Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Words or Topics That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. As it is, this is my first Top Ten and am glad to be contributing!

These are my top ten words:

I enjoy unique story - something with a bit of flair and personality that isn't really seen in the norm of writing. If I see this in a summary, or in a review, or as a praise on the cover, I'll probably pick it up and  read the crap out of it. 

I really like zombie movies, novels, and dressing up like a zombie. No, really, I even plan on going to a 5k Obstacle course where I get chased by zombies. No, really.

I'm not sure what it is about a good chunk of the population suddenly dying off, but it intrigues me and makes for a good story. Especially if there are zombies.

When I was in middle school, the fantasy section of the school's library pretty much owned my soul. I distinctly remember reading a good chunk of that small section and the school's librarian making a list of suggestions specifically for me. That big Fantasy and Sci-Fi sign still gets me every time.

I love a good book that makes me laugh so I love it when a summary explains "a comedic blah blah blah." Then I pick it up and hope that I'm not drinking anything while I'm reading it lest I blow liquid out of my nose from snortling laughter.

Have I ever told you all about how much i love writers who test religion? Remember when The Golden Compass made a big hullaballoo from being written by an Atheist author? Oh man, I love controversy and I love religious controversy. If anything so much as touches on the subject of breaking religious boundaries, I'm all over that like a fat kid on cake.

Does anyone else love reading books about books? If it involves being trapped in a book world, a bookstore, or even banning books, I love to read about it. I love it when my books are about books.

When I look for something that makes me think on life for a while, I pick up a book about WWII or the Holocaust. Sometimes I need a good slap in the face to put me back to what hardship is. At the same time, I'm inspired and moved by the need for survival and life. 

Okay, so when people think dystopia, they think of YA novels like The Hunger Games. I think of Brave New World, 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. I mean, nothing against YA novels, at all, but when I think of 1984, I'm scared out of my willies, where Hunger Games didn't emotionally impact me quite as well. However... this work of dystopia still makes me want to pick up the book, even if it's just to read the first few pages.

I like it when things are described as strange or weird, and every other related word in a title. It means there's going to be a very............ special kind of character setting the motions of the story.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Books Vs. Movies: Something to Think About

 I love it when people shame movies because they aren't better than the books. It's going to happen with The Great Gatsby and those of us who've read F. Scott Fitzgerald's legendary piece is going to be extremely critical about it. It's not a bad thing, really. Many people are going to complain about why they're making this movie like it's an insult to this piece of American literature and I honestly think that they should be grateful.

That's right, you heard me. Grateful.


This movie celebrates an amazing literary piece which educates us on an era of American culture; the Roaring Twenties where subjects such as love, money, economical gaps, and trying to stabilize into a life after war are prevalent. The movie may only touch lightly on these subjects, I admit. It's hard to tell with Hollywood, however, just having a grand title, billboards and movie posters, commercials and advertisements in bold letters screaming out LEONARDO DICAPRIO is going to be great for the publishing industry. Not only are we going to shell out on over-priced box office tickets, popcorn and soda but I'm willing to say that a good portion of people are going to pick up the book from their local bookstore. Everyone's a critic, as they say, and the best way to be a critic is to get the source material.

There are people who read The Hunger Games, loved it, and they made a movie… and guess what? More people purchased the books after they were released. The same goes for Twilight. I'm sure you can guess how I feel about Twilight, but it doesn't distract from the point that it actually got so many people into reading. Sometimes, horrible books come out and they make horrible movies but you know what? People who were previously non-readers; who thought books were boring or a chore, are actually putting their noses in these pages and they're picking up better books later on because they want to find that next best thing.

Fun fact: I named my ukulele
I honestly wouldn't have picked up the first Song of Ice and Fire book if it weren't for the fact that Game of Thrones, the television series, came into existence. This method. It's working.

Even with great books, or even books that make you question what the publishers were thinking, people are being advertised to read something. That's worth something, right?

