Showing posts from July, 2010

146. Salem Brownstone by John Harris Dunning

Salem Brownstone: All Along the Watchtowers by John Harris Dunning. Art by Nikhil Singh (US) - (Canada)

Pages: 96 pages
Ages: 15+
Finished: July 26, 2010
First Published: July 13, 2010 US ( Oct. 2009 UK)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: YA, graphic novel, gothic, paranormal
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

There are those who love the rum and unusual, the uncanny, the macabre.

Acquired: Received a review copy from the publisher.

Reason for Reading: I was immediately taken with the publisher's eerie plot summary.

This is a beautiful book. Oversized like a large picture book with decorated cloth covered boards, it feels like a treasure in your hands. Upon opening the book, the story grips you right away as if something by Poe. Then turn the page where the artwork starts and immediately Gory comes to mind and the further one gets into the story with the mixture of art and text there is a very strong Tim Burton vibe going and I actually started imaging the story being filmed with Johnny Depp as S…

145. Children of the Sea, Vol. 3

Children of the Sea, Vol. 3 by Daisuke Igarashi. Translated from the Japanese by JN Productions. (Canada) - (USA)
Children of the Sea series

Pages: 334 pages
Ages: 16+
Finished: July 25, 2010
First Published: June 15, 2010
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: YA, Manga, Science Fiction
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

What's wrong?

Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

Ruka is in shock over the disappearance of Sora in the last volume and not doing well at all. Umi is also acting strangely and stays close to Ruka now. Anglade, introduced in the last volume, has a long talk with Jim about the sea children and then takes off with Ruka and Umi. Very strange things happen and this volume gets a little confusing with where the story is going. On the other hand, a fair portion of this volume takes place in the past starting with Anglade as a boy, his relationship with Jim, and how the sea children came to be with them. This clears up a lot …

CSN Review Coming Soon!

CSN has contacted me again, to see if I would like to review another one of their products! Well, I've got my eye on a certain little coffee maker, plus I've been looking at reading lamps and computer chairs. It's going to be s000o hard to chose which exactly to get but I'll let you know as soon as I've chosen. But first here's a picture of the cute french press that's calling my name. I'm the only coffee drinker in the house and I hate making a whole pot just for myself. This would be perfect for me and it matches my kitchen!

144. Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Countdown by Deborah Wiles (Canada) - (USA)
The Sixties Trilogy, Book One

Pages: 388 pages
Ages: 11+
Finished: July 24, 2010
First Published: May 1, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, ya
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

I am eleven years old, and I am invisible.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading: I enjoy historical fiction but the amount of photographs and media images in the book was what intrigued me the most.

If anybody had told me I was going to absolutely love a book that's main historical setting was the Cuban Missile Crisis I would have said "Sorry, I don't even read that kind of political book" then the next thing I'd say would be "BTW, what is the Cuban Missile Crisis?"

The book takes place over the last few weeks in October, 1962 and is somewhat autobiographical using the author's personal life and memories to tell the story of growing up in the sixties. Taking the author's place is Fra…

143. Graphic Classics: Edgar Allan Poe

Graphic Classics: Edgar Allan Poe, 4th edition edited by Tom Pomplun (US) - (Canada)
Graphic Classics, Volume 1

Pages: 144
Ages: 12-Adult
Finished: Jul. 22, 2010
First Published: May 15, 2010
Publisher: Eureka Productions
Genre: graphic novel, short stories, poetry
Rating: 4/5

Aquired: Received a review copy from the publisher.

Reason for Reading: I read the 3rd edition and was eager to see what the "greatly revised" 4th edition had to offer.

First sentence:

I was sick - sick unto death with the long agony of my imprisonment; and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to stand, I felt that my senses were leaving me.

An anthology of graphic adaptations of some of Edgar Allan Poe's works, both short stories and poems. Each story is written/illustrated by different people such as Rick Geary, Carlo Vegara, Matt Howarth and others resulting in a wide variety of artist styles throughout the book. Most of Poe's works collected here are his most famous but there are a…

142. Manifest by Artist Arthur

Manifest by Artist Arthur (Canada) - (USA)
Mystyx series, book 1

Pages: 248
Ages: 13+
Finished: July 22, 2010
First Published: Aug 1, 2010
Publisher: Kimani Tru
Genre: YA, paranormal
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

"I can't hear you. I can't hear you," I repeat, talking to myself.

