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Rolling down the highways, watching the usually dull scenery go by, you might never guess that there are interesting places to explore not that far from the interstate. For some people, being a hiker means doing the Appalachian Trail, preferably all the way through. But there are a lot of other trails, many just as scenic, within an hour or two or a day’s drive of our area.
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American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Shadow is a man with a past. But now he wants nothing more than to live a quiet life with his wife and stay out of trouble. Until he learns that she's been killed in a terrible accident. Flying home for the funeral, as a violent storm rocks the plane, a strange man in the seat next to him introduces himself. The man calls himself Mr. Wednesday, and he knows more about Shadow than is possible. He warns Shadow that a far bigger storm is coming. And from that moment on, nothing will ever he the same . . .
American Gods is now a television series on the Starz network, based on the novel of the same name. The television series was developed by Bryan Fuller (Hannibal, Pushing Daisies) and Michael Green (Heroes, Gotham). Gaiman serves as an executive producer along with Fuller, Green, Craig Cegielski, Stefanie Berk, and Thom Beers. The series focuses on Shadow Moon, who meets a strange man named Mr. Wednesday after being released from prison. However, he soon finds himself a part of a large-scale conflict between the Old Gods and the New Gods, who grow stronger each day. The first episode premiered on the Starz network and through their streaming application on April 30, 2017. In May 2017, the series was renewed for a second season.
The central premise of the novel is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them (a type of thoughtform.) Immigrants to the United States brought with them spirits and gods. The power of these mythological beings has diminished as people's beliefs waned. New gods have arisen, reflecting the American obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and drugs, among other things.¹
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are the best of friends. The best of friends any leftover could ask for.
But their neighbor, Miss Brie, tells them that the syrup is almost all gone! "A single drop's left! Just a drop!"
Pete the Cat is learning a new dance—the COOL CAT boogie! Pete knows he can dance, but once his friends come along show them their dance moves, Pete thinks his moves are bad.
"Dancing is like magic!" Pete says. "When I hear a groovy beat, I'm full of happy in my feet! I won't give up! I love to dance. Let me give it one more chance."
Pete repeats this mantra every time he feels like giving up. Eventually, Wise Old Owl tells Pete, "It doesn't matter how you move, as long as you are being you!"
Li Lan, a lovely but unassuming girl from a scholarly family fallen on hard times, is rather taken aback when her father casually asks her one night if she would like to become a ghost bride.
Her nursemaid is furious. Even suggesting such a thing is unlucky, although Li Lan would be living with a rich family, and it’s probable that all of her family’s debts would be taken care of.
Ghost brides were an old tradition brought to Malaya (colonial Malaysia) from China, where a young man who had died might still be given the precious gift of a wife to honor his memory.
But who is Li Lan's ghost groom? The only son of a wealthy family who was odious in his manner and appearance, whining and fat. He saw Li Lan just once when he was alive, but so entranced was he by her beauty that he is still pressuring his family to make a match. Yes, still. He thinks he has everything she might want in the land of the dead, and he isn’t giving up, although Li Lan is equally determined to resist him—especially after she meets a young man who she believes suits her far better and is very much alive.