Sunday, December 16, 2007

White Night: Reading Section 6

Post A

overindulgence (295)- indulging excessively
entropy (323)- thermodynamic system, energy not available for work, a closed system.

An emerging theme that is appearing is the theme of persistence. Harry is constantly trying to find new finding the one responsible for the murders.

Post B

This is by far the most climactic part of the book. All the rising action leads up to this section; this is the part I love in books. Well I won’t get into it that much because I feel like there are other things to talk about. I wanted to talk about how I feel about fantasy books and how this book has made me change my mind about it. Before I didn’t like fantasy books because I didn’t like the idea of unicorns and fairies and flying pigs. I thought all the books in that genre were the same plot and always was resolved in the same way. This book is way different from what I thought a fantasy book was stereotypically like. Sure it has vampires and all, but clearly this has a different plot and not everything is a happy fairy tale ending. It had action, a little slow, but as the action began to rise the less and less boring the book became. Because of this book I’ll open my reading genre’s to fantasy now and maybe a new genre every once in a while, because you never will know how good fantasy or some other genre will be unless you’ve read one. Jim Butcher is one of many authors I’m sure that can do this to a reader; the ability to change one’s opinion on things because of his writing skills. I will continue to read books and be more open about new books that seem different to me because maybe I’ll like the book.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

White Night: Reading Section 5

Post A

"Elaine Lilian Mallory. And the image came to life. Elaine's face bowed forward, her hair falling around it, not quite hiding the expression of bone-deep weariness and despair." (253) Gives an amazing descriptive feeling to me as a reader, helping me by giving me a picture of what is happening.

An emerging theme from this section is pain. How it feels to lose some body, not entirely physical pain but more emotional pain.

Post B

Dear Mr. Harry Dresden

Although you are just a fictional character in this book, I love your human ways and also your incredible wizard-like powers. You are a very interesting character and well frankly I need to read more books with you in it. Your mysterious life and yet very dangerous excites me and I need to see more. Still there are some questions I’d like to ask you. What is it that drives you to help these people and solve mysteries and crimes like you do? Also, do you ever look for compensation after helping out people because it seems like you like to keep your name quiet? And, do you ever get scared doing this kind of work? These are just questions I’d like to know if you weren’t fictional. I’m looking forward to reading more of the Dresden Files series and also looking forward to the one that has yet to be published. Your human characteristics are very alike to mine, I like how I’ve made a connection to you it just propels me to want to read more about you. Any info that you’d like to tell me if you decided to write back would be great too. Also I’ve found to have many connections with Elaine. In one of my postings I talked about a significant quote she had said in the book that described real human emotion. It’s very cool to know that even fictional characters like you can have so many human characteristics; it never seizes to amaze me.



Monday, December 3, 2007

White Night: Reading Section 4

Post A

Incongruously (210)- inconsistent
Fluted (225)- harmonious, clear.

"She spoke, and her voice came out rogue and quavering. 'I told her I would protect her.'" (207) This is Elaine getting very emotional after she swore protection on Anna and she let her die. It gives Elaine a lot of character in this book, it's also an important event in this section.

Post B

I think that quote that I’ve shown above is extremely significant. It’s not only significant in the book but it’s significant in real life. It shows us that we are all human and sometimes things happen that are out of our control. Yet sometimes we tend to blame ourselves for the sequences of events that occur. It is a very human trait of people it is not a science fiction novel trait. Not only is Jim Butcher trying to make an understanding between the readers and the main characters, he’s trying to portray real humans to make his story connect with us. He has been very successful because this is not the first time he has done it so far in this book. He’s done it multiple times and I think when you gain a connection between the reader and the main characters, that’s when you know you have a good book that people will want to read. That is clearly why I think I’m beginning to like this book; I hope to see more connections like this later on to further my interest in Jim Butcher’s writing techniques. Again, I’m going to give you my feelings about this chapter and not just the significance of that quote. I think the climax is about to happen all the rising action is leading up to the climactic point. The background information is just about done and its all about what’s happening now. Clearly the story is getting more and more mysterious and I don’t really know what to expect. Hopefully the climax isn’t cheesy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

White Night: Reading Section 3

Post A

Subtle (131)- elusive, hard to find/discover
Pantomimed (144)- gestures without speaking, using facial expressions.

