Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline REVIEW!

Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Published:  Random House NY


I would just like to say first of that this book reminded me of a game I play called Second Life so some parts really made me laugh because I have experienced them first hand playing that game. I also love the references from old TV shows,movies,games,and music.
The book takes place in a dystopian world in the future where jobs,food,and housing is scarce and the only way for people to escape this reality is to play the OASIS game that a man named Halliday has created. With the OASIS letting you do anything you can do in real life most people don't even leave their houses anymore.
Halliday feels that his end is near and since he has to children and no wife he has no one to leave his fortune to so what does he do? He puts an egg into the OASIS game in which a player must find three keys and complete three gates in order to find and once they have finished the final gate they can find the egg and obtain full ownership of the OASIS and Halliday's fortune. Sound easy? Well think about the whole world looking for this item at the same time and if that isn't enough there is also a company called the IOI looking for the egg as well and they will stop it nothing to find it even if it means.....DEATH.


Thoughts: This book was a total page turner and I would tell anyone and everyone that this book is a must read!

Quotes: "Three Hidden keys open three gates where in the errant will be tested for worthy traits, and those with the skill to survive these straits will reach The End where the prize awaits."

                                 READY PLAYER ONE!

"Three hidden keys open three gates  wherein the errant will be tested for worthy traits, and those with the skill to survive these straits will reach The End where the prize awaits."

    Ernest Cline Interview

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Won a Book Bundle!

The people of my house descended upon me when they learned that I had won a book bundle from a book club named From Left to Write. They were as shocked as me when they heard the news and quickly got puppy dog faces so they could each pick a book from the bundle that they could have. I gave in since it is the holidays and I love to see people's faces when I give them gifts so of course my husband chose first. Sheldon (husband) chose Ready Player One by Ernest Cline ( I am currently reading this book) and Skeletor (roommate) since his birthday is coming up got Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
I would like to say that the book club stayed in touch with me right up until I got the books in the mail which didn't even take a week to reach me which is AWESOME! I got the box just a few days after learning that I won it and I turned into a little kid again as I held the box and jumped up and down with happiness. I am also on good terms with all three cats since they got the box the books came in. Below is a list of the books in the bundle and don't forget to check out the From Left to Write blog!

Book Bundle List

Gone Girl  by Gillian Flynn

 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking   by  Susan Cain

Lady Almina and the Real Dowton Abbey  by The Countess of Carnarvon

Ready Player One  by  Ernest Cline

The Black Count  by  Tom Reiss

The Expats  by  Chris Pavone

Double Cross: The True Story of D-Day Spies  by  Ben Macintyre

The Headmaster's Wager  by  Vincent Lam

I Am Forbidden  by  Anouk Markovits

Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man  by   Brian McGory

Home Page  of  From Left to Write

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unicorns?! PART 2

In this post I will tell you about the Unicorn in two different cultures. I hope you enjoy!

The Chinese Unicorn..
The Unicorn is part of the Chinese mythology but they don't resemble the white horse that many know as a Unicorn. The Chinese Unicorns are described as having the head and body of a stag or deer, the tail of an ox, and the legs and hooves of a horse. Some accounts say that they possess the green scales of a dragon and a voice like a bell. Even the horn of the Chinese Unicorn was different, it wasn't hard like most stories today lead you to believe but soft and fleshy. The horn was covered with fur in 5 colors which was considered special by the Chinese. The fur consisted of red, yellow, blue, white, and black color.
Accounts of the Chinese Unicorn are consistent regarding it's appearance and almost always describe it as "gentle, beneficent, delicate in diet, regular and stately in pace".
Called the Ki-lin or Qilin ( pronounced "chee-lin") the Chinese Unicorn was one of the four special animals who lived in the heavens right next to the dragon, phoenix, and the tortoise. It is said that these special animals would appear on earth on rare occasions to herald the birth of a wise person/benevolent emperor or to intervene in human affairs. Five thousand years ago it was a said that a Unicorn taught the emperor Fu Itsi the secrets of written language.
For most of China's history, pictures of the Ki-lin were displayed in the rooms of pregnant women in the hope of granting them the good luck of bearing distinguished sons.
Are the two Unicorns the same creature even though their appearance is different?
Some scholars believe so and they think that the look of the Unicorn is different due to environment.

