January 30, 2012

Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis by Terry Lindvall

Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis by Terry Lindvall is a look at the writings of C.S. Lewis with a comedic twist. The author had a contagious sense of humor, and this book brings his comedic views back to life with renewed passion.

Book Description
Surprised by Laughter looks at the career and writings of C. S. Lewis and discovers a man whose life and beliefs were sustained by joy and humor.

All of his life, C. S. Lewis possessed a spirit of individuality. An atheist from childhood, he became a Christian as an adult and eventually knew international acclaim as a respected theologian. He was known worldwide for his works of fiction, especially the Chronicles of Narnia; and for his books on life and faith, including Mere Christianity, A Grief Observed, and Surprised by Joy. But perhaps the most visible difference in his life was his abiding sense of humor. It was through this humor that he often reached his readers and listeners, allowing him to effectively touch so many lives.

Terry Lindvall takes an in-depth look at Lewis’s joyful approach toward living, dividing his study of C. S. Lewis’s wit into the four origins of laughter in Uncle Screwtape’s eleventh letter to a junior devil in Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters: joy, fun, the joke proper, and flippancy. Lindvall writes, “One bright and compelling feature we can see, sparking in his sunlight and dancing in his moonlight, is laughter. Yet it is not too large to see at once because it inhabited all Lewis was and did.”

Surprised by Laughter reveals a Lewis who enjoyed the gift of laughter, and who willingly shared that gift with others in order to spread his faith.” – Surprised by Laughter

My Thoughts
Surprised by Laughter is a bit slow and rather dry starting out. However, it does improve (which is a good thing considering it is a very lengthy book). The author takes a look at C.S. Lewis’s work and discusses it in an intellectual way that is also quite humorous, which is perhaps just how Lewis would have wanted.

It is a long book, coming in at 454 pages (not including the index and notes section), and will take a while to read though. However, fans of Lewis should have no problem doing so at their own pace. If you are a new reader to Lewis, I would suggest saving this book to read after reading some of his more famous works. This isn’t a requirement, but would definitely help in the enjoyment of reading Surprised by Laughter.

I recommend this book for everyone who enjoys C.S. Lewis’s body of work. Do keep in mind that this is a more scholarly look at the author and his writings, and not necessarily a book to read while lounging by the pool (unless of course, this is your kind of leisurely reading).

* Thank you to the publisher of Surprised by Laughter, Thomas Nelson, for providing me with a copy of this book for review as part of their Book Sneeze program. All opinions expressed are my own.

January 25, 2012

Birds of a Feather Shop Together by Sandra Bark

Birds of a Feather Shop Together by Sandra Bark and illustrated by Bil Donovan is a twist of classic “Aesop’s Fables for the Fashionable Set.” Those who adore fashion and beautiful illustrations will find that this book will meet their needs for excellent reading material when not reading the latest issues of their favorite fashion magazines.

Book Description
No fashionista will be able to resist this witty collection of Aesop-inspired tales that rewrite morality for the stylish. Covering a range of beauty and fashion topics from head to toe— and including the original fables too—this charming volume gives important life lessons a couture twist.” – Birds of a Feather Shop Together

My Thoughts
Birds of a Feather Shop Together is a brilliantly written and illustrated book that contains seventeen truly witty tales about fashion. Among the stories, you’ll read about wannabe fashionistas that turn into fashion victims, daughters who learn about fashion from the example of their mother, women who fight over a purse at a sample sale, and a woman who just can’t live without their high high-heels that eventually realize that their beloved shoes could actually lead to their death, amongst many other well-crafted tales of fashion.

The stories aren’t very long, ranging from a page to two pages. However, they aren’t meant to be long, and the tales really are quite memorable – especially with the stunning watercolor and ink drawings that accompany them.

