Showing posts from November, 2012

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse - German Literature Month 2012

Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish... Knowledge can be communicated but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.
I was under the misconception, that this book was actually about Buddha. Which is one of the reasons why I was expecting something entirely different. For people like me, who have no idea what the book is about, here's a summary, taken from Goodreads.
In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life - the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom.
While the Siddhartha of this book is not actually the Siddhartha (Gautam / Gotama…

Guest Post: Dr. Lesley Phillips (author of The Midas Tree)

Today I'd like to welcome to my blog an author, Dr. Lesley Phillips, who has been kind enough to write a really great article for us on writing!

Dr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. She is the author of the book “The Midas Tree,” a spiritual adventure story for children of all ages.

The Connection between Intuition and Imagination

Since writing my book, The Midas Tree, I made an interesting observation. What many writers call their imagination is what I call my intuition. I am a meditation teacher and intuitive counselor, and I use my spiritual senses on a daily basis in my work with students and clients.

I Wrote “The Midas Tree” Using My Intuition
My process for writing is to enter a meditative state. From this vantage point I am able to see the story unfold before my eyes as though I were watching a film. I can press pause, fast forward or rewind and begin watching again whenever I like.
The book …

Wheels by Lorijo Metz

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the book: WHEELS by Lorijo Metz is a sci-fi adventure filled with mystery and romance; a coming-of-age tale that proves it takes more than super powers to save a planet.
Summary: McKenzie Wu stumbles upon a portal, transporting her and her friend Hayes to the tiny planet of Circanthos, she learns the inhabitants believe she is the “One” destined to save them from H.G. Wells, a name that sounds strangely familiar, and his Tsendi warriors. But while her newfound ability to arrange molecules with her mind might give her superhero status back on Earth, halfway across the galaxy it’s commonplace; all Circanthians can particle-weave; and if they can’t stop H.G. Wells, what can she hope to do? With the portal closed and no idea how to get home, McKenzie must learn to use a power she does not want and accept her mysterious past, or risk losing everything; her father’s love, her new alien friends and the boy.
My thoughts…

The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling # 1

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett is a fun little book about reading, woven around the simplest idea: What if the Queen discovers the pleasures of reading? As she becomes a passionate reader, Her Majesty arranges a reception to meet and interact with some of the writers she enjoys reading. At the soiree, however, the Queen is disappointed and she realizes something:

"Authors are as much creatures of the reader's imagination as the characters in their books."

I read The Uncommon Reader last week, but something like what Bennett has said has been on my mind for a month. I still haven't finished reading The Casual Vacancy. I'm taking it slow. But I do like whatever I have read so far and here's what I think (call this a mid-read review):

The first half of the book is very character focused and Rowling is great at building characters. You get easily attached to them and halfway through the book, you feel like you know them. The plot moves slowly but that doesn&#…

Connections by Mary Lou Gediman

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: Pontiac Parker is a bit of an eccentric. He is also extremely dedicated to his cultural and spiritual heritage. Pontiac’s extraordinary fixation with the number seven may seem peculiar to the insensible onlooker. To him, thought, it's as natural as any one of his other beliefs. He doesn't know how or when his complex seven obsessions started, but, as the story unfolds, he will slowly and surely find out.
On his wedding day a note with a feather attached to it and a series of numbers written on it is left taped to his front porch, clues for him and his new bride to decipher. These are soon followed by more clues, more notes, and more elusive numbers to figure out. What does it all mean? Neither he nor his new bride knows what to make of it all. They soon discover that they cannot ignore the notes and the clues because the fate of many lives ultimately hangs in the balance. But, in order for him to s…

The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig - German Literature Month 2012

This is my slightly late post about The Royal Game / Schachnovelle by Stefan Zweig that I read for the first week of the German Literature Month 2012.

About the book (from here)Chess Story, also known as The Royal Game, is the Austrian master Stefan Zweig's final achievement, completed in Brazilian exile and sent off to his American publisher only days before his suicide in 1942. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological.