The Unicorn of India...
Ancient religious literature of India show a very different type of Unicorn. The Unicorn of India isn't an animal at all but a boy/young man with a single horn growing from his head.
The story comes from book 3 of the Mahabharata: The Book of the Forest. Written around 200 B.C., the Mahabharata "which means :great story" in Sanskrit) with it's collections of myths and ancient stories is one of the foundational documents of the Hindu religion.
The story of the Kasyapa is of a boy who left his family to become a holy man dedicated to mystical meditation. Kasyapa shunned human company after the death of his teacher and lived in the forest with only animals for company. As the story goes he encountered a beautiful doe deer or antelope, the animal ended up staying with him in his hut and some months later gave birth to a baby son.
You are probably asking yourself how that could happen. There are different explanations for how something like this could happen, one account has kasyapa spilling his "seed" in the lake water which the doe then drinks. Another story says the doe became pregnant just from seeing the mans body.
Either way the child who was mostly human except for one horn growing out of his forehead. This child was named Risharinga/Rsyasrnga meaning "antelope horn".
The doe soon died after the birth so the child was raised by it's father away from other humans. The horn of the child was said to represent the childs special, even divine, nature.
although it's appearance is quite different from what most of us envision a Unicorn to be, many scholars believe that the Unicorn boy of India may have influence Unicorn stories in other parts of the world.

So now you can ask I believe in Unicorns?

    North Korea's secret unicorn lair found! Link to the Article

  Unicorns in NY?!

  Unicorn in Italy?!


   Last Unicorn song from the 1980's animated film

Monday, December 10, 2012

Unicorns?! PART 1

"If God had not created the Unicorn, man would have invented him, for he has a form and nature that must exist." - Welleren Poltarness, A Book of Unicorns
The word unicorn comes from the Latin word Unicornis meaning "one horn".
There have been sightings of Unicorns in Africa,Asia,and other parts of the world.
Do Unicorns really exsists?
It is said that unicorns reside in deep dark forests, remote deserts,and mountain peaks. They don't tend to live in places close to humans. Which could explain why most people have never seen a unicorn. First mentioned by the ancient Greeks, it became the most important imaginary animal of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It is said that a Unicorn's horn has the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness. Until the 19th century, belief in Unicorns was widespread among historians,alchemists,writers,naturalists,physicians,and theologians.
Cosmas Indicopleustes, a merchant of Alexandria who lived in the 6th century, made a voyage to India and subsequently wrote works on cosmography. He gives a description of a unicorn based on four brass figures in the palace of the King of Ethiopia.
A one-horned animal is found on some seals from the Indus Valley Civilization. Seals with such a designare thought to be a mark of high social rank.
Unicorns can even be found in the King James version of the Bible!
Some bones were found at Unicorn Cave in Germany's Harz Mountains. Some of the bones were reconstructed by the mayor of the Magdeburg. Otto Von Guericke, as a Unicorn in 1663 but the bones were later found to just be woolly rhinoceros and a mammoth with the horn of a narwhal.
One suggestion is that the Unicorn is based on the extinct animal Elasmotherium,a huge Eurasian rhinoceras native to the stepps, south of the range of the woolly rhino of Ice Age Europe.
The power of the Unicorn rests in it's singularity. Despite variations in the mythology relating to this most elusive and remarkable of creatures, a persistent aspect of Unicorn lore is that there is only ever one of them. This adds to the most extraordinary beast, and makes it the object of passionate quest by generations of mystics, who see in it a universal symbol of the greatest prizes of all - enlightenment and spiritual transformation.
If you wish to see a historical Unicorn then look no farther than NYC were you can find the Cloisters. The Cloister was built in the 1930's and includes parts 5-centuries-old that were actually disassembled from monasteries and other buildings in France. The cloister houses the medieval collection of metropolitan Museum of Art. Were am I going with this you may ask well the high light of the collection is the Unicorn Tapestries known as The Hunt of the Unicorn. The tapestries were created around 1500 and consists of 7 tapestries. The tapestries measure 12 ft high and up to 14 ft wide.
The Tapestries were owned by the same French family for generations before being purchased by oil billionaire John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1922. John the donated the tapestries to the metropolitan Museum of Art in 1937.
The Unicorn tapestries are immensely popular in the United States and have done much to cemnt a certain visual image of the unicorn in the minds of the American public. Nancy Hathaway who is a writer and Unicorn researcher describes the image of the Unicorn as "a graceful,horse-like animal,creamy white,with a long spiraling horn,cloven hooves,a curled beard,and a delicately plumed tail". To this day people still think of Unicorns as white horses with a spiraling horn.