Friday, January 15, 2010

Review: Bookmarks

I thought I would do something a little different than usual. This item is pretty much essential to all readers of books but is never really talked about. I don't go into a lot of detail but try to enlighten you guys and put a little bit of humour into it as well.

bookmark is a thin marker, used to keep one's place in a book when the book is put down, and allows the reader to return to it with ease.

As I was growing up, a bookmark was something set in stone for me. It was a piece of paper or card and it was laminated. Now it is a different story. I was inspired to write this article after receiving what is probably the best bookmark in the world.

I want to breakdown the different types of common bookmarks people use these days.

I was going to say this is perhaps one of the oldest forms of bookmarks, but the more I thought about it the more I think I am wrong. It is perhaps one of the most recent forms of bookmarks, and the worst. Why is it the most recent? Well because paper and books were scarce a few hundred years ago and it would have been sacrilege to have bent pages in the book (I still feel this way about dog ears).

Pros: You don't need a real book mark.
Cons: I regard you as a lower life form than an amoeba.

Probably the oldest form of bookmark. A bound bookmark is usually a piece of thin fabric that is attached to the book itself. Prevalent in older books or books that are leather bound. Now it is usually found in bibles.

Pros: Right there when you need it.
Non-transferable.....unless you really want to

First used by the filthy rich and now by the most common of people. Quite a prevalent form of bookmark these days. Used because it is handy.

Pros: Usually readily available. You can also use the $1, $5, $20, $50 or $100 bill.
Cons: Don't use them for library books or borrowed books. You might find yourself poorer.

Laminated bookmarks are probably the most prevalent kind of bookmarks these days. They can be bought straight up from a store or they can be made. An excellent activity to do with your kids.

Pros: Looks good, can be personalised, lasts a long time.
Cons: Feeling guilty when you lose one that someone made for you, but then feel utterly relieved when you find it a day later on the street!

Probably the best bookmark in the world. Seriously. Just look at it! I received this from a friend for Christmas 09' and I must say, it has been my favourite. It is a little bit smaller than a small sized paperback and only a few millimeters thick.

Look at me rambling.

The fabric bookmark is becoming more popular these days. They come in different sizes and usually are in the shape of a normal bookmark. Felt is a common fabric to use and can be also layered with other different coloured felt to give it a cool effect.

Pros: Way more stylish than laminated ones. Also has all their pros.
Cons: Harder to make than laminated ones, can get dirty.

I hope that I've made you think a little more about bookmarks now. Yes I know there are other forms of bookmarks, but these are the ones that are worth writing about.

Just another reminder to look at my sexy sexy bookmark.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Review: The Briar King

Two millennia ago, the world was enslaved by Demons. Humans were enslaved until the Born Queen Virgenya Dare and her army swept across the land to free all of humankind...

In the present, Crotheny, the greatest nation of the world is under threat by countries in the north. Hansa and Saltmark are stirring trouble and war is just around the corner. In the south, tales of unearthly creatures roam the King's Forest. People have died and fled their homes. The King's Holter, Aspar White is to find the source of the trouble. Is it because the Briar King...the harbinger of death has awoken?

The Dares are conflicted on both sides of the borders but also from within. King William the Second is a good man but by no means a good King. He has a wife who knows about his many mistress'. A daughter who isn't happy with her marriage, another who is about to get married and the youngest who is rebellious. William also has a son, Charles, but he is simple, 'touched by the Saints' and because so, William decides to name his daughters heirs to the throne. The Church does not not like this at all, not one bit.

The Briar King by Greg Keyes is nothing short of an amazing read. It is the first of four in the series called 'The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone'. There was so much familiarity when I was reading this book. Almost all the characters felt like someone from Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy). Keyes has a wonderful way of writing characters who keep growing and developing. The chapters were separated by the different characters and the locations they were in, which reminded me of A Game of Thrones. It is similar on another level in that each chapter teases you with a little bit of information and then switches locations. Some have said that this got annoying in A Game of Thrones, but because the world in which Keyes writes is smaller, we don't have a lot of different story arcs at one time.
While The Briar King is similar to those great books, when you have included the plot, this book is distinctly Keyes. Each chapter is a page turner and each one eggs you along like a kitten chasing after a rolling ball.
The plot is very deceptive. It starts off like a very typical fantasy storyline and as you read and the chapters begin to crumble, the story becomes more intricate and like a vortex sucks you in.

The first book of the year has been an absolute joy. I have finished The Charnel Prince, the second of the series and was equally captivating. I look forward to the rest of the series.

"The Briar King has a deep plot and full of characters that keep giving." - Sleeping With Books