Sunday 31 January 2010

Zoo - Little Scholastic

Little Scholastic
ISBN 9780545150729

This book follows Toys, in format and style, but has animals for each of the colors and for the puzzle. Each page also has texture to feel like fur, hide or hair. But this book is more than just a book, it is also a puzzle and flash cards to help young children grow, and as they do this book grows with them. It is a color book, and as each color is learned, the center of the page can be pulled out; one side is a flash card for the colors and the other makes a puzzle. It is a great little book and a wonderful multifunction concept.

(Note: the first book was pulled apart easily by children but once glued back together it has held well.)

Friday 29 January 2010

I Lost My Kisses - Trudie Trewin and Nick Bland

I Lost My Kisses
Trudie Trewin (Author)
Nick Bland (Illustrator)
Orchard Books
an Imprint of Scholastic

ISBN 9780545055574

I love Nick Bland's illustrations and this book is another great one. The images are very similar in style to A Monster Wrote Me A Letter, with great pen and ink style drawings mostly, 7 in gray scale with just a few splashes of color. It is the story of Matilda Rose, a young cow who loves to give kisses. Then one day she wakes up and cannot find her kisses. It is the story of her spending the day looking for her kisses. She looks around her home, in the yard and even at the store. Will she find her kisses in time for her father to arrive home from his trip? Read and find out. This is both a well-written and wonderfully illustrated book.

Books by Nick Bland:
A Monster Wrote Me a Letter (2005)
Aussie Jingle Bells (2006)
I Lost My Kisses (2007)
Donald Loves Drumming (2008)
The Very Cranky Bear (2008)
When Henry Caught Imaginitis (2008)
The Wrong Book (2009)
The Very Itchy Bear (2010)
Twinkle HB (2010)
The Runaway Hug (2011)

Wednesday 27 January 2010

10 Minute Crusher Pack - Tony Horton One on One Volume 2 Disk 4

Tony Horton
One on One
Volume 2 Disk 4

10 Minute Crusher Pack


This One on One is intended to se
rve two masters and as such it really fails both to some extent. Most of the users of the One on One Series are looking for longer workouts with a little more to them. They are P90X graduates, and others who have completed 90 Boot Camps with Tony Horton and one of his programs. 10 Minute Trainer is intended for those who want to get into shape and make lifestyle changes but have, or are willing to make, limited time available for it. Now don't get me wrong, there is a place for 10 Minute Trainer and many people have gotten great results with it. Where this video fails is it aims to hit two very different markets and is not set up to satisfy both.

Let me explain. There are three separate 10 Minute workouts on this video. They are: 10 Minute Abs, Legs of Gold and Shadow Boxing. And each is a good workout and is set up so that you can hit play and go through all three back to back for a 30 minute workout.

The menu should be set up so that you can select any of the three or a 'play all' option but that is not there. Also
the chapter breaks are not always at a beginning of a specific exercise. So in my opinion it is an okay workout but could have been better. Personally I like the 10 Minutes Abs and the Shadow Boxing - the 10 Minute Legs did not do much for me. I wish there were a full length workout along the lines of the Shadow boxing; we can only hope it will appear in one of the future One on Ones.
One on One with Tony Horton is a workout series that you can either choose individual workouts to purchase or on a subscription where you get a new DVD each month. It's just Tony mostly working out in his home gym at his pace. There is less talk and instruction than his standard series and it moves at a quicker pace and has fewer breaks. They are also intended for people in good shape already, or graduates of Power90, P90X, or other or Beachbody other fitness programs.To find out more about this series or other workouts in the collection follow the links below. I have created a random workout generator that uses 1 on 1's and P90X if your interested.
Volume 1, Disk 1: Plyo Legs
Volume 1, Disk 2: Power 90® Road Warrior
Volume 1, Disk 3: Killer Abs

Volume 1, Disk 4: Just Arms
Volume 1, Disk 5: 30-15: The Upper-Body Massacre
Volume 1, Disk 6: Fountain of Youth
Volume 1, Disk 7: Super Cardio

Volume 1, Disk 8: Mammoth UML
Volume 1, Disk 9: Bun Shaper
Volume 1, Disk 10: Medicine Ball Core Cardio
Volume 1, Disk 11: Recovery 4 Results