An emerging theme that came out in this section was Guilt. Examples would be with Harry and his brother, the suspected murderer, and their conflict with the investigations.

Post B

Well as I said last section I would be giving you a little bit of information on the author of this book, Jim Butcher. A skilled martial artist for 15 years, that writes books and his most famous series is the Dresden Files. (I’m currently reading the ninth book of this series) Also he is a skilled horseback rider and lives in Missouri today. He loves writing about science fiction and fantasy ideas. Well last post I said I wasn’t trying to be a critique but now I’m beginning to like this book. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t read enough to judge this book correctly, but anyways the book is getting interesting. It went from just a little action to a lot in just a few chapters, the storyline is strong and the plot is very unique. As Entertainment Weekly says “Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe.” All I can say is that this is a perfect description of the book as he is fighting mystical creatures such as vampires on his way to solving cases. Also the bibliography’s I read helped me understand his writing style. I learned his background and his style with jokes and science fiction intertwined in his book. Anyways if your expecting more critical and negative reviews by me on the book I doubt that will happen. It’s a good book and this section really changed my mind.

Friday, November 23, 2007

White Night: Reading Section 2

Post A

Translucent (87)- allowing light to pass through an object making things not clearly visible on the other side.

Confluence (111)-
a joining of people or ideas.

"I rose, acutely conscious of the fact that my power was still interdicted by the apartment's threshold, and that I didn't have enough magic to spell my way out of a paper bag." (95)
I think this quote has significance because it is leading to one of the main events of this chapter in which Harry and Elaine almost get caught in a fire during their investigation.

Post B

So far the book is a little slow. The action is just beginning to rise but the last 2 readings mostly background information was written. I like the idea of how he’s fighting vampires in a unique style. It brings a more modern version of all the other books about vampires. The detective’s unending hardships are shown so far. I’m waiting to read the action and climax yet it seems as though I might be disappointed and what I’ll end up reading. I should have probably read the other books in this series. If I had maybe I’d understand the book more. It could enlighten me and catch me up with what I’m reading. Although from many reviews I’ve read I’d so say far this book isn’t hyped up to all of its reviews. I know I’m repeating myself as in last section. But this clearly isn’t a book I would have picked up and read for the fun of it. I need more action, more horror, more drama; I don’t need all of this background information. It’s killing me to see an acclaimed writer is doing such a poor job to keep a reader like me attentive. Next post I won’t be doing a critique, I’ll try to find out a little bit of information to share with you guys about Jim Butcher. Who knows, maybe it will help me like this book.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

White Night: Reading Section 1

Post A

Conflagration (page 17)- A big, burst of flames, uncontrolled fire.
Nascent (page 43)- Emergence, coming into existence.

A theme I believe that is emerging from the book is the ability to trust people. A small example came up when Harry's apprentice comes in a crime scene unexpectedly and ruins some of the evidence. This is clearly something that will be seen later in the book.

Post B

So far the book is not what I expected. I was expecting more action and less talking. They've been on this case and it seems like the whole story is on the case and there will be little to none action. From all the reviews I've read it seems like it should be a good book but so far I'm not seeing that. Anyways I do like this writer's style. Jim Butcher likes to keep things modern and I like it. Maybe the reason I don't like this book so far is because I haven't read the other eight books in this series yet. That'll probably give me an understanding of his background and the reason there is no action. I don’t want to sound like a critic, but there is so much I’d like to see improvements on. Fantasy books are usually not my thing but I wanted to try and mix things up this quarter for our outside reading project. Books like this are the kinds that remind me of why I don’t read fantasy books anymore. Even though I’m being negative about this book I don’t doubt Jim Butcher’s writing skills, I just prefer reading a different genre. Well I’m stuck with this book for this quarter, hopefully it’ll get better and I can actually enjoy the climax when it gets there. I’m probably just being a little negative with this book and it’ll probably be a good book to read in the end.

