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Saturday, 30 January 2016

A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading

A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading


Over the years I have read some absolutely incredible books on living my faith. A mix of Catholic and non-Catholic authors. I have been reading a number of great books but keep jumping around and have numerous books on the go currently. I usually have very focused reading for Advent 2015 and Plans for Lent 2016, but I thought I would build out more of a plan for the year. So it will be a year of reading intentionally. I have just gone through my Kindle, Kobo and Google Play book apps to see what I have on the go or have and want to read. These are the books that are my goal for getting through this year. So in alphabetical order here are the books I plan to make it through this year:

Innitial List: 
A Man Cleansed by God - John E. Beahm
Rediscover Jesus - Matthew Kelly
Catholic Book of Character, The - Fr. Edward Garesche
Church Militant Field Manual - Richard Heilman
Father The Family Protector - James B. Stenson
God Who Loves, The - Shane Kapler
God's World and Our Place In It - Fulton J. Sheen
Life's Greatest Lesson - Allen Hunt
Live Well Today - Fr. Thomas Dailey
Memorize the Mass - Kevin Vost
This Tremendous Lover - Eugene Boylan

I am sure some others will get added over the year but the goal is to get through at least these, but not just to read them to apply them and live the principles. I am part way through a number of these but it will work out to about a book every 2 weeks to get through the list.

Added by recommendation or from other reading:
A List that grows out of this year's readings and recommendations:
40 Years with a Saint: - Alvaro del Portillo and Cesare Cavalleri
33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration - Michael E. Gaitley
33 Day to Merciful Love: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in preparation for Marian Consecration - Michael E. Gaitley 
77 Ways to pray with Your Children - Jerry Windley-Daoust
A  Friar's Tale - John Collins
Behold Your Mother - Tim Staples
Basic Field Manual for Hearing God's Voice - Philip Kosloski
Divine Mercy Explained - Michael E. Gaitley
Divine Mercy Image Explained - Michael E. Gaitley
Distractions - Philip Kosloski
Every Man's Journey - James P. Campbell 
Finding True Happiness - Fulton J. Sheen
God or Nothing - Cardinal Robert Sarah
Good Use of Time: 11 Principles to Live By - Rafael Tomás Caldera
How God Hauled Me Kicking and Screaming Into the Catholic Church - Kevin Lowry
Hope for Hard Times - Scott Hahn
Holy Water and its Significance for Catholics - Henry Theiler
The Horarium - Philip Kosloski
How To Book of Catholic Devotions, The Second Edition - Mike Aqulina and Regis J. Flaherty
Fulton Sheen's Wartime Prayer Book 
The Long View - Matthew Kelly 
Resisting Happiness - Matthew Kelly
Made for More - Curtin Martin
Our Father - Sabrina Bus and Xavier Deneux
Hail Mary - Sabrina Bus and Xavier Deneux
Men of Mercy - Pope Francis
Maiden of Nazareth, The - Javier Saurez-Guanes
Navigating the Interior Life. Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God- Daniel Burke and Fr. John Bartunek
Into the Deep: FInding Peace Through Prayer - Dan Burke 
A Shepherd in Combat Boots - William Maher
Your Life in the Holy Spirit - Dr. Alan Schrec
Serviam - Philip Kosloski
Stress-Proof Your Marriage - Cory and Heidi Busse 
Soul, Mind and Heart - Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan
Speaking to the Heart - Stephen Gabriel 
Real Mercy - Jacques Philippe
Saint Augustine in 50 Pages - Taylor R. Marshall
Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages - Taylor R. Marshall 
Three Methods of Prayer That Will Change Your Life - Philip Kosloski
Truth Be Told - Mark Hart
The Timeless Teachings of Saint John Paul II - John E. Fagan
Year of Faith Companion: Prayer - Francis Fernandez
Year of Faith Treasury: The Roman Pontiff - Francis Fernandez
Year of Faith Companion: Holy Communion - Francis Fernandez 
The Life God Wants You to Have - Gregory K. Popcak 
Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers - Mike Aquilina
Why Am I Here - Matthew Kelly

Lent Reading:
Lenten Meditations with Fulton J. Sheen
Rediscover Lent - Matthew Kelly 
Sacred Reading for Lent 2016 - Douglas Leonard
40 Days, 40 Ways A New Look At Lent - Marcellino D'Ambrosio
2016 Magnificat Lenten Companion - Magnificat
Living Faith Lent 2016- Terence Hegarty
Welcome Risen Jesus - Sarah A. Reinhard

Advent Reading:
In Conversation with God Volume 1 Part 1 Advent - Francis Fernandez
Advent Meditations with Fulton J. Sheen