On the ship from New York to Buenos Aires, our narrator spots Mirko Czentovic, the world chess champion. Czentovic started out as a poor boy and is still illiterate. He prefers to keep to himself and never having learnt about any other greatness than his own, he is arrogant. When a few passengers, along with the narrator, approach him to play a game of chess with them, he agrees to play for a price. They come together to try their skills against him and are soundly defeated. Then a myst…

Two Poems based in Folklore - German Literature Month 2012

The German Literature Month 2012 is hosted by Caroline at Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy at Lizzy's Literary Life. The first week is for novellas, plays and poems. I read two books of poems, one by Goethe and another by Heinrich Heine. This post is about two fascinating poems, which are based, to an extent, on folklore.
The first is a poem called Der Erlkoenig or The Elfking / Alder King / Erlking by Goethe. You can read it here, along with the literal translation and English adaptation. The poem is best of course, in its original language, but here is another loose adaptation of the poem in English by Sir Walter Scott. There are actually many translations of the poem, my personal favourite would be the one by Edgar Bowring, mostly because the archaic language maintains the quaintness of the ballad.
Who rides there so late through the night dark and drear?
The father it is, with his infant so dear;
He holdeth the boy tightly clasped in his arm,
He holdeth him safely, he keepet…

Dangerous Past by A. F. Ebbers Virtual Tour - Review and Giveaway

I have received this book in exchange for an honest review.

To visit the rest of the virtual book tour stops, visit the Partners in Crime Tours page.

Genre:Suspense, Thriller, Mystery
Published by:Silverhawk Books
Publication on:September 8th, 2011
Pages: 240

To win an e-copy of this fabulous book, scroll down.

About the author: A. F. Ebbers, a journalism graduate of Ohio University was a reporter/writer for major newspapers, ad agencies, and in public relations for Cessna Aircraft Company. He also graduated from Army Flight School and flew for the Ohio and Kansas Army National Guards. Later he was called to active duty and served two flying tours in Vietnam. After retirement from the military, he flew for corporations and for regional airlines. A dual rated ATP pilot, he has written for numerous national magazines, Sunday supplements and trade and travel magazines and has written screenplays and short stories. Today he lives…

German Literature Month 2012

German Literature Month!! I can't believe I forgot about this. This is a one-month event (naturally) hosted by  Caroline of Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy of Lizzy's Literary Life. Last year I had a blast participating in the event and discovered some great authors like Heinrich Boell, Ferdinand von Schirach, Joseph Roth.

This is the schedule for the event this year:

Week 1: Novellas, plays and poems
Week 2: Literary novels
Week 3: Genre fiction: crime, fantasy, horror, romance
Week 4: Read as you please

Here are the books that I want to read (I might, of course, change the list entirely as I go; I'm unpredictable that way.)

Week 1: I have a few books piled up from last year, that I didn't get around to reading, which include a couple of novellas. The one I'm sure about reading this week is Schachnovelle / The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig.
I have a book of poems by Heinrich Heine that sounds surprisingly nice and I want to try a couple of poems by Goethe that I&#…

The Burning Bush by Kenya Wright

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: The book is set in Santeria, a caged city for supernaturals. Soon after the humans discovered the existence of supernaturals, there were the Human-Supe wars, in which the humans, with the advantage of having weapons, won. Now, throughout the world there are caged cities, where the supernaturals are contained by the humans and are allowed to lead their lives. They have their own society and rules and have also got human cops called habbies. There are two types of supernaturals, the purebloods and the mixbreeds. Lanore Vesta is a Mixie with the power to control fire, and has spent the first book in this series (Fire Baptzied) helping Rivera, a habbie, solve a murder mystery, with the help of her boyfriend Zulu and and ex-boyfriend MeShack, a were-cheetah.

In The Burning Bush, two girls have been found murdered and tied to the eponymous burning bushes. The fire is intact and the bodies are unharmed, leading La…