alice grass

Book Club October Picks

Thursday, October 2, 2014 Thursday, October 02, 2014
Looking for someone to discuss a book with? Some of you may know I run two book clubs on Goodreads.  One is the Young Adult Book Club and the other is the Stephen King Fans group.  Both groups are open to everyone.. so be sure to stop by and join us.  We have just started our September discussions so it is the perfect time for you to stop by.

This month for the Young Adult Book Club we are reading Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. This looks like a great series!

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Next up in the Stephen King Fans group we are reading Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. 

Will Graham stands in a silent, empty house communing with a killer. An FBI instructor with a gift for hunting madmen, Graham knows what his murderer looks like, how he thinks, and what he did to his victims after they died. Now Graham must try to catch him. But to do it, he must feel the heat of a killer's brain, draw on the macabre advice of a dangerous mental patient, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, and follow a trail of microscopic clues to the place where another family has already been chosen to die--and where an innocent woman has found the Dragon first

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Title: Tarzan of the Apes
Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Pages: 304 pages
Publication: 1912
Source: ebook from the library
Links: goodreads

In 1888 Lord and Lady Clayton sail from England to fill a military post in British West Africa and perish at the edge of a primeval forest. When their infant son is adopted by fanged “great anthropoid apes,” he becomes one of the most legendary figures in all of literature—Tarzan of the Apes. Within the society of speechless primates, Tarzan wields his natural influence and becomes king. Self-educated by virtue of his parents’ library, Tarzan discovers true civilization when he rescues aristocratic Jane Porter from the perils of his jungle. Their famous romance, which pits Tarzan’s lifetime of savagery against Jane’s genteel nature, has captivated audiences for nearly a century.
I recently read Tarzan of the Apes for my Project Disney that was based off the animation Tarzan. I did really enjoy this book.. until about the last part and then I kind of skimmed it.  I love reading classics and this one was good.  The story is basically about a couple who gets left on an island by some pirates.  While there they have a baby, but the parents die.  So there is a female ape who just lost her baby and so when the apes discover the hut of the humans she finds Tarzan and adopts him.  It is a beautiful love story between her and Tarzan and just goes to show that love is love.

Tarzan is raised by these apes and learns the ways of the forest.  The first half of the book is him in the jungle killing lions and fighting with the head apes.  These apes are not a real breed they are much smarter then real apes. Tarzan learns how to hunt and comes across some natives whom he plays tricks on.  Which I thought was great to read about because it showed that Tarzan has human nature despite being raised by the apes.  During this time Tarzan does find the hut of the people who died (his parents though he does not know this).  He teaches himself to read from the books and papers he finds in the hut.

The second half of the book is more about when the other white humans land on the island and are trying to find a rumored treasure.  This party of people include the famous Jane Porter.  She is swept away by Tarzan even though he can't speak to her (he can only write at this time.. cannot speak English). Tarzan actually saves the group of people several times. The third part of the book is Tarzan becoming more civilized and going to America to find Jane.  Whom by the way (spoiler).. does not en up with Tarzan and that really irks me.   I enjoy the first two parts of the book.. the last part not so much. When Tarzan becomes civilized it just happens so fast.

There is also a lot of issues in this book that is very dated.  There is racism and bigotry that is just not acceptable today. Turns out there are a few books in Tarzan's series.  I am not really interested in continuing in the series though I am curious what does happen to Tarzan in the US since the book really just ends with the rejection from Jane. Yes.. the book ends in Wisconsin at a train station.  Not the ending I was expecting.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a classic to read.

The Crystal Ball says:

Clouds are covering! A read that lets me down every now and then but peaks out of the clouds!

Project Disney- Tarzan

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. I am participating in Project Disney inspired by Picture Me Reading!

This week's Project Disney is Tarzan based off the book Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan was actually the first movie date my husband (at the time boyfriend) had many moons ago. How sweet!  Also.. Phil Collins does the music.. man he does some good Disney songs.  he should do the music for all the movies.  I haven't seen Tarzan in a long long time so I am so glad I took the time to watch. 