Volume 1, Disk 12: Diamond Delts
Volume 1, Bonus Disk - Holiday Workout
Volume 2, Bonus Disk - Pay It Forward
Volume 2, Disk 1: Cardio Intervals
Volume 2, Disk 2: Core Ball Sandwich
Volume 2, Disk 3: Patience "Hummingbird"
Volume 2, Disk 4: 10-Minute Crusher Pack

Volume 2, Disk 5: Butt and Belly (I Dare You)
Volume 2, Disk 6: Back and BellyVolume 2, Disk 7: On One Leg
Volume 2, Disk 8: Iso Abs
Volume 2, Disk 9: Cardio Confusion - Mason's Choice
Volume 2, Disk 10: 100/30/20
Volume 2, Disk 11: On One Leg 4 legs
Volume 2, Disk 12: Upper Body Balance

Volume 3, Disk 1: Chest, Back & Balls
Volume 3, Disk 2: ARX2 (Ab-Ripper X 2)
Volume 3, Disk 3: Shoulders and Arms MC2
Volume 3, Disk 4: Base and Back
Volume 3, Disk 5: MC2
Volume 3, Disk 6: Plyocide
Volume 3, Disk 7: Stretch And Recovery
Volume 3, Disk 8: V Sculpt
Volume 3, Disk 9: Core Synergistics MC2
Volume 3, Disk 10: UBX
Volume 3, Disk 11: PAP
Volume 3, Disk 12: Total Body X

I am asked frequently if I am a Beachbody Coach, no I am not, I am just some one who has used their products, P90X, 1on1 with Tony Horton and more and liked them and achieved good results. I am not paid by Beachbody or any of their affiliates. You can see my full disclaimer here.)

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Handbook 2010 - 40 Guidelines

(This is one of those chain emails going around, I tend not to forward an on, but liked the content of this one and decided to post it here. It relates to some of my personal goals and objectives for growth in my own life. As an aside I just started reading Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson his wisdon mirrors this list in a lot of area's. Check out his blog and his book. Also check out Life isnt Over at 40; Jeff has some great resources for health and living also.)

1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufacture
d in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5. Make time to pray.

6. Play more games

7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .

8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day

9. Sleep for 7 h
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.

14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.

16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.

20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. Call your family often.

26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.

28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people s
mile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.

31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change...
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.

38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

40. Admit your mistakes and seet to make restitution where needed. (I added this one since I turned 40 a few days ago.)

Related Posts:
New Year's Resolutions 2007
New Year's Resolutions 2008
Michale L. Davenport on The Importance of Goals
New Year's Day 2010
Handbook 2010

Monday 25 January 2010

Here Comes Halloween! - Caroline Jayne Church

Here Comes Halloween!
Caroline Jayne Church


ISBN 9780545118156

This is a great little book for the Halloween season. It is about a little boy who is trying to decide what to be for Halloween. Either through dress up or his imaginations, he plays out a number of scenarios. He becomes a pirate, a dinosaur, a bat, a robot, a monkey and a superhero. It is a bright, colourful, fun-filled book, with great illustrations, and sections of each page have textures, or flaps or reflective surfaces for the younger children to interact with. It is a little book full of big-time fun for your little ones.

Books by Caroline Jane Church:
Leaf Trouble
Here Comes Halloween!
Here Comes Easter!
Here Comes Christmas!

The More We Get Together
You Are My Sunshine
Goodnight I Love You

Books Illustrated by Carolyne Jayne Church:
I Love You Through And Through
How Do I Love You
A Kiss For You

Thursday 21 January 2010

My Pretty Pink Purse - Tim Bugbird and Jane Horne

My Pretty Pink Purse
Tim Bugbird
Jane Horne
ISBN 9780545207294

This is a fun little book for young girls. It is a board book shaped like a purse with handle and all. Written in rhyme and filled with all things pink, it is a look and feel book from Scholastic, with textures and shapes, embossed items and more. It is a book for the eyes and for the senses, especially little fingers. I am sure it will be enjoyed by young girls. Just as the back of the book says
"My Pretty pink purse
Is filled to the top
Will all the things I like a lot!"