Friday, November 16, 2007

White Night by Jim Butcher

White Night by Jim Butcher
Published 2007
416 Pages
The length of the book and it is in the adult reading section of the library.
I chose the book because I like fictional books that have a lot of action in it. When i was looking for a book this one really looked interesting.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sea Inside Film study

The Sea Inside used many unique angles and movement in the camera to make the movie more enjoyable. One thing in particular was the camera's constant tilt high angle shot that made it seem as though Sampredo was immobile. Also when his paralyzing accident occurred they had a pan that followed Sampredo's dive into the shallow water. One last shot that I saw that had a very unique feeling to it was when he dreamed of flying. A tracking/dolly gave us a personal view of what he was seeing through his eyes. It showed how wandering his mind really was.

Compare DBATB with The Sea Inside

I think both stories are very alike. Although both paralyzed, Jean Bauby had a little worse of a condition. Because he could not move anything but his left eyelid, while Sampredo could still talk and move his head. Their situations were the same but I think that Bauby still felt a reason to live, and Sampredo had lost one. I think Sampredo's story is more powerful than Bauby's. Sampredo made his whole country watch as he was in a very controversial situation. He wanted to die while many others wanted him to live. He made many people love him during the time. He wanted to die with what dignity he had left.

Personal Reaction to The Sea Inside

I think The Sea Inside was a very political movie. It brought up a very big political topic that's very controversial today. It shows that not just America has there political issues that are debated very heatedly. I think it was fair for Ramon Sampredo to get doctor-assisted suicide. He had a right to die especially in his condition. Although not terminally ill, he had wasted his life away on his bed for over 20 years and wanted to die with what dignity he had left. I think his friend that helped him in no way should be punished. Her actions we're motivated in a way to help a man in a terrible condition.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reading Section 6: Into Thin Air Part 2

Trusting Makes a Difference

Jon Krakauer, author of Into Thin Air, experienced a tragic event in his life. As he was climbing Everest he’s expedition encountered very many deaths including many of his own teammates. Krakauer had more of a reason to just tell the story of this tragic sequence of events. Krakauer wanted every reader to know that the story is about trust. Trust is so important in this book; it led to some of the deaths in this story. He show’s this by explaining these deaths and near-death experiences, his strong words that define trust for him, and the strong loyalty shown by his guides during the storm.

As Krakauer climbed the mountain he experienced death all around him. As his expedition was ascending he felt his first taste of death as two climbers die from climbing accidents. This makes Krakauer very aware of death, it could happen to anyone on the mountain. “In climbing, having confidence in your partners is no small concern. One climber’s actions can affect the welfare of the entire team. The consequences of a poorly tied knot, a stumble, a dislodged rock, or some other careless deed are as likely to be felt by the perpetrator’s colleagues as the perpetrator.” (38) Krakauer’s realistic thought fits in the story because bad communication and small mistakes by his team causes many of the terrible events that occur. Death eventually knocks on his door when he runs out of oxygen and believes he’s going to die. This happens because one of his teammates accidentally turned the valve the wrong way, he trusted his teammate but it didn’t help.

Another thing that Krakauer does to show how important trusting people is the use of his words. His words are heavy and they carry deep meaning. When he writes them down it really makes the reader think. Krakauer explains, “… Boukreev realized they must be in trouble and made a courageous attempt to bring oxygen to them. But his stratagem had a serious flaw:” (211) Krakauer uses loaded and strong words to make the reader feel the importance of this sentence along with sentences. They emphasize the importance of trust, in his opinion, that is needed to successfully climb the mountain.

Krakauer’s team was in a very perilous situation. Although most would die, the guides chose to try to save other’s lives even at the cost of their own. Hall, Harris, Boukreev, and a few others all found themselves in situations to save others or at least try when the storm came. In one example Krakauer describes Lopsang, “ Lopsang was huddling with Fischer on a snow-covered edge when Makalu Gau and his two Sherpas appeared out of the howling blizzard…. ‘I stay with Scott and Makalu one hour, maybe longer.’” (228) This quote shows that even in the face of trouble Lopsang chose to stay and help Scott Fischer even though it seemed like a doomed fate.

The tale of this book is not just to tell a story, it is much more than that. Krakauer wrote this book to teach the reader the importance of trust. In his extreme case, many people were killed due to lack of trust and also bad timing. Krakauer proves this with experiencing death and near-death experiences, his loaded words, and the extreme loyalty by his guides. Trust is a very important thing, Krakauer shows this in his story.