I loved each and every story included in this anthology. Each one had a moral that is related to fashion and everyday life for people. Sandra Bark really has an amazing way to tell the tales in a short and witty-sweet way that drives the point across without being too sarcastic. If you love fashion or have ever been an accidental victim to fashion, this is a book you’ll enjoy reading. It would also make an excellent gift for the fashionistas in your life.

* Thank you to the publisher of Birds of a Feather Shop Together, Harper Design, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

January 22, 2012

Polyvore - Fashion on the Streets

Fashion on the Streets

Here is a set that I made today on Polyvore. It features Lanvin, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Mulberry, and more! I really love this set and the colors included in it. If only I could afford this look... :)

If you love fashion, art, or interior decorating, I highly suggest joining Polyvore. It is a fun website and really helps distract you from doing more important things, such as pre-calculus homework (which I'm avoiding right now). If you do join, be sure to let me know and we can follow one another on there too.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! I have a ton of homework to do this week (and probably for the rest of the semester), but I will try to get in as many book and product reviews as possible. I have a few almost ready, so I'll be sure to post them later this week.

January 20, 2012

My First Top Set on Polyvore

Polyvore is a really fun site to use that allows you to use items and make creations with them in a little editor. You can make fashion layouts, interior sets, or even make beautiful art creations. I've tried each type, but I seem to do the best with fashion.

This is my first "Top Set" which basically means that it was viewed and liked enough to draw the attention of the main Polyvore account. Each day they add these top sets to a collection which showcases on the main page upder top sets. It isn't easy to get in there, especially for new users (like myself). So, I was really quite proud and happy to see mine show up there on January 19, 2012. Yay!

Alpine Blues

January 10, 2012

Alabama - 2011 National Champions!

Did you watch the BCS National Championship game that was on last night with LSU vs Alabama?

I did, and as an Alabama fan, I have to say that it was a great game. What can I say, I love watching them win! Sure, LSU fans and players were dejected and probably were in disbelief that their team couldn’t even score one point in the game, but that is how it went down.

Final score of the game was 21-0.

Roll Tide! It was the first shutout game in the national championship games, too. It is a pretty big deal.

Overall, I really enjoyed the game. I think LSU played well (at least to start with), but they were just outplayed. In the 2nd half they were just not mentally there and lacked any energy to go on. Each time Alabama did something good, you could see it all over their faces how defeated they were. They knew they weren’t going to win. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against LSU. I love Louisiana, especially New Orleans. In fact, if Alabama didn’t have the chance to play in the championship game, I would have rooted LSU on to win. Luckily I didn’t have to do that though, and instead, I got to see Alabama win.

Kicker Redeemed
If you watched the first time Alabama played LSU this season, you might remember that only field goals made up the points scored in the game. This time around, it seemed like that would be the case again, only this time Alabama’s kicker Shelley was better prepared and actually scored 5 field goals! I guess the state of Alabama can forgive you for being so lousy the first time. The other kicker (what’s his name?) is however, not forgiven. In my opinion, they should really replace him and kick him off the team.

Sports Commentary Quote of the Night
“Fear the Tide Honeybadger.”

In the 4th quarter, LSU’s Matthieu (that probably isn’t spelled right, but his nickname is “Honeybadger” for his ridiculous hairstyle) caught the ball and thought he could actually run it, only to be pushed back and slammed down by the Bama boys. Then the announcer said “Fear the Tide Honeybadger.” I was literally laughing. Usually the announcers seem to root for the team opposite of Alabama, so it was nice to finally see them say something in favor of Alabama while also cracking a rather funny comment.

Sports Bets or Predictions in my Future?
Trent Richardson made the only touchdown of the night, but I predicted that he would. Also right before an interception was made, I said that Alabama would get an interception, and then it happened. Maybe I should start making sports bets.

I predict that next season will be great, probably not as good… but close. I also am unsure if we’ll make it to another championship game next season, but whoever does – I can assure you that my prediction is another SEC team will win it (yet again).

Until next football season Rammer Jammers.

Roll Tide!