Acquired: Received a review copy from the book's publicist.

Reason for Reading: The sounds of a Paranormal YA Ghost Whisperer with an added twist plot was enough to make me want to read it.

This is a book that I enjoyed more the further I got into it. I find that while I'm reading I often rate a book as I go along. This was a two at the beginning, a solid three by the middle and pushing a four and a half by the end so to sum it all off I've gone with an overall four. Krystal can see dead people, hear them, have conversations with them and now they are asking her for help. Ricky Watson, a very cute boy, for a ghost, wants Krystal to find out who killed him and he won't stop pestering her u…

Monday: Books in the Mail

Well, I received two graphic novels for review on Monday last week and figured that would be it mail-wise, but on Friday I received a handful of packages bringing a few more review books and a book/dvd set I had ordered.

From Simon & Schuster Canada:

As Ando learns to use his powers effectively, he must decide whether or not to oppose Inukai. A decision made much harder when it could cost him his life.

From Harper Collins Canada:

The shocking tales continue in Volume 2 of "Hanako and the Terror of Allegory". What is lurking in the mirrors at midnight, and what horror is causing the killing spree of hundreds of suicidal girls? And as Aso delves into the mind of Kanae's blind cousin, he and Hanako discover the haunting allegory that entraps her. And what will Hanako and Kanae do when they see Aso lying lifeless in a pool of his own blood?

A flamboyant party host is murdered in full view of a roomful of bridge players! When the flamboyant socialite Mr Shaitana boasts to …

Music: Grace Changes Everything by Jamie Slocum

141. New Catholic Picture Bible

New Catholic Picture Bible by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D. (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 232 pages
Ages: ALL
Finished: July 19, 2010
First Published: 1955
Publisher: Catholic Book Publishing Co.
Genre: Bible
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

God is eternal.

Acquired: My son was gifted this at his Baptism & 1st Communion by his Godmother.

Reason for Reading: Every Mon-Fri (mostly) we read a Bible story.

We converted to Catholicism two Easter Vigils ago and were already in the middle of another Bible Story book at that time. When we finished it we moved onto this one, our first Catholic Bible story book. I'll review this book in particular and then compare how I found it to the usual Protestant or ecumenical Bible story books we had previously read.

This is a nice gift Bible with puffy boards and a Presentation page to fill out. Each story is a two-page spread with the left-hand side usually being an illustration and the text on the right-hand side. There is some variety to this though as there …

140. Celtic Treasure by Liz Babbs

Celtic Treasure: Unearthing the Riches of Celtic Spirituality by Liz Babbs (US) - (Canada)

Pages: 80 pages
Ages: ALL
Finished: July 21, 2010
First Published: Sept 1, 2009
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Genre: non-fiction, religion, Christian
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

I keep a box of 'treasures' in my attic.

Acquired: I won a copy from the author.

Reason for Reading: I am Catholic and am interested in the early Church, especially the Saints.

Well, honestly, I didn't know what to expect from this book. What was Celtic Spirituality? Was it some new age thing or Christian? Upon opening the little book I was immediately met with Scripture and St. Patrick's Breastplate along with stunning photography of Christian ruins from the 1st millenium in Ireland and Scotland. This is a lovely, hand-sized gift book printed on quality paper. A delight to read and look at. The book is about the history of the Celtic Christians in the first millennium and though it is never mentioned this is, in other…

139. Dark Life by Kat Falls

Dark Life by Kat Falls (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 297
Ages: 11+
Finished: July 20, 2010
First Published: May 1, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre: YA, science fiction
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

I peered into the deep-sea canyon,hoping to spot a toppled skyscraper. Maybe even the Statue of Liberty.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading: I've read a couple of other books about permanent settlements on the sea floor and find the concept quite interesting.

