the reviews classics

  1. read classics - I know from experience its a slow but steady climb when it comes to reading classics, but it’s a worth while experience to put yourself in world that so different from the world now but mirrors it quite the same. Reading classical opens you mind to how simple but complex the human race is. It might seem like chore especially if your not a reader but you can start by just picking a classical that ficinated you the most  and listening to it on audiobook first. After a couple times of listening on audiobook you’ll get used to rhythm of the language and it’ll be easier to continue reading on your own. Also, pro tips- if you really wanna kick it up a notch, write a short review for every classic you read to help retain the info. 
  2. expand your genres-  Everyones knows there’s a lot to be learned from movies, tv show and music but for most of us, once we learn what kind of genres we like we tend to never branch out and this limits our learning. You don’t have to like every genre but exposing yourself to different styles of music and movies teaches you tolerance and after a while of forcing yourself to do this, you might find your pallet start to shift.  
  3. watch youtube videos- This is one of my favorite ways to not only be entertained but to get a general overview of a certain topic, usually if it sparks my interest i’ll do a little further research. Youtube channels such as ted-ed, asap science, scishow and today i found out do an amazing job of giving you a little bit of knowledge about everything.
  4. listen to people who have different opions than you- I know this one is particularly hard one for most people, but your going to learn the least from having repeptive conversations with people with the same ideas as you. People with different opinions than you will have an impact on how you live your life wether you like it or not; its not your job to accept their ways of thinking but to understand why they think the way they do- you never know, you might just find that the other persons opinion has some merit and might make you more knowlegable about a certain situation. A great way to do this is to watch interviews, read articles about the opposing side of your opinion.
  5. Accept that you’ll never know everything- This is an important one, you may be thinking, how does this have to do with educating myself? well, I added this one because I truly feel like you can’t educate yourself without acknowledging your ignorance. A person who thinks they know eveything has no room to learn. One of the most powerful ways to educate your self is to accept that you are never going to be finished learning, this opens you up and makes you more receptive to lessons we learn in life everyday. So in short, if you want to be more educated, just live! we’re all life long students and that’s okay. 

John Williams’s Stoner is an extraordinary novel with an extra ordinary (not extraordinary) hero.

William Stoner almost always plays it safe, making predictable, sensible choices. He studies literature at the University of Missouri and ends up teaching there for the next 40 years. Even though he teaches the same classes over and over, he isn’t completely able to articulate to his students what he loves about literature. He marries badly, has a child to whom he wishes to be closer, enters into a doomed but beautiful love affair, and writes a failed book.

If the plot sounds a little dull or unoriginal to you, I believe that was Williams’s intention. Williams created in Stoner a character who demands no attention from the students who pass him in the quads of Jesse Hall. But as readers we’re privy to the quiet desperation (as Thoreau put it) that is the result of everything Stoner wants being just out of his reach. Although he hides it from the world, we see and feel the constant disappointment he experiences; and to make it all the more frustrating—and all the more real—these disappointments are due sometimes to his own safe choices and sometimes to circumstances that are out of his control.

But where other characters in other novels by other authors might respond to a lifetime of incessant disappointment with suicide, Stoner takes up Hamlet’s question, wondering if his life is worth living. But he goes beyond simply asking the question of himself; he realizes the question is general to all mankind, and more importantly it doesn’t necessarily spring from dire and immediate circumstances:  

It came, he believed, from the accretion of his years, from the density of accident and circumstance, and from what he had come to understand of them. He took a grim and ironic pleasure from the possibility that what little learning he had managed to acquire had led him to this kind of knowledge: that in the long run all things, even the learning that let him know this, were futile and empty, and at last diminished into a nothingness they did not alter.

Williams’s prose is beautiful in the most subtle, restrained way. It’s quite remarkable to understand the pulsing emotions bubbling under Stoner’s surface when his outward appearance is so tame, but that’s how most of us live. Indeed, that’s the magic of Stoner: he’s the kind of unglamorous hero that the rest of us are.

I’ve run macrolit for three years, and this is my first full-length review. I couldn’t help it because I love this book so much. It’s now a Top 5 all time novel for me. Please read this wonderful, touching book! And if you have read it, please chime in with your thoughts. 