The film starts out with Tarzan's parents and Tarzan are on a ship that is in a terrible storm where they get marooned on an island. They build a hut in a tree and settle in.  Of course disaster strikes and Tarzan's parents are killed. At the same time the apes in the forest (Kala and Kerchak) are morning the loss of their new born which has been killed by a tiger (Sabor).  Kala hears the cries of a baby the hut and heads that way.  She finds the baby Tarzan and adopts him.  Kerchak of course is very unhappy and tells her no though she defies him and keeps the baby.  In the book the beginning of the story is much different.  John Clayton, a.k.a. Lord Greystoke and his wife Alice who is pregnant go to the Congo to investigate the illegal recruitment of natives.  On their way the crew of the ship has a mutiny and maroons them on and island in Africa.

While on the island Clayton makes them a house of sorts to protect them from the wild animals that are in the jungle. One night an ape (the apes in the book do not talk it's gorilla sounds but of course Disney had to make them speak for film purposes) attacks husband and wife which makes Alice lose her mind.  She does give birth a few months later but unfortunately is never actually back to her normal self.  Now... as for the apes they are a much different story.  They are much more wild then in the film.  Kerchak and all the apes sometimes go on these rampages if they are angry.  They hit everyone in site.  Kala and her baby were in his way when he was going on a rampage.   She tries to jump out of the way but drops her baby and it dies.

Kerchak then goes to the cabin he had seen and breaks in.  Clayton is of course not ready for the attack because he is mourning his wife.  Clayton is killed.  When Kerchek goes to kill the baby in the crib Kala grabs him and trades her dead baby for him.  Kala names the baby Tarzan meaning "pale one".

Next up Disney shows some fun adventures Tarzan gets into. He plays with the other apes and elephants. The jungle is much more dangerous in the book.  Tarzan has no weapons at first and has to use his hands for everything.  Eventually he does find a knife in his father's cabin and learns how to use it which helps him handle the wild animals of the jungle better.  In the movie Tarzan has a spear out of no where and uses it.   During the scene in the film where he kills Sabor he does do his trade mark yelling which he does several times in the book.  The sounds is so terrifying in the book it scares people and animals alike.

Gun shots are now heard in the film.  Tarzan goes to explore it and we find people!  Clayton and the Porters are now introduced.  Jane Porter is the lead lady.  I really love her in the film.  I think she is cute.  Jane is chased by a bunch of monkeys and Tarzan helps her get away from them.  There is a little scene where Jane starts teaching Tarzan her language.. it's kind of funny to hear Tarzan mimicking her English.  The apes meanwhile are looking for Tarzan and discover the human's camp.  Tarzan stay at the camp and learns to speak with Jane and the other humans. Jane tells Tarzan to take them to the apes whom the humans want to study.  Tarzan eventually does.  In the book no one is there to study gorillas. Tarzan actually meets humans because some local natives move into the area Tarzan and his ape family live.  An arrow actually kills Tarzan's mother and so Tarzan tracks down who sent the arrow. Tarzan enters their village and the natives think Tarzan is some evil spirit. Tarzan actually learns about the human race from his father's cabin where he spends a lot of time teaching himself how to read.

The Porters actually end up on the island because they are going on a treasure hunt.  Another mutiny happens so they end up on the same island as Tarzan. This part of the book was great to me.  Tarzan discovers one day that the cabin has been gone through and writes a sign on the door telling them not to touch his stuff. The Porters though never realize that Tarzan is the same man as the one they keep seeing because of Tarzan not speaking they think they are different people.

Tarzan in the film now wants to discover who is he really?  A man or ape?  In the film Kala takes Tarzan back to his father's cabin where he ponders life and then leaves the cabin in his fathers clothes. Tarzan at this point knows he wants to go with Jane to England.  In the book Tarzan rescues a sailor and nurses him back to life.  It is during this time that Tarzan discovers who he really is. The sailor arranges for Tarzan’s finger print to be matched with the baby’s print on Lord Greystoke’s diary, officially proving his lineage.  Tarzan now knows that he is not an ape though the Porters have by now already left for England.

In the movie little does Tarzan know that Clayton was scouting out the gorilla nest and was on their way to capture the gorillas.  Jane and her father have been captured also. A fight of course breaks out. Then Tarzan and Jane get to know each other.  She is going to head to England but changes her mind and stays in the jungle with her father and Tarzan. The book is far different and kind of upset me.  Jane and Tarzan get to know each other here and there.  It is a little bit of a case of instant love.  But still beautiful.  Tarzan is out rescuing that sailor I mentioned above but the other sailors presume everyone is dead.  Jane can't get them to wait any longer for Tarzan because everyone wants to head back.  Jane leaves Tarzan a note asking him to meet her in Baltimore (she is American not English).  So Tarzan makes his way there only to find out Jane doesn't like him as much outside the jungle. She accepts Clayton's proposal (he is a nice guy in the book) and so Tarzan is just left there!  That is the end of the book!

