Review of the Best Books Read in 2017

Well, I guess I’m making it a tradition. Last year in January I wrote up a post called “Review of the Best Books Read in 2016 (With Pictures),” so I decided to do the same thing this year…just without my own pictures this time, because most of my books are still packed (a terrible thing as the second Kingkiller Chronicle is resting underneath cardboard box and packaging tape in all its unread beauty and it’s agonizing).

Review of the Best Books Read in 2017 - Tea with Tumnus

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The Problem with Geekery (by a Geek)

I know this post is a bit unusual and controversial and I might get a lot of, er, interesting comments, based on what kind of followers and readers I have. But there’s a problem Geekery has that we geeks are aware of, but don’t want to even admit or think about. It’s the white elephant in the room, and this white elephant is taking up a lot of space in Geekdom.Problem with Geekery - Tea with Tumnus

The problem is immersion.

It might help if I define it based on the context here; Perhaps I do not think it means what you think it means.

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The Emotionally Agonizing Life of a Bookworm, Fangirl, and Writer

Okay, so I know the title of this post is sort of weird. But if you are an avid reader, serious writer, or big fan to any extent, you may find such a post appetizing. After all, us readers, writers, and geeks tend to enjoy harrowing stories that follow characters who are thrown into very tough hardships. But why would we call this emotionally harrowing? I’ve got some answers to that question below, as well as reasons for why it’s important and worth struggling with those deep emotions over stories that never happened.

The Emotionally Agonizing Life of a Bookworm, Fangirl, and Writer - Tea with Tumnus.jpg

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Book Review: Revenge of the Sith by Matthew Stover

For years, I have been a huge Star Wars fan. Our family started watching all six movies when I was twelve, and before the year was over, I had seen each movie at least three times. And I continue to count up. We started the movies with the original trilogy before starting with the Prequels, which is, unless you’re a chronology freak, the only way to watch Star Wars.

I’ve heard a lot of negatives about the Prequels. I was at a young enough age when I saw all six movies together, that I didn’t know that a lot of people hated it. I had just seen each of the Prequels as just another great Star Wars movie, like the little kid I was. And I still think they’re great movies, despite rants from the majority audience. (You can read my post on Potential in the Prequels here.)

Here’s my defense for the Prequels in a nutshell: Revenge of the Sith.

Just Revenge of the Sith.

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Darth Vader: Appreciating the Hero in the Villain

Gollum. Bane. Loki. Sherlock. Snape. These are only a few characters that are amazing because of their marvelous depth in the stories they helped create. But there is one character I always automatically think of when it comes to talking about the depth and character arc: Darth Vader. I’ve said it before: Darth Vader is AWESOME. He is my favorite villain of all time. He is the character that made the Star Wars movies; in other words, there would be no Star Wars if there was no Darth Vader. It’s as simple as that. This post is not only for people who 1) think it’s sick to love a character who killed little kids, or 2) hate the Prequels for various reasons. It is also for any Star Wars fan or writer who loves breaking down and analyzing the essence of Darth Vader’s character and the genius twist in the “Chosen One” stereotype.
Darth Vader Appreciating the Hero in the Villain                                                  Image Copyright Susannah Metzler ©2016 

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Potential in the Prequels: Appreciating the Hated Star Wars Episodes I-III

In the Star Wars fandom, there are not many who like Episodes I, II, and III as much as the older trilogy and even the new Force Awakens. I find that there are two main reasons for why this is so: 1) The expectations were high and 2) They were poorly done, from the writing to the acting to the overdone CGI. And honestly I don’t know anyone who thinks Jar Jar is funny. Fortunately, however, what makes a “good movie” doesn’t require only good acting, script, and effects. The characters, the plot points, the storytelling are also what makes a movie enjoyable. This goes for the Star Wars prequels; the story quality completely overrides the filming quality in these three films. For reasons I personally can’t understand, the Prequels did the fanbase a lot of damage and nearly gave Star Wars a bad name.

“But,” some of you may say,  “The Prequels ruined the feel for the original three. They’re so different from the movies we grew up with. We love Star Wars because of Darth Vader, Luke, the Millennium Falcon, the Rebel Alliance. We love Star Wars because of the evil Empire, the lightsabers, Han Solo and Chewie, the soundtrack. We love Star Wars because of Star Wars. And that’s true. But if you haven’t yet noticed, the title says “Appreciating The Hated Star Wars Episodes I-III.”

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Michael’s Movie Mentions: A Look at 2001: A Space Odyssey

If you’ve heard about the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, you may have wondered: “What is 2001 about?” Perhaps, even if you have seen the movie, you may (as did I) still wonder: “What is it all about?” There are many interpretations on specifics to the question. But in general, I will try to lay out to you information on this movie as such:

  1. What is 2001: A Space Odyssey?
  2. The Reviews on 2001
  3. A Look at 2001

First, what is 2001, and what’s so great about it? 2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 film, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, who wanted to make a film on ‘man’s relationship to the universe’; which is what it is. It is a film about the ‘evolution’ of man, going from ape to modern man, to ‘alien’. In all, it is about mankind’s process of evolving, in each stage, into a slightly more intelligent and sophisticated being, shown by their development of new technologies and capabilities. It is a look into the future, which doesn’t just end at 2001, but goes far beyond our time.Read More »

Movie Review – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

***WARNING*** SPOILERS!!! (SARCASM MAY OR NOT BE DETECTED.) READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I hope you aren’t sick of Star Wars Yet, because there’s more coming! (Is there any such thing as being “sick of Star Wars” anyway?) Unfortunately, this post has spoilers, but the high box office records tell me that I shouldn’t worry too much about that at this point.

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History Helps You Write: Religion and Government in Fantasy Fiction

Last semester I took a history class that covered all of history up to 1500 A. D. The textbook was hard to get through and I never really had much of an interest in history, ancient world history in particular. However, besides having an excellent professor and the best college learning experience yet, I learned something in this history class that I knew would take me far in my own writing, thus causing me to appreciate the subject more than I have before.

How?

History Helps You Write Religion and Government in Fantasy Fiction
Photo Credit: Michael Metzler Jr. 2015

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