archersangel: (hufflepuff sheep)
[personal profile] archersangel posting in [community profile] book_love
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

[ 118 ]

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:00 pm
katara: (Sailormoon .:. 14)
[personal profile] katara posting in [community profile] ebookreview
Title: The Eighth House: Hades & Persephone (Flames of Olympos #1)
Author: Eris Adderly
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.95/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 23, 2017
Book Summary: Catch me, Darkness. Again and again.
The life of a virgin goddess might suit Artemis or Athena, but Persephone, daughter of Zeus, wants no part of it. While the rest of the immortals cavort, she grows restless in the shadow of Olympos.

Rules, rules. Always the rules. Her mother's edict forbids her the company of any male god. She can't speak to them, can't look at them. Can't even attend the Olympian feasts. As far as Demeter knows, her daughter remains a maiden.

But Persephone leads a double life. She finds her affection elsewhere, and in plentiful supply. If only the sons of Man made her happy. If only she could put a name to this need she feels. It grows by the day, dark and unfulfilled. An eternity of enforced loneliness looms, and Persephone contemplates a drastic choice to escape it.

Only one thing stands in her way.

Hades.

Where earthquakes rend hill and vale asunder, and the abyss yawns to devour falling screams, the black halls of the Underworld await. The Lord of the Dead follows only one set of rules: his own.

And he expects Persephone to obey.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.95

This story is a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth but with a bit of a twist.

I must say I am a huge fan of the Hades and Persephone myth and I always love coming across books written about it. I even love it when there are more twists to it than the original myth itself. Here Persephone is tired of not only the Sons of Man but also the immortals who are pursuing her (namely Apollo and Hermes). None of them hold anything she wants. She wants something wicked and dark but she knows that with her Mother standing in her way, that won't ever happen.

So along comes Aphrodite. You see the Goddess of Love and Lust is a bit jealous of Persephone. She has Hermes' affection at the moment and Aphrodite isn't having it. She wants it back. It was hers and she believes that all affection should be returned to her. Thus she turns to the dark God of the Underworld with a reminder of a favor - she can get Zeus to give his permission for Hades to court Persephone if Hades will remove her from the equation. Hades is a bit reluctant about this. He has been without a Consort for quite sometime and although lonely as he is, he seems to enjoy it. But with the reminder of the favor, he agrees to do so and lures Persephone with a flower she wants to give to the human woman who she adores.

Once below, Hades and Persephone begin a game (a game that would could be seen as a cat and mouse) before it grows into something deeper. Aphrodite returns once more to offer Hades the pomegranate. This fruit would bind Hades and Persephone together.

Demeter learns that her daughter has been taken by Hades and she goes to Zeus demanding that Persephone be returned to her. Zeus refuses at first but Demeter holds the cards for the moment - without food below, there would be no people to worship in the temples. This forces Zeus' hand and he sends Hermes down below to return Persephone to the above.

When Persephone returns, she lies telling them that she has eaten the fruit belonging to the Underworld and she has returned only bring back the Harvest. This, of course, sets her and Demeter against each other and the two have a fight over her choice.

In the end, she returns to Hades with the other Gods for her wedding.

This was an awesome version of the myth. I could not put the book down and found myself immersed into the mythological world of Hades and Persephone. I equally enjoyed the fact that Cerebrus had a voice! I found that was interesting. It added something to the three-headed guardian than anything and I loved it!

This book is the first in a series and I am interested in seeing the next one that comes along. I am hoping we do get to see more of Hades and Persephone. I would love to know what happens afterward with them.

[ 117 ]

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:05 am
katara: (Sailormoon .:. 5)
[personal profile] katara posting in [community profile] ebookreview
Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #28
Author: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Alex Sinclair (Illustrator), John Timms (Illustrator), Tom Derenick (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.75/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 22, 2017 to September 23, 2017
Book Summary: “VOTE HARLEY” part one! The corrupt mayor of New York City has been a thorn in Harley’s side since the day he stepped into office…and now he’s crossed the line one time too many! Harley’s usual methods of dealing with problems like this have failed her, so it’s time for a more unconventional solution…is New York City ready for Mayor Harley Quinn? It better be!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.75

Madison's group of thugs, the Unconquerable 25, have failed immensely after tangling with Harley, her crew, and the Gotham Sirens. Unfortunately for Madison, only the leader of this gang has survived the face-off and now is in the custody of the police. Of course, the corrupted mayor, whom seems to have to have Madison on his payroll, is not thrilled with this and let's her know that she needs to do something to ensure that the leader of the gang does not talk about his connection to them. He tells her that something needs to be done and she needs to take care of this quickly.