So finally, I'm glad they're making a movie on a classic novel. I'm glad that they're going to light up a book in a way that will make people excited to read it. Of course I don't expect it to be the same. I expect the book to be better… but I'm excited to see how many people I can spot on the train with a copy of Gatsby in their hands.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Published June 5th 2003 by Vintage (first published July 28th 1999)


"Ever heard of a culling song? It’s a lullaby sung in Africa to give a painless death to the old or infirm. The lyrics of a culling song kill, whether spoken or even just thought. You can find one on page 27 of Poems and Rhymes from Around the World, an anthology that is sitting on the shelves of libraries across the country, waiting to be picked up by unsuspecting readers.

Reporter Carl Streator discovers the song’s lethal nature while researching Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and before he knows it, he’s reciting the poem to anyone who bothers him. As the body count rises, Streator glimpses the potential catastrophe if someone truly malicious finds out about the song. The only answer is to find and destroy every copy of the book in the country. Accompanied by a shady real-estate agent, her Wiccan assistant, and the assistant’s truly annoying ecoterrorist boyfriend, Streator begins a desperate cross-country quest to put the culling song to rest."


Let me first off let you all know about how Chuck Palahniuk never, EVER fails to blow my mind. Lullaby was no exception to this rule. I would however like to say that although I did like this book, it's not the best he's ever written. Then again, it's not making itself out to be the best. This book was written as a way for Palahniuk to cope with a tragedy in his life and he wrote this solely for himself -- yes, it's published and shared among readers but in the end, so is this blog. I write solely for the joy of writing, but I also want to share my thoughts and feelings about what I'm writing as well.

So to enlighten those of you who don't know, Palahniuk wrote this book to help him cope with a big decision. In unfortunate tragedy, his father and his father's girlfriend were murdered by the girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. The murderer was caught, and was put on trial, but they gave Palahniuk the opportunity to be a part of a decision; does this murderer live, or die?

This is a large theme in the novel -- the idea of playing God. Who are we to decide who lives or dies? When that power is imparted on us, what do we use it for? There's also the old "sticks and stones" idea. How badly can words hurt? There's also a lot of mention about how much we're influenced by the media; noise from televisions, radio, movies, music and so on and so forth. This book, as strange as any of Chuck Palahniuk's books ring with a lot of things worth thinking about. It's also a story about a merry band of misfits on a road trip, which is also kinda fun.

Lullaby isn't Palahniuk's best work, in my humble opinion, but it isn't bad either. I think if you're a fan of his other stories then you would enjoy this. Although I liked reading this, Invisible Monsters still rings as my favourite from this author. I really liked the themes and ideas that this book portrayed, but I also felt that the direction was disjointed and the characters were difficult to like sometimes. Basically, it was good in places but fell apart in other areas. With that, let's move onto the bookworm rating:

Rating: 3/5 Bookworms

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I took this at the bookstore...
I want a hard copy so bad :/

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane
Published October 2nd 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux


"The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore."


I want to start off by saying that I was so heartbroken by this book. Not that there's extremely sad subject matter. In fact, this was SO fun to read. It broke my tender little heart because every good book has to come to it's conclusion. I finished this book. I held my breath on the last page before finally closing the cover and exhaling. I wasn't sure what to do with myself after that. I think this is what love feels like. 

This book is the man I want in my life. Appeals to my geeky side; the girl who laughs at cat memes on reddit, the artsy side; the side that studied typography in her first year of college and of course, since this book is about a bookstore, the bookish side of me. That one is self-explanatory. There are all these humble little elements that give this book such a vibrant and youthful personality. The flow of the writing and language is quirky and uplifting. This book almost made me shout in the middle of a coffee shop: "WAS THAT A STAR WARS REFERENCE?! THAT WAS A STAR WARS REFERENCE. OHMYGODITWASASTARWARSREFERENCE!" In fact, this book, being only released last year is laced with the loveliest of pop culture references and odes to the most prolific technological empires of our time (Google, Apple.)

I think one of the best parts about Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore was how the characters were really easily relatable. In fact, I'm pretty sure I know my real-life equivalent to Mat.