Really I like this movie and really enjoyed the book as well.  Be sure to check out my other Project Disney:

 Snow White
Peter Pan
Treasure Planet
Sleeping Beauty
The Great Mouse Detective 
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Princess and the Frog
Beauty and the Beast
Lady and the Tramp
Alice in Wonderland
The Rescuers
The Rescuers Down Under
Oliver and Company
The Little Mermaid
101 Dalmatians
Fantasia 2000
The Jungle Book
The Emperor's New Groove
The Sword in the Stone
The Aristocats
The Lion King
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Robin Hood
The Black Cauldron 
Mary Poppins
Lilo and Stitch 
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Make Mine Music

The Lego Movie-Video Game Review

Monday, September 29, 2014 Monday, September 29, 2014

As some of you may know who follow the blog that I love Lego video games.  They are really quite enjoyable.  There is running around.. collecting and building items.  I wasn't actually planning on playing this one because typically a game based off a movie just isn't any good.  They are usually rushed. So they graphics are bad.. the story line is bad. It turns out that my library started loaning out Xbox One and PS4 games and this is one of them.  So I said.. well why not.  I am so glad I took a chance on this game!

Turns out this game is just as fun as the other Lego games.  I was a little disappointed that the non-game scenes were straight out of the movie.  I mean STRAIGHT out of the movie.  I wanted those scenes to be a little more unique.  So I would usually just hit Y and skip those scenes since I've seen them before. What makes Lego games funny is that they reenact a scene from a movie in a funny way.  This one totally bypassed what makes Lego games great.  I liked the fact that you get to play as practically every single character from the movie.  You even get to dance to the song "Everything is Awesome" but pushing buttons (similar to the button pushing in Rock Band).

The game was a little glitchy too.  Which is another reason why games based off movies can be bad.  They are rushed out.  I hit one part where one of the characters I needed didn't appear.  I needed a character who could jump high and grab something and no matter what I did I couldn't get them to spawn.  It was annoying.  Eventually I googled it and found a way to get that character to appear by going to the character wheel and making them spawn that way.  It is so good there is that option because I was so far in the game there was no way I was going to start over. 

Overall it was a fun game.  It wasn't that unique from the movie though ... I would recommend if you haven't seen The Lego Movie don't play this game.  Or you are pretty much going to see the whole movie. I give this game 7 out of 10

Sunday Post

Sunday, September 28, 2014 Sunday, September 28, 2014

Let's chat about what's going on this week... on my blog.. on other blogs... on the internet... and just everywhere!    I link up my post to Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Reader.

This week was a good week. The weather is still warm. I am so glad most of my TV shows are back.  Sleepy Hollow, SHIELD, Big Bang Theory, just all the shows!!  In the summer I end up watching all kinds of crappy reality shows so I am glad these are back.  I have also been playing a video game called Destiny and been having a good time playing it.  I do have a lot of complaints about it too... but it's still fun. Review to come on the blog soon.

On the blog:
- I finally get back to the movies-  The Maze Runner- Movie Review
- I review a book that was so relaxing- Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
-I talk about Formatting old posts... worth the time?

Around the Blogospere:

-Five Places We Do Not Want to Work.. for all the geeks out there.
- For those of you using Blogger for your blog I know it can be tough to find tips and tricks for your blog. This blog always has Blogger tips.  Here is one to add color to your blogger comments (if you use that comment system).
-If you like Halloween there is a fun blogging event that happens every year that you might want to check out:
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 I like when there is a positive message comes from a funny video. This video is from the American Heart Association and features Ken Jeong. Watch it.. learn from it..

Books Books Books... Went to the library this week and checked out a few books. One being Top Secret Twenty One by Janet Evanovich. I have been looking forward to read this one for a while now!

Formatting old posts... worth the time?

