No, I’m not going to bother you on what I intend to read. I will bother you on what I’ve read since the last time I spoke of what I’ve read! Six books, worry not, not that much. But first things first – I think I’m good now, nose slightly runny, but nothing bad anymore. No fever, no cough, no uncontrollable sneezes. Being sick means you almost can’t read, for letters jump around, swim around, wave at you and such, so I tidied up my crafting supplies, now it’s all so nice and smooth and… and nice. But lets get back to the books now, shall we?
First would be Haruki Murakami “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World”. “End” as in “last part of it”, not as “the last seconds of it”. As is usual with Murakami – through first hundred pages – it’s slow to the point where you start scanning the page, rather than read it. All the food making, hooking up with a woman protagonist met hell knows in what weird place (place is not weird, weird is that there he finds someone to hit on) and all the details of the clothing. But afterwards – you just hold the f on, for it’s a ride to remember. This book is made out of intertwined stories with same protagonist, but different settings. One world affects the other, but the one that has more effect – was created by the other one, so to say. So, in this “Wonderland”, there’s an Information War going on. Protagonist is some sort of a mnemonic or other crazy man, he can code up your information so hard – no one will ever get to it. But everyone still tries, especially those who oppose the System and wants the information, for Black Market always craves it, right? Right. And then BOOM! Monsters, ancient divine shrines, the oddest people you could think of, and the nice Murakami’s view to school – it’s not for everyone, some need different ways and it’s those who have the most potential to become something better than just an average. I like it very much in his writings. Also, you never really see his monsters, but you always are led to the point where you actually fear them. At the same time protagonist is being hunted by both sides of the Information War and the monsters, and who knows what else, the End of the World is seeing it’s winter. There are unicorns there, and a Forest, much alike the Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter, for everyone knows you should not enter it, for it’s a scary, very scary place. This part very much reminded me of Max Fraj books “Echo Labyrinths“. They’re amazing, if you ever get your hands on them and if you know Murakami – you take those, you do take those.
Second book would be by Junichiro Tanizaki “A Cat, a Man and two Women”. I’d say it’s a book about an european kitty-cat. The jerk-piece of a man loves the cat to death (not literally), so much, in fact, that the meals of the family are prepared according to what cat might like and what could be good for the missy called Lilly. He had a wife, a good woman who, on her fragile shoulders held all their household, while his lazy arse played with the cat. And I know very rare male examples who wouldn’t start hating a woman who is… Like this. Even if she pointed not the very fact that he’s a lazy arse… So naturally, he ditched the woman, pretending he only listened to his mother’s advice, who also hated the woman, and married his rich cousin. Sadly, this lady here is a vicious woman and just as lazy. But rich. And all the fun begins when the Ex-Wife writes her a letter, warning her, as if nothing, to watch his love for the cat, for it might be so, that he loves Lilly more than either of the women. Hell breaks loose here. It would be a fun book were it not as it is. But it’s short, so it won’t bore you anyways. And cat lovers might enjoy it, for everyone, in the end, loves the cat the most.
The more I think, the more I believe that third book should sit among my favorites. It’s Koji Suzuki “Ring”. Oh yes, Ringu. Half way through the book I understood that I haven’t seen a single movie on it, but I’ll change that soon. Japanese make extremely good horrors. Books are no exception. And it’s a strange one too. For instance, you get your dose at the beginning, very first ten pages, boom, terror, purest, rawest terror shown. Then there’s a bit of this, a bit of that and right before you start thinking you might get bored – Beat the Clock begins. Will you live? Will you die? And why is that? For the protagonist watches the VHS tape with seemingly random bits (they aren’t random, they all have meaning) and in the end it says he’ll die in seven days, unless…. Unless what?! The teenagers who watched it before him, the very first four victims of Sadako, on purpose, believing it not, recorded a commercial on the part where the counter-spell was given, to avoid the death. Seven days. Clock ticking. Where to start? Who could help? It’s a fascinating story on a fascinating person, with fascinating powers. I will, with no doubt, read other books too, for ending was again scary, but completely open, the only thing lacking was “to be continued” there, if you follow.
Thus my craving for horror was satisfied for the time being and we may go on. Fourth on the list is Jacqueline Kelly “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate”. Now that’s a sweet book of how a girl doesn’t have to be a tomboy and still be smart, and how she doesn’t have to be a skilled cook who sees a priority in finding a good man, but not a good education (yes, this is aimed at you, Mina Harker). Calpurnia is a young miss, the only girl among a horde of brothers in a big house where her father, mother, a couple of servants and her grandfather live. The grandfather is Captain Tate and he’s a known eccentric. All the kids fear him, for some reason, but Calpurnia copes her courage up, for her grandfather has a library, and she wants to read. All in all, they befriend each other and it’s just the sweetest thing. I had no one to tell me I can be who I want when I was a kid, and with only luck smiling to me – I understood that myself and took a book, after a book, out of my own pocket money and occasional gifts. If you people have daughters who are not yet in their mid-teens – get them this book, encourage them to read and just hope they have it in them. I guess boys don’t read books where main hero is a girl? Shame. (But I dare blame the parent for that, not the kid.)