Something to note about this book is how subtle the themes are. You don't really notice as you might be having too much fun trying to figure out things about mysterious books and symbols. You're trying to think of who the heck some of these characters are. But the themes are there. How do we immortalize ourselves? The purpose of design and language. Is technology and our internet overlords making our old crafts, like printing and publishing, obsolete? Or are we working the old and the new into something bigger, better and more harmonious? Don't think too deeply on these subjects, however, as this book is about having fun; it's about having a great adventure, solving mysteries and doing it with our oddball friends.

I want to make mention that the cover was designed by my favourite cover designer, Rodrigo Corral, who you might know for designing the covers for a
uthors like John Green and Chuck Palahniuk. Apparently this particular cover... it glows in the dark. Apparently I was an idiot and bought this book for my Kobo - I think I'll need to get my hands on a hard copy of this book. I wish I had more money.

If I would recommend this to anyone I feel as if it would be a great read for anyone interested in design and who are interested in the direction technology is growing. It's a great casual read for those who are more prone to sticking to the Teen/YA section of the bookstore and who want to dive into something that's still youthful but maybe not entirely focused on a coming-of-age story. This book is so lighthearted and an absolute joy to read and it would make a great companion if you're up in the air or on the road.

Last but not least, on my personal Twitter account, I posted about how upset I was about finishing such a lovely book - so much so I almost could cry. Robin Sloan tweeted me back. I might have been hyperventilating as it was the most unexpected thing to read and it made my experience with this book even more fulfilling. I didn't even think that was possible!

Rating: 5/5 Bookworms

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's Not About the "HOW"

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen! To where? Where isn't important, but when is. That when is right now --  The Era of Information and Technology. 


If you haven't noticed, but the title for my blog is "i Live Literary" which, as you can see, the 'i' isn't capitalized. There's a reason for this; it's an ode to how I'm connecting with all of you. It's an ode to the internet, to information and to individuality. It's also and obvious ode to Apple, to whom I must thank for providing me the tools to which I can continue reaching, connecting, and writing. And here comes the product war.

Look, I don't care whether you're Mac or a PC. I don't have to justify myself for using a Mac, but, just for the sake of it, I did study art

Which brings us to this product war topic:

So, Rose, I see you read from an eReader -- I really like physical books myself. What do you prefer?

I don't care how you read. I care about if you even read at all.

I own a lot of books and most of them are across the country, in my parent's basement, in storage. I moved to my current location by hauling three suitcases, a backpack and a purse on the plane with only a few books in my possession. Books are heavy and shipping all those books? Maybe when I have a means to do, I'll reunite my library. Meanwhile, I have this Kobo of mine to keep me company with a small library's worth of books for when I'm on the road. I feel like I'm on the road a lot.

I like to keep reading and I devour book after book; each one after the next. Carrying a small library isn't the most viable of options. For years I would try and find some solution to bring a small library with me without the baggage limit being insanely overweight and finally, finally my prayers were answered! I love new technology and how it can evolve and change our lifestyles. Well, it didn't change my lifestyle; just helped in it's improvement.

That fact is, having this eReader is great for me. It may not be for everyone but I don't really care anyways. The only thing that matters is that I'm still reading. I'm still processing information, analyzing and educating myself. I'm constantly trying to improve my literacy and improve upon myself as a human being.

I don't want to be categorized in the 16% of the human population who can't read, 84% of which are adults (aged 25 and over) and two-thirds of which are women. I'm extremely privileged to have been educated in Canada where literacy rates are around 97% but...does that mean that Canadians learned to read or do they read to learn?

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I care about if you do read as opposed to how you read.

Your literacy isn't based upon just knowing how to read but based one your ability to think critically. It's important to know how to use the symbolism and metaphors in a story to decipher the relevancy of what you're reading, but why?

We often forget why we read, or why it's important; some of us just know that it is. The importance of it is that written and spoken language depend on it. It's the basis of where we begin to coherently understand how to make informed decisions, create, and communicate. It's how we begin to improve economic, social and political impact, how we begin to decrease mortality rates and increase health, and it's a foundation to where we start education. Reading is a beautiful thing that can lead to great things, amazing changes, and evolve our communities and culture.

