Sounds of the Season

Each year, I look forward to adding new Christmas music to my collection.  Here are the seven songs I added this year.

1. Jim Brickman’s FaLaLa sung by Genevieve Bellamare was first on my list.

Followed by…

2. Michael Bublé’s Cold December Night

3. Mary J Blige, Barbra Streisand & Chris Botti’s When You Wish Upon a Star

4. Christina Perri’s Something About December

5. Matt Wertz’s Snow Globe

6. Mindy Gledhill’s Winter Moon

7. Tyrone Wells’ Christmas at Home

I hope you enjoyed these sounds of the season!

What are you listening to this December?

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Dystopian Mini-Vacation

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This time of year, many travel toward those they love in order to celebrate Thanksgiving together. For others staying at home, the long weekend following Thanksgiving becomes a mini-vacation before the holiday season begins. Either way, this is the perfect time to enjoy a vacation even if it is just into your imagination.

This weekend, I hope to find a little quiet time to read a good book.

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I am about halfway through Veronica Roth’s final installment of the Divergent series. I have enjoyed taking a journey into this dystopian society where people are placed into factions which reinforce noble character traits. However, the truth that our strengths are also our weaknesses is carried throughout this thought-provoking tale as narrow-minded ideologies create conflict which test individuals and their society as a whole. Although the third book has received mixed reviews, I love these characters enough to want to see it through to the end. What is the price for knowledge… love… personal choice?

One choice can transform you.

One choice can destroy you.

One choice can define you.

 The Alliance

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Alliance is another tale that takes you on a  journey through a dystopian society which asks the question, “Would you give up individual choice for a perfect society?” “What would you be willing to sacrifice for the freedom of choice?”

Author, Gerald N. Lund, created a world where survivors, 18 years after a nuclear holocaust, are relocated into what appears to be a perfect society.  In the Alliance, there is no crime, hatred, or prejudice.  The cost? The new government’s implantation program designed to control the general population.  Except for a select few, a microchip is inserted into citizens to control potentially negative emotions and curtail any possible anti-social behavior.  This microchip inflicts physical pain in order to recondition and modify specific emotions or thoughts. The protagonist Eric Lloyd, quickly discovers the corrupt power structure of this new government upon his arrival to the Alliance and sets out to rescue those he loves from implantation.

hunger games

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The worldwide best-selling trilogy, The Hunger Games, most likely does not need a book review at this point in time due to it’s popularity.  However, with another blockbuster movie from this franchise just released, it may be worth reading again.  Cinematic and literary works are unique to their genre and I find it pointless to judge one against another.  However, with that being said, the book provides insight into the struggle within the protagonist’s mind and additional details which richly add to the story. Reading the book prior to attending the movie offers added insight and will surely enhance the experience.

Dystopian literature often challenges the reader to think about their values, politics, and human nature.  The depth of mental conversation adds pure enjoyment when taking such a journey.

As Charlaine Harris said, “Here’s to books, the cheapest vacation you can buy!”

Popcorn & Four Fantasy Tales

Friday night marks movie night at our house–with popcorn and possibly pizza too. We gather together at home or in a cinema to enjoy good storytelling.

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No matter when or where you gather together to enjoy a good story, here are four fantasy tales to consider.

As a Doctor Who fan, I’ll definitely jump on board the Tardis this month for the 50th Anniversary episode, Day of the Doctor. I’m looking forward to seeing familiar faces, finding answers to some questions, and enjoying the beginning of the next adventure for the Doctor. Here is a prequel clip from, “Night of the Doctor” which leads into the celebrated anniversary episode:

I enjoyed reading Suzanne Collins’ dystopian trilogy Hunger Games and looked forward to the first film adaptation with Jennifer Lawrence cast as Katniss. Catching Fire ramps up the energy as winning tributes head back to battle for survival in the Quarter Quell all while the fire of rebellion burns bright.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will continue Peter Jackman’s vision of J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic adventure of Bilbo Baggins.

Finally, Disney’s Frozen should keep the family laughing while possibly chiming in with “let’s bring back summer!” A perfect family film to warm the heart while leaving winter’s chill outdoors.

Happy Friday!