Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wow! I guess I should have known it was going to be awesome after all the reviews, but this was even better than the reviews.  A mix of Avatar and 1980s pop culture, Cline provides a walk through memory lane that comes alive with wonderful storytelling.  I think a hundred authors have attempted the 'virtual reality' gaming idea, but none have been able to tell such a enticing tale.  I don't know if it was that the characters were so likable or if he just knows how to create intrigue and suspense, but whatever 'it' is that makes Ready Player One the best book I have read in a couple years, I was sad to come to the end.  With all the trilogies out there, I thought maybe there would be a second novel, but the way it wrapped up, I am guessing not.  For those of you who can't get enough of it, don't worry, there appears to be a movie in the making.  Thundercats! Hooo!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Queen of Water

The scariest part of this story for me was how true it rang to my own experience.  I was in Ecuador in 1999 and behaved just like the tourists that Resau and Farinango describe.  I thought the indigenous part of the Ecuadorian culture was the coolest part.  The Incan part.  That was why I went to Ecuador in the first place.  To climb the mountains the indigenous called home, see the indigenous villages, and buy indigenous products, like hand sewn ponchos with condors on them.  The fact that there is such division between the indigenous and the mestizos was surprising.  It looked, from the outside, like the cultures had blended together seemlessly.  Now that I know this isn't true, I would like to return and take another look.  I guess I will need to learn Quichua to really see the other side.  The indigenous side.  The side that existed before the mestizo side.  The side that called Ecuador home a long time ago.  

Book Playing

I thought this was a beautiful story about love, competition and music.  Then near the end the author threw in a tumultuous plot development and the story went from romantic to sinister.  The malign act was the mother getting caught by her daughter in fixing the competition.  It immediately made me think of the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding incident.  Has winning become so important in our society that fixing violin competitions is even a thought in an author's head.  When did we fall so low? It's absolutely disgusting. So many don't know how to win.  So many don't know how to lose.  So many think winning is the only thing.  So many have lost why we do things to begin with.  Why we run, sing, paint or whatever.  Writer's need to get published.  Athletes need to win.  What happened to, 'do your best'.  What happened to the intrinsic value of doing something you love.  I guess multi-million dollar competitions do that to people.  They make rich people with terrible character.  We need look no further than some of our favorite sports stars to see what the system we have created does to people.