"Live Literary"

Live Literary, in my blog title, is a celebration that I share with all of you. It's a celebration for literature, for reading, for books. Whether you read from an eReader, your tablet or phone, from a paperback or hardback, or listen to audiobooks - "Live Literary" is my hope for a brighter, better future in reading, education and for the betterment of ourselves and our society.

Read. Think Critically. Think Creatively.

For now, Literates,

Fare Thee Well.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review: The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Published 2009 Viking/Penguin Books

Synopsis: "Quentin Coldwater is brillant but miserable. He's a senior in high school, and a certifiable genius, but he's still secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a kid, about the adventures of five children in a magical land called Fillory. Compared to that, anything in his real life just seems gray and colorless. 

Everything changes when Quentin finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the practice of modern sorcery. He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. But something is still missing. Magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he though it would.

Then, after graduation, he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real."

Review: I admit it. I didn't finish this book. I think I made it through about 30 pages before I shook my head, disgruntled, and abandoned trying to read this.

I actually went looking for this book at my local library, was excited to pick it up as I had researched into it. John Green, writer of The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska actually commented on this book in a Vlogbrothers video, saying that if we enjoyed Harry Potter then this would be an interesting take on the magic school genre. Not that this book is any of John Green's fault but I had heard that this book has been called the "Harry Potter for adults." Well, everyone, I'm sorry to say, but whoever said that originally is a liar, liar pants on fire.

Harry Potter has this charming, quirky quality to it. From the get-go you're engaged with Harry's character, the strange things that happen to him and how he interacts with the world. I think the important thing is that in that first book, you really like Harry. He's humble and genuine - he has good intent.

The Magicians is meant for an older audience (16+, I would say) and no, it's not Harry Potter. I get that.  But if you're going to compare it to that; don't. Even if it's to make a crude comparison. I would have been happy with it just being categorized in the likes of "magic school kind of story."

I feel like Quentin is a poor protagonist. I feel like the writer was trying too hard to make him out to be a horny teenager. In the pages I did read, he whined about how a girl didn't like him and tried to not look down the blouses of two other female characters. Was it necessary to mention it multiple times? Probably not. I get it. He's a young and filled with hormones and I really don't care. I can barely stand people whine about how they can't get the girl/guy in real life, let alone in the beginning of my novel when I'm trying to just get to know the character.

Also, something I really dislike is when writers make "genius" characters and make them extremely pretentious. I also especially questions the logitics of Quentin's characters when he's writing an exam and claims that the stuff happening on his paper was "hi-tech paper" and that it was "hi-res." Hey, genius, have you... I dunno, questioned your whereabouts and what's happening around you or anything? Oh right, you didn't because you're still pretentious.

Does this book get any better? I don't know, and I don't care to find out. Maybe it does get better, maybe the character develops into something more likeable... maybe this read wasn't for me.

Rating: 1/5 Bookworms 

Friday, April 19, 2013

I Need to Perform a Ritual -- Hold That Page!

French press, homemade gluten-free peanut butter cookies,
and The Song of Achilles
I never really thought of myself as a ritualistic person. I don't need to go through the same motions every day to get me through my day. In fact, I enjoy having my days work in a spur-of-the-moment and I enjoy the days I get to sleep in, even though other days I have to wake up early. In my life, I don't like the mundane feeling of sameness. So I don't know when exactly this started...

"I think it's time to read..." I tell myself as I start filling the kettle with water and setting it to boil. I'll either grind some coffee to put into my french press or start picking out my tea to put in my teapot. The water clicks off as it's done boiling and I wait a minute or two for it to cool down with the lid off before I begin to pour it into the appropriate vessel. I'll stir the coffee around in the water to agitate the grounds, set the timer on my phone for 4 minutes or do the same with my tea. While I'm waiting, I decide how sinful I'm feeling that day and maybe prepare a snack -- usually something sweet. The timer goes off, I pour myself a cup and settle down and begin reading my book.

If I'm feeling stir-crazy, you'll often find me in a local cafe drinking a soy latte, still, with my book.