Audio Resources:
Light In The Darkness - Patrick Lencioni
Life Changers - Greg Willits
Becoming the Best Version Of Yourself - Matthew Kelly
Don't Just Try, ... Train - Matthew Kelly   

Catholic Fiction
Why Am I Here - Matthew Kelly
The Monks Daily Bread - Sylvia Dirham and Christopher Tupa
The Perfect Blindside - Leslea Wahl
An Unexpected Role - Leslea Wahl 
Liberation - Corinna Turner - I Am Margaret Book 3
Sword And Serpent - Taylor R. Marshall
The Watson Chronicles - Ann Margaret Lewis
Someday - Corinna Turner
Moses The Black: Thief, Murderer, Monk, Saint - Jared Zimmerer
The Tenth Region of the Night - Taylor R. Marshall - Sword and Serpent Book 2

Related Articles:
Advent Reading 2012
Thinking About Lent 2015
Advent 2015 Reading Plan

Other Article or Books on Lent:
Lent 2014 Some Reflections
Reconciled to God Daily Lenten Devotions - Amy Welborn
Magnificat Lenten Companion 2012
Lenten Preparation 2007
Holy Week Reflections 2007
Lent Readings 2006
The Way of the Cross Part II - Reviews of 5 more version
The Way of the Cross Part I - Reviews of 5 different versions



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Stella Batts Needs A New Name - Courtney Sheinmel and Jennifer A. Bell - Stella Batts Book 1


Needs A New Name
Stella Batts Book 1
Courtney Sheinmel (Author)
Jennifer A. Bell (Illustrator)
Sleeping Bear Press

ISBN 9781585361854
eISBN 9781585368662

Recently I read my first Stella Batts book to check them out before recommending them to my daughter. I loved the concept and the writing, so I showed them to my oldest who is 9. She loved the cover and description so we added book 1 Stella Batts Needs A New Name to our reading list. Shortly thereafter my daughter received a homework assignment, she had to pick a book, read it, and make a bookmark representing the story and a brief description. She choose this book and so we read it together. Currently when we read together we alternate pages. She loved the story and as soon as she was done her assignment we started book 2.

These are great fun reads. They are much more realistic than a lot of children's fiction. They are stories about a family, and revolve around family and school life. Each book begins with a series of facts about Stella Batts, in Stella Batts Needs a New Name the list is as follows:

A List by Stella Batts: Things You Should Know About this Book
1. It's an autobiography. That means I wrote it and it's all about me. I'm eight years old, I'm in third grade, and I live in Somers, California. My favorite place in Somers is Batts Confections - that's the candy store my family owns, and there's a lot about it in this book.
2. There's also stuff about some of my favorite people, like my best friend, Willa, my parents, and even my sister, Penny, who copies me a lot but she's still one of my favorites.
3. I even wrote about some people I don't like very much, like Joshua, the biggest meanie in my class. Joshua calls me Smella, because of something that happened on our class nature walk.
4. That's when I decided I had to change my name to something that does NOT rhyme with Smella.
5. You'll just have to read this book to find out what happened next!

My daughter and I both really enjoy these stories. My daughter who is a somewhat reluctant reader pounced on the start of reading another book in this series. As such I cannot give it a higher recommendation. My daughters summary of the book is:
"Stella Batts needs a new name because on a school field trip she fell in dog poop. A boy in her class started making fun of her and started calling her Smella. Stella started to want to change her name, because of the teasing. 

On the next field trip to Batts Confections, her family's store, Stella shares her wish to change her name with her friends. They decide they want to change their names as well. For their new names they decide on candy names, Kit Kat, Caramel, Truffle, Candace. By Changing their names things get very complicated very quickly. 

Reading this book opened my eyes to the power of words. It made me realize that something done in fun can really hurt someone. Words really can hurt so we need to be careful about what we say. It also made me appreciate my name and the importance of names."

And she even handed in her assignment a week early she was so excited to work on it. As you can see it is a pretty powerful book for you and for children in your life. Give it a try and you might just become hooked on Stella Batts also. 