Eight Days: A Story of Haiti - Edwidge Danticat and Alix Delinois

Eight Days: A Story of Haiti
Edwidge Danticat (Author)
Alix Delinois (Illustrator)
Orchard Books
An Imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9780545278492

This book is the telling of the story of Junior, a seven-year old who was trapped after the Port-au-Prince earthquake. It recounts how he survived by imagining what he would do. Each day he did different things - at first with his friend who was trapped with him and after he passed, with his sister. The book is amazingly illustrated and charmingly written. The illustrations are wonderful. Join Junior as he journeys through the 8 days he was trapped and what he imagined he was doing each of those days. Edwidge Danticat, who was born in Port-au-prince and now resides in the US, is an award-winning author. Alix Delinois was born in Saint Marc, Haiti and now lives in New York.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Fairy Tale Novel Paper Dolls - Cassandra Stevens

Fairy Tale Novel Paper Dolls
Paper Dolls from The Shadow of the Bear by Regina DomanCassandra Stevens
Chesterton Press

ISBN 9780981931883

I loved the novel this book is based on. This book will be fun for young children. The study cover contains 4 paper dolls from the novel: Red Brier, Blanche Briar, Arthur "Bear" Denniston and Benedict "Fish" Denniston. It contains numerous cut-out outfits for the different characters. After reading the fairy tale, children can use this to re-enact it, or create their own stories for where things go after the book. It is well done and should provide hours of entertainment.

Book by Regina Doman:
Fairy Tales Retold:
Snow White and Rose Red (1997)
Shadow Of The Bear (2002)
Black As Night (2004)
Waking Rose (2007)
Midnight Dancers (2008)
Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves (2010)

Rapunzel Let Down (2013)

Other Books:
The Story of Job

Graphic Novels:
Habemus Papam! Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Francis: I Believe in Mercy

Contributed to:
Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut
Catholic Philosopher Chick Comes on Strong
The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide
The Chestertons and the Golden Key

Picture Books:
Angels in the Water (2004)
Fairy Tale Novel Paper Dolls (2009)

Our Fairy Tale Romance - Andrew Schmiedicke (2009)

Author Profile Interview with Regina Doman

Monday 18 January 2010

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas - Philip Yates and Sebastia Serra

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas

Philip Yates (Author)
Sebastia Serra (Illustrator)
ISBN 9781402742576

This book is a wonderful retelling of the night before Christmas. It is told as a pirate tale and told in pirate lingo.
The illustrations are fantastic and the story is fun. It is fun to read aloud. It is fun to look at. The words just flow off the tongue. It is really just a fun book.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Toys - Little Scholastic

Little Scholastic
ISBN 9780545149730

This book is a book, a puzzle and flash cards to help young children grow, and as they do this book grows with them. It is a color book, and as each color is learned, the center of the page can be pulled out; one side is a flash card for the colors and the other makes a puzzle. It is a great little book and a wonderful multifunction concept.

Saturday 16 January 2010

In Too Deep - 39 Clues Book 6 - Jude Watson

In Too Deep
The 39 Clues - Book 6

Jude Watson


ISBN 9780545060462

I have been amazed at how well the story line in this series has maintained consistency and flow with the unique character of the series. With 10 books by seven authors and one continuous story line with the same characters, I really expected the story to degrade by now. Yet here we are with book six complete and it is still an amazing story. Jude Watson picks up right where Patrick Carman left off from The Black Circle. The story is fast-paced and as always it is a race for the 39 clues. The Cahil children, Amy and Dan, have a major fight because Amy tries to keep a secret from Dan, a secret she is keeping because she is ashamed and blames herself for her parents' death.

In this book some of the Cahils sink to even greater depths of depravity; threatening to feed young children to sharks, kidnapping and even attempted murder by fire and poisonous snakes and spiders. And some rise like phoenixes from the ashes and their own terrible pasts to make sacrifices for others. Some friendships are tested and some grow stronger.

