Frankenstein

In November, Fathom Events had a showing at AMC Theaters of the Benedict Cumberbatch/Jonny Lee Miller rendition of Frankenstein. Being a huge fan of both actors in Sherlock and Elementary, OF COURSE I had to go–even though it was not only the first “movie” I’d see by myself, but we hadn’t been in Dallas very long and it was farthest I’d been from home at that point.

That night, they played Jonny Lee Miller as The Monster (the actors played both lead roles, so there are two versions, and you don’t know until the start which you will see). It was nothing short of brilliant, as I expected. If you’ve seen JLM as Sherlock, you can understand the kind of fast, choppy movements he can make, and as The Monster, it was 100x more exaggerated. *sob* I want to watch it over and over and over.

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Anyway, I had not read the book, so I knew I’d have to read it soon. I’m really surprised it has taken this long. The book was just as gorgeous as the play, and I’m so glad I have a point of reference for The Monster that isn’t that horrific green thing from the Halloween stores.

Mary Shelley succeeded in writing the first science fiction novel, it’s true, but we have a ton of poorly written scifi books–and maybe that’s why I never read this one until this point. That boxy green thing really didn’t leave me with high expectations. But, her book has stayed with us because it is just so perfectly done, and it is extremely complex. This is The Monster’s narrative, within Frankenstein’s tale, within Walton’s letters. And though we never really think of Walton’s sister Margaret as a true narrator, it is her collection of his letters by which we get our final story.

It is no wonder, after four voices in one fiction alone, that so many people couldn’t help but retell Shelley’s story. There is science, love, horror, death, and the unknown. Man can’t help but want to be God, and Mary Shelley somehow managed to illustrate this drive perfectly.

 

This fulfills Boxall’s #74.

Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen

As the new year starts, we book bloggers have all set new goals. We finished our last book of 2014, and picked up the first book of 2015, hoping for a fresh beginning.

And…over and over again in the last few days I have seen posts all over social media from so many of my fellow bookworms about how disappointing their first new year book has been. Either it’s boring, or it’s too long, or it just isn’t what we expected. But it’s the first book! We have to finish it, right?

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My first book of the year fell into that same disappointing pattern with everyone else. I had high hopes for Jane Hawking’s memoir, Travelling to Infinity. I just watched the Benedict Cumberbatch film on Youtube not too long ago, and I’m so looking forward to watching the new movie with Eddie Redmayne. Stephen Hawking has always seemed somewhat of a mystery to me–our century’s most notable genius, and not only brilliant, but disabled with a disease that is so unknown. This is the exact type of biography/memoir I like to read–one about a person who has achieved so much in spite of so many walls.

The title is very clever, for anyone interested in this book to get to know the man and scientist. Because while I was interested in his wife, and I do realize this was written from her point of view–what I really wanted from this book was to get to know Stephen Hawking. The title is written in just a way to make you think that’s what the book is about.

However…that is not that the book is about.

Sure. Stephen Hawking is there. And you do get to see quite a bit about his deterioration. But his work? No, very little. And in fact, there’s hardly any dialogue with Stephen at all. Most of this book is about Jane’s lack of acknowledgement, and it comes across as extremely bitter. I can understand why she feels this way–she spent her whole life caring for her husband, only to be cast away for a nurse. I don’t mean to make Jane the villain of her own story…it just wasn’t quite the story I expected.

To be honest, I just found most of it to be really boring. I have no interest in hearing about birth stories and child rearing. Her descriptions of her Spanish medieval poetry were neat…when she wasn’t whining about all she couldn’t accomplish. I kept reading about the book only because I truly wanted to know the story of Hawking’s life–Stephen’s, not Jane’s–because he’s a figurehead of our time and it’s one of the things I feel I should know. I wanted to know how his disease progressed, and understand how he became the way he his now.

So, really, this book…meh. I got what I wanted to get out of it. But it’s not one I’m going to recommend with enthusiasm.

 

This does fulfill PopSugar #14:  A nonfiction book.

Goals

When I started setting my challenge list, I had put GOALS on Day 1 for obvious reasons. My original goal was to write every day, complete all the challenges. I started the list with booky things–I had based my challenge list off previous challenges I had done, although I tried my hardest not to use too many prompts from other people’s lists. But the longer I went along, the more I deviated from bookish themes, and started coming up with true writing prompts. I write about books all the time, but my mind is constantly getting pulled into other subjects that I want to write about. Let’s vary it up some. Of course, if you want to match books to the topics, feel free. I just want you to write something, anything, every day.

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Something else happened, too, after I set GOALS for Day 1.

