Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Magical Worlds of The Lord of the Rings by David Colbert

Alyianna's rating: 10 out of 10
Audience: I'm not sure if children would be interested in all the mythological elements or not, but I think Colbert writes about them in an interesting enough way that a child could like this book. But, of course...I was always a very advanced reader for my age as a child. ;) Amazon puts this book as for readers 18 and up.
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology

This book is really, really good. I started reading it in snatches in between cleaning or before a shower or something like that - which is easy to do since the book is divided into manageable sections so that you can read each in a couple of minutes. Then I read the rest of the book all at once because I kept coming for more because it was so good. Why? Because the book has so many cool facts about LOTR that I didn't know (and this is coming from a person, who considers herself as knowing more than the average fan)! One of the things this book does is go over various mythological stories and legends that inspired Tolkien, which I thought was very cool - and some of these legends have given me some ideas for my own fantasy novel. ;)

I definitely recommend this book to any LOTR fan. And if you haven't finished reading the books, the author has made the attempt to not include any spoilers for you. How awesome is that?

I think it's good to always read a few reviews from different people before you decide whether to read a book or not, so here are some reviews from Goodreads:

Tom Schulte:
Subtitled The Amazing Myths, Legends, and Facts Behind the Masterpiece, this book was obviously put together with the audience in mind that has been only now exposed to Tolkien's work through the latest film treatment. For instance, the final chapter discusses Frodo's actions in Mordor and since Peter Jackson, at least, has not put his vision of this on the silver screen, the chapter is segmented off as a "spoiler." Author David Colbert knows how to do these books, as he wrote the successful The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter. However, even the would-be Tolkien scholar and hardcore fan with well-worn and well-known copies of all the books will find this tome interesting. The index, bibliography and glossary make for handy entrances to the book, laid out like an encyclopedia. Colbert initially places the Tolkien mythology into the greater sphere of ancient European and Near Eastern mythology. This is pretty tenuous and could be good fodder for heated debate among those that appreciate Joseph Campbell as much as J. R. R. Tolkien. The inspiration from Tolkien's knowledge of ancient English and North European lore is well-trodden ground for the initiated, but this presents it in an easy to read manner with plenty of line drawings that will be entertaining for any reader, whether they just saw the movie or can quote Gandalf chapter and verse.

This book is a quick read which gives a decent amount of background information on Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings books. Most information is aimed at unraveling how Tolkien came up with certain elements, and what sources he was referencing.

Not as interesting as Colbert's book on Narnia but that could be because I know so much about Tolkien already. Easy, easy read. A tad boring.

The Songs Post 3

Just a quick post!

Clean Songs
In My Arms and Real - Plumb
Wunderkind - Alanis Morisette (but avoid any other songs by her!)
anything by The Band Perry

Okay Songs
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
This song is okay as long as you look at it in the right way. For example, the line "If I lay here, if I just lay here/Would you lie with me and just forget the world?" I've read up on this song, and I've heard that Snow Patrol didn't mean the song to mean that, so I ignore the meaning that comes up because it is pushed so much in our society nowadays and make my own.

Are the Music Videos for the Songs in this Post Okay?
- Real by Plumb - Yes.
- The Band Perry's music videos are okay, as far as I've seen. :)
- Chasing Cars' music video is okay, as well.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Megan and Liz - YouTube Legends

It may seem silly to some of you...but to me, Megan and Liz are like YouTube legends. ;) I discovered them with a cover with Tiffany Alvord, right around when I was just discovering YouTube artists, but I really didn't start listening to any of their music until I heard "Are You Happy Now" the day before the music video was released.

I can just imagine when I'm married and I have kids, my daughter (if I have one :P) will ask me, "Mom! Megan and Liz have a new CD - can we get it? Please?" And I'll say, "Sure, I'll plan a trip to Walmart soon. I'd like to hear it, too." :)

I had these thoughts when listening to (or rather, watching) Megan and Liz's new music video - Bad For Me. I didn't like this song the first time I heard it, but after a few caught me (catchy song :P). And I love, love, LOVE the music video.

And then here's Megan and Liz's amazing song that I discovered them with - and I think is their BEST.

A few of my other favourites of theirs...

Princess Charming - Yes, yes, I know I said I hated this song here on Alyianna's Reviews. I...errr...changed my mind. :P

Rest of You - I like this song, but I don't really care too much for the music video.

Long Distance

Megan and Liz also do covers. Here are a few of the ones that I think are their best. :)

A cover of Taylor's "Enchanted"

A cover of "Payphone"

A cover of "Good Girl"
I don't listen to Carrie Underwood because our parish priest said her songs aren't appropriate and I don't listen to the ones that I know are appropriate because my mom said that she found something about her that wasn't appropriate...but I love this cover. :)

Any comments? ;) Which original song and which cover did you like best?

(Please humour me and comment?)
 Yes, I know...hint hint by putting it in the largest letters I could find. :P