(Below is the bookmark and Summary my daughter did)


Books by: Courtney Sheinmel:
Stella Batts:

Stella Batts Needs A New Name
Stella Batts Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Stella Batts Pardon Me
Stella Batts A Case of the Meanies
Stella Batts Who's in Charge?
Stella Batts Something Blue
Stella Batts None of Your Beeswax
Stella Batts Superstar

Stella Batts Scaredy Cat
Stella Batts Broken Birthday

Other Books:
Edgewater
Zacktastic
My So-Called Life
Positively
Sincerely
All the Things You Are













Monday, 25 January 2016

Lent 2016 Reading Plan


Lent 2016 Reading Plan

Lent does not begin for a few weeks. This year Len runs from Wednesday February 10th through Thursday March 24th. Lent is a season of penance, reflection, prayer and fasting as a way to grow closer to God. And as much as I enjoy Advent and preparing for Christmas, Lent to me in a season of renewal and restoration and a new beginning. This year as I prepared my reading list for Lent, I went back through some of my lists from the past few years and especially my readings from Advent this past year. During advent each night I read Welcome Baby Jesus by Sarah A. Reinhard and the kids and I really got a lot out of it. So We will be doing Welcome Risen Jesus as a family and the rest will be resources for my personal growth.



Best Lent Ever - Matthew Kelly
The Dynamic Catholic Institute


This is a series of daily messages and videos delivered directly into your mailbox. Last year I did the lent and advent series and really got a lot out of them so I am looking forward to the lent messages again this year.




Sacred Reading for Lent 2016
Douglas Leonard
Ave Maria Press
ISBN 9781594716119
ASIN B013IFD8KW


This is a new resource for me. It ended up in my recommended list and I thought I would give it a try. I do not know much about it but am excited about something new this year.



Rediscover Lent
Matthew Kelly
St. Anthony Messenger Press
ISBN 9781616362379
eISBN 9781616364236


I have yet to read anything my Matthew Kelly that did not help grow my faith. I love the daily email from The Dynamic Catholic Institute, and I really look forward to reading this book over lent. I know that this book is a series of excerpts from Rediscover Catholicism, but I have yet to read that book. This should be an awesome tool this year.





Welcome Risen Jesus
Sarah A. Reinhard
Liguori Publications
ISBN 9780764820748


Last year I read the book Sarah edited, Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary and absolutely loved it. And this past advent we read Welcome Baby Jesus with the kids and it was amazing. I am really looking forward to her insights on lent and the reflections and action points for the kids.


Lenten Companion 2016
The Magnificat
Ed. Father Peter John Cameron, O.P.
eISBN 9781941709184


Over the last few years I have often read the Magnificat's, Lenten, Advent and even Year of Faith Companion a number of times. They are always amazing resources. I find the diversity of contributors and power of the meditations are inspiring and challenging. And these ebooks are very reasonably priced.




Lenten Meditations with Fulton J. Sheen
Fulton J. Sheen
Liguori Publications
ISBN 9780764816840


I recently finished listening to Life Changers by Greg Willits, in it he focuses on knowing the faith, living the faith and sharing the faith. A few different times he recommends reading something by Fulton J. Sheen, so I picked up this devotion for Lent. Now to be honest I was a little disappointed, at first, it is only a short quote and a related bible verse. But after reading a few, even though it will be the shortest daily resource I expect some real gem's from this book.



In Conversation With God Volume #2 Lent and Eastertide
Francis Fernandez
ISBN 0906138205
Scepter Press
ISBN 0906138191


This volume spans the time from Ash Wednesday to Pentecost Sunday. Therefore this book will lead you through Lent, Easter and the 5 weeks of Easter leading up to Pentecost. If you cannot afford the whole set, start with this volume and the Advent and Christmastide volume, then add the others over time. It is usually cheaper to buy the boxed set but sometimes that amount of money is not available up front. You can read my full review of this book here. And these are now available in ebooks.


So this year I am using a mail list and 6 books. The books will be split up, 2 read in the morning, 2 read at lunch, 1 read with the kids before their bed time and 1 read before my bed time.

How do you prepare for Lend and what books or resources do you recommend?

Related Articles:
Advent Reading 2012
Thinking About Lent 2015
Advent 2015 Reading Plan

Other Article or Books on Lent:
Lent 2014 Some Reflections
Reconciled to God Daily Lenten Devotions - Amy Welborn
Magnificat Lenten Companion 2012
Lenten Preparation 2007
Holy Week Reflections 2007
Lent Readings 2006
The Way of the Cross Part II - Reviews of 5 more version
The Way of the Cross Part I - Reviews of 5 different versions

(Note: this books is part of a series: A Year of Reading Intention - Catholic Reading!)

Friday, 22 January 2016

Life Changers Program - Greg Willits


Life Changers Program
75 Easy Ways to Break Through Spiritual Plateaus and Experience God
Greg Willits


This series was promoted by one of the Catholic authors I follow. I had not heard of Greg Willits by name before. I was aware of one of his sites The Rosary Army, but had yet to read or listen to anything by him. This series was amazing. And yes he offers it completely for free. I have already listened to the series through twice and know I will listen to it again. Over the past month I have listened to 2 sessions a day, one repeating from the day before and one a new lesson.

