expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>
Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Funnies: Christmas Humor



Welcome to Friday Funnies! Because everyone needs a good laugh on Friday.


I'll probably be offline this time next week, so I thought I'd put some Christmas funnies up for this week. These are hilarious (and some are vaguely creepy :D). Enjoy!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday: Christmas

Thoughts for Thursday is a feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is the Holidays. Check out my other blog for more quotes.


I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens
Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year — and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority. ~W.J. Cameron
Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves. ~Eric Sevareid
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.  ~Washington Irving




Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review: Gone Girl

Source
I finally read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Took me long enough, right? This was the most-reviewed book on Goodreads.com in 2013 (I think). I mean, we're talking something like 28,000 reviews. (Holy crap!) And recently a film version came out, which I have not seen. I might watch it eventually, but I'm not in any big hurry to.

Plot: This is your basic wife-disappears, husband-becomes-prime-suspect story. Been done a thousand times, right? But the reason it was such a successful novel is that there's a major twist on it. It's hard to tell whether the husband, Nick, did something to his wife, Amy. Even when we get chapters from his POV, it's unclear. He's definitely hiding things from the cops, and also the reader, so you feel compelled to keep reading to find out what he's hiding, and whether he really hurt Amy.

POV: The point of view oscillates between Nick's first person narrative and diary entries from Amy, leading up to when she disappeared. As it's a diary, they are also in the first person. I'm not usually a huge fan of doing multiple first-person narratives, but in this case it was so well-done, it didn't bother me. Diary entries can also be tricky to write, but Flynn is a master at her craft and it truly didn't feel any different than any other well-written narrative would. 

Characters: Neither of these characters--husband or wife--was particularly likable. They were both majorly flawed, and obviously their marriage suffered for it. That made them both believable and compelling, but I reiterate: unlikable. I had really mixed feelings about the characters. They were both incredibly frustrating at times. I had a really hard time getting behind either one of them. Villainous characters don't need to be likable, but I'm a firm believer that main characters should be. I was obviously compelled enough to finish the book, but I would never say that I loved it, or that I loved the characters because, yeah I didn't.

Source
Psychological Aspects: Okay, here's the crux of my problem with the book, which happens to coincide with why it's become such a phenomenon. The psychological aspects (read: psycho) are what makes the book so intriguing. We get these really flawed character studies, see these mind games that were played within the marriage, and then as the readers, we have to try and translate that into whether or not Nick did something violent to his wife. I totally understand why this book has been so talked about.

That said, I really didn't like it much. First of all, it was very negative. And I don't just mean the subject matter. Both characters were very pessimistic. Like, they would work hard to find the worst side of everything. Now don't get me wrong, it was very well-written. Kudos to the author. But I would be reading and just think, Wow. No wonder you're so miserable! Just once can you try to look on the bright side of things, or at least not go out of your way to be so cynical? It was actually really annoying. Like I said earlier, just really unlikable characters. No redeeming qualities at all. And I get it: that was the point. But it doesn't make for a very inspiring story.

It also is about the worst, darkest, most terrible picture of a marriage you'll ever come across. The worst kinds of abuse (and not just physical), the worst kinds of name calls two people can call one another, the worst, most un-loving, un-intimate sex you can imagine in a marriage. Etc., etc. 

Content Warning: And while we're on the subject, I'll add that this was a very R-rated book. These two called one another every swear word in the English language, both out loud and in their heads. There was a lot of sexual content and also some mild violence. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for kids, or even teens.

Ending: This definitely doesn't have a "happy" ending. And please understand, that is not a spoiler. I don't mean it's unhappy like, someone dies or, it's oh-so-tragic. Rather, it just really doesn't have a closed ending. Nothing really gets resolved. And where normally the reader would feel betrayed because we stuck with the story so long and then were denied closure, I didn't even feel that way about it. I think, because the story itself was about a messed-up situation, complete with mind games, she wanted the ending to be the same way. And honestly, the ending kind of fit. But for me, I just kind of went, Huh. And moved on. Was kind of relieved to be done, actually.

