Laughing at My Nightmare – Review

Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

Published in 2014

Pages: 252

Genre: Nonfiction, humor

“The forest of pube-y leg hair sprouting from my brother’s calf bristles the tip of my nose as he stands over me on the floor of our rented minibus, yanking my shorts off.”

If ever there was a first line that encapsulates the voice of a writer in 33 words, this is it. Shane Burcaw, at the age of 21, released Laughing at My Nightmare in 2014, which is a glimpse into the life of someone living with a terminal disease (though isn’t life technically terminal anyway?). The memoir follows Shane from his diagnosis, through the difficult years of trying to be normal in elementary and middle school, and ends in the wake of the founding of his non-profit of the same name. Continue reading “Laughing at My Nightmare – Review”

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Music Monday: He Is Legend – Fairy Tales and Fantasy

Band Info:
He Is Legend is a southern rock band from Wilmington, North Carolina. Formed by original members Schuylar Croom (singer), Adam Tanbouz (guitarist), and Matt Williams (bassist), the band has had multiple lineup changes while maintaining a uniquely heavy yet dynamic sound. First coming to prominence in the post-hardcore scene after the release of their debut in 2004, I Am Hollywood, the band would release three more albums before their 2017 album few. This album was crowd-funded by fans in 2015 and released after much anticipation since the band is not signed to a label after having been treated badly by their former representation. Though considered a relatively underground band, He Is Legend has cultivated a strong fan following and is cited as an influence for many of their contemporaries.

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He Is Legend circa 2014

Continue reading “Music Monday: He Is Legend – Fairy Tales and Fantasy”

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) – Review

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Directed by Wes Anderson

Written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton

Length: 1 hour and 34 minutes

Genre: Adventure, comedy, drama

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Description from IMDB:
“A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out to find them.”

Continue reading “Moonrise Kingdom (2012) – Review”

The Shadow of the Wind – Review

La Sombra del Viento (The Shadow of the Wind) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Published in 2001; English translation in 2004

Lucia Graves Translation

Pages: 487

Genre: Mystery, Spanish literature

“I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time.”

The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, is a novel about love, mystery, and (most important of all) books. Following Daniel Sempere from his childhood until he is a young adult, the book is about his life in Barcelona after the Spanish Civil War while he searches for the truth about an enigmatic author named Julián Carax. Revelations abound as his life intertwines with that of the tragic author and danger is around every corner when malevolent forces try to bury their secrets. Continue reading “The Shadow of the Wind – Review”

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – Review

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Directed by Peter Jackson

Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson; based on the novel by J. R. R. Tolkien

Cast: Elijah Wood, Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd, Hugo Weaving, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Bean, Orlando Bloom, and Jon Rhys-Davies

Length: 2 hours and 58 minutes

Genre: Adventure, drama, fantasy

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Description from IMDB:
“A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.”

Continue reading “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) – Review”

Elric of Melniboné – Review

Elric of Melniboné by Michael Moorcock

Published in 1972

Pages: 181

Genre: Fantasy

“It is the colour of a bleached skull, his flesh; and the long hair which flows below his shoulders is milk-white.”

This first sentence describes the eponymous hero in Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock. The albino emperor takes center stage in this fantasy tale about love, betrayal, magic, and fate. What seems like a standard hero’s journey for most of its story turns into a promising start to a series, though possibly too late in the book for it to be effective. Continue reading “Elric of Melniboné – Review”