This series is full of helpful and useful advice for living your faith, growing your faith and sharing your faith. Greg is easy to listen to and he is very engaging. When you sign up for and download this series you get 27 audio files and a pdf guide. Across the 25 sessions numerous resources are recommended so you can go deeper:

Books 39
Podcasts 7
Audio 5
DVD's 5
Video's 3
CD 1
And Various Other Resources 27

I have already read a few of the books recommended and will continue to pursue this treasure trove of knowledge. With every session there is a task for living the faith, sharing the faith and knowing the faith. This amazing resource is free! All you need to do is sign up and get a link to the download. I highly recommend this series. You get 27 audio sessions packed with easy ideas on how to improve your faith, your prayer life, your relationship with God and through those your relationships with others. Some of his tasks are challenging, and what I find easy you might find hard but there will be room for major growth.

This is an amazing tool to grow your faith and yes it is ABSOLUTELY FREE! So check it out and give it a try!


Books by Greg Willits:
The Catholics Next Door: Adventures in Imperfect Living 
The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid 


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch - Donald J. Sobol


Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch
Encyclopedia Brown Book 2
Donald J. Sobol
Penguin Random House

ISBN 9780553157369
eISBN 9781101007105

This was the second Encyclopedia Brown book That I have given a read. In some ways it is interesting reading these books and also the Hard Boys Books with my son currently. I first picked up a book in this series because Barry Lyga made mention of it on his blog. These are fun reads, especially waiting for meetings to start at work. And with almost 30 books in the series it will provide a lot of entertainment. 

Leroy Brown known to everyone around town as Encyclopedia Brown, born is a ten year old detective from Idaville. Brown has a gift, he can see through events, stories and items and sort the facts and come up with the truth. His opening his own detective agency began one night at the dinner table when he helped his father the Chief of Police solve a case. His business sign states:

Brown Detective Agency
13 Rover Avenue
Leroy Brown, president
No case too small
25Cents per day 
plus expenses

And with that the adventure begins. The cases in this volume are: 
The Case of the Secret Pitch
The Case of the Balloon Man
The Case of the Ambushed Cowboy
The Case of the Forgetful Sheriff
The Case of the Hungry Hitchhiker
The Case of the Two-Fisted Poet
The Case of the Wounded Toe
The Case of Excalibur
The Case of the Glass of Ginger Ale
The Case of the Stomach Puncher



The cases in this volume are interesting. I did manage to figure all but one out. Though I did need to go back and reread one story as I had missed a crucial fact. I like that the books help a reader to really pay attention. I find that since I started reading these stories I have been more focused in my other reading also. I look forward to reading many of these stories with all three of my children. 


One of the best guides for a children book I read is do I want to read it with my children and for these books that is an absolute yes. So pick it up and give it a try and if you read them when you were young introduce them to a young reader in your life.

Books by Donald J. Sobol:
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch
Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man
Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace
Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down
Encyclopedia Brown Shows the Way
Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Exploding Plumbing and Other Mysteries
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Dead Eagles
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Midnight Visitor
Encyclopedia Brown Carries On
Encyclopedia Brown Sets the Pace
Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Cake
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Treasure Hunt
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Two Spies
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablo's Nose
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Sleeping Dog
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Slippery Salamander
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Jumping Frogs
Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case
Encyclopedia Brown, Super Sleuth
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret UFOs
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Carnival Crime
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme


Monday, 18 January 2016

Rise of the Earth Dragon - Tracey West and Graham Howells - Dragon Masters #1


Rise of the Earth Dragon
Dragon Masters #1
Tracey West (Author)
Graham Howells (Illustrator)
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545646239


This book showed up in my recommended books because of reading some Dragon books by Chris d'Lacey and I thought I would give it a try. It is a good fun read and is now in the too be read list for my son and I to read together. There are currently 4 books available in this series with a 5th planned for the spring of 2016. The illustrations by Graham Howells are very wonderful and are on every page of the book. These books are geared for early readers from 1st-03rd grade and are set at a reading level of grade 2.

Young Drake is an onion famer and likely one of the poorest children in King Roland's Kingdom. One day while harvesting onions a soldier rides up and proclaims that Drake has been summoned to the castle. When Drake arrives he is informed that the Dragon stone has indicated he has the ability to become a Dragon master and so he has been brought to the castle to train. But he is not the only student there; the other students are Rori, Bo, and Ana. And each of them already has their own dragon. Drake is soon introduced to his dragon a brown earth dragon, that he names worm. Griffith the wizard is their teacher and advisor. And the one who interprets the Dragon stone. Soon the 4 children are training together but not really getting along well. As the children discover that not everything is as it appears events take a dark turn.

