Wednesday, October 17, 2012

T.V. REVIEW: The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XXIII

I look forward to The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode every year (read my list of Top 10 Treehouse of Horror Segments here), even though they have (mostly) been a disappointment for the past several years. I watched my Treehouse of Horror DVD before I watched this year's installment, which was a mistake because the new episode pales in comparison with the classic episodes.

In the opening sequence, the Mayans calculate the end of the world as being on December 21, 2012, but they plan on avoiding it by appeasing the gods with a human sacrifice: Homer.

But Marge saves Homer by tricking Moe into being sacrificed instead. Since they sacrifice the wrong guy, the world is doomed and, in the present day, Mayan Gods destroy the Earth.

I thought this was hilarious, topical and a great start to Treehouse of Horror XXIII (I especially liked the Mayan Crazy Cat Lady, throwing lizards instead of cats).

The Greatest Story Ever Holed

In this segment, Lisa has convinced Springfield to build a particle accelerator instead of a baseball stadium. But when two particles crash into each other, they create a black hole. Lisa warns everyone that throwing garbage into it could make it bigger, but they all ignore her warnings (Homer even starts a business called Magic Craphole Waste Removal).

I wasn't blown away by this segment, but it had its moments. The ending was especially funny.

UNnormal Activity

In this parody of Paranormal Activity, strange things have been going on in the Simpson household and Homer is determined to catch it all on camera.

This was by far the best segment in the episode. Anyone who has seen Paranormal Activity will appreciate this parody.

Bart & Homer's Excellent Adventure

Bart is outraged that a comic book that says 25 cents on the cover is now being sold for $200. Comic Book Man says "The only way to buy that comic for 25 cents is to go back to 1974." So Bart takes Professor Frink's time machine to 1974 to buy the comic and inadvertently meets Homer and Marge.
Bart prevents Homer from dating Marge, changing the future for the family.

This segment had so much potential, but instead, was a huge disappointment. It started as a funny parody of Back to the Future, but then the plot became nonsensical with a bunch of Homers throughout time coming to the future (or present?) to woo Marge. Definitely the worst segment of the bunch.

Overall, I wasn't impressed with this year's Treehouse of Horror offering. But it was worth watching just for the UNnormal Activity segment.

Rating: 3/5

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Read-a-Thon Wrap-Up

I was reading Seed by Ania Ahlborn but I could barely keep my eyes open so I switched to a graphic novel, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill. This was the first graphic novel I've read and I really enjoyed it.

I did it! I made it to the end of the Read-a-Thon! Well, sort of. I did fall asleep for about three hours at the beginning, but that's close enough for me. Now I'm going to get some sleep. Good night!

Total pages read: 722

End of Event Meme

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? The beginning of the Read-a-Thon because I felt sick. I didn't think I could do it because I felt so lousy. I probably wouldn't have if I hadn't fallen asleep on the couch for a few hours. It was tough when my boyfriend went to bed at 3:00 a.m. as well because I just wanted to go to sleep too.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I highly recommend Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski. It read like a movie - suspenseful and action-packed.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope. I thought everything was great!
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I loved the Mini Challenges. They were so much fun! A nice break from reading.
  5. How many books did you read? 4 and 1/4
  6. What were the names of the books you read? The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski, The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and part of Seed by Ania Ahlborn.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski
  8. Which did you enjoy least? Seed by Ania Ahlborn (Well I didn't finish it but it's only starting to pick up now and I'm 30% into it.)
  9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I'm definitely going to participate again! I'm already counting the days. I would be a reader again.

Read-a-Thon Update #3

I just finished reading The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker. Wow, Clive Barker has a crazy imagination. This book is so gruesome and original. I've never seen the first Hellraiser film (shocking, I know), so I can't say how the book compares.

I'm getting pretty tired at this point. My boyfriend went to bed half an hour ago and I really wanted to go to sleep too. I think I'll have a coffee when I'm done with this post.

Books read so far: 3

Total pages read: 490

Snacks consumed: I made a quick trip to the store to get a few more snacks. I got spinach dip and pumpernickel bread (I ate this during the last Read-a-Thon so I thought I would get it again) and Dr. Pepper.

Book Sentence Challenge

For this challenge, you're supposed to make a sentence from book titles. Here's what I came up with:

Beware Blood Crazy Dead Souls In Silent Graves

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Read-a-Thon Mini Challenge: Marking Books

For this mini challenge I'm supposed to tell you what I use as bookmarks and why. I always use paper bookmarks. I'm obsessed with buying them. I have a whole envelope filled with them and have kept pretty much every single one I've ever had. I still have a ton from my childhood.

My bookmark envelope.
 Here are my favourite bookmarks:

A bookmark I made for my mom in 1999.

