Sunday, May 20, 2018

Guillermo Del Toro and his Creatures

I just wanted to do a quick article featuring Del Toro’s Creatures. His Imagination is astounding. As a lover of horror and gothic art I am drawn to his dark tales. He would be someone I’d love to have a conversation with.

The creature with the eyeballs in his hand gave me nightmares; and if you’ve ever seen the movie then you will know how creept he was. The actors body movements were just unsettling.

Here is the trailer:

The Shape of Water:

Here is the trailer:

I really can not wait to see the later so that I can compare it to the book. Also, I would love to see the costume for the creature upclose. It reminds me of the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

The Book Babe Reviews: The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus

So if any of you paid attention to the past Oscar season you’d know Director Guillermo Del Toro went on to win best picture for the movie based on this book. This is the fourth book by Del Toro I’ve had the priviledge to read. I was introduced to him by way of Pan’s Labrynith; his 2006 creature feature. That movie is seriously good and seriously creepy. Little did I know that a few years later I would discover The Strain Trilogy (which later became a short lived t.v. show). The Strain is all nasty vampires and their plot for world domination - that series is nothing to play with. And I can’t recommend it enough to those that love Sci-fi.

Going into The Shape of Water I had some basic knowledge on what it was based on. Mute woman meets Merman. What I didn’t know was that the this book was about people that live on the margins. People that are rejected by society as a whole. The book is set in 1960’s Baltimore (I loved knowing some of the streets and landmarks mentioned) and if you know anything about the climate in America at that time than you know certain people in our society weren’t treated very well. Think about African Americans and civil rights? And how the disabled would have been treated at that time? And what about Gay people? Well Del Toro gives us a small glimpse into what things may have been like for these folks. All while using a Merman/monster to demonstrate the need to misuse one of God’s greatests creations. And the abuse the creature is subjected to shows us just how quickly empathy can be a non-factor when the torturer is used to abusing people on the fringes; all because they don’t fit a certain mold. And in this on is: White and male. Eliza, is a mute woman. The cause of her muteness is never fully discovered; and however much I would love to know the details of that, it really was a non-factor. Eliza experiences abuses in small ways. Because she can not speak people believe that she is useless, unworthy of respect etc. Its easy for some to count her as dumb. Eliza also knows how easily it is to be victimized. Del Toro alludes us to believe that she may have been date raped. All these little indiginites leave her looking for happiness, she finds it in the little things. Specifically her dazzling shoe collection.

Then there is Giles, an elderly gentlemen. An artist. He seems to be eccentric and distracted. When we meet him he is working on an ad for his former employer. His work is rejected time and time again. We find that Giles is lonely, and if not for Eliza, he may not have had the strength to keep living. Giles is a closest gay man. And during this time in American History being gay is considered indecent; and in some states it is a crime. One of which Giles is arrested for and leads to his arrest and the lost of his job.

And then there is Zelda, she is African American. She works hard and keeps her nose down. She sympatizes with Eliza because she knows what its like to be dejected because of her minority status.

Last but not least we have the monster; a gentle creature, worthy of love and empathy. However, an American comes along and steals him from the Amazon in order to bring him to the states and experiment on him. Eliza and Zelda by happy accident get read in on what is going on with the creature. From the first glimpse of him Eliza is intrigued. She needs to know more - so she begins visiting him. She befriends him, falls in love with him and then later does all she can to ensure his freedom.

I think its important to say these next two words: Fish Sex!
You read that right. Eliza and the merman get down with the get down (🤷🏾‍♀️- sorry not sorry); thanks goodness that the scene was not made weird with really graphic detail but it was still really odd.

The book as a whole is amazingly vivid and well written. The prose is beautiful and haunting and you find the creature, and the story believable. The ending reminded me a lot of the way Pan’s Labyrinth ended. I thought that all was lost; however, Del Toro shocked me in the end with a very surprising twist. The Shape of Water was a great book about love, empathy and the human condition. If the book is any indictator on how special the movie might be I must say I can not wait to see it. Perhaps I’ll rent it this week and come back and tell you guys all about its cinematic beauty.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Let's talk Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery game!