Madison heads down to the NYPD and takes care of the matter by killing the leader. She does this in front of a cop but the cop apparently seems to be on the payroll of the mayor as well. How he is going to cover up the murder of the gang leader is going to be interesting but at the same time it seems Madison may have started the countdown to her ultimate demise. This killing seemed to be a bit sloppy seeing as she was possibly seen going in and inquiring about the leader of the gang. The only thing saving her life at the moment is a phone number to the supervillain named Scarecrow.

As for Harley, she, Ivy, and her little gang have gone undercover to take out car thiefs. Things don't go always according to plan (anything with Harley never does) and she finds them in a bit of a situation. It is with the help of Ivy's plant skills and Red Tool that they are able to take down the thieves. It is afterwards that Harley announces her intention of throwing in the political towel for mayor.

It was nice to see Ivy still sticking around and getting them out of the sticky situation. I hope we will be seeing a lot more of her and even more of the relationship between she and Harley.

I am still enjoying this series. It has had it bumps every other issue but otherwise it is nice to see Harley continue to grow as a character and I am quite looking forward to seeing how she tackles her upcoming role in the political world.
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
[personal profile] wyld_dandelyon posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Want inspiration for your life or for a creative project?  Need to find a better balance? I can do a reading for you, for a character, as a writing prompt, draw a card to meditate on, etc.

Free one-card readings are still available, as are longer readings.  Tips are always welcome!  So are signal boosts.

I'm doing the readings over here on Dreamwidth. 

Thanks!

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:47 am
ysabetwordsmith: (Crowdfunding butterfly ship)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Welcome to the sixty-fifth Crowdfunding Creative Jam! This session will run Saturday, September 23-Sunday, September 24. The theme is "Black Swans."


Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Everyone is eligible to post prompts, which may be words or phrases, titles, images, etc. Prompters may request a specific creator, but everyone else may still use that prompt if they wish. Prompts may specify a particular character/world/etc. but creators may use the prompt for something else anyway and post the results. Prompters are still encouraged to post mostly prompts that anyone could use anywhere, as this maximizes the chance of having creators make something based on your prompt. Please title your comment "Prompt" or "Prompts" when providing inspiration so these are easy to find.

Prompt responses may also be treated as prompts and used for further inspiration. For example, a prompt may lead to a sketch which leads to a story, and so on. This kind of cascading inspiration is one of the most fun things about a collective jam session.

Everyone is eligible to use prompts, and everyone who wants to use a given prompt may do so, for maximum flexibility of creator choice in inspiration. You do not have to post a "Claim" reply when you decide to use a prompt, but this does help indicate what is going on so that other prompters can spread out their choice of prompts if they wish.

Creators are encouraged, but not required, to post at least one item free. Likewise, sharing a private copy of material with the prompter is encouraged but not required. Creative material resulting from prompts should be indicated in a reply to the prompt, with a link to the full content elsewhere on the creator's site (if desired); a brief excerpt and/or description of the material may be included in the reply (if desired). It helps to title your comment "Prompt Filled" or something like that so these are easy to identify. There is no time limit on responding to prompts. However, creators are encouraged to post replies sooner rather than later, as the attention of prompters will be highest during and shortly after the session.

Some items created from prompts may become available for sponsorship. Some creators may offer perks for donations, linkbacks, or other activity relating to this project. Check creator comments and links for their respective offerings.

Prompters, creators, and bystanders are expected to behave in a responsible and civil manner. If the moderators have to drag someone out of the sandbox for improper behavior, we will not be amused. Please respect other people's territory and intellectual property rights, and only play with someone else's characters/setting/etc. if you have permission. (Fanfic/fanart freebies are okay.) If you want to invite folks to play with something of yours, title the comment something like "Open Playground" so it's easy to spot. This can be a good way to attract new people to a shared world or open-source project, or just have some good non-canon fun.

Boost the signal! The more people who participate, the more fun this will be. Hopefully we'll see activity from a lot of folks who regularly mention their projects in this community, but new people are always welcome. You can link to this session post or to individual items created from prompts, whatever you think is awesome enough to recommend to your friends.