My Goosebumps "Reading is a scream!" bookmark.

Read-a-Thon Update #2

I just finished reading Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski and it was awesome! I'm so glad I chose this book for the Read-a-Thon! It was so exciting that I couldn't tear my eyes from my Kindle screen. But it's very gruesome and deals with child abuse so I wouldn't recommend it for everyone - but if you like graphic horror definitely check this one out.

Total pages read: 326

Snacks consumed: I've been snacking on Halloween snack mix all day and had chicken fried rice for dinner. Oh, and I ate some Reese's Pieces from the bag because I didn't put enough in the snack mix.

Mid-Event Survey
1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
 I'm not tired at all, but that's probably because I slept in a bit.
2) What have you finished reading?
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury and Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski.
3) What is your favorite read so far?
It's hard to choose, I loved them both. I guess I enjoyed Die, You Bastard! Die! a bit more because it was more suspenseful and exciting.
4) What about your favorite snacks?
Well I haven't really eaten much besides the Halloween snack mix I made, but it's so good! I think I might run to the store and get something else because I don't think it will last me the rest of the night.
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I haven't been reading blogs that much because I'm trying to just focus on reading. But I did click on a few links and found Midnight Book Girl (the first book she read today was Halloween Night by R.L. Stine!) and Adventures in Borkdom. Oh, and I checked out my cheerleaders' blogs: Bibliophibian, Inside the Mind of a Mag-a-Holic, Jenn and The Cats and Louise Reviews.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update #1

After my first post about the Read-a-Thon, I started reading The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury and fell asleep on the couch after about three pages. But when I woke up at 11:30 my headache was gone and I didn't feel sick anymore, so now I'll definitely be able to last all night! I'm a bit behind in my reading though.

I just finished reading The Halloween Tree and I loved it. I can't believe I've never read it until now. It's a must-read if you're looking to get into the Halloween spirit.

Next I'm going to read Die, You Bastard! Die by Jan Kozlowski on my Kindle.

Total pages read: 145

Snacks consumed: Halloween snack mix (I was so excited to try it I ate that instead of a proper breakfast or lunch.)

Dewey's Read-a-Thon

Today I will be participating in Dewey's Read-a-Thon. If you don't already know, it's a fun event where you read for 24 hours and blog about it. Today I'm feeling a bit under the weather, so I don't know if I will last the full 24 hours.

I have my book stack ready. Today I have chosen to read:

1. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
2. Seed by Ania Ahlborn
3. Die, You Bastard! Die! by Jan Kozlowski
4. The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker
5. Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill
6. Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge
7. Valley of the Scarecrow by Gord Rollo
8. Baxter by Jessica Hamilton

I also have my snacks ready:

Halloween snack mix!

And beverages:

Timothy's Perfectly Pumpkin k-cups!

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Oakville, Ontario

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Snack mix!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

 I love Halloween so I chose some Halloween-themed books to read today.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I participated in the last read-a-thon and I think the only thing I'm going to do differently is blog less and concentrate more on reading.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

BOOK NEWS: Red Rain by R.L. Stine

Today R.L. Stine's new adult novel, Red Rain, was released. This is his fourth adult novel - the first three being Superstitious, Eye Candy and The Sitter. Here's what it's about:

Before there was J. K. Rowling, before there was Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins, there was R.L. Stine. Witty, creepy, and compulsively readable, his books defined horror for a generation of young readers— readers who have now come of age. In Red Rain, Stine uses his unerring knack for creating terror to tap into some very grownup fears. Travel writer Lea Sutter finds herself on a small island off the coast of South Carolina, the wrong place at the wrong time. A merciless, unanticipated hurricane cuts a path of destruction through the island and Lea barely escapes with her life.

In the storm’s aftermath, she discovers two orphaned boys—twins. Filled with a desire to do something to help, to make something good of all she witnessed, Lea impulsively decides to adopt them. The boys, Samuel and Daniel, seem amiable and immensely grateful; Lea’s family back on Long Island—husband Mark, a child psychologist, and their two children, Ira and Elena—aren’t quite so pleased. But even they can’t anticipate the twins’ true nature—or predict that, within a few weeks’ time, Mark will wind up implicated in two brutal murders, with the police narrowing in.

 For the millions of readers who grew up on Goosebumps, and for every fan of deviously inventive horror, this is a must-read from a beloved master of the genre.

Since I am obviously a huge R.L. Stine fan, I cannot wait to read this. Hopefully I will receive it for my birthday (which is coming up soon) because I will not be shelling out the $17.81 for the Kindle edition. Especially when I could get the hardcover for the same price.

There's a great R.L. Stine retrospective at in honor of Stine's 69th birthday (which he celebrated on October 8) and the 20th anniversary of Goosebumps.