It is the future and an experimental colony on the sea bottom is flourishing. Ty was the first child born sub-sea and it's the only life he knows. When Gemma comes from Topside looking for her brother she joins him in a journey to safe the colony from a force that seems to be out to get the pioneers. A band of Outlaws are attacking pioneer homes, killing their livestock, invading their homes and deflating them, plus Ty and Gemma have evidence they might have killed someone. Things are taken to …

138. My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 364 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: July 18, 2010
First Published: May 13, 2010
Publisher: Viking
Genre: historical fiction
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

"Are you Mary Sutter?" Hours had passed since James Blevens had called for the midwife.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Penguin Group (Canada).

Reason for Reading: I'm very interested in this time period especially involving stories of women. The doctor angle grabbed me right away.

Mary Sutter is a twenty-ish young woman who is an experienced midwife. She comes from a long line of maternal midwives. Her twin sister was trained for a while too but she was pretty, flighty and not interested in midwifery while Mary, on the hand, was not satisfied with midwifery. She wanted more, she didn't want to nurse, she wanted to be a doctor and was determined to become one, no matter what. Medical schools would not accept her application, she could find no doctor to apprent…

Barn Owl by Phyllis Flower

Barn Owl by Phyllis Flower. Illustrated by Cherryl Pape Out of Print
An I Can Read Book

Pages: 62 pages
Ages: 6+
Finished: July 16, 2010
First Published: 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row
Genre: non-fiction, barn owls
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

High in the corner of the barn, the barn owl sits and waits.

Acquired: Purchased my own copy.

Reason for Reading: My son read aloud to me as his reader.

This is a beautiful story. We've had the book since ds was small and have read it to him many times and now he is able to read it himself. Told in a narrative, storytelling voice this tells the life cycle of a barn owl from birth until he mates and has young of his own. The story is told realistically without anthropomorphizing any of the animals; it is truly a nature story. We experience the owls' birth and then follow the strongest one as he grows in the nest, learns to fly, deals with a cat, meets man, learns to hunt, experiences winter and finally starts the cycle of nature over again by ma…

137. Illustrated Poems for Children

A Special Collection: Illustrated Poems for Children. Illustrated by Krystyna Orska. Introduction by Miriam Peterson Out of Print

Pages: 147 pages + indexes
Ages: 8+
Finished: July 16, 2010
First Published: 1973
Publisher: Hubbard Press
Genre: children, poetry
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Acquired: Bought a copy at a book/thrift/garage sale.

Reason for Reading: Every Mon - Fri I read my son a two page spread of poetry. This book in particular has great sentimental value to me as I had it as a child and literally read it almost daily for years.

A wonderful, unique, solid collection of poems, not the usual variety found in children's collections. The majority of the poems are by the literary greats such as Tennyson, Dickinson, Coleridge, Stevenson, Poe, Longfellow, Whitman, Wordsworth and Yeats. Then there is a large number by well known children's poets such as Christina Rossetti, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Ogden Nash and Dorothy Parker. Plus a l…

Hubby's Birthday

My hubby turned 49 this Sunday! Happy Birthday Dear!

Monday: Books in the Mail

Last week was a good book week for me! A few books to review and a HUGE box of books I won for the Canadian Book Challenge 3 courtesy of John @ The Book Mine Set. Thank you!

From Simon & Schuster US:

“‘Oh, little one,’ he whispered, as he gently stroked her cheek, the first time he had touched her in fifteen years. ‘What have they done to you? What have they done to us all?’ ”In his latest dark and chilling Charlie Parker thriller, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly takes us to the border between Maine and Canada. It is there, in the vast and porous Great North Woods, that a dangerous smuggling operation is taking place, run by a group of disenchanted former soldiers, newly returned from Iraq. Illicit goods—drugs, cash, weapons, even people—are changing hands. And something else has changed hands. Something ancient and powerful and evil.The authorities suspect something is amiss, but what they can’t know is that it is infinitely stranger and more terrifying than anyon…

136. Nick of Time by Ted Bell

Nick of Time by Ted Bell. Illustrations by Russ Kramer (Canada) - (USA)
Nick McIver, book 1

Pages: 434 pages
Ages: 11+
Finished: July 16, 2010
First Published: Sept. 1, 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: adventure, historical fiction
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

"Hard a'lee, me boys!" shouted Nick McIver over the wind, "or be smashed to smithereens in the jaws of Gravestone Rock!"

