Tuesday 31 January 2012

ish - Peter H Reynolds

Peter H. Reynolds
ISBN 9780763623449

This was one of the first books by Peter H. Reynolds that I ever read. And with each book I appreciate his writing and illustrations more. But this will always be one of my favorites, and a book I believe every child should read! The story is amazing and the illustrations wonderful. It will encourage children to try new things, and to keep at them even if they are not good from the start. They can do it sort of 'ish' and that is good enough. This is one of the best children's books I have ever read!

Books by Peter H Reynolds:
The North Star
The Dot
Rose's Garden
I'm Here

Books by Megan McDonald and Peter H Reynolds:
Judy Moody books:
1. Judy Moody
2. Judy Moody Gets Famous!
3. Judy Moody Saves the World!
4. Judy Moody Predicts the Future
5. Judy Moody, M.D. The Doctor Is In
6. Judy Moody Declares Independence
7. Judy Moody Around the World in 8½ Days
8. Judy Moody Goes to College
9. Judy Moody: Girl Detective
10. Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer
11. Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm

Judy Moody Activity Books:
Judy Moody's Double Rare Way Not Boring Book of Fun Stuff to Do
Judy Moody's Way Wacky Uber Awesome Book of MORE Fun Stuff to Do
Judy Moody's Mini-Mysteries and Other Sneaky Stuff for Super-Sleuths

Stink Moody Books:
1. Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid
2. Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker
3. Stink and the World's Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers
4. Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express
5. Stink: Solar System Superhero'
6. Stink and The Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown
7. Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk

Stink-O-Pedia Volume 1:
Super Stink-y Stuff from A to Z
Stink-O-Pedia Volume 2: More Stink-y Stuff from A to Z

Judy and Stink Books:
Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday
Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt

Stink and Judy Moody a Visual Bibliography

Monday 30 January 2012

The Visitors - The McKissack’s - The Third Book of the Clone Codes

The Visitors:
The Third Book of the Clone Codes
Patricia C. McKissack, Fredrick L. McKissack and Joch McKissack
ISBN 9780439929875

I loved the first book, The Clone Codes. I was a little disappointed in book two Cyborg, in this series. The length of the book was closer to a novella than a novel and yet priced as a novel. This third book, The Visitors, is longer and as it wraps up the Clone Codes Trilogy it does a great job of redeeming the series. It deals with questions of freedom, justice and the ultimate question of being - what does it mean to be a sentient being?

Things are quickly moving towards a final conflict between the World Federation of Nations and the Liberty Bell Movement. Both Clones and Cyborgs are uprising. A new species of beings is brought into the conflict and the mysterious O visitors from outer space intervene because Humans are just not ready to go beyond our own star yet. The O are trying to guide and direct us on the right path.

This story was full of new twists and turns. It was a riveting read and I could barely put it down, and I read it in under a day. It was a great read and I highly recommend the whole trilogy!

"The Clone Codes:

Clones are living organisms patented by Topas Corporation International. All rights are reserved.
  • All clones are to be identified by numbers or alphanumeric designations. The use of names is restricted.
  • Clones have no rights under a court of law and are recognized solely as property.
  • Groups of clones in excess of three are not permitted without direct human supervision.
  • Attempting to educate a clone beyond its work model specifications is forbidden and punishable in accordance with article 3C74.
  • The manufacture of a clone in the likeness of a child is a capital offense.
  • Imprinting the ability to mimic human emotions into a clone's behavioural patterns is forbidden.
  • A clone that disobeys a direct order must immediately be taken to a processing center for decommissioning.
  • Instructing a clone to lie is restricted.
  • Since clones are not citizens, they may not participate in elections.

Issued by the Clone Humane Society, the government agency for the protection and processing of clones.

The Cyborg Act of 2130
For the security and general welfare of the Cyborg race, these protections have been established on this the 7th day of October, 2130.