[ 116 ]

Sep. 22nd, 2017 02:45 pm
katara: (Sailormoon .:. 13)
[personal profile] katara posting in [community profile] ebookreview
Title: Jean Grey (2017-) #7
Author: Dennis Hopeless, Alberto Alburquerque (Illustrator), David Yardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 3/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 22, 2017
Book Summary: Traveling the Marvel Universe preparing herself for her inevitable encounter with the Phoenix force, JEAN GREY has learned how to fight from the likes of Namor, Thor and Psylocke. But now she wants to know more about her opponent than the best way to punch it. She wants to know what makes it tick. She wants to know what it's made of. And to learn that, she'll go to one of the few women who've harnessed its power: Wanda Maximoff, THE SCARLET WITCH!
Book Review: In this issue, we find a young Jean Grey being "haunted" by the older Jean Grey. Haunted would not be the right word, I would think to describe the older Jean. I would think younger Jean would see her as perhaps a mentor of sort but younger Jean doesn't. She seemed to be more annoyed by the fact of older Jean's presence.

The two of them begin to butt heads and this makes a spectacle of herself since she is the only one who can see "ghostly" older Jean. It is at this moment that the Scarlett Witch appears. Once Wanda has placed all the innocent humans in another place, she tells Jean that she had heard from Doctor Strange and that young Jean was a bit wound up over the Phoenix force.

Older Jean is not quite happy with the idea of the Scarlett Witch butting in and she is even made more unhappy when she whisks Jean away to the Savage Lands to enjoy some relaxation (is that what they are doing?).

Then they head to Rio to take down a monster.

All this starts to make Older Jean rather unhappy that she hijacks young Jean's body and forces her to leave Wanda behind to meet an older acquaintance - Emma Frost aka The White Queen.

Okay this issue did not even impress me at all. They made older Jean the comedy sidekick. Please don't get me wrong I enjoy humor but I don't see it Older Jean's character to be anything like that especially when she is in the seat of mentor. I believe that older Jean is really trying to help out her younger counterpart prepare for what is to come but younger Jean doesn't seem to really appreciate it at all. Maybe if younger Jean was serious about being stronger when the Phoenix arrived, she would listen to any advice Older Jean had but that won't be the case at all.

Overall, I was happy to see the Scarlett Witch and even happy that she did not treat Jean like a kid in any way, but more like a younger sister. I just wish Wanda had offered something more than being just a filler character in young Jean's quest to halt herself from being taken by the Phoenix Force.

So let's see what Emma does in the next issue.

[ 115 ]

Sep. 22nd, 2017 04:59 am
katara: (Sailormoon .:. 13)
[personal profile] katara posting in [community profile] ebookreview
Title: Handbook for Mortals (Handbook for Mortals #1)
Author: Lani Sarem
Format: Epub
Rating: 1/5
Status: Did Not Finish
Reading Date: September 22, 2017 to September 20, 2017
Book Summary: Zade Holder has always been a free-spirited young woman, from a long dynasty of tarot-card readers, fortunetellers, and practitioners of magick. Growing up in a small town and never quite fitting in, Zade is determined to forge her own path. She leaves her home in Tennessee to break free from her overprotective mother Dela, the local resident spellcaster and fortuneteller.

Zade travels to Las Vegas and uses supernatural powers to become part of a premiere magic show led by the infamous magician Charles Spellman. Zade fits right in with his troupe of artists and misfits. After all, when everyone is slightly eccentric, appearing "normal" is much less important.

Behind the scenes of this multimillion-dollar production, Zade finds herself caught in a love triangle with Mac, the show's good-looking but rough-around-the-edges technical director and Jackson, the tall, dark, handsome and charming bandleader.
Book Review: I tried to read this. I really tried. I took it with me up to the hospital when I had to admit my Mom but the I could not connect with any of the characters whatsoever.

On top of that, this novel felt like it was written by a teenager on the cusp of writing her first fanfiction.

And this is where this story should have been - the fanfiction section.

The main character, Zade, is this beautiful young woman but she does not see herself in such a way. She sees herself as "plain" and "different". These are typically the red flags of the makings of a Mary Sue. The plain girl with these supernatural powers whom everyone either hates because of her beauty and power or falls in absolute love with.

From the chapters I have read, there really seemed to be no character built. We don't learn how she gets to the point where she has made the ultimate decision to leave behind what seems to be a normal home and strike out on her own. I understand that all teenagers go through this stage but all we are given at the beginning is Zade doesn't want to be part of what her mother's world - tarot reading. Instead, she wants to strike out and work on a magic show.

