Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twilight Series

My friend described this series "addicting," and it sure was. Please, don't read this series if you're looking for some literary analysis (although maybe if I think hard enough, I'd come up with something). The series is just fun. All the books on my reading list went down in priority so I can finish the Twilight Series. I read New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn one after the other in the past few days. The books get better per volume.

In New Moon, Jacob's character was fleshed out better. He is a more three-dimensional character than Edward was. He has more warmth to him (too much!) and has more life, as against Edward's being morose all the time. The novel seemed disjointed, though. The first half was happier, I suppose, because of Jacob. The second half, when Edward came back into the picture, seemed too far away, not just geographically, but also in tone.

Eclipse was better, since it played out the love triangle with humor. The novel allowed the characters to bounce off each other. It was the most natural of the novels. The big bad vampire that comes to destroy their happiness, though, was not too too interesting. But that was okay. The novel was fun, and you know that she's saving the Volturi, the big bad guys, for the final showdown.

Breaking Dawn had the potential to be the most exciting of all the novels. The first 1/3 of the novel, I thought, could have been shortened. I'm not interested in the details of the huge wedding, or their fabulous honeymoon in a remote island. It begins to pick up after that, especially when the novel starts being told from Jacob's point of view. It all built up to an ending that was satisfying enough, but promises so much more. There were new characters introduced. The plot continues to thicken.

There's a promise of so much more. To end the series here will shortchange all its followers. It will be a shame if Breaking Dawn was the last novel (Midnight Sun doesn't count, since it's just Twilight written from Edward's point of view).

I wouldn't say this is the best vampire series I had ever read. Others, and I'm thinking of the Anne Rice novels, had much more layers; more ideas to ponder; had more intricate plots and mesmerizing characters. Don't try to look too closely at these novels, or you'll find the cracks. And if you do, you'd just be denying yourself the fun and entertainment the novels can provide on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I have to make up for those years of skipping piano practice. I really regressed, but, since I've been playing a bit more often the past month (I must have been doing something when I'm not blogging!) I kept playing the pieces I used to play a long time ago. Some, I had trouble playing again (my fingers had lost its old dexterity and agility). Happily, I'm regaining a bit of it back!

And as I continue to play, I find myself going crazy over Debussy. I haven't been practicing my Mozart Sonatas, not even Bach inventions (they used to be my favorites). Now, I just want to play the Debussy tunes one at a time!

First, I did Golliwog's Cakewalk. I heard it a long time ago and couldn't make heads and tails of it when I tried to play it, so I gave up. I forced myself to learn it this time around, and now, I realize it's so much fun to play! It makes my heart dance with it.

Second, I finally played Reverie from start to finish. When my piano teacher let me play it in my teens (or was it twenties?), she said it was too hard for me, but we'll try it anyway. It blocked my mind, and I kept thinking I couldn't play it. After forcing myself to sit through it and analyze, I finally got it! Yay!

Now, I am working slowly through Clair de Lune. I can play the first part now, the second part, slowly...and third part, hands separately right now. It's ok, though. I'm becoming more patient and am quite confident that I should be able to work my way through it.

Debussy's music to me, is like romantic watercolor in music. Whether it is the playfulness of Golliwog's Cakewalk, or the quiet tones of Reverie. His music has been described as impressionist, and I can understand why (though cannot explain it). When I play Debussy, my heart paints melodies in color. Emotions run away with my fingers. I never appreciated music as much before. I am in love!

I'm amazed at how I can learn on my own now. Of course, I had piano lessons when I was younger, for years. It seems that I've matured enough to play or learn with more patience. I am also reading some books on piano playing and piano technique, to supplement the practice.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer

One whole month has gone by, and not a single blog posting! Time really flies!

I finally read Twilight. I can understand why it's so popular. Stephenie Meyer uses simple language, fewer descriptions and a lot more dialogue. The book is easy reading and can appeal to women of any age, mostly teenagers, I imagine. I like how she can evoke the atmosphere in Forks, the rain and the dreariness.

I find her characters a little bland, though (maybe caught in the dreariness of the atmosphere?). Bella is always supposed to be unpredictable...but she seems to be predictably bland (and of course, at times, in love) to me. Edward is always either being furious, or chuckling, or amused, or in anguish. He "chuckles" at the weirdest times, too. So, since Bella thinks she's bland, it is told from Bella's viewpoint, ergo, the characters seem a bit bland. So it all works together.

Three-fourths of the novel just sets mood, the rest races to a satisfying conclusion. It's good light reading. I'm looking forward to the sequels later.

My reading list is full. I'm getting confused what to read next.