The history lesson in this book focuses around Australia and some of its colorful past. Conflicts between Russian Cahils and British Royalty are discovered from the past, and there is even a run-in or two with Mark Twain. Jude Watson does a great job of exploring the history of Australia and its unique environment without making it too much like a history or social science class. Watson explores some Australian folklore, geography, legends and even wildlife. All that fits into a fast-passed novel without disturbing the flow.

This series is an interesting publishing venture - one continuous story told over 10 books but 7 different authors. The strength of the series is that thus far it has been an amazing story and very well-written over all. The novels flow from one to the other as the authors pass off the story almost seamlessly. The books will introduce readers to a number of award-winning authors, and if they pick them up because they are fans of one specific author their reading will widen in scope. Each of the authors is an award-winner, some multiple times over. Each brings something unique to the story thus making the sum much more than the combination of the parts. This is a great book in an incredible series that leaves you hanging and awaiting the next volume.

Sites With More Info:

The 39 Clues:
The Maze of Bones - Book 1 - Rick Riordan
One False Note - Book 2 - Gordon Korman
The Sword Thief - Book 3 - Peter Lerangis
Beyond the Grave - Book 4 - Jude Watson
The Black Circle - Book 5 - Patrick Carman
In Too Deep - Book 6 - Jude Watson
The Viper's Nest - Book 7 - Peter Lerangis
The Emperor's Code - Book 8 - Gordon Korman

Storm Warning - Book 9 - Linda Sue Park

 Into the Gauntlet - Book 10 - Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Black Book of Buried Secrets - Rick Riordan
Vespers Rising - Book 12 - Rick Riordan

Card Pack #1 - Books 1-3
Card Pack #2 - Books 4-6
Card Pack #3 - Books 7-9
Rare Card Pack

The 39 Clues Cahills vs. Vespers
The Medusa Plot - Book 1 - Gordon Korman
A King's Ransom - Book 2 - Jude Watson
The Dead of Night - Book 3 - Peter Lerangis
? - Book 4 - Roland Smith
? - Book 5 - Linda Sue Park
? - Book 6 - David Baldacci

The 39 Clues Rapid Fire:
Legacy - Book 1 - Clifford Riley
Ignition - Book 2 - Clifford Riley
Hunted - Book 3 - Clifford Riley
Crushed - Book 4 - Clifford Riley
Turbulence - Book 5 - Clifford Riley
Invasion - Book 6 - Clifford Riley
Fireworks - Book 7 - Clifford Riley

Friday 15 January 2010

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd - Ed. Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd
Ed. Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Little Brown
ISBN 9780316008099

This is an amazing collection of fiction with everything from sci-fi conventions, to cheerleaders, to star gazing and prep schools. Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci came up with the idea for the first story in this collection in 2007 at Comic-Con in San Diego. The story would be a nerd love story - a Jedi and a Klingon wake up in bed at a Science Fiction convention together not remembering exactly what happened. They realize that their preferred alternate realities, theologies and practices are diametrically opposed, and yet they find they like each other. But soon upon having the idea for the story they realized nob
ody would publish it, so they went to their geek friends far and wide and asked them to contribute to a collection, and what an amazing collection it is.

To be honest, I picked it up because Holly Black was one of the editors and I generally really appreciate and enjoy her work. And yet it surpassed all my expectations; I plan on tracking down works from a number of contributors and reading them from the pieces found in this collection. Their work will be great. The contributors are:

Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Tracy Lynn
Scott Westerfeld
Cassandra Clare

M.T. Anderson
Cynthia Leitich Smith and Greg Leitich Smith
David Levithan
Garth Nix
Lisa Yee
Kelly Link
John Green
Barry Lyga
Sara Zarr
Wendy Mass
Libba Bray

And between each short story is a comic, illustrated either by Bryan Lee O'Malley or Hope Larson. The back of the dust jacket gives definitions of both geek and geektastic. They are:

Geek \gek\ n: 1. A person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked 2. A person who is so passionate about a given subject or subjects as to occasionally cause annoyance among others

geek-tas-tic \ gek-tas-tic\ adj: marked by fantastic geek qualities; a compliment of the highest regard