A magic show?

Is that like going from the pan to the oven? Because I thought she didn't want to be in a world filled with things she was trying to get away from? Or am I missing something?

Honestly this book should be removed and returned to the drawing board. The entire story needs an overhaul and lots of edits to it.

But I suppose when you buy your way into NYT Best Seller list, you really believe your story is the "bestest" out there.

Daily Reading (21st September)

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:21 pm
ironed_orchid: (newsflash)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] bitesizedreading
What have you been reading today? Everything counts, from the user's manual to the back of the cereal box!

[ 114 ]

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm
katara: (Sailormoon .:. 1)
[personal profile] katara posting in [community profile] ebookreview
Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #27
Author: Frank Tieri, Jill Thompson (Illustrator), Hi-Fi (Illustrator), Eleonora Carlini (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 20, 2017
Book Summary: Harley and the Penguin struck an uneasy truce the first time he started extending his criminal empire into New York City... but now he's plotting a massive real estate deal right in Harley's Coney Island -- including coming after her own building!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

In this issue, we find Harley seemingly enjoying time off away from the normal round of chaos. Instead, here she is enjoying one of her favorite hobbies - roller stake fighting. Unfortunately one of the girls from the opposing team has been litterally knocked out. Harley is impatient about it and ends up being sent to the showers. With her game obviously over, she learns that the Penguin has put eminent domain on everyone's homes on Coney Island - including hers. How he has managed this is really not mentioned but we can only assume that since he is gangster, he has gained this by illegal means necessary.

However, he has messed with Harley's turf and she is not one to back down. She has every intention of making sure that Penguin negates on his desire to gain Coney Island for his casino and return the properties back to the rightful people. Unfortunately for Harley, Penguin isn't going to do what she wants so easily and sets his mutant-muscular-Penguins right after her (Sorry but what the hell are those!?)

Mix in the senior cyborg, Sy, using the holographic image of Joker to put fear in Penguin and you have a recipe for an interesting filler.

This was nice and fit in rather nicely inbetween the last issue of chaos and the next issue which, I am quite certain, will be a return to the normal broadcasting of Harley chaos.

[ 113 ]

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:39 pm
katara: (Sailormoon .:. 4)
[personal profile] katara posting in [community profile] ebookreview
Title: Harley Quinn (2016-) #26
Author: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, John Timms (Illustrator), Chad Hardin (Illustrator)
Format: Epub
Rating: 4.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date: September 18, 2017 to September 20, 2017
Book Summary: “MEAN STREETS!” Harley’s been doing her best to hold her corner of New York City together, but the mayor’s been doing his best to tip the whole town into corruption! Harley’s gonna have to hammer some sense into this guy once and for all…and in “Harley Loves Joker” part ten, The Joker’s vendetta against the thief who’s been scalping all his prime jobs threatens to get everyone killed!
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5

This comic book picks up where the last issue has left off.

In her desperate bid to rid the world of Harley Quinn, Madison Berkowitz has hired more than two dozen dirty assassins to do her bidding. Unfortunately for these guys, they don't know Harley and for one thing, she is definitely not going to be forgiving for having her birthday ruined by anyone.

These dirty assassins have come to realize that Harley is not anyone who is will roll over and play dead when she is surrounded and outnumbered. Nope, our gal turns the tables and takes them out in the goriest way only she could be known for. The rest seem to do the rolling over and playing dead.

Although we don't see many of Harley's squad out in front, we do get a taste of the Gotham Sirens and what these gals are capable of when standing out on their own. These girls do live up to their bad girl image when taking down their enemies, especially Ivy herself. Ivy lets loose her most wicked plants and let's them do the most damage bringing down helicopters and killing off the assassins one-by-one.

When the chaos finally clears, Harley is reunited with her Sirens.

This comic wraps up nicely. Unfortunately we know that Madison will not be pleased with the failure of the assassins she sent after Harley so I am sure we will be seeing more of her in the coming future. We are also introduced to some new characters and I am quite certain there will be reason for their brief appearance here in later comics to come.

Harley continues to bloom even under the heaviest stuff thrown her way and it shows that her character is growing in every way it can. I am enjoying these comics immensely and I have to love the storylines and the art that comes with every issue. I am looking forward to the next issue.