The Cyborg Codes

  • All Cyborgs must be registered with the Bureau of Cyborg Affairs (BCA).
  • Those that are Cyborgs must live within designated areas set aside on the Moon Colony. If a Cyborg desires to live or work elsewhere, it must acquire BCA permission.
  • It is mandated that Cyborgs may not serve as officers in the World Federation of Nations' defense forces or serve in any national law enforcement agencies.
  • Cyborg children must attend one of four Xyborg academies based on test scores and abilities.
  • All Cyborgs over the age of 16 must be employed.
  • Cyborgs need permission from the BCA to marry or have children.
  • The BCA will provide Cyborgs with medical insurance and health-care needs.
  • Cyborgs cannot inherit real property.
  • Cyborgs can only participate in amateur or professional sports within the Cyborg Leagues."
All in all this was a great trilogy and the McKissacks have left it open for more books or a spin-off series about mutants. If you haven't read them, give them a try. It is like a classic science fiction style retelling stories of slavery. Awesome reads.

Books by The McKissack's
The Clone Codes
Cyborg: Clone Codes Book 2
Visitors: Clone Codes Book 3

Saturday 28 January 2012

Top Ten Reading Goals 2012

I think it is good to have reading goals but last year I met less than half of mine. My reading habits and interests change often I go through periods or trends. So these are more hopeful expectations as we begin this new reading year.

1. Read all 6 book in the Duncton series by William Horwood.
2. Read the rest of the books in The Gardians of Ga'Hoole Series.
3. Read all book by Barry Lyga and review.
4. Read all books by N.D. Wilson and review.

5. Try and hit 100 novels read this year.
6. Create a top ten list each quarter for fiction, and at end of year for fiction, non-fiction and picture books. (1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter, 3rd Quarter, 4th Quarter and Top Ten Book of 2012.)

7. Review every book read in 2012
8. Finish reading at least one book by every contributor in Geektastic.
Have not touched yet. Still a priority.
9. TBD
10. TBD

Statistics Books Read By Year:163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Those are some of my reading goals for 2012 and where I am at at the end of June.

Peace and Strength!
Yours, learning to be
Steven R. McEvoy

http://mcevoysmusings.ca My Homepage
http://bookreviewsandmore.ca My Blog
http://www.linkedin.com/in/srmcevoy LinkedIN
http://twitter.com/SRMcEvoy Twitter

CompTIA IT PRO, A+ ITT, A+ DT, A+ RST, Network+, Security+

"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it."
- Leo Rosten

Tending the Temple - Dr. Kevin Vost, Shane Kapler and Peggy Bowes

Tending the Temple
Dr. Kevin Vost
Shane Kapler
Peggy Bowes
Bezalel Books
ISBN 9781936453009

I have read a number of daily devotional books by such authors as Oswald Chambers, John Eldredge, and Billy Graham, but there are not that many quality ones written by, or specifically for, Catholics. Of those that are, the only one I have used more than once is In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Carvajal, and it is 6 plus pages per day. This one will be reread each day for the next few years, maybe even longer. In the intro, the authors state that each month has a special dedication in the church. They are:

January: Holy Name of Jesus
February: Holy Family
March: St. Joseph
April: Blessed Sacrament
May: Mary
June: Sacred Heart
July: Precious Blood
August: Immaculate Heart of Mary
September: Our Lady of Sorrows
October: Rosary
November: Holy Souls in Purgatory
December: Immaculate Conception

This book is a devotional for body, mind and spirit. Christ stated that he came that we might have life and have it abundantly. I have always believed that God wants us to be whole - of sound body, sound mind and sound spirit. I personally, after 10 years in Campus ministry as a student, volunteer and staff, found that too many people, too many ministries and too many churches only focus on the spirit or spirit and mind, and let the body slide. This book is intended to help bring about a more balanced approach to life.

Each day we have a quote from the bible and/or a Saint of the church, a reflection and an exercise. This book was amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to grown in one of those three areas and especially for those who seek balance in their life. There is much in this book we can apply to our personal life and I know that with each rereading, new things and new practices will come up and as we grow, a deeper level of devotion. Awesome book. Thanks Kevin, Shane and Peggy.

