turning twists and nail-biting mystery than ever before. This series “has romance, mystery, action and suspense that will keep you hooked from beginning till end.” ~Nickle Love Get your copy today on Amazon or Smashwords! About Forbidden Life The road to redemption begins in darkness. A sinister force waits for them in darkness, ready to devour their powers and take their lives. Sam’s baby is the…

Book Review: The Good Pope by Greg Tobin

Article first published as Book Review: The Good Pope: John XXIII & Vatican II–The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church by Greg Tobin on Blogcritics. About: The Good Pope:  John XXIII & Vatican II, The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church by Greg Tobin is a biography of Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the Pope. John XXIII is credited with helping modernized the Catholic Church even though he only served as Pope from 1958 to 1963. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. 288 pages Publisher: HarperOne Language: English ISBN-10: 0062089439 My rating for The Good Pope – 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* More Books by Greg Tobin Thoughts: I wanted to read The Good Pope:  John XXIII & Vatican II, The Making of a Saint and the Remaking of the Church by Greg Tobin because I am very unfamiliar with the Catholic dogma and beliefs. Being brought up Jewish I can also not comprehend the elevated status to the Pope in the eyes of mortal men as well as the whole idea of elevating a man into the status of “saint”. I…

Guest Review: Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
Fiction , Guest Posts / October 13, 2012

Leanne Shapton grew up under the definitive identity of “competitive swimmer”. She spent the larger part of her life on the humid decks of muggy swimming pools, in and out of freezing waters, and constantly comparing herself and her times to the swimmers around her. Growing up as a competitive swimmer myself, the images and scenes that Shapton portrays in her novel Swimming Studies is all but too familiar. While this novel really grabbed my attention because of its familiarity for me and my own life events, there was something universally appealing about the style, voice, and subject at hand. Even without the knowledge of binge eating carb dinners before competition or staying in foreign hotel rooms with your teammates and competitors, Shapton strikes on the universal notes of longing to belong, searching for an identity, and grief and loss. Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic format* More Books by Leanne Shapton This novel follows the life of a woman and girl utterly obsessed with the solitude of swimming and the race, but also completely foreign to it. Shapton explores her experience as a swimmer in grade school, as a college swimmer, vying for an Olympic spot in her later…

Guest Post: 3 Ways to Help Children Love to Read
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / October 10, 2012

Reading is one of the most important habits that children can pick up. A child who loves to read has a larger vocabulary, a bigger imagination, and can pick up more details than other children. However, getting your children to love reading is often easier said than done. Here are some tips for fostering a love of reading in your children: Start young – The best way to get your children to love to read is start reading to them at a very young age. When parents spend time showing children what books can do, they have a greater chance of wanting to pick up books themselves. Do not just let the children be passive listeners either. Involve them in the stories by asking questions like what they think is going to happen next. Make it fun –Making reading fun instead of a chore is important. Set aside times during the day that are ‘quiet times’ for reading or just quiet play. Supply them with plenty of books to chose from and encourage them to pick up a book by discussing what you have read and reminding them how fun it is to get involved in stories. Let them decide…

Book Review: Not Famous Anymore by Michael Loyd Gray
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / October 9, 2012

Article first published as Book Review: Not Famous Anymore by Michael Loyd Gray on Blogcritics. About: Not Famous Anymore by Michael Loyd Gray is a fictional book which addresses the price of fame. We all know that being famous cannot be easy, but why do famous people who got what they wanted keep complaining? The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post 260 pages Publisher: Three Towers Press Language: English ISBN-10: 1595981578 My rating for Not Famous Anymore – 4 Buy this book in paper or electronic format* More Books by Michael Loyd Gray Thoughts: Not Famous Anymore by Michael Loyd Gray(website | Facebook | @moonpie125) asks a very interesting question: what if you were famous and decided you didn’t want to be known anymore? I keep hearing that often, someone who achieved the pinnacle of success now, when they got it, all of the sudden acts as if it is a burden. While I’m sure that it’s not easy, that is the price of success in that arena and they knew well ahead of time what they were getting themselves into. What I find even more fascinating is the…

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