Stoner, John Williams
My Goodreads rating: 5/5
Currently 37% off at Amazon

Moon Emoji Reviews

apple, producing the classic new moon with a face. he has such a smooth face, with baby like skin, and eyes as deep as the ocean, its hard to not get lost in his forever gaze. if you stare too long though, you will swear you can feel his human lips brush against your ear. 7/10


google’s interpretation is very friendly, welcoming. his big round nose reminds me of a papa cartoon character, and is, therefore, very easy on the eyes and lovable. although the eyes are a tad blank, and frightful. 6/10

microsoft takes an interesting take on the moon - it appears to look more like a stale cookie, or like spongebob’s parents. his feline type nose throws me off… hes throwing mixed signals… this is not a moon, but a beast of the night, taunting, lurking. 4/10

samsung… oh samsung… what did you do? you’ve turned microsofts cookie moon beast into a cgi monster, with soft features, similar to that of apple’s. maybe this would be better if he didn’t have those patronized glints in his eyes. 3/10

LG has taken an interesting turn. this moon is… curious… and content, but you can clearly see the pain behind his eyes. his eyes are deep. lurking. a man of mystery. 5/10

what a happy face!! i feel delighted to see this moon on my screen. he is doing great, but not quite giving off the look that this emoji is supposed to represent. he is wonderful though anyways. 8/10.

what an interesting buddy! Facebook has taken a different path, while taking time to accentuate each and every crevice and curve of this moon’s surface. a beautiful boy, with caressing eyes. 7/10

a very calm moon. i feel calm looking at it. it is doing a wonderful job on conveying the night times sleep appeal. it is not doing a great job as the original emoji purposes, but is conveying a different emotion entirely. what a beautiful and intricate boy. a work of art. 10/10

i didn’t think there could be a better moon emoji than the original, but i stand corrected. what a 🌚  emoji. the empty stare takes the cake. 7/10

mozilla does a nice job at creating a unique yet form fitting moon face emoji. nothing to call home about though. he looks too eager to be here… what is he planning… 4/10

… an… interesting… take… terrifying, yes. calming, also yes. i’m not sure how to feel about the immense detail upon this ones face. a solid 5/10 should be okay… although i know that i should give this emoji a higher rating, or else it will come to me tonight and look at me through the window, open mouthed breathing, gently fogging up the window glass around it.

SWEET CHRIST ALLMIGHTLY WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS THYIS. THIS IS NOT A MOON I CAN TRUST. THIS IS NOT A MOON I CAN RETAIN EYE CONTACT WITH. 0/10!!!!

Books Everyone Should Read!

I’ve wanted to do this for ages, so here goes. These are some of the books/plays/poets that I think (this is just my opinion!) everyone should read before they die. If anyone wants to add to the list, then please do by commenting or reblogging!

Originally posted by blackewhitelover


Fantasy and/or Children’s Novels: 

  • The Harry Potter Series - J. K. Rowling. Anyone who knows me, knows that I will always love Potter, until the very end. 
  • The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis.
  • The Percy Jackson Series - Rick Riordan. All of his books are great, not just this series, but the others too.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (The Oz Books) - L. Frank Baum.
  • The Mortal Instruments Series - Cassandra Clare.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snicket.
  • The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett.
  • The Once & Future King - T. H. White. 

Dystopian and/or Utopian Novels: 

  • The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins.
  • The Maze Runner Trilogy - James Dashner. 
  • The Divergent Trilogy - Veronica Roth.

  • The Giver Quartet - Lois Lowry.
  • Lord of the Flies -  William Golding.

  • The Handmaid’s Tale -  Margaret Atwood.
  • The Road - Cormac McCarthy.

Gothic and/or Horror Novels:

  • Dracula - Bram Stoker.
  • The Beetle: A Mystery - Richard Marsh.
  • The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter.
  • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley.
  • The Fall of the House of Usher & Other Writings - Edgar Allen Poe.
  • Interview with a Vampire - Anne Rice.
  • The Darren Shan Series - Darren Shan. 
  • Salem’s Lot - Stephen King.
  • Dreamcatcher - Stephen King.
  • The Shining - Stephen King.
  • Carrie - Stephen King. 

Young Adult and/or Influential Novels:

  • To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee (I have Go Set A Watchman but I still need to read it!). 
  •  Oranges Aren’t The Only Fruit -  Jeanette Winterson.
  • The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger. 
  • The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini. 
  • The Virgin Suicides - Jeffery Eugenides. 
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky. 
  • All The Bright Places - Jennifer Niven. 
  • Attachments - Rainbow Rowell. 
  • Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell.
  • Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell. 
  • Landline - Rainbow Rowell.
  • Carry On - Rainbow Rowell.
  • Looking For Alaska - John Green.
  • An Abundance of Katherines - John Green.
  • Paper Towns - John Green.
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green & David Levithan. 
  • The Fault in Our Stars - John Green.
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews. 