Books by Dr. Kevin Vost:
Full Range of Motive (2001)
Memorize the Faith! (2006)
Fit For Eternal Life (2007)
From Atheism to Catholicism (2010)
Unearthing Your Ten Talents (2010)
St. Albert the Great (2011)
Tending the Temple (2011)
Three Irish Saints (2012)
Memorize the Reasons! (2013)
One-Minute Aquinas (2014)
Hounds of the Lord (2015)
Seven Deadly Sins (2015)
Memorize the Mass! (2016)
Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (2016)
The Porch and the Cross (2016)
The Catholic Guide to Loneliness (2017)
The Four Friendships (2018)
How to Think Like Aquinas (2018)
Memorize the Latin Mass! (2018)

12 Life Lessons from St. Thomas Aquinas (2019)
Aquinas on the Four Last Things (2021)
Books Contributed to:
Man Up! (2014)

Author profile interview with Dr. Kevin Vost.

Friday 27 January 2012

Tantalize Kierens Story - Cynthia Leitich Smith and Ming Doyle

Tantalize Kierens Story
Cynthia Leitich Smith (Author)

Ming Doyle (Illustrator)


ISBN 9780763641146

Over these past 2 years, Cynthia Leitich Smith has become one of my favorite authors. The world she has created in her main series and the characters, their interaction, dialogue and flare are incredible. I was a little leery when I heard that one of her books out in 2011 was going to be a graphic novel. I love her writing style and craft as a story teller. So I approached this book with both a little anxiety and a lot of excitement because it was her new book. I should have just trusted that her name would not appear on anything not of great quality.

The thing that took me most by surprise was the appearance of Kieren and Quincie, though to some extent they look as I had pictured them. While reading Tantalize, there was something more. Ming Doyle has captured the essence of the shifter world that Cynthia has created in her previous three novels. The story is well told in word and art. It was a good read and added to the story we already know and love. Well done.

Books by Cynthia Leitich Smith:

Young Adult Books:

Cat Calls - Short Story
Tantalize Kierens Story - Graphic Novel
Haunted Love - Short Story

Books for Kids:

Holler Loudly
Santa Knows
Indian Shoes
Rain Is Not My Indian Name
Jingle Dancer

Author Profile Interview with Cynthia Leitch Smith

Thursday 26 January 2012

The Brimstone Key - Jon S Lewis and Derek Denz - Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles Book 1

The Brimstone Key
The Grey Griffins
The Clockwork Chronicles

Book 1

Jon S. Lewis and Derek Benz
Little, Brown and Company
ISBN 9780316081405

This book was amazing. It is a mix of steam punk, science fiction, gamer and gold old mystery all rolled up in one. It was a very addictive read. I found more than once, that I did not want to put my eReader down. I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. The story is fast-paced, as we follow the young adventurers, the Grey Griffins as they begin a new adventure and begin formal training in school at Iron Bride Academy, an aviate military school run by the Knights Templar to fight evil. The grey Griffins are:

Max Sumner
Harley Eisenstein
Natalia Romanov
Ernie Tweeny

Now these three friends had a previous adventure in the original Grey Griffins trilogy. But this book stands on its own. I have not read the previous series, and this book, though alluding to events in the previous series, is self-contained. It was good enough that I do plan to go back and read the earlier series.

Yet the Griffins are drawn into a new battle that threatens not only them, but all the children at Iron Bridge. They have released an old enemy and started a new battle with the Clockwork King.

This was a great novel and highly entertaining. It was a wonderful read and I give it the highest recommendation I can. I know that I will reread it!

Books by Jon S. Lewis:
Grey Griffins :

The Revenge of the Shadow King (2006)
The Rise of the Black Wolf (2007)
The Fall of the Templar (2008)

Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles:
The Brimstone Key (2010)
The Relic Hunters (2011)
The Paragon Prison (2012)

C.H.A.O.S. Series:
Invasion (2011)
Alienation (2012)
Domination (2013)

Free Realms:
Free Realms (12 part comic book series.)
Free Realms Book 1 (Issues 1-6) Graphic Novel (2010)
Free Realms Book 2 (Issues 7-12) Graphic Novel (2010)

The Mysterious Journals of J.S. Lewis (????)