Reading Section 6: Into Thin Air

As the Japanese climbers are approaching the summit, they encounter 3 Indian climbers that were in critical condition. They choose to ignore them and continue to the summit. The surviving teammates in Krakauer's expedition are very tired and in very bad conditions for continuing the voyage down the mountain. They find Namba and Weathers, which they left behind during the storm. Weathers had his sleeping bad blown away and everyone thinks he's dead. But they end up finding him again alive. One of the Sherpas gets hit by a rock and almost dies, but then a second rock comes down and kills him. A helicopter brings two of the climbers in critical condition to safety while the other's are safe to climb down on their own. Krakauer talks about how he's trying to figure out what happened in that event when he went back home. He determines that simple mistakes lead up to the disaster. Krakauer feels guilt for what happened there. He could have possibly helped someone who was dying there he thought.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Reading Section 5: Into Thin Air


Jon Krakauer doesn't celebrate his ascent that much because he realizes he doesn't have much oxygen and needs to make haste. As he's walking down Harris turns his valve on his oxygen tank all wasting all his oxygen by accident. He independently descends the mountain and when he arrives at his tent he celebrates reaching the summit. Also a blizzard is arising. Many things occur that leads to the tragedies. As one of the guides leaves to get more oxygen and leaves the climbers alone to descend. The climbers get lost and the guides start trying to find and rescue them. But they leave two people behind thinking that they could not save them. Also Hall and Fischer are missing. Krakauer at first, believes that Andy Harris successfully got to camp, and tells many people. But then he can't find him and someone tells him what had become of Harris. Many people try to help and save each other, especially the guides. They stick with their team and try to help them descend. This eventually leads them all to a doomed fate because they become too tired and ill to descend. Hall's death is one of the more tragic ones, because they know where he is, but it is almost impossible to save him. He radios the camp and they tell Hall to that they can't rescue him and he'll have to descend on his own.

Personal Reaction

I think the reading here becomes very tragic. This is when all the terrible deaths begin and the true acts of courage also begin. Although not extremely credible the description of the deaths are very sad. His descriptions are not very credible because he was proven wrong twice with what he thought occurred during the day his almost all of his team died. The events that occur in this reading section are the climax of this book. All the suspense leads up to this part and the foreshadowing does too. Everything bad that could have happened happened. Though the deaths were tragic many people showed great acts of loyalty. As they stayed with each other through the end, and especially the guides tried to save every climber they could find. The story is all suspense up to this point till everything just explodes and people start dying. Although not unexpected, some of the details were shocking and the ways in which some died. Death can occur and it is very real. It can happen anytime, anywhere. Just because you can climb Everest it doesn’t make you invincible. Although this is the climax there is still much left in the book. I don’t know what’s to come or what it’s about, but now that he’s told us of these events there’s really little to tell in his story.

Reading Section 4: Into Thin Air Part 2


Krakauer and his team begins to have troubles climbing the Lohtse Face. He starts to think of his team more as equals now that he realizes that they are having problems too. He then begins to feel a little guilty for climbing Everest as a journalist. Krakauer's team begins to have some health problems. Harris has a near death experience as he is hit with a boulder and it frightens everybody. But then Chen Nu-Yan falls from the Lohtse Face and survives but hours after it happened, he suddenly collapses and dies. His team begins ascending very quickly but people are very distant from each other. They don't really feel connected and they would have to change that to make it to the top. Ropes being secured is starting to become a problem, and it could affect them later on. Krakauer finally reaches the summit of the mountain but realizes that his journey downwards will be very hard.