Crime and/or Thriller Novels: 

  • The Alex Rider Series - Anthony Horowitz.
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling -  Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling). 
  • The Silkworm -  Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling).
  • Career of Evil -  Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling).

Classics:

  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde.
  • Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen.
  • Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen.
  • Mansfield Park - Jane Austen.
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte.
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte.
  • Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck.
  • Great Expectations - Charles Dickens.
  • The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck.
  • Moby-Dick; or, The Whale - Herman Melville.
  • Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens.
  • The Beach -  Alex Garland.

Plays (read them and if you can see a performance or two, there’s nothing like the theatre):

  • The Oresteia -  Aeschylus.
  • The Three Theban Plays - Sophocles.
  • The Odyssey - Homer. 
  • The Iliad - Homer. 
  • William Shakespeare’s Plays (these are just a few of my favourites!): 

Titus Andronicus.

Measure for Measure. 

Macbeth.

Hamlet.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Merchant of Venice.

As You Like It.

Twelfth Night.

  • The Duchess of Malfi - John Webster. 

Poetry:

  • William Blake’s Poetry - Literally one of my favourite poets. 
  • William Wordsworth’s Poetry.
  • War Poetry -  two of my favourites are Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.
  • Sylvia Plath’s Poetry - C’mon, who hasn’t read her work?
  • Carol Ann Duffy - I love her. 

I think that’s all I have for now. I know I’m missing loads, but this is what I’ve been able to come up with so far. Also, just because she asked this is for the lovely @glide-thru, I read a lot :P

“But man, Stevie Nicks… she changes the temperature of the room whenver she’s on, even in an open-air stadium like Citi Field. Her voice, sharp and enigmatic as ever, is a national treasure, her stage presence hasn’t become one iota less captivating in over 40 years of iconicity, and her songs are just the best songs. Your heart and tear ducts fill instinctively upon hearing them, before your head can even identify the particular tune.” - Billboard

 Photo credit: Vikki Carlucci (Thank you as always! Please don’t remove credit.)

8

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

Alma Books is sponsoring our next giveaway, so I bought a few of their books from Amazon so I could check out the quality myself. The first one arrived today, and goodness… I underestimated how beautiful these books are. The cover and back colors are really vivid, and the whites (including the pages) are white. As you can see, the print is clean and beautiful. But what surprised me most is the little section of photos, a throwback to the way books were published years ago.

The Alma Books rep I’ve been speaking with told me Alma only hires book lovers so that the books they create can be put together as they would want to read them. It truly shows. I can’t wait to get the other two Alma Classics (Evergreens) I ordered. You’ll be the first to see them. :D

“We are torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.” - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

I finished reading this book in the dead of night and it left me sleepless and heartbroken. Never have I read a book even closely similar to this one. Never has a book touched the chords of my anxious heart this way.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is a book about the perils of despair, unfulfilled hopes, and broken dreams. McCullers weaves a dense feeling of loneliness and isolation with her words and unforgettable characters.

The story is set in a small Southern town, inhabited by six central characters. A black doctor, fighting for the upliftment of his race, a young teenage girl who wants to create music, a drunkard who wants to stand against the system, and the town’s cafe owner. Linking them all together is a deaf mute, living in an ever-welcoming room.

All the characters are drawn to the mute, just as lonely people are towards anyone they feel will listen to them. In his quietness they hear what they want to. But only the reader knows that the mute is equally lonely and lost. All that his heart desires is to be reunited with his only companion, his fellow mute friend.

The dialogues in this book might be few, but the words left unspoken, the lost hopes and silences plenty.

The greatest thing that I’m taking away from this masterpiece is that sometimes all you need in life is someone to talk to and for them to listen. Love and communication is the only antidote to loneliness; perhaps this is the reality of the world.

It’ll take more than one reading to fully absorb the richness of this timeless classic. McCullers wasn’t just a gifted writer but a brilliant observer of the essential loneliness of the human condition.

(Taken from the Instragram account of one of my friends. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is one of my favorite books, and I loved how she described it.)

When you have to take a theory test and you haven’t been in a theory class in 2 years

Originally posted by supernaturalfightclub

Dazed and Confused (1993) directed by Richard Linklater

4

{{july 4th, 2017}} // 1/100 days of productivity

I decided to start the 100 days of productivity challenge today on 4th of July (happy birthday America!) and I decided to just organize and clean my room. I organized my desk (please tell me if you recognize from which book series half of my pictures/quotes are from!!) and I watered my succulents as well! I’m also studying for the PSAT so I have some review books + some classics to read.