Warner Bros. and Pottermore has been teasing us for months about a Harry Potter moblie game....well on Wednesday it arrived. I quickly downloaded it and created my Character; Nicole Higglebottom.

What I immediately loved about the game was that you are able to customize your characters race, hair color, and facial features. Also, when being sorted you are allowed to have your choice considered. Like myself, Miss. Higglebottom is a Slythern.

Another thing I loved was Snape...Snape showed up in all of his Snapeyness (not a word). Professor McGonagle, Hagrid and Dumbledore also make brief appearances. And I am sure we will see more of them as time goes on.

The two things I don’t like about the game; the graphics seem a little werid. They could be better. And the fact that you run out of lives so quickly. But the game is fun...and if you are a Potterhead I would definitely consider downloading the game and checking it out. I hope that the developers will eventually create more Harry Potter games...someting similar to Pokémon Go.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter

I hope your day was blessed and carefree! And filled with lots of Chocolate!

Harry Potter Book Swap

Back in January a member of Litsy posted a Book Swap in honor of George/Fred Weasley’s birthday (April 1st). As most people know I am a huge Potter fan so of course I jumped at rhe chance to send off a box. My match was a Ravenclaw; and I can not tell you how difficult it is to find Ravenclaw stuff. (And I’m a Slytherin - apparently she ran into the same problem.) So I did what I do best....I knitted a gift ♥️. Using Shawl in a ball by Lion Brand. I am deeply proud of the shawl I knitted. So much so I am planning another Harry Potter inspired project over the summer.

^ This is what I sent her!

^ this is the swag she sent my way ♥️♥️♥️

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

My Thoughts on “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People” by Reni Eddo - Lodge

It’s hard sometimes to talk about race. I am a 33 year old African American woman, who while privileged in some ways, also knows the limitations put on me because of my race. My race was no choice of my own but my race and my gender combined can be used against me in a way that sometimes no one other than an African American woman might be able to understand. So when I heard about Reni Eddo - Lodge’s “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race” I felt like at this moment in time I needed to read this book. I needed to read the experiences of another woman of color; and one who lives across the pond. Lodge uses this book to address everything from the history of migration and the slave trade to feminism and class. She even discusses entertainment; highlighting the casting of Norma Dumezweni as Hermonie in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
I came to this book expecting to learn that racism wasn’t as bad across the pond as it often seems in the States. However, I walked away believing that it may actually be worse. If you think people are tone deaf here at home you need to read this book. Some of what I read really shocked me. Of course, I understand that these are Lodge’s opinions, her perceptions. But in there is a nugget of the truth and that makes it all the worse. As I read the book I thought about how as a twenty something I internalized my race and I a kindred spirit in Lodge. I felt like I understood why she wanted to just stop talking about race; the logic for me made sense because some of my experiences had been the same. Particularly when it came to feminism.
Lodge addresses the topic of feminism in a very eyes wide open sort of way. She talks about how she feels feminism ignores and sidelines women of color. She talks about how even white feminist can fail to check their privilege and how that can lead to their refusal to understand problems that directly effect women of color. Or how this privilege leads to something even more troublesome; the white feminist belief that all women are on the same level. The latter is one that I feel like I have to explain over and over again in some of my conversations. Unlike Lodge, I do (and she actually still does) talk about race with white people; however, I have stopped talking about feminism with white women. After the 2016 election and the women’s march I decided to only speak about feminist topics in safe spaces. Lodge reminded me in her book that this attitude is not useful. And that my voice is needed the most because silence is desired and expected. Lodges book is a road map to understanding and an example on how and how not to have conversations on controversial topics.

I would recommend “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race” to anyone that feels ready to give up on the conversations that matter. As well as to anyone that needs some fresh perspective. I gave it 5/5 stars on goodreads.

Here are some of the quotes that resonated with me:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Look What Finally Showed Up?

Tomi Adeyemi‘s best selling book finally made it to my front door. I ordered it over two weeks ago, but I am guessing that it just to longer than normal for Book Depostiory to process the order for the book. It is a hot little tome right now! I am super excited to dive into it next weekend ♥️.

Here is some info about the book:
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for an enemy.

You can find out more about the author at :