This was a good read, and introduction into the series. It was wonderfully illustrated, and well enough written that I have picked up the other books that are available to give them a read. Young children will love the illustrations and the story. It is a good beginning let's see where the story goes next.

The only real drawback is that the kindle edition is not compatible with Kindle for PC.


Friday, 15 January 2016

Revenge of the Tiki Men - Tony Abbott - Weird Zone Book 8


Revenge of the Tiki Men! 
Weird Zone Book 8 
Tony Abbott (Author)
ISBN 9781480486584

I went from reading the first book in this series to reading the last. My mistake but still a great read. There was nothing in the book that made it feel like anything was missing. If a book in a series can be read as a standalone, it holds up well especially books for children. I have enjoyed everything that I have read by Tony Abbott, I have read across series, genre's, from early readers to much more serious reads and they are all good reads. It is great to see Tony's earlier series coming back into print in eBook formats by Open Road Integrated Media. They are bringing back to life three of Tony's series, The Danger Guys, The Weird Zone and Cracked Classics. They have made 20 of Tony Abbott's out of print books available and I think that is awesome. 

This the second series Tony Abbott wrote, and it was originally published in the mid 90's. These books are set in Grover's Mill and it is a town known to be more than a little strange. Sort of the center of a Triangle of strangeness. It focuses around close friendships, and our key characters are Liz, Holly, Sean, Jeff and Mike. They consider themselves normal, and most of the residents of the town are Zoners. Maybe Grover's Mill is so weird because the town lake is called lake lake. Or maybe it is because it sits in the center of a triangle made up of a secret government UFO testing base, a dinosaur graveyard, and Humongous Horror Movie Studios. This group of friends have nicknamed their town 'the weird zone' and to be honest a day would not be normal there unless if something really weird happened. Mike wishes for it to be a non-weird day but that does not last very long. For soon a giant Tiki head raised up from the ground right at home plate on the ball diamond. Followed by the appearance of Buddy Kool and an ever growing army of jungle men dressed in grass and mud and twigs, sort of covered in weeds. And that is just the beginning of the weird ness. Soon giant Tiki Heads are popping up all over the place and a primeval jungle starts taking over everything. It is up to the friends to save the day again!

This book was a good fun read, and I have started reading them with my son who loves them. It is like the earlier series Danger Guys, or later series Goodballs in many ways. It is a good fun read that children will enjoy. It is geared for a younger audience than some of his books, but he writes from 4-16 but as an adult I have enjoyed many of his books. I highly recommend this title. And look forward to reading more in the series. 
  
Books By Tony Abbott:

Goofballs
1. The Crazy Case of Missing Thunder (2012)
2. The Startling Story of the Stolen Statue (2012)
3. Superhero Silliness (2012)
4. The Mysterious Talent Show Mystery (2013)

5. The Scary Story of the Ha-Ha-Haunted House (2013) 

Underworlds:
1. The Battle Begins (2012)
2. When Monsters Escape (2012)
3. Revenge of the Scorpion King (2013)
4. The Ice Dragon (2013)


Danger Guys
1. Danger Guys (1994)
2. Danger Guys Blast Off (1994)
3. Hollywood Halloween (1994)
4. Danger Guys Hit the Beach (1995)
5. Danger Guys on Ice (1995)
6. Danger Guys and the Golden Lizard (1996)

Time Surfers
1. Space Bingo (1996)
2. Orbit Wipeout! (1995)
3. Mondo Meltdown (1996)
4. Into the Zonk Zone! (1996)
5. Splash Crash (1997)
6. Zero Hour (1997)
7. Shock Wave (1997)
8. Doom Star (1997)

Weird Zone
1. Zombie Surf Commandos from Mars (1996)
2. The Incredible Shrinking Kid (1996)
3. The Beast from Beneath the Cafeteria! (1996)
4. Attack of the Alien Mole Invaders! (1996)
5. The Brain That Wouldn't Obey! (1996)
6. Gigantopus from Planet X! (1997)
7. Cosmic Boy Versus Mezmo Head! (1997)
8. Revenge of the Tiki Men! (1997)