Number 1. From geek might be is a real definition. This book will help make the others so as well. For geek is the new chic. To be a geek is now cool and this collection has something for every flavor of geek: Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr. Who, Comics, and much, much more. I was surprised that I enjoyed every story in the collection. Usually with anthologies, a few stories stick out as great, a few suck and a few are ok. I actually appreciate the art of each piece in the collection. That speaks much about the editors but also the authors that contributed. Reading this collection brought back memories of high school, Queen's University and my time here at UWaterloo. Just as a side note, the images on the covers are representations of our contributors, and there are a few different versions of the covers because the figures are not always in the same order. Each represents the story they told or the characters in those stories. It's geeky but fun to link them together as you work through the book. And as a second aside, I would love to see an audio book come out either as dramatized or each author reading their piece.

Knowing I will not do them justice, I will try to provide a brief summary of each of the stories in this wonderful collection.

Once You're a Jedi, You're a Jedi All the Way
Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci have woven a wonderful tale about different world views colliding and then settling. It is an excellent story of a Jedi and a Klingon who fall in love. As the best stories do, it leaves you wanting to know what happens next. Black is best known for her part in the duo that created The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Castelluci has won awards for both her novels and graphic novels. By far, this is one of my favorite pieces in the collection.

One of Us
In this interesting story by Tracy Lynn, a cheerleader goes to the Games club so they can teach her Geek. Her boyfriend is into Original Trek, and the Lord of the Rings.
She wants to understand him better so she pays the geeks to teach her. They set up a schedule to teach her - movies, tv, comics and more. She is doing this for love, but as many of us know, at times, love sucks. Lynn has published numerous books including Snow, RX, and The Nine Lives of Chloe.

Definitional Chaos
Can a last kiss ever be good? In this story Scott Westerfeld takes us on an adventure between two people who were once in a relationship and are now trusted with taking eighty-four thousand dollars by train to pay for convention fees. He doesn't trust her, and she loves pushing his buttons. But in reality she is looking for resolution to their already-ended relationship. It is a great story and would read a little like a Robert B. Parker story if he spoke geek instead of just tough. Westerfeld is the author of So Yesterday, Peeps and The Last Day.

I Never
Cassandra Clare is bestselling author of City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass (Not to be confused with Douglas Coupland's book by the same title.) This again is another love story but about two people from an online game who meet at a gatheri
ng of members from the game. It does not go nearly as planned. Jane was in the online game playing as who she is in the real word and her Heathcliff is not, or at least not who she thinks Heathcliff is. It is fun, funny and quirky in the way that is best enjoyed by those who have met in real life someone they met online previously.

The King of Plinesse
Having met a number of the authors I really appreciate, I have enjoyed the experience. I have however never gone to one's house to meet them unannounced. Of course it might be different if I was under the impression the author in question had had an affair with my mother. It is interesting that M.T. Anderson writes a story about a fan contacting an author when he is the only contributor to the collection without a personal or
professional website I could find. It is an interesting story but in my opinion it is the weakest in the collection. (Website released late march 2010.)

The Wrath of Dawn
This story by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Greg Leitich Smith is both about the geek and the blended family. It is the story of a Dawn who relates to Dawn from Buffy, and yet it has a strength and power in her protestations over her situation in life. A good well-balanced story.

Quiz Bowl Antichrist
My favorite quote from this whole book comes from this story: "My social status was the same as a water fountain in the hall - people were happy enough I was there when they needed me, but otherwise they walked on by." This story written by David Levithan is about sexuality and self discovery. It is about a boy who doesn't realize
it, but he is in love with one of the other boys on the Quiz Bowl team, and that is really the only reason he does it. Things come to a head when the team has traveled to compete in the nationals. The story is well and tastefully done by the author of such books as Boy Meets Boy, the Realm of Possibility and Marley's Ghost to name but a few.

The Quiet Knight
It is hard to imagine someone who likes science fiction or fantasy who has not heard of Garth Nix. This is a great story for anyone who wanted to fight in armor or play with swords. The Quiet Knight
had damaged vocal cords but he loves to role play, especially simulated battles. But his role playing world and his life at school are about to collide. It is definitely one of the top 3 stories in the collection.