Author Profile Interview with Jon S. Lewis.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Every Body Matters - Gary Thomas

Every Body Matters
Gary Thomas
ISBN 9780310290810

This book completely blew me away. It was an amazing read. I think it should be in every church library and on every pastor's desk. It is a wakeup call to all Christians that we are body, mind and spirit and that in order to love and serve God to the best of our abilities we need to be nurturing and looking after all three areas of our life. Back when I was a student involved with Campus Ministries, I heard a talk that stated the human body is a like a car with three gas tanks - one physical, one spiritual and one intellectual and if any of the three run out of gas then the engine will have problems and not run well. This book brings to light the fact that Christianity often focuses only on the two and it is something that is costing us - it costs us in our witness, in our effectiveness and in our possible length of service to Jesus Christ.

This book is a series of examples from Gary's life and from a number of case studies. Another great strength of the book is the variety of examples and sources Gary uses to make his point. However this book is not a diet book, it is not a fitness guide, it is not a 'How to' this book is the theological argument for why we should look after and even work at improving or strengthening the body that God has given us.

Gary Thomas in quoting Elton Trueblood states: "Angels .?.?. are pure spirits without bodily needs, but men are not pure spirits. Men are combinations of body and mind and spirit, uniting in a working partnership both hand and brain. They thus have a variety of temptations and any valid religion will be frankly concerned with all of these." Thomas draws heavily from Christian traditions, from the saints of the church, from monastic movements and even almost a whole chapter focused around a movement called Muscular Christianity. Thomas states: "Socrates himself was a hardy figure, a physically fit former infantry soldier in the Athenian army. He recognized that all exercise and no study creates only half a man, just as all study and no exercise also creates half a man - in this case an effeminate, soft, overly sensitive man who isn't tough enough to address real life." That is what we need today, men and women who are fit physically so that they can be of greater service spiritually. Thomas has even paraphrased one of the Proverbs as a commentary on the form Christianity currently has slid into for the most part.

"Proverbs talks about fields, but you could apply this to just about any aspect of human existence:

I went past the field of a sluggard, past the vineyard of someone who has no sense; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man." Proverbs 24:30 - 34

Today's version might read as follows: I went past the body of a sluggard, past the body of someone who has no sense. His cholesterol was killing him from within; his high blood pressure was a tinderbox waiting to explode. His breath was labored, and he could barely move without breaking into a sweat. He said he had no time to exercise or to prepare healthier meals, but he lost hours going to the doctor and much money buying medicines to treat the symptoms rather than attack the disease. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little softness, a life of overindulgence - and ill health will come on you like a thief and frailty like an armed man.

Over time, laziness, like excessive eating, has a way of outing itself."

Gary Thomas draws for a number of modern sources to reinforce his points and arguments. He says:

"What so many in the church don't see is that this physical battle has spiritual roots. Dr. Ed Young writes:

'Satan not only wants to suffocate your spiritual heart, he will do whatever he can to take away your physical heart. Jesus labeled the devil a "murderer"
(John 8:44). Satan is out to cause your physical death if he possibly can. Why does Satan want you physically dead? Because it would bring an abrupt end to your loving care for others, and the whole purpose to which God has called you. With you out of the way, he has eliminated a key person God wants to use to touch your family members, your neighbors, your friends, and others in your circle of influence'.

Dr. Young goes on: 'How can [Satan] get rid of you? Well, he knows you're too smart to fall for the temptation to jump off a bridge, throw yourself in front of a speeding train, or drink a bottle of cyanide.?.?.?. Remember: he's a con artist. He wants to trick you into doing his bidding, to cause you to think it's not too bad.
So he just might suggest more acceptable behaviors that could eventually gain him the same result, behaviors that will negatively affect your health.
If this is true - and it makes sense - Satan may attempt to ruin one man's ministry by luring him into a financial trap that will ultimately become a crime and thus wreck his business and his reputation; he may attempt to ruin a woman by gradually filling her mind with thoughts of fantasy toward a coworker and thoughts of malice toward her husband so that she is weakened and enters into an immoral affair. And he may get others to eat one too many bacon cheeseburgers without any corresponding exercise, and take them out that way. He doesn't care what brings our ministry to an end; he just wants it to end'."

