Throwback Thursday!

That’s a thing, right?
I first read Juliet Marillier’s book Daughter of the Forest ten years ago, and it is still one of my favorite books – I can’t say how many times I’ve re-read it! It is one of my comfort books :)
I have always adored mythology, especially Celtic or Norse mythology. This story is based off the familiar six swans myth (originally a German fairy tale) and is a beautifully retold in a Celtic setting. The tale is that a King’s six sons are transformed in to swans by their evil stepmother. The seventh child, a daughter, must make six shirts of starwort while being silent for six years to release the curse. Sorcha is the daughter in Mariller’s retelling and undertakes the task of bringing her brothers back suffering through many unexpected trials and forming new friendships. In the end, she may just have to choose between the love for her brothers and the love for another.
The Swan Princess by Anne Anderson

The Swan Princess by Anne Anderson

Oh, the characters in this novel are polarizing! I love that feeling…when you encounter characters who are so real to you that you develop strong feeling for them. Sorcha is one of the strongest heroines I’ve encountered. Her spirit and love for others is inspiring. Marillier paints a fantastical, historical world rich in tradition and captures the tension and transforming nature of a pagan world being with introduced to Christianity. Her attention to detail draws you in to this Celtic world and its religion and politics.

Marillier is one of my favorites authors and writes exquisite fantasy. Her world building and characterization is top tier and her lyrical prose is just beautiful to read. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction, fantasy, or mythology.

//Tinker//

By Wen Spencer
Tinker is a human inventor girl living in Pittsburgh on Elfhome - Pittsburgh shifts from the Elvin realm to Earth once a month. As wargs, giant dog-like elvin creatures, chase an Elvin noble into Tinker’s scrapyard, her world is turned upside down and she soon finds herself having to deal with the Elvin court and creatures she never knew existed.

tinker (1)Right off the bat, action and mayhem ensue drawing the reader in to the story quickly. Tinker is such a fun character reminiscent of Buffy (a review on the cover said as much – may have been the reason I picked it up :) ).This book is full of action, adventure, science, and even a bit of romance. Once I finished this novel, I was eager to read more by Spencer an. Luckily, this book is the first in a trilogy and Spencer has several other books available. The sequel to Tinker, Wolf Who Rules, is currently on the way to my house :)  

 Spencer marvelously blends fantasy and science fiction like no other. While science fiction/fantasy is lumped together as one genre at bookstores, there are hardly ever any books that blend the two genres together so seamlessly and never as well as Wen Spencer does. Elves and quantum physics – sounds fun right??

//Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why//

Post copied from my old blog (1/13/10)-

misquoting1Bart Ehrman is a biblical scholar, who is a well known authority on the New Testament and has written over 20 books. This book is one of his bestsellers according to the New York Times.

I first used his textbook on the New Testament in a religious studies class I took and found his perspective so interesting I had to go grab another book of his. Misquoting Jesus is a book about changes made in the Bible and theories on why. He looks at changes that were simply mistakes, and changes to the text that were made for other purposes, usually theological reasons.

He first examines the scriptures before there was a canon, and discusses how that canon was formed. (The first canon was actually made by Marcion who was later declared a heretic) He then looks at the problems encountered when the old scriptures would be copied. Next, he goes through specific examples of changes and errors providing evidence for how scholars can determine this.

 

Here are a few topics to pull you in! -

  • Ehrman examines the King James Bible and the many translation changes that King James made, speculating on how these changes transformed the way the Bible was read and interpreted.
  • He looks at the famous story of Jesus forgiving the woman caught in adultery in John and shows evidence that the story was added by later scribes.
  • There is an interesting chapter on women in the Bible and the changes made in that area.

No matter where you stand on the Bible’s inerrancy, the language and possibility for translational errors are fascinating to study. Ehrman looks at who wrote a piece of scripture, why they wrote it, and who copied it in later years. Studying the texts and its many translations is very beneficial historically and theologically.

This book was so fascinating! If you have any interest at all in history, especially biblical history, I recommend reading this.

//The Casual Vacancy//

casual-vacancy-cover-art-hi-resby JK Rowling

The book everyone has been waiting for…..what comes after Harry Potter??

I have read several reviews from disappointed Harry Potter fans complaining that The Casual Vacancy was nothing like her beloved series. Well, no it’s not. It’s not supposed to be. It’s an adult book marketed as an adult book. The premise: small town, open city council seat, politics, deceit, and GO! A city council member dies leaving the townspeople looking to fill the seat, which brings to light the cultural and economic gulf between the two sides of town. No wizards, no magic.

I enjoyed this book simply because none of the characters were very likable, yet they were relatable, making it almost uncomfortable to read at times. I realized it was because these characters’ innermost thoughts and desires were often petty, yet undeniably human. It was an interesting read that commented on class and social issues, while developing a plethora of main characters. The novel had a clear message that was sometimes lost with the intermingling story lines, however an intriguing read nonetheless.

Try it out. It holds some worthwhile commentary on prejudice and economic inequality.

Just don’t expect wizards.

“She seemed to be trying to take in what Kay had said to her: this bizarre, dangerous advice about telling the truth”
― J.K. RowlingThe Casual Vacancy