I started taking a yoga class. And I completely fell in love with it. So, I have some new goals that surround the new lifestyle that I’m taking on. I have class 3 times a week–Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. And even on the days that I am tired, and frustrated, and sore, I’m going. Every once in awhile, I may have a schedule conflict, and that’s ok. I couldn’t go Wednesday (ummm…Benedict Cumberbatch in Frankenstein on the big screen? Sorry yoga…priorities.), so I made sure to do stretches on Thursday. That’s the great thing about yoga–it’s so easy to do at home.

I don’t have any specific weight goals–in fact, I’m trying not to weigh myself. My instructors told me to take the focus off of that. The important thing is to focus on reducing my stress and maintaining my health, so that is what I’m working on now. My wellness is increasing, and I can feel it. I am already starting to notice a change in my body, it’s crazy!

Good things are going to happen in November. Who is ready?

 

Favorite Place to Read

The husband is out of town for awhile, which is kind of awesome for my introvert side. She goes, “YOU MEAN I GET TO DO NOTHING BUT READ FOR 10 DAYS? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.”

I do have yoga classes, and Benedict Cumberbatch tomorrow. But yes, Introvert Side, you do get to read uninterrupted a lot more than usual.

I’ve turned my office (our second bedroom) into the perfect introvert space. My desk is in here, obviously, but the other corner is my reading corner. I have my bookshelves on either side. It’s pretty much just heaven.

The couch isn’t very pretty, but it suuuuure is comfortable! (shhhh don’t tell my husband I said that. I’m determined to get a new couch downstairs someday!)

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Update:

Sometimes Diva Kitty Queen of the Heavens likes to join me.

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Hero/OTP

This weekend completely knocked me off my feet, so I’m sorry for the wonky blogging. I completely neglected yesterday, which was supposed to be Hero/Heroine. Today is OTP (One True Paring). Thankfully….I can cheat and wrap these up in one post! Phew, problem solved.

Let’s face it, my real OTP is Johnlock. No question. But…that’s TV (yes, I know it’s a book too, but it wasn’t really prevalent until Cumberbatch and Freeman, because…reasons), and this is a book challenge.

And so I flip to two more of our favorite paired heroes. Mr. Frodo and Samwise Gamgee.

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I know, I know. Heroes, everyone understands. But an OTP? Really?

I think I’m probably the only person in the world who ships them. But, for some reason, I always did. In the books, and ESPECIALLY in the movies, when they were closer in age. Sam obviously loves his Mr. Frodo, and Frodo, even in his distraction, needs Sam. He could not have completed his quest without him.

Favorite Character to Actor Depiction

British Television, you are a cruel, cruel master.

I will admit, I am a bit of a anglophile. I think I’ve read more on British history, literature, etc than I have American. I don’t know why. There’s just something romantic about that culture.

And the men. Oh the men. They don’t make men like that here. We have pretty boys, hipsters, country boys.

But we don’t have classic British men. Unconventional, cultured, educated. Yes please.

OK, Haley, back on topic.

I think everyone reads pieces of Sir Arthur Conon Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes at some point, if not the actual books themselves. We grow up hearing about the Sherlockian adventures. They are so archetypal in our culture today. And because Doyle wrote the adventures as short stories, teachers and their textbooks can break them apart individually.

Not only that, but the Sherlockian archetype has been morphed into multiple characters in different shows and movies. Of course you have the actual Sherlock shows through the years, but then you also have characters like House and Gil Grissom (from CSI) that follow his same personality traits.

I’ve always been drawn to that mysterious, introverted character. He’s brilliant in his observations, and so exceedingly aware of it.

I started seeing references to the BBC show Sherlock on Pinterest, and became hooked before I even watched my first episode. When I found out it was on Netflix, well, it was over before it began. And now I am 100% a part of the fandom. And once you’re in….oh man. There’s no turning back is there?

 

Benedict Cumberbatch is just as brilliant as the character he plays. The curly-haired manic genius he becomes takes your breath away as he dashes facts all over your screen. You will have a hard time keeping up as he connects the dots, and makes things make absolute perfect sense.

And I would be remiss if I left out his relationship John Watson. Now, we are in hiatus at the moment, and the fandom has quite lost its mind. While I enjoy the ship…I doubt the show itself will actually go too extreme in that direction. However, I do think Sherlock loves Watson deeply and the little pieces of affection, and watching him barely contain control is so interesting. Cumberbatch is so good at just giving enough there. A little tweak or brush. A crinkle of his eyes when he smiles, and Sherlock almost never really smiles. But just enough. You guys know what I’m talking about, especially the shippers, because oh how you screen shot EVERYTHING. I love it!

Like all of you fans, I cannot wait for Season 4. Hopefully they don’t make us wait too long. His hair sure is getting curly. Think he’s growing it out? One can only hope…