Overall: As I said earlier, I didn't not like it. I'm glad I read it. But it's not the kind of book you can describe as having "liked." It just wasn't that kind of book. If you like the dark, psychological types of stories (again I'm going to stress the no redeeming qualities angle) then you'll probably enjoy it. It's not the type of book I would recommend to...just about anyone, though. I prefer my stories to have at least some hope and enlightenment, and that was largely missing from this one. 

Has anyone read Gone Girl? Seen the film? What did you think of it?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Books I Read in 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top 10 Books I Read in 2014 (All covers courtesy of Goodreads.com unless otherwise linked)

I had lots of re-reads this year, and of the ones that were totally new to me, there were several I didn't like, so I didn't have much to chose from. But, these were the things I liked the most. 

History Tidbit: Delaware Christmas Crossing

Okay, I'm totally re-posting this, but this is one of my all-time favorite historical Christmas stories. Definitely worth a re-telling. Enjoy. :D


Source
Did you know...?

What our founding fathers were doing Christmas Day, 1776?

On the night of December 25-26, George Washington decided it was high time this American Revolution was won. He took all his troops and ferried them across the Delaware River. This was a very dangerous maneuver. Logistically it was difficult and time-consuming, made more complicated by the below-freezing temperatures of both the air and the water, and the jagged ice chunks floating down a swift, swollen river.

What they hoped would only take a couple of hours took more than four, and things didn't go according to plan. At all.

Why were they doing this, you ask? Well, as I said, our primo presidente thought it was high time the war was won. His men were starving and wanted to return to their homes and families. It was Christmas, and they were stuck in a freezing, starving, mud-caked war camp.

Meanwhile, across the river in Trenton, New Jersey, a camp of Hessians (German mercenaries hired by England) were holding the American insurrection at bay. Washington guessed that the Hessians would have spent Christmas day eating, drinking, and celebrating. He figured if he could take them unawares, while they were still sleeping off their mead-hangovers, he could take Trenton.

He meant to ferry his men over quickly and stealthily march into the Hessian camp under cover of darkness. Well, as stated above, things didn't go so well. By the time Washington's army reached the Hessian camp, the sun was rising.

But Washington had guessed right about the state of the mercenaries. They had partied and drank all night, and most were still a-snooze when the American troops stormed their camp.

Despite everything that went wrong, the revolutionaries took the Hessian camp without a single American casualty. It was a Christmas miracle. Only days later, on January 2nd and 3rd, they defeated British reinforcements under General Cornwallis. It was a turning point in the American Revolutionary War.

dcgiftshop.com
This Christmas season, let's be sure to give thanks for those who came before us, spending Christmas without their families so we could spend ours with our families in a free land.

Let's give thanks for our loved ones, especially our children who are safe in our homes and in our arms at a time when twenty families in Connecticut can't say the same thing.

Let's remember the significance of Christmases 2000 years past, look forward to a New Year (of writing and publishing perhaps?) and live in the moment. Because the moments we have this Christmas will never come again.

And remember, knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Do you have a favorite historical Christmas story you like to tell every year?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Funnies: Best Friends and Dating



Welcome to Friday Funnies! Because everyone needs a good laugh on Friday.


The theme today is mostly friends and dating. Sort of. :D (All images courtesy of pinterest.com.)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thoughts for Thursday: Telling the Truth

Thoughts for Thursday is a feature hosted by Musings on Fantasia and LKHill.  In this meme, we share thoughts or quotes that we know or have recently come across. Each week there is a specific subject or theme. These can be quotes from books, quotes by famous people, (quotes by YOU, perhaps ;D). Anything from anywhere is game, though we do ask that you keep your quote to a few sentences at most. Don't quote, for example, entire passages of a book or essay. These can be funny quips, cool sayings, hair-raising antidotes, movie lines, any kind of quote you can think of!

Just have fun, collect awesome sayings by awesome people, and try to be inspired!

This week's theme is Telling the Truth. Check out my other blog for more quotes.