All the while, Thomas writes the book around a series of case studies or examples, different people who have made changes to their lifestyle and fitness levels and have noticed a greater relationship with God and with those in their life. It has lead to a greater testimony. He drives home the point that we have been bought at a price and we are not our own. "Do today's Christians have any sense that our bodies don't belong to us? That caring for our bodies - eating appropriately, getting sufficient exercise - isn't a matter of what we're willing to live with but is rather a matter of discipleship and obedience?" Are we willing to head his warning and learn to become obedient in all areas of our lives, not just the spiritual ones? In quoting Dr. Cooper, Thomas declares: "Even more, I saw the spiritual side of this very physical issue. Dr. Cooper writes: 'The food you eat and the liquids you drink are a proper subject for prayer. After all, they can play a major role in your spiritual and emotional life and may be decisive in determining how well and energetic you feel - and how effectively you are able to accomplish your daily tasks.' All of us are like the aging athlete whose skills are slightly diminishing with every passing year. In our youth, we can get away with sloppy habits, but that day ends more quickly than most of us realize. And the longer it takes us to realize it, the bigger the health and illness hole we dig ourselves into. Eating habits aren't easy to break. It is far easier not to fall into such patterns in the first place. Younger readers, please take note: anyone over thirty will tell you it is far, far easier
to keep weight off than to lose it." This book was an incredible read. It was a challenge to me to find greater balance between body, mind and spirit. I have recommended it to over a dozen people. Give it a try and maybe you too will find greater physical health and vitality and through that, even greater spiritual discipline. You have nothing to lose except maybe a few pounds and bad habits, and you have lots to gain!

Books by Gary Thomas:

Authentic Faith
Every Body Matters
The Glorious Pursuit
Holy Available
Pure Pleasure
Sacred Influence
Sacred Marriage
Sacred Marriage Gift Edition
Devotions for a Sacred Marriage
Sacred Parenting
Devotions for Sacred Parenting
Sacred Pathways
Simply Sacred
Thirsting for God

Author Profile and Interview with Gary L Thomas.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Judy Moody (was in a mood) - Megan McDonald and Peter H Reynolds

Judy Moody
(Was in a Mood)

Judy Moody Book 1
Megan McDonald (Author)

Peter H. Reynolds (Illustrator)

ISBN 9780763648497

eISBN 9780763651992

For a few years now, probably close to ten, I have been meaning to read a Judy Moody book. The covers and titles have always caught my attention, but whenever I was in the book store I was always after something else specific. It is my loss. Recently I received a review copy of Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk one of the Stink Moody books and loved it. I have since tracked down all the Judy and Stink books and will be reading them soon. They have jumped to the top of my to-be-read pile of books. This first Judy Moody book was just as good as the Stink book and I am glad there are so many books to read about these two siblings. If the two I have read are samples of how good the rest will be, I have 21 more great books to read.

The sections in the book are:
Who's Who
A Bad Mood
Two Heads Are Better Than one
My Favorite pet
My Smelly Pet
Doctor Judy Moody
The T.P. Club
The Worst Thing Ever
Definitely the Worst Thing Ever
The Funniest Thing Ever
The Me Collage
Band-Aids and ice Cream
10 Things You May Not Know About Megan McDonald
10 Things You May Not Know About Peter H. Reynolds

This book was a wonderful, fun read. I made me laugh. It is a book I cannot wait to share with my children as they grow older. In this book Judy Moody wakes up in a bad mood and for the first day of Grade 3 the bad mood continues. Her first school project is to make a "Me Collage". The teacher provides some ideas but the project is up to the children. As the story progresses, Judy learns about herself, and about preconceived ideas she has about others. She makes a new friend and learns how to turn a bad thing into a new opportunity. It was a great read and I look forward to many more adventures with Judy, her friends and her family.