Before you ask; Yes. I am a coffee snob.

Wherever there's a delicious hot, caffeinated beverage involved, I'm there with a book and ready to snuggle into a cozy spot to read while the stimulants of my drink are coursing through my veins. I love this. I feel like I'm almost setting up the mood for a particularly hot date; except instead of dinner, wine and candles, my hot date is a bunch of words, my wine is coffee and my candles are non-existent for fear of accidentally burning such a precious possession.

I wonder if I'm the only one who needs to go through a ritual before settling down to read.

Or maybe, it's not a ritual at all, and an excuse for me to have more coffee and tea. I think I may have a problem.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: John Dies At The End

Lo and behold, my first review!

Let's start off the synopsis, shall we?:

"STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.

The important thing is this: The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do. I'm sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this was my fault."

And now for the review:

This is a very strange book with strange things and strange people. I loved this book for being so strange and so absolutely vulgar. I guess in the world of a comic horror, no subject is really taboo. Considering horror is monsters and gore and comedy is...well, have you seen stand-up comedians? Anything is game.

This book is written by Cracked.com's Senior Editor, Jason Pargin who writes this under the pseudonym David Wong. David Wong is not only the writer but also the protagonist and narrator; a Jack of All Trades, he is. Dave brings us into an adventure with his friend John that's mortifying, delightful and fantastical that's made up of weird little wig-creatures and confusing questions.

If there's anything I have to say about this book it's that it's damn fun. Like watching a Michael Bay movie - not because the movie is good but because your brain wants to see things explode and because Megan Fox is pretty easy on the eyes. Fortunately books aren't like movies where you need visual effects to keep you happy. Books need be actually good for you even to have fun reading it. It may not be a creative masterpiece. There isn't metaphor or symbolism for you to decipher or a deep meaning that you need to carry with you. This book isn't going to change your life and that's the beauty of this book. It's simply fun and sometimes you just want something ridiculous to read and this is that book. It's so fun in fact that I had issues trying to put it down and over the course of two days, it took me about five hours to read. John Dies is full of unexpected things, hilarious characters, vulgarity, and goes great with a pint of beer.

I can't wait to get my hands on This Book is Full of Spiders.

Rating: 4/5 Bookworms

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April: What I'm Reading Cont.

This month seems to be a very prolific reading month. Of course, seeing as I'm still in between jobs, I've really spend the bulk of it doing sending cover letters, doing yoga and of couse, reading. Because I really can't do much else when I can't spare the change to do it, obviously.

I posted a few days ago what I had read and what I'm reading this month. Well... as it turns out, I finished all those books and then I went ahead and read Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, who, if you didn't know, is currently one of my favourite writers. I was introduced to Gaiman's stories, originally through graphic novels but upon a suggestion from my friend, Coles, I ended up picking up both Neverwhere and American Gods and I absolutely loved them. Anansi Boys is a great in so many ways; it's often said that this book is a sequel to American Gods but I'm going to ahead and politely disagree. Although Gaiman takes this world and continues with it, Anansi Boys is it's own story - you honestly don't need to read American Gods to understand the story. However, American Gods makes a great compliment to any questions regarding the fantastical world Gaiman has created; so although you don't have to read it, I really recommend you do because it's so very, very good.

It seems to me that I've read some really amazing books this month and the month isn't even close to being done. Of course seeing as I've read some incredible things, there has to be some books that I'm particularly not sure about.

One of these books is The Night Circus but Erin Morgenstern. I saw this book literally everywhere. I would see it recommended to me on the Kobo application, I would see it displayed in every book store I walked into, I would see it being read on the trains and the list continues. So finally, I caved, I liked the idea of the story. I enjoy a bit of mystification and a story with a circus? The quirkiness of it is quite my cup of tea. So I purchased it for my Kobo (I've been using my Kobo a lot lately since I have many unread stories to bury into and because, as a non-productive member of society at the moment, it's much more affordable for me.) I'm about 15% of the way through the book and I admit that this is a book that I can lift my head up from. A great read you can barely tear me away from and I have to remind myself that I should probably go to the washroom and use the facilities or perhaps make myself a meal. I'm in fact debating whether I should power through the story or not. As of now, all I can think of is the overuse of flowery imagery and how this might have been a better movie than a story. Am I the only one not impressed? Should I continue with it? Is it worth my time?