Thursday, September 25, 2014 Thursday, September 25, 2014
Blogging is hard right?  We have to come up with book reviews, participate in memes, comment on comments on our blog, visit other blogs... none of this even includes the technical side of the blog.  Some of you may know I switched blog templates a couple months ago and have contemplated going through all posts and adjusting the formatting to match the new look.  Of course I have years of book reviews and memes and all sorts of posts that now no longer match the blog look.  So... I have been pondering whether or not to go back and fix these posts. I just feel like this could take forever.  Plus.. does anyone really notice??  I suppose possibly if someone happens to look at an old blog post they might notice that there is a difference.  The coloring will be different.. my rating system was even different.   Is it even worth going back???

I have created new meme pictures even.  I use them in my current posts... but these I will for sure not go back and fix.  I mean... who looks at old Waiting on Wednesday posts? I also highly doubt these show up in Google search, and if they do well... oops.  I have seen people go back and fix posts after switching from Blogger to Wordpress.  Though I think this is to line posts up with the new look rather then change the actual look of the post.   I just don't know if I want to spend the time doing this.


I have also seen a lot of talk about labels lately.  When I first started blogging way back when... I thought the labels helped SEO.  I just guess that the labels were what helped google find a post.  Then this past year I learned that SEO doesn't actually have anything to do with labels ( Nose Graze talks about labels/tags here which is where I have been learning a lot about it).  Seriously you guys.. I have a lot of labels.  A LOT! I have debated going through and deleting a bunch but I am sure it doesn't really matter if I don't have all these labels on the homepage.  I think the labels do help linkwithin find similar posts but that is about it. 

I guess the point of this post is that in the end we each need to just figure out whether or not we want to take the time to go back and fix it all.  It sure is a lot of work and I suppose I would rather work on newer posts and newer topics then go back and fix everything.  Though I will admit that the rating system not matching does bother me... just a little bit.  What about you guys??  Would you/have you gone back and fixed old posts???  


Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt- Review

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Title:  Going Vintage
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Pages: 320 pages
Publication Date: March 26th 2013 by Bloomsbury
Source: I won this book from Pink Polka Dot Books
Link: goodreads

When Mallory’s boyfriend, Jeremy, cheats on her with an online girlfriend, Mallory decides the best way to de-Jeremy her life is to de-modernize things too. Inspired by a list of goals her grandmother made in1962, Mallory swears off technology and returns to a simpler time (when boyfriends couldn’t cheat with computer avatars). The List: 1. Run for pep club secretary 2. Host a fancy dinner party/soiree 3. Sew a dress for Homecoming 4. Find a steady 5. Do something dangerous But simple proves to be crazy-complicated, and the details of the past begin to change Mallory’s present. Add in a too-busy grandmother, a sassy sister, and the cute pep-club president–who just happens to be her ex’s cousin–and soon Mallory begins to wonder if going vintage is going too far.
I have been wanting to read this book for a really really long time. I actually won it last year from another book blogger but never made the time to sit down and read it. I recently had some family health issues and wanted to read something cute and comforting.  I remember first learning about this book.  A young girl who wants to go back to a simpler time... gets rid of technology and all the stuff we have to deal with today.  I thought "YES.. I want this too".  So I dove right on into the book.

Let's be honest here.. this is a simple book.  There isn't an elaborate story line.  It is just a simple story of a teen going through a break-up with a boy.  This girl then decides to try to do some things she found on her grandmother's list that she wrote in the 60s.  Mallory (the main character) wants to give up social media, cell phones, ext. Trust me I understand this.  When I was stressed recently I didn't want to look through facebook.  It can be fake.  No one posts on there what is really going on.. every one is all smiles.  Then on the other side.. I only see negative stuff on the pages I like.  Someone was shot and killed, there was a fire, war.  So I avoided facebook. 

What I really liked is that by the end of the book Mallory realizes that even though there was no technology or texting the same problems existed.  You can move yourself into a different time but the problems are still there.  You can't just think because there wasn't facebook that people still didn't have issues. There is a semi-love triangle in the book though it wasn't that bad.  For once I wasn't grossed out.  And there really wasn't that love triangle drama teens books usually have.

This is a cute fluff read...  so people will either like it because of that or loathe it because of that.  It was perfect for me at this time.  I was stressed and didn't want to read something deep. I sometimes want to go back to a time without technology.  One thing I would miss though is texting.  My mom, dad, sister and I text each other daily.  DAILY.  I love them for that.  I can talk about the most boring things with them.  But otherwise... sometimes I do need a break.  Check this book out if you just want something feel good.

The crystal ball says:

Sun is shinning!!!  Great day to go outside and read this book.
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