Everyone But You
Lisa Yee creates a story about a girl who is the queen bee at her current highschool but when her family moves to Hawaii she becomes the lowest on the school totem pole. But it is also the story of her learning what really matters and how to face adversity. This is a good story by author of Millicent Min, Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time and Absolutely Maybe.

Secret Identity
Kelly Link writes a story that is a long, rambling letter from a 15 year old girl who had pretended to be much older in an online game. Then when she sneaks off to New York to meet her online romance, things do not go as planned, and this story is her true confession. It is a story with superheroes, (of the convention kind) and personalities both flamboyant and somber. It is the longest piece in the collection and has a certain charm, but not one of the best. Link has authored Pretty Monsters and Stranger Things Happen (both of which are reminiscent of Chuck Palahniuk books Invisible Monsters and Stranger than Fiction.)

Freak the Geek
In one of the shortest pieces in the collection John Green presents a story about life at a girls' prep school - a story where the senior class picks two geeks to pick on as part of the school's tradition. It is told from the perspective of those to be freaked. John Green is award-winning author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns.

The Truth About Dino Girl
Revenge of the Nerd, told from a girl's perspective is the best way to describe this story by Barry Lyga. They say Revenge is a dish best served cold. In this one, be cautious of the woman wronged, especially if that woman is a geek. This is a dark tale of what people can do to each other after being hurt. It is a powerf
ul piece of storytelling, and captures the damage that a few words or actions can cause. Lyga is the author of The Astonishing adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl.

This is My Audition Monologue
This story was the one I enjoyed the least. Sara Zarr presents a piece about a drama club person who is auditioning in her senior year. She does a long rambling piece about her 4 years doing behind the scene work for school plays, and that the guy who was electrocuted last year doing lighting should have been her. With lots of pop culture, film and theatre reference, it is an ok piece, just did not appeal to me. Zarr has two critically-acclaimed novels, Sweethearts and Story of a Gi
rl. She has also contributed to numerous anthologies.

The Stars at the Finish Line
Wendy Mass is the author of eight novels including A Mango-Shaped Space, Jeremy Find and Heaven Looks A Lot Like The Mall. This is the story of two young people who have been competing since the 4th grade, and now in their final year realize they are more alike than different. They go on a field trip to try to complete the Messier Marathon. This ranks as one of the top three stories for me - fantastic storytelling and amazing information on astronomy.

It's Just a Jump to the Left
This is a short story with young girls who weekly attend the Rocky Horror Picture Show. They both wish life were different and for their age are dealing with major things in life. But the weekly trips to the show, dress
ed up in costume, are what unites them together and sets them apart. Libba Bray writes a very interesting piece dealing with many issues, disease, hope, despair and frustration.

This is an amazing collection both because of the individual pieces,
and because it can introduce you to so many new authors to pursue. It is well written and very well edited. Pick it up for either your outer geek or your secret, hidden inner geek. I am sure there is something you will enjoy, laugh at, or maybe even cry with.

(First Published in Imprint 2010-01-15.)

Wednesday 13 January 2010

The Stories of J.F. Powers

The Stories of J.F. Powers
J.F. Powers
New York Review Books
(NYRB Classics)

The stories in this volume comprise the complete collection of the short stories by J.F. Powers that were published previously in three separate volumes. As far as my research can show there are only about a handful of other stories not contained in this collection. The three previous collections were:

The Prince of Darkness and Other Stories
The Presence of Grace
Look How the Fish Live

The links lead to reviews on each volume, and summary's of each short story. The list of stories is:

The Lord's Day
The Trouble

Lions, Harts, Leaping Does
He Don't Plant Cotton
The Forks
The Valiant Woman
The Eye
The Old Bird, A Love Story
Prince of Darkness

Death of a Favorite
The Poor Thing
The Devil Was the Joker
A Losing Game
Defection of a Favorite
Blue Island
The Presence of Grace
Look How the Fish Live


One of Them

Priestly Fellowship

For the Powers fan this is an essential collection. The stories appear in order based on the original order in each of the volumes they were previously published in.

