Thero’s Recommended Reading: American Gods

This probably won’t be last time I’ll recommend a Neil Gaiman novel. In fact, I actually had a hard time choosing one to recommend first. In the end, I decided American Gods  was a good place to start.

American Gods follows Shadow, a recently released convict struggling to deal with the death4407
of his wife and his recently earnt freedom. He crosses path with Mr. Wednesday, a mysterious individual, who offers Shadow a job helping in a war against the old gods and the new ones. As they journey across America, Shadow discovers what has happened to the gods that emigrated to America with their followers, as well as the gods that the modern world has created.

Now, I love novels that put ancient gods into the modern world and this book is one of the ones that does it well, along with Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips. One of the things that American Gods does well is use gods and goddess that less well known in popular culture, like Czernobog from Slavic mythology and Eostre, a Germanic goddess, as well as use gods from more popular mythologies, like Ancient Egyptian.

I should point out that Neil Gaiman tells very strange but detailed tales and if you don’t pay attention, you will miss the point of it. This can make American Gods a challenge to read and it isn’t a small book either but I found it rewarding once I finished it. SO if you want a book that looks at modern day America and how ancient gods cope with living and competing in it, then this is the book for you!

 

Book cover was found on goodreads.com.

 

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Let’s Take A Trip Down Memory Lane!

Like a lot of people, I watched a lot of Disney films during my childhood. And if I’m being

WD logo
I can tell this is going to be magical…

absolutely honest, I still do. A discussion with a work colleague about our favourite Disney films growing up, has led me to think about my collection of Disney DVDs and the fact that I haven’t watched many of them in a very long time. So I’ve decided to set myself a mini challenge which turned into a little project for this blog. I am going to watch all the films Walt Disney Animation Studios have released (more commonly known as the classics). That’s right, all 54 (that number will probably increase before the end of this project…) films watched in order and I will then discuss/review the film on this blog. I shall call this: The Disney Classics Challenge (please let me know if you can come up with a better name in the comments!).

Since I will do this weekly, this means I will be spoiling you, dear readers, with two posts a week from now on. I shall post the Disney Classics Challenge (which will now be referred to as DCC, because I am lazy) on Wednesdays. I will point out, since I will be discussing these films at length, there will be spoilers.So I hope to see you here on Wednesday, where I shall be discussing the one that started it all: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!

 

 

I found the Disney logo at closinglogos.com.

 

 

So I stumbled on this game…

Have you ever been on Steam and just stumbled on a game you never expected to be there? I did yesterday. The game is called Viridi and its basically about growing plants. I know what some of you are thinking, growing plants? But as some of the reviews on the page say, its actually quiet relaxing with some very chilled music. Now I am not usually that great at growing plants, they tend to die in my care, so its early days as to whether I can grow virtual plants…

The game is free-to-play, so if you want to try something a little different, its available on Steam.

The Elves Are Unstoppable!

In Magic the Gathering at least. I was looking over some of the older posts on this blog and realised I never put an update here on how the Hunting Pack deck has performed. Let’s just say, it has performed very well.

I’ve played against 6 different decks so far and the Hunting Pack has only lost to one (a blue/black deck, I seriously hate blue decks). I’ve come to the conclusion that some players underestimate this deck firstly because its main creatures are elves, which are not the strongest creatures in the game but can be quickly played. Which brings me onto my next point as why some of the players underestimated the deck, the deck plays differently to most green decks. Its far quicker with a lot of low cost creatures, this maybe thanks to the black part of the deck and the elves.

Overall, I really love this deck. Its different to what I usually play in MTG but it was easy to pick up its tactics. Going forward, there are a couple of cards I want to include, in particular I want to boost the number of elves in the deck. If you can find Hunting Pack I highly recommend you purchase it.

January Reading Round-Up.

This is just an update on my 2016 reading challenge. In January I read four books, not a lot I know, but the first book did slow me down. Speaking of the first book, Dangerous Women was an anthology of short stories based on the theme of women… who are dangerous. There are a good range of genres from historical to sci-fi. I found I enjoyed this one more than the other two anthologies edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois , Warriors and Rogues (bet you can’t guess what they are about…). If you are fan of A Song of Ice And Fire, then you may want to check out Dangerous Women for a novella set a couple of centuries before A Game of Thrones.

For my second book of the month, I decided to read a bit of classic literature- The Phantom of the Opera. This one took me by surprise because I didn’t think I would enjoy this as much as I did. It was a very easy read, with a very concise plot. If you enjoy Arthur Conan Doyle’s horror/ghost stories then this book maybe for you.

The last two books I finished reading are Pokemon themed, volume 2 and volume 3 of the original manga. The manga doesn’t really follow the video games or the anime but has its own, much faster, plot. But there was an Eevee, so these books win bonus points (yes, I am easily won over). With Pokemon celebrating 20 years since the first games were released, rest assured this will not be the last time Pokemon finds its way onto these blog posts.

So there you have it, my first steps on my reading challenge. I’ve kicked off February reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, a fantasy Robin Hood/Ocean’s Eleven kind of story. Stay tuned for another update next month!