Secrets of Droon
1. The Hidden Stairs and the Magic Carpet (1999)
2. Journey to the Volcano Palace (1999)
3. The Mysterious Island (1999)
4. City in the Clouds (1999)
5. The Great Ice Battle (1999)
6. The Sleeping Giant of Goll (2000)
7. Into the Land of the Lost (2000)
8. The Golden Wasp (2000)
9. Tower of the Elf King (2000)
10. Quest for the Queen (2000)
11. The Hawk Bandits of Tarkoom (2000)
12. Under the Serpent Sea (2001)
13. The Mask of Maliban (2001)
14. Voyage of the Jaffa Wind (2002)
15. The Moon Scroll (2002)
16. The Knights of Silversnow (2002)
Special Edition 1. The Magic Escapes (2002)
17. Dream Thief (2003)
18. Search for the Dragon Ship (2003)
19. The Coiled Viper (2003)
20. In The Ice Caves of Krog (2003)
21. Flight of the Genie (2003)
Special Edition 2. Wizard or Witch? (2004)
22. The Isle of Mists (2004)
23. The Fortress of the Treasure Queen (2004)
24. Race To Doobesh (2005)
25. The Riddle Of Zorfendorf Castle (2005)
Special Edition 3. Voyagers of the Silver Sand (2005)
26. The Moon Dragon (2006)
27. The Chariot of Queen Zara (2006)
28. In the Shadow of Goll (2006)
Special Edition 4. Sorcerer (2006)
29. Pirates of the Purple Dawn (2007)
30. Escape from Jabar-Loo (2007)
31. Queen of Shadowthorn (2007)
Special Edition 5. Moon Magic (2008)
32. Treasure of the Orkins (2008)
33. Flight of the Blue Serpent (2008)
34. In the City of Dreams (2009)
Special Edition 6. Crown of Wizards (2009)
35. The Lost Empire Of Koomba (2009)
36. Knights of the Ruby Wand (2010)
Special Edition 7. The Genie King (2010)
Special Edition 8. The Final Quest (2010)

Don't Touch That Remote
1. Sitcom School (1999)
2. The Fake Teacher (1999)
3. Stinky Business (announced, not published)
4. Freak Week (announced, not published)

Cracked Classics
1. Trapped in Transylvania: Dracula (2002)
2. Mississippi River Blues: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (2002)
3. What a Trip!: Around the World in Eighty Days (2002)
4. Humbug Holiday: A Christmas Carol (2002)

5. X Marks the Spot: Treasure Island (2003)
6. Crushing on a Capulet: Romeo and Juliet (2003)

Haunting of Derek Stone
1. City of the Dead (2009)
2. Bayou Dogs (2009)
3. The Red House (2009)
4. The Ghost Road (2009)



The Copernicus Legacy
The Forbidden Stone (2013)
The Serpent's Curse (2014

Novels
Kringle (2005)
Firegirl (2006)
The Postcard (2008)
Lunch-Box Dream (2011)

Author profile interview with Tony Abbott.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

None of Your Beeswax - Courtney Sheinmel - Stella Batts Book 7


None of Your Beeswax
Stella Batts Book 7
Courtney Sheinmel (Author)
Jennifer A. Bell (Illustrator)
Sleeping Bear Press
ISBN 9781585368532


I will be honest I sometimes start a series of children's books out of order to see if the books can stand alone. If a book later in the series can stand alone I am more likely to give the series a chance. To be honest I cannot remember how I first encountered the Stella Batts books, either a review from a blog I follow or a recommendation based on one of the book sites I use. But I thought it was a series my oldest daughter would be interested in so I gave this book a go. I was very happy with the results. These are very realistic reads. I have now started them with my daughter and she is as enthusiastic as I am about reading them.

The book starts off with Stella sharing "7 Things You Should Know About Me: Batts:
1. My name is Stella. (Oops, you knew that already.)
2. I'm eight years old.
3. I live in Somers, California, with my mom, my dad, my sister, Penny, and my baby brother, Marco.
4. My family owns a candy store called Batts Confections-we named it that because Batts is our last name and confections is a fancy word for candy.
5. Of all the things they sell at Batts Confections, fudge is my very favorite.
6. Some of my other favorite things are dolphins, the TV show Superstar Sam, and the color purple, since that was the color of my dress at Aunt Laura's wedding.
7. Okay this is number seven-did you know that this is my SEVENTH book, and did you know seven is a lucky number? I don't know why. But it doesn't matter, because it's time to get on with the story."

This book is the seventh in the series and currently there are 8 books available. In this book Stella discovers that secrets can be a bad thing. Even if the intent of the secret was good in can be very harmful. Stella deals with secrets about a pet that dies, a new2 surprise at their family store, and a secret project for a school assignment. Read and learn how she comes to terms with making a promise that in hindsight does not see that wise. And to some extent all of the secrets cause her problems, either at home, with her friends, in her class and more.

It was great reading a book that was so realistic. I think they will be great reads to share with my kids and friends of the family. I look forward to reading more of Stell's adventures and even trying some other books by Courtney Sheinmel.