My Reviews and Articles on Powers:

1962 - Morte d'Urban - novel
1963 - Lions, Harts, Leaping Does, and Other Stories
1988 - Wheat that Springeth Green - novel
1991 - The Old Bird, A Love Story - Illustrated Edition
1999 - The Stories of J. F. Powers
J.F. Powers Selected Bibliography
J.F. Powers Book Covers
That Elusive Story
The Warm Sand
Meme Booked By 3 May 2007
Meme Book Meme
Meme Booked by 3 February 2007

RS398 Directed Reading - The Religious Fiction of J.F. Powers
Essay - Why J.F. Powers
The Prince of Darkness and Other Stories
The Presence of Grace
Morte d'Urban
Look How the Fish Live
Wheat that Springeth Green
Essay - J.F. Powers Literary Life and Legacy

Tuesday 12 January 2010

Angels in the Waters - Regina Doman and Ben Hatke

Angels in the Waters
Regina Doman (Author)
Ben Hatke
Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781928832812

This is an amazing story. Regina Doman did a tremendous job describing what life and experiences might be like in the womb. It is the story of a child growing in his mother's womb. It is dark and he is swimming, and conversing with his guardian angel. As the space becomes more confined he becomes scared. It is a story about the beginning of life, about angels watching over us and about the bond between mother and child. It is really a wonderful book to share with your children. You can preview the book online here.

Book by Regina Doman:
Fairy Tales Retold:
Snow White and Rose Red (1997)
Shadow Of The Bear (2002)
Black As Night (2004)
Waking Rose (2007)
Midnight Dancers (2008)
Alex O'Donnell and the 40 Cyber Thieves (2010)

Rapunzel Let Down (2013)

Other Books:
The Story of Job

Contributed to:
Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut
Catholic Philosopher Chick Comes on Strong
The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide
The Chestertons and the Golden Key

Picture Books:
Angels in the Water (2004)
Fairy Tale Novel Paper Dolls (2009)

Our Fairy Tale Romance - Andrew Schmiedicke (2009)

Monday 11 January 2010

Lisl Eats Dirt - Michael Schmiedicke and Ben Hatke

Lisl Eats Dirt
Michael Schmiedicke
Ben Hatke
Chesterton Press
ISBN 9781615399420

This is a fantastic little book about an older sibling observing her younger sister. It is well illustrated with simple sketches, and captures the spirit of childhood innocence, both in Lisl who is exploring her world by taste, and her sister's desire to understand why she does so. It is a fantastic picture book to share with your children.

Sunday 10 January 2010

Effie - Beverley Allinson and Barbara Reid

Beverley Allinson (Author)
Barbara Reid (Illustrator)
ISBN 9780439939447

Every time I read a book that Barbara Reid is involved in, I am amazed at her artistic skill. It is not surprising she has won almost every award for illustrators of Children's books. This is the story of Effie, a small ant with a very large VOICE. She scares all the other bugs she tries to befriend. Then one day she saves the other bugs and the rest of the ants from her colony. It is another great story for children of all ages.

Book written and illustrated by Barbara Reid:
Zoe's Year (2012)
Picture A Tree (2011)
The Party (2010)
Perfect Snow (2009)
Sing a Song of Mother Goose (2007)
Fox Walked Alone (2009)
Read Me A Book (2004)
The Subway Mouse (2003)
Zoe's Rainy Day (1992)
Zoe's Sunny Day (1992)
Zoe's Windy Day (1992)
Zoe's Snowy Day (1992)
The Golden Goose (2000)
Fun With Modelling Clay (1998)
The Party (1997)
First Look Board Books: Acorn to Oak Tree (1999)
First Look Board Books: Seed To Flower (1999)
First Look Board Books: Caterpillar to Butterfly (1999)
First Look Board Books: Tadpole to Frog (1999)
Two By Two (1992)
Sing A Song of Mother Goose (1987)

Book illustrated by Barbara Reid:

Peg & The Yeti (2004)
Gifts (1995)
Effie (1990)
Have You Seen Birds? (1986)
The New Baby Calf (1984)
Jenny Greenteeth (1983)
Mustard (1983)

Books contributed to:Read Me A Story (2010)
Dream; a Tale of Wonder, Wisdom & Wishes (2004)
Mother Goose: A Canadian Sampler (1994)

Author Profile and Interview with Barbara Reid