[ 112 ]

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:12 pm
katara: (Sailormoon .:. 9)
[personal profile] katara posting in [community profile] ebookreview
Title: David Bowie: A Life
Author: Dylan Jones
Format: Epub
Rating: 2.5/5
Status: Finished
Reading Date:September 18, 2017 to September 20, 2017
Book Summary: Dylan Jones's engrossing, magisterial biography of David Bowie is unlike any Bowie story ever written. Drawn from over 180 interviews with friends, rivals, lovers, and collaborators, some of whom have never before spoken about their relationship with Bowie, this oral history weaves a hypnotic spell as it unfolds the story of a remarkable rise to stardom and an unparalleled artistic path. Tracing Bowie's life from the English suburbs to London to New York to Los Angeles, Berlin, and beyond, its collective voices describe a man profoundly shaped by his relationship with his schizophrenic half-brother Terry; an intuitive artist who could absorb influences through intense relationships and yet drop people cold when they were no longer of use; and a social creature equally comfortable partying with John Lennon and dining with Frank Sinatra. By turns insightful and deliciously gossipy, DAVID BOWIE is as intimate a portrait as may ever be drawn. It sparks with admiration and grievances, lust and envy, as the speakers bring you into studios and bedrooms they shared with Bowie, and onto stages and film sets, opening corners of his mind and experience that transform our understanding of both artist and art. Including illuminating, never-before-seen material from Bowie himself, drawn from a series of Jones's interviews with him across two decades, DAVID BOWIE is an epic, unforgettable cocktail-party conversation about a man whose enigmatic shapeshifting and irrepressible creativity produced one of the most sprawling, fascinating lives of our time.
Book Review: Real Rating: 2.5

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I remember my first taste of Bowie's music. It was the early 80s and MtV was still in the stages of infancy. Yet whenever "Let's Dance" came on I always found myself singing along. I really did not get into music until I saw him as the Goblin King in The Labyrinth. Since then his music always plays whenever I am in the car or I am in the mood to listen to music.

When I found this book, I was excited. This book offered a glimpse behind the scenes with friends, lovers, and family. However, I found myself disappointed. This book did not seem to be a biography in anyway but disguised more as a lazy interview. Although it offered some fascinating information about David, it felt like the author was a bit lazy when he wrote it. I had to put the book down several times before I came back to it early this afternoon to finish it.

Will I recommend this book? I may to friends who are, much like myself, enjoyed Bowie's music.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Last night, R and I watched a bunch of documentaries, including one on Willie Nelson, which referenced his smash album Red Headed Stranger.

R: In the RV park, Red Headed Stranger is the only album I feel comfortable playing over my external speaker system. It’s the only music everyone can agree they like.

Sam: Isn’t Red Headed Stranger a concept album about going on the run after murdering your family?

R: People can relate. 

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Mini Wetterhorn

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:38 pm
the_other_sandy: Kaleidoscope (Kaleidoscope)
[personal profile] the_other_sandy posting in [community profile] cross_stitch
Mini Wetterhorn

Pattern by Tereena Clarke of Artecy Cross Stitch based on a painting by Joseph Anton Koch.

Stitch parking level 2: achievement unlocked. I can't tell you how many times I went to park a thread and found another thread already parked there. I think I properly fixed everything I caught, but goodness only knows if this looks anything like it was supposed to.

I can’t decide if I’m ready to level up to the pattern I’m dying to make, or if I should do one more slightly harder pattern first before working my way up to that. My end goal is a massive HAED pattern with 234 colors.

The second picture is a distance shot because this pattern was done in the pointillist style, so the farther away you stand, the more detailed it looks.



Cross-stitch tuesday

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:14 pm
ilyena_sylph: the Rising Sun of Cairhein (WoT: Cairhein)
[personal profile] ilyena_sylph posting in [community profile] cross_stitch
I started on working on tiny Yule-things for ornaments to use as gifts for my assorted cousins. This is the current one!

a small snowman in counted cross stitch

Cross-stitch Tuesday

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:02 pm
glinda: dw sheep dreams of crochet (crochet sheep)
[personal profile] glinda posting in [community profile] cross_stitch
This week was a good week for the project, I managed to get lots done. Helped in no small part by having the day off on Friday and having decided to binge listen to a podcast series while I was at it. Unsurprisingly, around five solid hours of cross-stitching does make an impact on a project.

progress pic below the cut )
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