On top of that, upon first judgement, I flipped through the first few pages of The Magicians and already dislike pretty much all the characters. I watched a few YouTube reviews and some of the readers really enjoyed this book. Reviews seem to be mixed, it seems, as Goodreads members really don't care for The Magicians in the slightest. I have no idea what it is with remarkably intelligent characters always being so damn pretentious but it needs to stop. It's really not likeable at all and I honestly want nothing more than to punch Quentin (the protagonist) in the nose. I don't think this is my book and I think I'm going to unfortunately take the venture back to the library to return it for something more suitable to my liking. Sigh... 

If anyone happens to have any suggestions for anything that I may be interested in for the rest of the month, or even, to begin reading for the next month please leave a comment or email! I know for the next month I'm on the search for a non-fiction read (Escape from Camp 14) and pick up Lullaby by Chuck Pahalniuk as it's been sitting on my shelf being unread. The Great Gatsby is going to be read next month as well, definitely before the new movie comes out and that, I'll make it's own glorious post. Hopefully the next little while will see the death of this "meh" book slump and instead bring me some most amazing things to read.

Fare thee well, Literates!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Education and Book Banning

I've been well out of high school for a few years now and I really don't know what goes on in high schools these days. As far as I remember during my grade school years, no parent has ever complained about any assigned reading that I have ever had the privilege of picking apart. I never understood book bans, or people who go out and complain that the books being picked apart in the classroom are inappropriate for children.

Grade 12 English was where I was given the gift of a study in Elie Wiesel's Night. The book itself is a telling about Eliezer's (slightly fictionalized version of Elie, himself) own reflections on the struggle to survive the Holocaust inside an Auschwitz concentration camp. At the beginning of the novel, a man, Moishe the Beadle speaks of witnessing babies being thrown into the air and used as targets for machine gunners. I always reflect back on reading this novel and discussing it in class and that very image to me was disturbing but so important to my education. Why is learning about the Holocaust from this book, so important?

Because we see people struggle with their humanity and faith in this book. We see Eliezer's relationship with his father strengthen, falter, and personal conflicts. We see fragility in these characters but really, it's not the characters we see these things in. We relate to them because the themes portrayed in this book are timeless. The Holocaust has happened once, ever and hopefully, never again; but that isn't to say that genocide, war, and torture aren't happening in the world. That isn't to say that we, ourselves, will never be put in a position where the strength of our relationships will be put to the test in such a terrifying way. Or where our beliefs, faith and humanity are challenged for a scrap of bread.

In my neighbouring country of America, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) banned this book in 2001-2002. It was challenged in Texas for it's use of profanity, horror and violence which as a result, only select students were permitted to read this book. 

To say that teenagers should not read this book is an insult to the intelligence of young minds. The minds that we often call our "future" and the minds that will bring us into advancement and innovation. Night is the truth -- horror, violence and all. It is not worth banning and doing so would be absolutely insulting to Elie, to so many other Holocaust survivors and to those we tragically lost. 

It's amazing, however, that so many amazing books, meant to impact us as a society have been banned/are banned/challenged into being banned. Literature should be celebrated and should be open to everyone unless, in a sort of ironic fashion, the dystopian futures of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 should happen. The censorship of books is incredibly, mind-bogglingly frustrating. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April: What I've Read and What I'm Reading.

Being unemployed and having no money to really go anywhere unless I need to means that I can really only do so much. I've mostly been spending my time either on the internet or reading, of course. There is a high probability that as of late, I've been reading far more than I've been internet-ing. I think I may have forgotten to eat a meal once until my stomach gargled and by my annoyance, sought to satiate it so it wouldn't disturb my book any longer.