So… About Pixar’s Coco…

I did not expect that… Goddamn it I love this movie, and it’s a massive tearjerker…

First off, I’m proudly Mexican… When I heard rumors about this film I was scared that they would miss represent us, but it’s surprisingly close to what I know..


Just so you know, not everywhere in Mexico is like that, we also have massive metropolitan cosmopolitan cities with heavy traffic and crammed subways that look like a hellish lovechild of New York and Los Angeles (I happen to live in the biggest) … But pueblitos like that do exist. We call them “pueblo magico” and they are beautiful.

And there are several things that just are so… Oddly realistic.

Grandma Elena looks a lot like my Great-grand Aunt Cheyita (may she rest in peace) I swear they are identical… And bald uncle looks a lot like my bald uncle.

And Ernesto de la Cruz looks like Pedro Infante….a lot… Or Jorge Negrete… One of the two.


I also love how old timely is everything in the Land of the Dead… The (train? Transit?) station looks like a building from el Porfiriato, as does the clothing of all Miguel’s relatives, and Ernesto’s manor, and Frida’s studio (She’s also in the movie).


Even the cultural icons/famous people (like El Santo, Maria Felix, Cantinflas and I swore I saw El Indio Fernandez) are very old timely.. Like all from the fifties and forties… With the exception of Skrillex (yes I swear), a generic punk-rock band and a generic Arrolladora Limon type band.


And THE FEELS MAN… I won’t talk about them because they would be massive spoilers and, No, please watch the movie… But let me tell you is a certified tearjerker through and through.

Also El Chicharron, remember that guy because that guy rocks.

Flashback Friday Movie Review

1989 BATMAN

I can remember back in 1989 when Batman hit theaters; my friend and I went to our local theater on the afternoon of June 23rd. We were crammed in the lobby of an old school non-stadium-seating movie theater. In those days, there were no going to the internet to watch movie trailers or read rumors and spoilers at home … which only added to the anticipation of seeing the film. If you were lucky, you saw a couple of quick clips on Entertainment Tonight (see video below).

The movie itself certainly did not disappoint. Nothing will capture the moment that many experienced when seeing Batman on the silver screen for the very first time (unless you’re old enough to have seen the 1966 film). Tim Burton was the perfect filmmaker to bring this story to life. Both he and Michael Uslan’s vision were brought to the silver screen in spectacular fashion. I do however remember many (including myself) scratching their heads when it was announced that Michael Keaton, aka Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice, was going to portray Bruce Wayne/Batman. Boy, were we all wrong. Keaton nailed it as both Wayne and the Bat.

And Jack Nicholson was truly incredible as the Joker and in many respects, stole the show as the Clown Prince of Gotham. His look, laugh and actions set the tone for this dark and gritty film. So many quotable lines and so many wonderful moments. “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”

Burton helped create a Gotham that had previously never made its way out of the comic books. I remember a woman in front of me in ‘89 giving the Batmobile a standing ovation as Batman and Vicky Vale escaped Flugelheim Museum; this was the audience’s 1st look at the legendary vehicle.

There are way too many things I love about this film to list them all, but here are a few I haven’t mentioned that come to mind.

🔴  Movie Soundtracks - Both Danny Elfman’s Batman (Original Motion Picture Score) and Prince’s Batman music were incredible and accented the movie itself quite nicely.

🔴  Jack Nicholson revealed as the Joker for the very 1st time. (see scene below)

🔴  The costumes were amazing!  From the Joker and Batman, to even Joker’s thugs (see ‘Bob the Goon’ below wearing those cool leather jackets)!

🔴  You can thank this movie for igniting a newfound excitement for Batman, which in turn, lead to more awesomeness, such as Batman: The Animated Series and much, much more.

🔴  How about that remarkable merchandising experience?!  Shirts, toys, hats, collectibles, books, etc. … each sold separately! (see commercial below) 

🔴  The final confrontation was awesome; from the Batwing, to Batman taking on the Joker and his thugs.

🔴  Oh … and that epic shot of Batman at the end with Danny Elfman’s track ‘Finale’ underneath, sent chills down my spine.

1989 BATMAN 

FINAL GRADE  A-

Get awesome 1989 Batman movie collectibles here 🎬

Superman (1978)

This film was both a masterpiece and a trainwreck. There were elements to it that were incredibly brilliant, while others were completely moronic. The movie was filled with plot holes and logical inconsistencies. Many things were not well explained and made little sense. Lex Luthor’s logic that Kryptonite would be a weakness for Superman was such an enormous, baseless leap that it could have come from a Dan Brown novel. The worst part was the climactic scene where Lois Lane dies in the earthquakes caused by Luthor’s missile strike. Superman is so distraught that he flies into space and circles the Earth so fast that it reverses direction and, somehow, reverses time itself. As if the inevitable forward march of time is determined only by the rotation of one insignificant planet in what is already established to be a vast and well-populated universe. That alone makes absolutely no sense, but what was worse was that he only reversed time just enough to save Lois, but not enough to stop the attack in the first place, proving Superman only cares about Lois and not at all about the countless other people who must have died.