Books by Megan McDonald and Peter H Reynolds:
Judy Moody books:
1. Judy Moody
2. Judy Moody Gets Famous!
3. Judy Moody Saves the World!
4. Judy Moody Predicts the Future
5. Judy Moody, M.D. The Doctor Is In
6. Judy Moody Declares Independence
7. Judy Moody Around the World in 8½ Days
8. Judy Moody Goes to College
9. Judy Moody: Girl Detective
10. Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer
10a. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (Movie Tie-In Edition)
11. Judy Moody and the Bad Luck Charm

Judy Moody Activity Books:
Judy Moody's Double Rare Way Not Boring Book of Fun Stuff to Do
Judy Moody's Way Wacky Uber Awesome Book of MORE Fun Stuff to Do
Judy Moody's Mini-Mysteries and Other Sneaky Stuff for Super-Sleuths

Stink Moody Books:
1. Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid
2. Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker
3. Stink and the World's Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers
4. Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express
5. Stink: Solar System Superhero'
6. Stink and The Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown
7. Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk

Stink-O-Pedia Volume 1: Super Stink-y Stuff from A to Z
Stink-O-Pedia Volume 2: More Stink-y Stuff from A to Z

Judy and Stink Books:
Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday
Judy Moody and Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt

Stink and Judy Moody a Visual Bibliography

Books by Megan McDonald:
Sisters Club:
Sisters Club 1
Sisters Club 2
Rule of Three
Sisters Club 3 Cloudy With a Chance of Boys

Books by Peter H Reynolds:

The North Star
The Dot
Rose's Garden
I'm Here

Monday 23 January 2012

Alienation - Jon S. Lewis - CHAOS Book 2

C.H.A.O.S. Book 2
Jon S. Lewis
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 9781595547545

I finished this book with mixed emotions. My first thought was WOW! My second was, if there is going to be a third book it will be more than a year out. As much as I loved book one, Invasion, in this series book two was even better. In many ways it was like reading an updated version of a classic science fiction story. It was like reading Heinlien, Herbert, and Bester but with today's look forward into even newer technology. Lewis does an amazing job of telling a story that draws from a number of literary traditions and rolls them up into something new, fresh and exciting, combining elements from stories like The Land Before Time, Captain America, Justice League and all with a wholesome spiritual twist without being preachy. I would say this is an amazing fiction novel and one of the best Christian Fiction books I have read in more than a decade. The characters are wonderful; the plot twist from book one to book two was stunning.
In a few short weeks, Colt has gone from losing his parents to moving to live with his Grandfather in Arizona. He has learned that all the monsters from myths and legends are real, and that his comic book super hero, the Phantom Flyer from his childhood, is based on stories about his grandfather and a secret government agency C.H.A.O.S. - the Central Headquarters Against the Occult and Supernatural. And now he is preparing to move again to C.H.A.O.S.' secret military prep school. But he has also found out his name is on a list and everyone else on the list is dead. Who can he trust, where can he turn?

This story is an amazing adventure. The pace is a race from beginning to end, with the threat to earth growing, and many looking to Colt to fulfill an ancient prophecy. It's a lot of pressure for a young man. This book was an incredible read and I cannot wait for book three.

Books by Jon S. Lewis:
Grey Griffins :

The Revenge of the Shadow King (2006)
The Rise of the Black Wolf (2007)
The Fall of the Templar (2008)

Grey Griffins Clockwork Chronicles:
The Brimstone Key (2010)
The Relic Hunters (2011)
The Paragon Prison (2012)

C.H.A.O.S. Series:
Invasion (2011)
Alienation (2012)
Domination (2013)

Free Realms:
Free Realms (12 part comic book series.)
Free Realms Book 1 (Issues 1-6) Graphic Novel (2010)
Free Realms Book 2 (Issues 7-12) Graphic Novel (2010)

The Mysterious Journals of J.S. Lewis (????)

Author Profile Interview with Jon S. Lewis.