Books by: Courtney Sheinmel:
Stella Batts:

Stella Batts Needs A New Name
Stella Batts Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Stella Batts Pardon Me
Stella Batts A Case of the Meanies
Stella Batts Who's in Charge?
Stella Batts Something Blue
Stella Batts None of Your Beeswax
Stella Batts Superstar

Stella Batts Scaredy Cat
Stella Batts Broken Birthday

Other Books:
Edgewater
Zacktastic
My So-Called Life
Positively
Sincerely
All the Things You Are













Monday, 11 January 2016

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective - Donald J. Sobol - Book 1


Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective
Encyclopedia Brown Book 1
Donald J. Sobol
Penguin Random House
ISBN 9780142408889
eISBN 9781101007112


I picked up this book because Barry Lyga made mention of it on his blog. I recall knowing the name but had never read an Encyclopedia Brown book until recently. Growing up with a dual form of dyslexia I did not read a lot of books when I was younger. In fact it was high school before I really became a reader. And maybe that is why I read across so many genres and love reading a good children's, middle grade or young adult book. I am very glad I added these books to me to be read list. It is always interesting starting a series of books that is finished and has a number of books. There are 28 books in the Encyclopedia Brown Books, a few have had title changes but 28 books is a long series no matter how you look at it. If they are all as good as this one I have a lot of reading ahead of me.

Encyclopedia Brown, born Leroy Brown is a ten year old detective from Idaville. He has a great gift for seeing through the straw and finding the needle. It all started one night when his father the Chief of Police shared details of a case over dinner and Encyclopedia pieced it together quickly. That summer he decided to open his own business the sign reads:

Brown Detective Agency
13 Rover Avenue
Leroy Brown, president
No case too small
25Cents per day
plus expenses

And with that the adventure begins. The cases in this volume are:
The Case of Natty Nat
The Case of the Scattered Cards
The Case of the Civil War Sword
The Case of Merko's Grandson
The Case of the Bank Robber
The Case of the Happy Nephew
The Case of the Diamond Necklace
The Case of the Knife in the Watermelon
The Case of the Missing Roller Skates
The Case of the Champion Egg Spinner


I had to read the solution for a few but after that I slowed down paid closer attention and figured them out. I am really looking forward to reading these with my son and oldest daughter. They are fin light easy to read mysteries.

My criteria for enjoying a book intended for young reads are 1. did I enjoy it as an adult, 2. do I want to share it with my children or children I know, 3. can I say yeah this was a good read regardless of intended audience? This book hits all three. And as such it was a great read. I have already gone on and read book two in this series and know I will read some more soon.

Books by Donald J. Sobol:
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch
Encyclopedia Brown Finds the Clues Encyclopedia Brown Gets His Man
Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace
Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down
Encyclopedia Brown Shows the Way
Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Case
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Exploding Plumbing and Other Mysteries
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Dead Eagles
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Midnight Visitor
Encyclopedia Brown Carries On
Encyclopedia Brown Sets the Pace
Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Cake
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Mysterious Handprints
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Treasure Hunt
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Two Spies
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablo's Nose
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Sleeping Dog
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Slippery Salamander
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Jumping Frogs
Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case
Encyclopedia Brown, Super Sleuth
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret UFOs
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Carnival Crime
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme


Friday, 8 January 2016

The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Cookbook - Joe Cross



The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Cookbook
Joe Cross
Greenleaf Book Group
ISBN 9781626341371
eISBN 9781629670201


I have watched both Fat Sick and Nearly Dead I and Two a number of times. I have also read most of the books that Joe Cross has written and found all of them useful and well written but this might be the best if you are not going to read them all. It packs a lot of information in to just under 200 pages. It has great resources for why to juice, how to juice, hot to cook for a family while juicing. Then it has some amazing juice recipes and also recipes for a fruit and veggie dominated diet for after your reboot.

The chapters in the book are:


Introduction
How To Use This Book
Juicing

  • How to make a juice
  • Tips for storing juice
  • To peel or not to peel?
  • Juicing produce preparation guide
  • Substitution guide for juice ingredients
  • Let's talk about pulp
  • How to get the most nutritious, delicious produce
  • Juicing, blending, what's the difference?
  • SHOPPING AND COOKING
  • Produce shopping
  • Storing produce at home
  • Washing produce
  • Organic, local, or conventional?
  • A-Z produce prep for cooking Reboot-friendly veggies
Feeding The Family While Rebooting
Rebooting For Thyroid Conditions
Rebooting For Diabetes
After Your Reboot
The Recipes

  • Juices
  • Coconut Water Juices
  • Smoothies
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Sides
  • Mains
  • Pulp
Resources
For Your Doctor


It contains 53 juice recipes, 4 coconut water juices, 11 smoothies, 11 salads, 5 soups, 5 sides, 5 main courses and 7 recipes to use up some of the pulp from your juicing.

