Book 27: The Science of Harry Potter by Roger Highfield (2002)

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This is one of the more readable science books I’ve ever read. Since I do have a background in science, I’m not sure how much sense it’ll make to the general public, though. The writing both is clear but not comprehensive, if you know what I mean. Although the Harry Potter tag was what lured me into reading this book, I feel like the author could have written so much better if he didn’t constantly make the “Muggles” reference. Seriously, it gets annoying after a while.

All in all, I’d definitely get his other books. He has excellent writing.

P.S. For my faithful readers out there (because I know you exist!) this may be the beginning of the end. School is starting, I’m getting a job, and I don’t know how willing I am to risk my . . . life for the sake of reading books and watching movies.

Book 24: Flocabulary by Blake Harrison and Alexander Rappaport (2006)

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In theory, this book is an excellent idea. In practice, it is horrible. None of the songs make much sense; things happen without a single uniting idea behind them. It teaches redundancy and it keeps saying the same thing using different words (what?). On at least one page they mistake “you’re” for “your.” Terrible. The exercises also seem pointless. They give you multiple-choice questions, and four of the five choices are words that you don’t see in the song those questions are based on. That makes it pretty easy to get the right answer without knowing your vocabulary as long as you’ve skimmed through the list before you do the exercise.

I would still recommend this book simply because it’s amusing and the songs will help some people increase their vocabulary.

Movie 9: Princess Mononoke (1997)

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Japanese title: Mononoke Hime

Fear not, fans of Hayao Miyazaki. I’ve finally come across Princess Mononoke, a movie that I cannot begin to criticize it is that excellent. Yes, this is the first of his movies that will escape being tag as “boring” by yours truly – a most qualified judge of anime and movies in general. I absolutely love everything about it. There’s enough action and the characters are fascinating. Ashitaka is the kind of guy that lured me into watching anime in the first place. He’s almost perfect.

Kudos for having ex-prostitutes instead of regular women and for letting ’em show what they got. Toki is excredibly tough.

Book 13: Final Exam by Pauline W. Chen (2007)

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After spending too much time watching Grey’s Anatomy in the past week, reading this book is only appropriate. I was already familiar with the differences between an intern, a resident, and an attending – and I actually knew what “code blue” means. These terms are all in the book and I was strangely sensitive to them. Go figure.

I usually despise memoir. I hate the self-serving tone that comes with the package. This book, however, is so eloquently written that I was able to ignore everything I might have disliked about it. It is very well-written and flows so smoothly that I managed to finish reading this book in just a day – a rarity. The author has a nice range of vocabulary, too.

Of course, what initially drew me to the book was my developing interest in the medical world. I wanted to know what goes on in a day of a doctor’s life or just a day in the hospital. (I started watching Grey’s Anatomy much for the same reason.) That probably what makes the narrative seem so fascinating to me that I’m including this in my highly recommended list.

Movie 3: Musa: The Warrior (2001)

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Whoa. I first saw this in 2005 and it’s still as beautiful as ever. I think they edited out some scenes in this version. Pretty sure there was a point during the journey where everyone gathered round and shared what they were going to do once they got home. I wouldn’t have felt so attached to them otherwise.Seeing this movie the second time, I understand the plot a whole lot better. I now see where the love story plays into this. If the general didn’t have a crush on the princess, he wouldn’t have bothered trying to save her. The whole group would’ve returned to Korea safely. I can’t help but feeling sorry for him anyway though. Toward the end when everyone is dying, the princess chooses to hold Yeosol instead of him. I guess dying with that in sight will just hurt.

In this version, Daejung is called Sergeant Jinlip. I don’t see the resemblance between the two names, but then I don’t know any Korean at all. Jinlip is still the wise one, the one who looks after the general without being obvious about it. He doesn’t want power; he just wants for everyone to get home safely.

The text in the beginning of the movie says this: “This is the story of those who were unable to return home [to Korea].”

Kind of makes you wonder if Jinlip was unable to make it home using that raft.