Reading Section 4: Into Thin Air

As quoted in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean Bauby, "Whereupon a strange euphoria came over me. Not only was I exiled, paralyzed, mute, half deaf, deprived of all pleasures, and reduced to the existence of a jellyfish, but I was also horrible to behold. The comes a time when the heaping up of calamities brings on uncontrollable nervous laughter- when, after a final blow from fate, we decide to treat it all as a joke." (Page 25) This quote is very important in the book. This quote describes how Bauby is living and in what conditions he's living in, and somehow he manages to laugh at himself. Even with this dreadful syndrome he's making the best of it, and sometimes can have a laugh. It's importance is shown throughout the book because his constant positive feelings towards life is very apparent as sometimes he describes dreams and pleasant memories.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Reflection on Diving Bell and the Butterfly

My thoughts of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly are mixed. I thought it was a good book, yet I had some difficulties reading it. It had some parts that I could not understand and there wasn’t much description on it for me to understand. There, however, were some parts I really enjoyed. It was written in a unique style of writing I am not used to encountering. It had new words that I learned. It was a complicated story and it all lead back to his main idea. That even though he was encased in this “diving bell” his mind was a butterfly and it traveled to all sorts of places. This I liked, because it constantly reminded me of what his condition is, and all the challenges he most overcome. The story in itself was amazing, but I thought there were things he needed to explain more. He’s description on how this “locked-in syndrome” happened was not very good and was very brief. I wanted to know what caused his stroke and such… Another thing I would have like to seen was more description on the events that occur in the chapters. Bauby in the beginning of his chapters would talk about a dream or story, and sometimes it did not occur to me right away. Anyways, I thought this was a good story, but it could have been better. His hardships were always reminded to me in the book, while I still would like to learn more about them. The inspiring story is remarkable, but if it were told to us in a different view (not what he is feeling all the time) and told to us what his actions were I would have enjoyed this book even more. The book could have focused more on his current state over his past life and his dreams.

Reading Section 3: Into Thin Air Part 2

Week 3, Part 2

So far I think the book is very intriguing. The book is very descriptive and tells the story well. It builds up a lot of suspense and the foreshadowing is great. Some weaknesses of this book though are that it seems that he writes about things that don't relate to the story that much. They are little anecdotes that have little meaning and kind of stray away from the book's main topic. This book really brought up the awareness of death in my eyes. Death can happen anywhere and anyplace. It happens to some unexpected people and some people can also see it coming. The on thing about death is there is always a chance it could happen. The book brings up many topics about the people's characters. Character and personality are very important with trust. Trusting someone can determine your safety. I think that many people are going to end up dying in this book. There is a lot of activity and conflicts between his teammates. So far i really enjoy this book. It's very suspenseful and sad at times too.

Reading Section 3: Into Thin Air

Week 3, Part 1

Krakauer begins talking about climbers who had very little experience attempt to climb mount Everest. He refers to most of them as "dreamers." Luck is very important to climbing Everest. Krakauer, for the first time, experiences real death on Everest instead of hearing stories about deaths. Two people die while attempting Everest which makes the presence of death very real to him. Krakauer then talks about how fast the media figures out about things on Everest such as these deaths. Everyone on the mountain had some other reason besides just wanting to reach the summit. HIs team of climbers starts getting frostbite and experience bad weather. The team begins fighting with each other and causes lack of cooperation. He then talks about the Sherpas' customs and rituals which foreshadow the events to come.


Jon Krakauer was born on April 12, 1954. He was raised in Corvallis, Oregon. He went on to get his degree in Environmental Studies in Hampshire College. Married Linda Moore in 1980. He was a writer for Outside magazine where he published many articles for them. IN 1983, he became a full time writer. He had always shown his love for mountain climbing in lots of his articles. In 1996, he successfully ascended Everest, but on his descent his expedition suffered many deaths in a horrible storm. Four out of his five teammates died in that storm. He published his first book in 1996, Into The Wild. He continued to write, Into Thin Air, his most famous book about the tragedies that occurred on his Everest climb. He wrote one other non-fiction book, Under The Banner of Heaven, in 2003.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reading Section 2: Into Thin Air

Loaded Words
Swampy- page #43- It is loaded because it has a very strong meaning. The author uses it to describe a climber's voice.

Trance- page #48- It's loaded because it is more hypnotic than just state. It is what Jon's feeling as he is traveling.

Wailed- page #54- It's loaded because it is a more depressing way of crying. The author uses it to describe what Kima Rita's mother is feeling after he has fallen to his death.

Ailment- page #57- It's loaded because it is a terrible sickness. The author uses it to show how some climbers felt after a weary trip up Everest.

