Archive for book

Book of the Week: Look for Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2017 by ranranami

I’m sure I’ve gone on tirades before about what makes a real vampire (or a good one), and the fact that they are not in fact romantic heroes. Dracula, especially, was nothing if not a predator and monster. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to tell you guys about a wonderfully dark little book I first discovered in middle school, and fell in love with. There’s a romantic gloss to the cover, and a sweet title, belying the dark story behind it.

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If you wanted Sarah to pick Jareth in Labyrinth, perhaps this book isn’t for you. Bowie was gorgeous with his typical glam rock beauty, but he was a man pursuing a little girl who wanted to prove to the world she was a woman. There’s a similar vein in this book about a young girl named Cynda vacationing with her family and trying to find her own way, isolated from the father and stepmother she doesn’t know, as well as the little brother she doesn’t really like. Then, Vincent shows up, and suddenly everything is different. It gets darker, and pretty soon the game Cynda thinks she’s playing spirals out of control. It’s a young adult novel, and certainly appropriate for the audience, but the heart of the story is a disturbing one, and that’s what makes this book so fantastic.

Book of the Week – Body Snatchers: Doctors, Graverobbers and the Law

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by ranranami

Back as a sophomore in college, I’d been given an assignment in an English class. Write a research paper on ANY topic you want. A 20-page research paper. I was beyond excited to explore the world of cannibalism or body-snatching. I ended up not being able to find enough sources for the body-snatching topic, so I ended up with cannibalism…which in hindsight wasn’t such a great idea, because as it turned out…he’d said 2 pages…not 20. So when I turned in my assignment, I think he was a little more than disturbed. This book was one of the sources I explored when I’d thought of grave robbing, and it was so good…I didn’t just stop with a few passages. I read cover to cover in 2 days.

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Book(s) of the Week: Parasyte series

Posted in Books, Comics, Movies and shows with tags , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2015 by ranranami

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This is not just one book. It is a stunning 10-volume manga series with incredibly surreal monsters and a beautiful exploration of a protagonist ultimately discovering exactly what makes him human. A lot of manga unfortunately falls short of Parasyte in many ways. I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of other incredible series out there, but…Parasyte is unique. Because it doesn’t stop at general tropes, or over-done plots.

Parasyte is horror in a pure form. It combines psychological and physical fears seamlessly. It’s about strange creatures, much like bodysnatchers, descending on the planet and trying to destroy humanity…but more than just traditional bodysnatching, they actually consume whole parts of people. What’s more, they can manipulate their bodies in truly horrific ways to accomplish their goals. Shinichi, the main character, has one of these creatures trapped in his arm, and somehow…they manage to befriend each other. I advise you to get a hold of as many issues of this as you can when you begin your journey into the series, because when you finish the first…it will be very difficult to wait to read the next.

Book(s) Of the Week: Monster Road

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2015 by ranranami

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Back in the 90s, I was wild for books. I still am, but the point here is that I devoured every book fair that came to school. Especially when it came to book lights and horror stories. Monster Road was one of my favorites. Perhaps it was the cover that drew me to it, or the fact that I’d run out of Goosebumps books, but this one was pretty easy to miss tucked back at the bottom ‘L’ shelf.

Written by David Lubar, Monster Road tells the story of Kevin taking a road trip with his eccentric scientist Uncle. Eccentric and wildly naive, every single monster Kevin’s uncle meets on the trip strikes him as something absolutely mundane and non-supernatural in any way. What’s more, he seems to come up with a solution for most of their problems in the process.

My old copy I had of Monster Road sadly fell to pieces, but that’s the sign of a well-loved book. At least for a kid. Monster Road is a great little story to read with your kid, or to just let them read on their own, lying in the somewhat sketchy area of 2nd grade – 4th grade reading level.

Book(s) Of the Week: “Monster Madness”

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2014 by ranranami

Because, as I’m sure you’re all aware, I am a highly intellectual being…I decided the perfect book to feature this week just in time for the approaching Halloween season had to be ‘Monster Madness’, a grizzly grimoire of garish gags. Alliteration aside, it’s a collection of cute (and often very cheesy) monster jokes, riddles, and tongue twisters.

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As a theatre graduate, the tongue twisters were easily mastered, but I still can’t withhold the immense groans most of these gems produce, jokes such as ‘What steps do you take when you’re chased by a giant? Giant Steps.’ Not to mention, ‘What do ghouls wear on their feet in the rain? Ghoul-ashes!’…and that’s why I think this is the perfect little collection to feature this week for children and parents alike. If you can’t drive the trick-or-treaters away with the promise of treats…you might as well trick them into listening to these.

Book(s) Of the Week: “In The Haunted House”

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2014 by ranranami

Our recent podcast episode brought to mind a few children’s books I’d like to recommend. Not suggestions for the adult audience, of course, but perhaps for parents. I was recently at a teacher’s store with my mom helping her shop for supplies, and I spotted this little gem on the shelf. Needless to say I couldn’t help myself. I had to read it…

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Written in rhyme, as I find a lot of holiday books tend to be, each page has a cute illustration, most of them with flaps to open up. Not strictly a pop-up book, because there are no tabs to pull, but the illustrations rather reminded me of a less dark Edward Gorey.

I wish I could share some of the pictures inside, but it’s a very short book, and much nicer to see them on the page anyway. This is a perfect way to start October off this year for the little ones. I’d even say it’s easily a classic, based on the art alone.

A Short Video: Purgation

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2013 by ranranami
I did not produce this one, nor did I write it. In fact, I wasn’t even a member of this group in film directing, because mine was a crazier project I’ve already shared here, but…I did play a minor role in this one as the aunt. Though it does take a few viewings to catch the whole story, the director (Jason Litman) is incredibly talented. His videos were always some of the best in that class, so I thought it would be a good idea to share this one with my readers.
A young girl visits her aunt, and goes into the basement, then reads a book that causes strange things to happen. Is it a dream, or is it reality?