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Showing posts from September, 2013

296. Give Us a Kiss by Daniel Woodrell

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Give Us a Kiss by Daniel Woodrell. Foreword by Pinckney Benedict.

Rating: (3.5/5)
(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)
1996, 2012 Back Bay Books/Little, Brown & Co., 194 pgs
Age: 18+
""My imagination is always skulking about in a wrong place." And now Doyle Redmond, thirty-five-year-old nowhere writer, has crossed the line between imagination and real live trouble. On the lam in his soon-to-be ex-wife's Volvo, he's running a family errand back in his boyhood home of West Table, Missouri--the heart of the red-dirt Ozarks. The law wants his big brother, Smoke, on a felony warrant, and Doyle's supposed to talk him into giving up. But Smoke is hunkered down in the hills with his partner, Big Annie, and her nineteen-year-old daughter, Niagra, making other plans: they're about to harvest a profitable patch of homegrown marijuana.

Doyle takes just one look at Niagra's flattering red boots before joining his brother's scheme. Of course it means dealing wi…

292. A Wilder Rose: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Their Little Houses by Susan Wittig Albert

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292. A Wilder Rose: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Their Little Houses by Susan Wittig Albert
Rating: (3.5/5)
(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)
Sept 1, 2013, Persevero Press, 288 pgs
Age: 18+ (YA Crossover)
"In 1928, Rose Wilder Lane—world traveler, journalist, much-published magazine writer—returned from an Albanian sojourn to her parents’ Ozark farm. Almanzo Wilder was 71, Laura 61, and Rose felt obligated to stay and help. To make life easier, she built them a new home, while she and Helen Boylston transformed the farmhouse into a rural writing retreat and filled it with visiting New Yorkers. Rose sold magazine stories to pay the bills for both households, and despite the subterranean tension between mother and daughter, life seemed good.Then came the Crash. Rose’s money vanished, the magazine market dried up, and the Depression darkened the nation. That’s when Laura wrote her autobiography, “Pioneer Girl,” the story of growing up in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, on…

290. Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

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Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown
Rating: (5/5)
(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)
Aug 27, 2013, Scholastic, 160 pgs
Age: 8+
"This incredible, original story captures all of the humour, awkwardness, fun, and frustrations of middle school — all told through one boy's comics, journal entries, letters, doodles, and newspaper clippings. The setting? A galaxy far, far away . . .Roan's one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot School, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy — a school that he didn't apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now.This inventive novel follows Roan's first year at Jedi Academy where, under the tutelage of Master Yoda, he learns that he possesses more strength and potential than he could have ever dreamed. Oh, and he learns other important things too — like how to make a baking so…

300. Praying the Stations with Mary the Mother of Jesus by Richard Furey

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Sunday's Christian Book Review Catholic Edition
Praying the Stations with Mary the Mother of Jesusby Richard Furey

Rating: (5/5)
(US) - (Canada) - (UK)
1984; 2007, Twenty-Third Publications, 32 pgs
Age:18+  "This bestselling way of the cross follows Jesus on his journey to Calvary through the eyes of his mother, Mary. With a mother's love and also with deep faith, she accompanies him and invites readers to follow him as well—with love and deep faith."
Borrowed a Copy from my local parish.
This is an absolutely beautiful spiritual way to pray the fifteen stations of the cross, or to simply pray and devote your prayers to one of the sorrowful passions made on the way of the Cross.  This booklet is used in my Church whenever we hold Stations of the Cross, usually followed by Benediction.  So in my head when I read this I hear the voices of the people who read their parts (our Deacon and his wife) which brings the whole thing so perfectly to life for me.  I honestly can&#…

285. Fox On Stage by James Marshall

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Fox On Stage by James Marshall.
Puffin Easy-to-Read, Level 3
Rating: 3/5)
(US) - (Canada) - (UK)
1993, Puffin, 48 pgs
Age: 6+
"Another title about Fox and the gang getting up to mischief. This time Fox is putting on a scary play called "The Mummy's Toe" and all his friends have a role - with Fox as the hero."
Purchased a secondhand copy from a thrift store.
James Marshall is a favourite illustrator who has written many, many children's picture and easy-to-read books.  This is a fun easy-reader for the beginning reader divided into three separate short stories.  Each features Fox as the main character and while the stories are not related they do carry a theme of the performing arts.  "Fox on Film" has fox using his video recorder to make movies; "Flying Fox" has Fox watching and participating in a magic show and finally "Fox on Stage" has Fox and friends preparing, and putting on a play for the neighbourhood.