Sunday 22 January 2012

The Unwritten Girl - James Bow - Unwritten Books 1

The Unwritten Girl
Unwritten Books 1

James Bow

Boardwalk Book

Dundurn Group

ISBN 9781550026047

The premise of this book grabbed me right away, and to be honest, the whole series looks amazing. Rosemary Watson is seeing things. Characters seem to unfold into existence and they are after her, and they definitely want something from her. Soon, her brother Theo is home from school but he seems to be captured by a book. Rosemary soon realizes that the characters she is seeing, her brother's single-minded focus on a book, and her life turned upside down by Puck, the fairy shapeshifter from Shakespeare, appearing and trying to guide her, means she has not lost her mind but great things are at stake. Soon Puck, Rosemary and her new friend Peter McAllister, are lost in an adventure in the land of fiction.

The story had an amazing pace. Once you start reading it you will be hard- pressed to put it down. The characters were incredible, and the plot, mind-blowing. In many ways it is almost as if Madeleine L'Engle's two main series crossed paths in this book - Chronos, real world time and Kairos, other time, science fiction and fantasy have crossed paths. And much like Meg in the Kairos novels, Rosemary is a great heroine who discovers herself and grows into herself as the novel progresses. With reading, on average, over 100 books a year, there are lots of books I like, but few I absolutely love. This one falls into that second category.

I have had the pleasure of meeting James Bow on a few occasions in and around the University of Waterloo and other events in and around Kitchener/ Waterloo. I had heard the words genius and prodigy spoken about him on a few occasions and by different sources. But it was not until I read this book that I really glimpsed what they were talking about. This book was masterfully written. Of over 150 books I read this year, it is one of my favorites and one I keep thinking about even months later. I think it is a book Madeleine L'Engle would have loved reading; it seems like something she would have enjoyed. For teachers and students there are some great resources on James' website to supplement this book. All I can say is this book was amazing. I wish there were a way to give it more than 5 out of 5 stars! I look forward to the other two books in this series and hope the three fiction books he has in the works see the press soon.

Books by James Bow:
Icarus Down

The Unwritten Books:
The Unwritten Girl
Fathom Five
The Young City

Mysteries Revealed:

Animal Mysteries Revealed
Earth Mysteries Revealed
Space Mysteries Revealed

Lamborghini: Superstar Cars
Earth's Secrets: Invisible Worlds
Deep Space Extremes
Baseball: Sports Science
Cycling: Sports Science
Saving Endangered Plants and Animals: Science Solves It
Rescue Missions: Science Solves It

Saturday 21 January 2012

Caveman Resurection - Jeff Pickett

Caveman Resurrection
Jeff Pickett
Amazon Digital Services

If you do a search on Amazon for Paleo, you get over 200 hits and for Primal almost 20 in either health or fitness. So why should you get this book? I would state that of the books I have read on this topic, it is one of the best and most all-encompassing. It is a synthesis of much of the other material that is out there. But what Jeff does that many of the other authors do not do, is approach health, wellness and lifestyles changes as a holistic practice. He has tips and tools for body, mind and spirit. His goal is to help you achieve balance and make progress in all areas of your life. Jeff wrote this book after working through a number of personal issues and the changes he implemented were part of the results of that experience. As such, the book was written with a passion from personal experience. Jeff will inspire and motivate you. It is a great book. Give it a try.

Other Fitness Articles:Fall 2011 Programs
Workout program March 2012
My Gear February 2012
Fitness My Retrospective

TRX Articles:
TRX an Introduction
TRX Force

TRX Force Tactical
TRX Essential Flexibility

My P90X Series:
Phase I, Phase II, Gear, Phase III, Fitness Options, P90X at 120 Days Out
Health & Fitness Book Reviews:The Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation - Mark Sisson
The Ten Commandments Of Lifting Weights - Jared Zimmerer
Toadally Primal Smoothies - Todd Dosenberry
Caveman Resurection - Jeff Pickett
40 Days to Optimal Health - Dr. Scott Morris
Eat Stop Eat - Brad Pilon
The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson
The New Rules of Lifting - Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove
Bench Press by: Sven Lindqvist
Sly Moves by: Sylvester Stallone
Fit for Eternal Life: A Christian Approach to Working Out, Eating Right, and Building the Virtues of Fitness in Your Soul by: Dr. Kevin Vost
Body for Life 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strenght by: Bill Phillips
Lose Fat Not Faith by Jeremy R. Likeness
Living The Good Life: Your Guide to Health and Success by: David Patchell-Evans
Dump your Trainer by: Ashley Marriott and Marc L. Paulsen