Lois herself was another major flaw in this film, though she was played well by Margot Kidder, the characterization of her was terrible. Ordinarily, it would bother me that the main female character serves as nothing more than a damsel in distress, but I recognize that it is important to the Superman mythos that he must routinely rescue Lois. What was wrong about it, though, was the way in which she manages to get herself in trouble. My favorite version of Superman and Lois Lane come from the 1996 Superman the Animated Series. In that series, Lois does regularly need to be rescued, but only because she is a great reporter who, like all good reporters, takes huge risks in order to get at an important story. She is bold, daring, and fearless, and that gets her in trouble, which is when Superman comes in for the rescue. Needing to be saved isn’t her weakness, it’s her strength. This is not the case in the 1978 movie. In the film, Lois is a tragic case of unfulfilled potential. Early on, when she is first introduced to the new reporter, Clark Kent, the two are walking down the street and they get mugged. Instead of handing over her purse, Lois attacks the mugger, causing him to shoot his gun and run off. Clark was able to catch the bullet, but not the bad guy. Provoking the mugger was stupid and reckless, but it was bold, and during the entire situation, Lois stayed calm, collected, and strong. Those traits do not survive the movie. Afterwards, whenever she gets into trouble, it’s either by coincidence or her own stupidity, but not because of any bold or strong action she’s taken, and instead of fighting to help herself, she just sits and screams until Superman saves her. She also turns into a vapid, lovesick child whenever she’s in Superman’s presence, totally losing any semblance of strength of character she had left. When Superman takes her flying through the city, her bizarre, out-of-place internal monologue sounds like the musings from a 13-year-old girl’s diary, not a grown woman.

Jimmy Olsen was another case of wasted potential. In the comics and the show, Jimmy is young, naïve, and inexperienced, but he is also intrepid and clever, and important to Superman as a character because Jimmy keeps him grounded in humanity. In the movie, though, Jimmy has maybe two minutes of screen time, if that, and he serves no purpose in the story. Superman occasionally comments on how much he likes Jimmy, but nothing on-screen holds that up. Jimmy is so insignificant in this film that he may as well not been in it at all.

With all that said, there was a lot this film did very well. The first thing that strikes you about this movie was the score. Of course, you can’t watch a film scored by John Williams without mentioning the music. John Williams knocks it out of the park every single time, and Superman was no exception. The main theme pulls you in right from the start. It’s powerful, heroic, and dramatic. It has the perfect feel of hope and righteousness that every good Superman story needs. Throughout the entire film, the music enhanced the good scenes and redeemed the bad ones. John Williams can take a mediocre movie and make it great just from the power of music.

Also worth noting was the performance of Christopher Reeve. He played Superman the way he was always meant to be played. Many people have commented on how Clark Kent maintains a secret identity with nothing more than a pair of glasses, but it has been established in the comics that he does so much more than that. He changes the way he speaks, the way he holds his body, the way he walks. Clark uses his physical presentation to change the way he appears to other people, even without a mask, and Christopher Reeve does this perfectly. When he is Clark, he stutters and stammers, he slouches and slumps. He is clumsy, awkward, and unassuming. Despite being tall and muscled, he almost disappears into the background. He is nonthreatening, unimposing, and unmemorable. As Superman, he stands tall, he talks clearly, and he dominates any space he’s in. He holds himself with righteous confidence without being arrogant, and he really does become the paragon of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Without knowing ahead of time, you’d never know they were the same person. 

This film also had a number of other details that really made it great. The art direction and special effects were astounding, especially for the pre-digital era. Superman’s flight scenes were both innovative and effective. The film made great use of miniatures and matte paintings, which should be used more often today. My favorite detail was that every scene Lex Luthor appeared in, he was wearing a different wig. The early scenes on Krypton with Marlon Brando as Jor-El were like a great short sci-fi movie on its own, with great effects and a compelling story. Superman had many issues that kept it from being perfect, and it was goofy and ridiculous at times, but at other times it was masterful. It was the first big-budget feature superhero film, and it created an entire genre that we are still enjoying today, so it deserves a great deal of credit for that. It did something totally new, and despite its flaws, it did it well.

Robbie D.
The Directionless Director