Captain Underpants #3 & #4 by Dav Pilkey

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283. Captain Underpants & the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies From Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) by Dav Pilkey. Captain Underpants, #3
Rating: (4/5)
(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)
Sep 1999, Scholastic, 141 pgs
Age: 7+
"An alien spaceship has conveniently landed on the roof of Jerome Horwitz Elementary School. At the same time, George and Harold pulled off the prank of their careers by tricking the cafeteria ladies into flooding the school with slimy lime-green foam.Fed up, the cafeteria ladies quit, leaving room for three massive, tentacled space aliens in disguise to assume their positions and slowly change all the children into evil lunchroom zombie nerds. Only the amazing Captain Underpants can save the day now. But even he may have met his match when he encounters a giant man-eating dandelion of doom!"
My son was gifted a copy for Christmas several years ago.
Book Three continues on with the …

277. Sugar Creek Gang #1: The Swamp Robber by Paul Hutchens

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Sunday's Christian Book Review
The Swamp Robber by Paul Hutchens. Preface by Pauline Hutchens Wilson
orig. title: The Sugar Creek Gang Sugar Creek Gang, #1
Rating: (4/5)
(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)
1940; 1997 Revised Edition, Moody Press, 128 pgs
Age: 10+
"The Sugar Creek Gang discovers a "disguise" hidden in a old tree. Does it belong to the bank robber hiding in the swamp? A mysterious map hidden near the tree proves to be even more exciting than the disguise. Before the adventure ends, the gang encounters the robber, helps Bill Collins welcome a new baby sister, and saves the victim of a black widow spider bite. Join the gang as they learn the lesson of "sowing and reaping"."
Purchased a secondhand copy at a book sale.
This is a Christian fiction adventure series aimed at boys, which has never been out of print since its first publication in the 1940s.  The edition I read is the 1997 "revised edition", the one still in print today, wh…

281. The Duel by Heinrich Von Kleist

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The Duelby Heinrich Von Kleist.  Translated by Annie Janusch.
The Art of the Novella

Rating: (3.5/5)

(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)

1810; 2011, Melville House, 51 pgs

Age: 18+

"One of the few novellas written by the master German playwright, The Duel was considered by Thomas Mann and others to be one of the great works of German literature. The story of a virtuous woman slandered by a nobleman, it is a precise study of a subject that fascinated von Kleist: That people are sometimes seemingly punished for their very innocence."
Purchased and received as part of the publisher's novella book club.
After my disastrous attempt to read this month's other selection Michael Kohlhaas by Von Kleist, it should be unnecessary to say I came upon this one with trepidation.  But I said to myself, at least it is very short so I will finish this one whether I like it or not.  So, what a pleasant surprise to find myself fairly flying through the story in just one reading.  Right from…

280. The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman

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The Hypnotists by Gordon Korman
The Hypnotists, Book 1

Rating: (4/5)

(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)

Jul. 30 2013, Scholastic Canada, 232 pgs

Age: 10+

"Jackson Opus has always been persuasive, but he doesn't know that he's descended from the two most powerful hypnotist bloodlines on the planet. He's excited to be accepted into a special program at the Sentia Institute — but when he realizes he's in over his head, Jackson will have to find a way to use his powers to save his friends, his parents, and his government."
Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

I can't believe I have never read a Gordon Korman book before.  An ex-patriot Canadian, he wrote his first book when he was twelve and hasn't stopped since.  He's one of Canada's most well known children's authors.  I've had the Bruno & Boots series on my "must get around to someday" list forever!  Finally I have the opportunity to read Korman's latest book an…

Movie Break: We're the Millers

We're the Millers (2013) (at the theatre)
I'd never heard of this movie when invited to go see it but I'm always up for a night at the movies since I don't go very often.  Absolutely roll on the floor hilarious.  But with a capital "B" very vulgar and not for everyone!  Bad language and tons of raunchy situations and jokes, no sex though.  But. OMGosh!  Hilariously funny! I almost wet myself I laughed so hard! If you are not offended easily Go.See.This.Movie!  Stars: Jennifer Aniston

287. Let Him Go by Larry Watson.

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Let Him Go by Larry Watson.

DNF. Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich Von Kleist.

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Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich Von Kleist. Translated by Martin Greenberg
The Art of the Novella

Rating: DNF

(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)

1810; 2008, Melville House, 80/133 pgs

Age: 18+

"Based on historical events, this thrilling saga of violence and retribution bridges the gap between Medieval and modern literature, and speaks so profoundly to the contemporary spirit that it has been the basis of numerous plays, movies, and novels.It has become, in fact, a classic tale: that of the honorable man forced to take the law into his own hands. In this incendiary prototype, a minor tax dispute intensifies explosively, until the eponymous hero finds the forces of an entire kingdom, and even the great Martin Luther, gathered against him. But soon even Luther comes to echo the growing army of peasants asking, “Isn’t Kohlhaas right?”Widely acknowledged as one of the masterworks of German literature, Michael Kohlaas is also one of the most stirring tales ever written of the quest for justi…

237. The Book of Revelation. Illustrations by Chris Koelle.

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Sunday's Christian Book Review
This week's Christian book review is a graphic novel representation of the Book of Revelation and since I have a blog dedicated to graphic novels you can find the review over there if you are interested in that format of literature.  This book contains all 404 verses of the text and is not for children.  I highly recommend it.  Check out what I have to say about it.