Acquired: Borrowed a copy from my local library.

Reason for Reading: I have the second book, but thought I had better read the first book, well ... first. I read this aloud to my son, as he loves seafaring adventures.

Set in 1939, just before war is declared, on the smallest of the Channel Islands. Nick's father is lighthouse keeper and a secret spy for politician Winston Churchill reporting back any German U-Boat activity in the Channel waters. A strange man called Billy Blood kidnaps Nick's dog Jipper and thus starts a seafaring adventure that will cross time. Billy Blood i…

135. Gone by Mo Hayder

Gone by Mo Hayder (Canada) - (USA)
Jack Caffery, book #5

Pages: 415 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: July 14, 2010
First Published: Feb 4, 2010 (UK)
Publisher: Bantam Press
Genre: mystery, thriller
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:

Detective Inspector Jack Caffery of Bristol's Major Crime Investigation Unit spent ten minutes in the centre of Frome looking at the crime scene.
Acquired: My sister gifted this book to me.

Reason for Reading: Mo Hayder ... new book ... nothing more to say.

This is an all-nighter police procedural that has Jack Caffery on the case of a supposed carjacker who takes a car with a girl in the back seat. The girl is not found and the realization is made that he didn't want the car but the girl. Then it happens again. Another car, another girl, this time much younger. With statistics showing that child abductors kill their victims sooner than later, the team is on a race against time. Flea comes to Caffery and tells him about two previous unsuccessful attempts that are identi…

133. Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten

Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 375 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: July 12, 2010
First Published: Sept. 28, 2010
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: psychological suspense
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

She walks down a deserted hallway of the psychiatric hospital, her heels tapping a short staccato on the disinfected floor.

Acquired: Received a review copy from the book's publicist.

Reason for Reading: One of the book's main characters is described as having Asperger's and since I, myself have Asperger's I was immediately interested. But the book's plot and setting of a psychiatric hospital also had me eager to read the book.

The book opens with Danielle, the mother of Max, entering a patient's room and finding him brutally murdered while huddled on the floor nearby, unconscious, is her son, Max, with the murder weapon in his hand. Danielle is a lawyer and her son, Max, has Asperger's. Max is about 16 and has become very moody and suddenly started t…

134. Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius

Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius by Colin Dickey (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 302 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: July 12, 2010
First Published: 2007
Publisher: Unbridled Books
Genre: non-fiction, medicine, history
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:

At 2 o'clock in the afternoon on October 30, 1820, workers disinterred the body of the composer Joseph Hayden from his grave in the Hundsthurmer Church in Vienna, preparing it for transit to the nearby city of Eisenstadt, home of his powerful patrons, the Esterhazy family. Acquired: Received a review copy from McArthur & Company.

Reason for Reading: I read a lot of fiction and non-fiction taking place during Victorian times and was interested in what this book had to offer from that time period especially on the topic of Phrenology. I also simply have a taste for the morbid.

Cranioklepty concentrates on man's fascination with human skulls and what they can tell us about the criminal, insane and especially the genius. The bo…

I love this commercial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look at him...look at me...look at him..look at me (LOL)

I'm on a horse. (hahahahahaha)

I could watch this over and over.

132. Jack of Fables: Jack of Hearts

Jack of Hearts by Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges. Art by Tony Atkins (Canada) - (USA)
Jack of Fables, Volume 2

Pages: 143 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: July 12, 2010
First Published: 2007
Publisher: Vertigo
Genre: graphic novel, fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5

First sentence:

Look, there's another one of the Golden Bough's kidnap vans prowling around down there.

Acquired: Borrowed a copy through Inter-Library Loan.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

So, I'm still enjoying "Jack" though it is not nearly as good as "Fables". Jack is not exactly a likable character but there are times when one can't help but laugh along with him and hope he gets out the mess he's in. One thing I'm glad to have found carried over from "Fables" is the directory of characters at the beginning of the book. This helps introduce new characters and remember who old characters are especially the further you get into the series.

This time we start with Jack just after the …