Fifth book you see is Alexandre Dumas “One Thousand and One Ghosts”, which, in my library, had another one attached to it, called “Salteodor“, which translates as “The Gentleman of the Mountain“, or something similar. But first book first. Few men and one tiny fragile little lady meet for dinner and start telling each other what dead people talked to them. One spoke with a head after beheading, the other saw a corpse attempt to hang a person. Nothing fancy, nothing scary either. Right up until the lady spoke, for she spun a tale of Carpathian Mountains and a vampire there. And if it’s not the first post of mine you read – you then know that I do love the vampires from Carpathian Mountains. This wasn’t too interesting, defeated with holy stuff and such, but he took a bite out of what he claimed as his before dying. Interesting character. Worst of all was his mother, tho…
Second book in this same one, “The Gentleman of the Mountain” was more interesting, even thou I did not wish to read it, it was not on my list and I received it by accident, when wishing only the ghost story. Pretty much it’s one of those stories where the thief turns out to be the prince, and the noble missy he fell in love with – his sister, so he must marry the “second runner” to her. It was still rather interesting, whole that blood calling was shown in this odd saturated color, I never read such before. I mean, the blood call, parent to son, the son felt more respect to his true father while not knowing he’s his father, than to the man who he thought is his father.
And the last, sixth book is M. G. Harris “The Joshua Files #1: Invisible City”. Again I’ll say, would I be thirteen now, not twenty three, this would be my bible. Joshua is training in martial arts, is Brittish, speaks Spanish, his father is an archaeologist and he goes right onto an adventure I’d like to get on. This was all I wanted and all I cared when I was thirteen. Sadly, for many, many reasons… Anyways, it was still a good read, especially with that thought in mind. And Joshua being what, thirteen himself, I believe he was portrayed rather great. I mean, he’s a teen who is still a kid, not the teen who is already an adult. Say, he comments that his martial arts are “flirting with the death”, which would seem unusual for the boy who later cried, for he slept through his bus stop. But together added it seemed to be very correct. Heck, I guess I would’ve cried too! Somehow everything seems to have more impact, when you’re still a kid. Anyways, back to the book! Joshua’s father is killed while on quest to find some sort of an artifact of Mayans. One thing bugged me – either I skipped something, of they absolutely forgot about the piece his father stole from them, which they, Mayans, said is very, very important and needs to be returned. But book ended and not a word was said on it after Joshua found the artifact, which was a book, by the way, naturally, right? Many things happened, he turned out to be this… Something like a high-priest or who the hell, of Mayan society, who live in this Invisible City. They have technologies surpassing ours at many points. So Joshua took a ride in their airplane equivalent, met his wife, not knowing she should be his wife, nearly got killed several times, had fortune almost told by a bruja (no, not the vampire clan brujah, but bruja – witch), and so much more. It was a fun read, if not in my age category. Usually I like books for younger people, like Tunnel series, but this one lacks the charm. Still, I’ll take the other books too, thank you very much.
After so much talk on books, lets get to the things I watched. And I watched many things, like Byzantine, which was a good movie with no-fun vampires (they got no fangs, they grow a sharp nail like a fang (it pops out, you don’t need to physically wait for it to grow through months and months), pierce you with it and then suck upon it), then there was the Frankenstein Army, which was just dumb and not worth the time of the day (nazi made bionics and mutants), then there was Skeleton Key, which was nice, for it showed Louisiana with all it’s Voodoo-Hoodoo stuff boiling hard, I liked it a lot. And I guess I watched many more movies, like Repo Men and stuff. But I’ll only speak of one anime I finished and one I started.
The one I finished is called “Princess Lover“, and hell knows who or why made it. Pretty much, this Arima Tepei gets into a prestige school, where only the highest elite and royalty is studying on blackwood tables, with a city-sized parks all around. One girl after another falls in love with this awkward guy who may not be the brightest, but is kind-hearted, so to say. This was very much not my cup of tea and I cringed at every scene where someone fell onto someone and suddenly ended up in a sex position (last series actually had something sex-related, so it’s not for young people. Breasts and a lot of them). The only bright thing I can say on this is that it very, very, very lightly reminded me of Eden of the East, which was pretty damn great. This – isn’t.
And the one I just started and watched barely two episodes is called “Free!“, yes, swimclub and a lot of muscles on very lean bodies, so that your eyes wouldn’t get poked out. Many would say “nah, that’s not the thing I like, anime on sports”. But it’s more than that. It’s always more than that. I watched my share of anime’s on sports, for some reasons I used to liked them plenty, I watched Football Superstar, and Speed Racer (if it’s an anime), and Milla (forgot the title, it’s about volleyball). This anime is drawn really nice, and it has these fun characters, like the sister of the evil looking guy, who for some reason left his friends after he lost ONE race and is now pissed ever since. And then there’s these two boys who can barely compete. And this one guy who is probably better than the evil guy, but is all sad that he hurt his friend and stuff. Anyways! All boys have girly names and the only girl has a boyish name. It’s fun for no reason and many at the same time. Say, one of them tends to try swimming in every bit of water, including fish tanks.