I started a reading challenge at the beginning of the year. I always loved to read but struggled to find books that might interest me. Fortunately, the internet has bestowed upon me the glory that is Goodreads. Now, I've successfully ventured back into the habit of reading something daily and have committed to reading 24 books within the year... which considering the pace at which I'm going this month, I may have to increase. 24 books within this year almost seems...too easy, considering how many books I really want to read. Maybe I should really push myself and go for 50? 100? I guess we'll see.

On that note, what have I been reading as of late?

I started reading House Of Leaves in March and finished it the first week of April. Can you say amazing? It kind of blew my mind. A story built with three stories - a challenging read with an experimental (VERY experimental) format. The book itself is dark, terrifying, and if you have a vivid imagination, it may make you look twice when you're alone the in the dark. It's also a fun read! I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for something different and who's looking for something that will really make them work and think about what possibly could be going on in this book. The pages, the "journey" it even takes you on, it's absolutely beautiful and disorienting.

With my fellow Goodreads redditors, I've been reading Fool by Chrisopher Moore. Although we have the month to read it, it's a quick read and I may just jump ahead and finish the book early. For those of you who don't know, this novel is a retelling of Shakespeare's King Lear from the point of view of the Fool. I've read Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends before and in comparison, the humor is vastly similar but he really shows his talent as a writer with his creative use of language. This book definitely has me smiling and chuckling to myself in places, and this isn't meant to sound like the book is terrible, but I imagine this book would be a good read on the toilet, too. What? Your best ideas happen when you're in the bathroom, right?

This month seems to be the month of humorous or satirical books for me. My brain must not know that April Fools happens only one day as the latest book I had finished was Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. I am ashamed to admit that I had never actually read any of Vonnegut's novels until I read this book and I have to note that I ought to read more. Eerily enough, on the day I finished this, I was told that it was actually the six-year anniversary of Vonnegut's death. It's the strangest book-related coincidence I've encountered... well, it's the only one (so far).

Last, but not the last book I'll probably be reading this month is John Dies at the End by David Wong. Well, it's not really by David Wong as he's the writer, narrator, and a main character in this story and it is in fact written by Jason Pargin who is a senior editor for Cracked.com. I started reading this book just yesterday (April 12, 2013) and I'm actually already through it halfway. In fact, I think I may even finish it today as I'm having a difficult time putting it down. This book is always full of action and something is ALWAYS happening which makes it really difficult to put down. It's funny (My favourite quote so far: "My butt cheeks clenched so tightly not even light could have escaped.") and the imagery that's put in my head makes my skin crawl. House of Leaves scares you by tapping into what fears you have in your psyche; John Dies at the End scares you from the sensations of bugs crawling up your skin. Reading suddenly makes you scratch the back of your neck and arms.

I've had a very, very good month for reading so far and it isn't even the end of April. I'm debating as to what my next novel should be as I have a plethora to choose from and seemingly no end to the list of books I wish to read. I've had a month full of very, very fun books and may continue the trend. As for next month, I have a few books in mind for both fiction and non-fiction. I think I may well read The Great Gatsby again and have a book vs. film review for the upcoming movie as well.

For now Literates,

Fare Thee Well.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I. Live. Literary.

I read a lot of books.

It's in fact April and I'll probably be finishing my fourth book this month tomorrow and starting on my fifth. I once had a book blog on Tumblr where I reviewed the books I read but came to the conclusion that I wanted something much more than reviews. I wanted to share my literary finds, my fondness for books, my thoughts on the state of our literacy, my favourite book stores, the importance of reading in a generation of technology. Oh and I guess maybe I'll write a short story here and there and possibly post it despite my anxiousness too.

Welcome to I Live Literary. What's this title mean? Why did I name this blog so?

I - As in me, myself and I.

Live - Breathing, walking, talking, blogging.

Literary - Relating to literature, pertaining to the nature of books and writings, or well-versed in literature.

Altogether this means that I live a life where literature has influenced my well-being or lifestyle and has even given me a great privilege and education.

Although this blog is for my own self and benefit to encourage myself to read more, blog more and write more, I hope to gain followers who can look into a book and journey with me.