Vacated- page #58- It's loaded because it has an emptier feeling than just empty. The author uses it when he is entering a tent that was vacated.

Mishaps- page #62- It's loaded because it is a more frightening word than just mistake. The author uses to describe a climber's close-to-death experiences.

Absent- page #65- It's loaded because it is an empty feeling of being gone. The author uses it to describe what a climber's life and family relationship are like.

Crooked- page #70- It's loaded because it has two meaning in it's context. His smile was physically crooked but also his expression was crooked as well. The author uses it to describe Hall's smile when Jon confesses his doubts.

Ingenuity- page #74- It's loaded because it doesn't just mean intelligence, it means his vast knowledge on the subject. The author uses it to show how much Hall really knew about climbing mountains.

Labyrinth- page #78- It's loaded because it is not just a place, it's a puzzling place. The author uses it to describe the Icefall Jon's team was climbing.


Jon's team begins their journey on Everest. They start to realize that this is gonna be a hard trip. Jon begins writing about guides and how good they can be. He writes about how both young and old guides can have troubles on Everest with specific examples. They continually struggle their way atop the mountain as some of them begin having doubts including Jon. They begin climbing an icetrap and they have difficulties climbing it.

Personal Reaction

The story is getting interesting and foreshadow is very clear in these pages. It appears that something bad is going to happen. At the beginning it was still setting up the story, but as it got farther the story begins. It seems that trust and confidence will be an issue for some people.

Reading Section 1: Into Thin Air


The story begins on the summit of Mount Everest. Jon Krakauer takes photographs of his team on the top of Everest as he recalls that they had found 6 dead bodies. His team begins their descent with very little oxygen. He waited as more climbers passed by him. Andy Harris, teammate, tried to turn off Krakauer's oxygen mask so Jon could save oxygen, but instead turns the valve the wrong way till he has no more oxygen in his mask. Begins talking about the history of Everest. Edward Norton was only 900 feet from the summit before collapsing and would have been the first to climb it. People are unsure if Mallory was the first to reach the summit. A British team began their journey in 1953. Hillary and Tenzing were the firsts to reach the summit in 1953. Hornbeing and Unsoeld, 2 Americans, reached the summit by the West Ridge. They were Jon's heroes, they made him want to climb Everest. Later on he describes how he lost interest in climbing it. In 1995, Krakauer was offered a story to write while being at the base camp. He turned down the offer and instead suggested to climb it a year later. About one year later, Jon arrived in Kathmandu from Bangkok to begin his trek. He meets Andy Harris, one of his guides, as they wait for another climber in the airport. Jon meets his guide to the summit of Everest, Rob Hall. He writes about Hall's experience as a climber and how he met his best close friend and fellow climber, Gary Ball. They both scaled the highest mountains in the seven continents in seven months. Hall later had two things that left him ashamed and sad after having a very successful trip to the summit of Everest. First, Sir Edmund Hillary criticized him for charging so much money to guide people on top of the mountain. Second, during a climb in 1993 his close friend, Ball, died in his arms. Jon Krakauer boards a helicopter that will lead him close by Everest. He introduces his team that he will be climbing with. He talks about his instant connection with Doug Hansen. Krakauer describes how important trust is for climbing. How one small thing can affect the whole team.


I think that these pages are very descriptive. I think Krakauer is trying to open the setting of the story and lead us to the actual story. In these pages, the reader meets lots of people that in some way are important to the memoir.
I like the story so far, he really has done a good job setting up the real action. He uses some foreshadow to indicate a little bit of what's to come.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This I believe

By Flaming Lips lead singer and guitarist, Wayne Coyne

Creating Our Own Happiness

His belief is that humans have extraordinary lives, humans do the real magic in this world.

He saw 2 people huddled together outside in the cold, and they were laughing when he was warm inside his car. He thought to himself that they dont really care that he's warm inside the car, they were happy outside.

Wayne was talking about how he used to work in Long John Silver's for 11 years. He didn't think he would like his job, but in about 2 weeks it allowed him to dream about what his life would become.

"Try to be happy within the context of the life we are actually living. Happiness is not a situation to be longed for or a convergence of lucky happenstance."