Like all resources from Joe Cross and Reboot with Joe this book is an excellent addition to your health and fitness library. It is a great book and I enjoy using the recipes as jumping off points for my own creations.

Note: in the UK Published as:

The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Recipe Book: Over 100 recipes inspired by the film 'Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead'
Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN 9781444798333

Books by Joe Cross:
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead: How Fruits & Vegetables Changed My Life
The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet: Lose Weight, Get Healthy and Feel Amazing
Reboot with Joe Recipe Book: Plant-Based Recipes to Supercharge Your Life
The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Recipe Book: Over 100 recipes inspired by the film 'Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead'
The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Cookbook
101 Juice Recipes
101 Smoothie Recipes
Reboot with Joe: Fully Charged: 7 Keys to Losing Weight, Staying Healthy and Thriving

Documentaries by Joe Cross:
Fat Sick And Nearly Dead
Fat Sick And Nearly Dead 2

Apps by Reboot with Joe:
Reboot with Joe
101 Juice Recipes
101 Smoothie Recipes


Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Updated 2016-04-13


This post has been redacted because of personal conviction. I would appreciate if you say a prayer for me. 

Oh, Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.
Oh, Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers.
Oh, Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
Saint Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me. 
Amen


Monday, 4 January 2016

The Wearle - Chris d'Lacey - Erth Dragons Book 1


The Wearle
Erth Dragons Book 1
Chris D'Lacey
Orchard Books
ISBN 9781408332474

Scholastic
ISBN 9780545900188
ASIN B01G2MUZ40

I am currently reading three different dragon series by Chris d'Lacey. All three are wonderful, but as I read more and more of his writing the more impressed I am with his craft and skill with the pen. This first book in a new series is powerful, raw and enchanting. There is some commonalities to all of his dragon books, like the dragon's life force being in the dragon's tear. The simple Hrrrrrr.  But if this new book is indeed set on our Earth and the same earth as the Dragons of Wayward Crescent or the Last Dragon Chronicles It is set a long long time ago.

The Wearle are a colony come to Erth to find out what happened to their previous colony that contact was lost with. They have come and claimed the mountains as their domain and they have driven the hom, man, the Kaal from their home caves and keep them at bay by patrols along a scorch line. This line literally burned into the earth is a clear marker and patrolled well by the skaler's as the men call them. But life among the Dragons and the men is about to be changed drastically.

Ren a young boy has a fascination with the dragons. And when a foolish man stirs up the dragons and it costs him his life it causes all sorts of strange things to happen. Gabrial on the other hand is a young dragon out to prove himself, he is willing to take risks and must accept harsh punishment.

This story was stunning from the first words until the last few I was hooked. The story caught my imagination and kept me glued to the pages. Infact I have started reading it over again at a slower pace to saver the story again.The hardest part of finishing this book is know that book two is only being written now and is a long way off. But there are yet a lot of Chris's book I have not yet read they should keep me busy for a while.

This was the first book I finished in 2016, and it already ranks with the top ten of the 177 books I read in 2015. I highly recommend it.





Books by Chris d'Lacey:
Dragons of Wayward Crescent
Gruffen (2009)
Gauge (2008)
Glade (2009)
Grabber (2010)

The Erth Dragons
The Wearle (2015)
2. Dark Wyng (2016)

The Last Dragon Chronicles with David Rain
The Fire Within (2001)
Icefire (2003)
3 Fire Star (2005)
4 The Fire Eternal (2007)
5 Dark Fire (2009)
6 Fire World (2011)
7 The Fire Ascending (2012)
Rain and Fire: A Guide to the Last Dragon Chronicles (2010)

The Unicorne Files
1 A Dark Inheritance (2014)
2 Alexander's Army (2015)
3 A Crown of Dragons (2016)

Fly, Cherokee Fly Series
Fly, Cherokee Fly
Pawnee Warrior

Other Books
Henry Spaloosh! 
Horace
Shrinking Ralph Perfect
The Snail Patrol
The Table Football League
Riverside United
Lofty
From E to You
Scupper Hargreaves, Football Genie
The Salt Pirates of Skegness
Falling for Mandy
The Prompter

Picture Books:
A Hole at the Pole
Juggling with Jeremy
A Break in the Chain
Read With Bubble and Float
Dexter's Journey
Frankin's Bear

Contributed to:
On Me ‘ead, Santa
Nice One, Santa
The Usborne Book of Christmas Stories
Heroes and Villains
In the Frame
Midnight Feast

Author Profile and Interview with Chris d'Lacey.