Friday 20 January 2012

The Start Up - Sadie Hayes

The Start Up
The Start-Up
Book 1

Sadie Hayes
Backlit Fiction
ISBN 9781937704070

I work fulltime in IT in a high tech company. Not in Silicon Valley, but in what most consider Silicon Valley North, The Golden Triangle, specifically Kitchener Waterloo. Having watched many friends go through co-ops and work for such companies as RIM, Cisco, Open Text, Microsoft and more, I can say this book would appeal to any who work in technology or any who just want an amazing book to read. The story is fast-paced, informative and very well crafted. Sadie Hayes does an amazing job of capturing life in and around universities, especially universities with a technological bent. She encapsulates the world of technology, start-up companies, entrepreneurship and venture capital in a story sure to thrill.

The story's main characters are twins Adam and Amelia Dory. The eighteen- year-old twins are at Stanford on scholarship, excited about an opportunity that two foster children never thought they would be able to leave behind. But things in life often do not go the way we expect. Adam is a young man looking for a way to compensate for his past - for a crappy life in foster care. Amelia just likes to code. She is most herself when she is in front of her computer solving the riddle of how to get it to do what she wants it to do. But upon discovering a secret, and feeling compelled to bring the truth to light, Amelia has put herself and her brother in the crosshairs of one of the most financially influential people in Silicon Valley.

This book was an amazing read. Once I started it, I could not stop. I literally had to force myself not to start book two and write this review first. It is an amazing debut novel and should prove to be the start of an incredible trilogy.

This trilogy is only available in eBook format. There are pros and cons to that. First it is an amazing price point at between $0.00 and $2.99 each; the cons are if you don't have access to electronic reading you're going to miss out on some amazing books.

Books by Sadie Hayes:
The Start-Up
Anti-Social Network
Beautiful Code

Thursday 19 January 2012

This Dark Endeavour - Kenneth Oppel - The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Book 1

This Dark Endeavour
The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

Book 1

Kenneth Oppel
Harper Collins
Browse Inside
ISBN 9781554683390

I have been going back through and tracking down all of Oppel's older books and reading them. This is his newest and it blew me away. It had a dark edge I have not seen in Oppel's writing before. The story is amazing and leaves you desperate for more.

Summary: It is the story of the Frankenstein brothers, Victor and Konrad. They are the closest of brothers and as they have grown up in the Frankenstein manor, they have lived a life of privilege and adventures, both real and imaginary. But then as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. After they stumble upon a hidden library, a library of the dark arts, their life takes a turn for the worse. Soon Konrad has fallen ill, and Victor, their friend Henry, and Elizabeth, a distant relative who was raised in the Frankenstein household, embark on a dark and dangerous journey to discover the Elixir of Life. As the friends risk life and limb to save Konrad, a dark secret is growing in Victor's heart.

This story is very well written; it is a study into the hearts and minds of a group of people. It looks at not only what they do, but why they do it. It also touches upon how twins have a bond, and as we read, the story and characters become real. There is such craft in the writing of this book you will become lost in the pages and the story will stay with you for a long time after reading it. The book is impossible to put down, and even after you finish it, you find yourself desperate for book two.

Books by Kenneth Oppel:

Half Brother (2010)
The Devil's Cure (2000)
Dead Water Zone (1992)
The Live-Forever Machine (1990)

Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
This Dark Endeavour (2011)
Such Wicked Intent (2012)

The Silverwing Saga
Silverwing (1997)
Sunwing (1999)
Firewing (2002)
Darkwing (2007)

Airborn Series
Airborn (2004)
Skybreaker (2005)
Starclimber (2008)

Children's Fiction:

The King's Taster (2009)
Peg and the Yeti (2004)
Peg and the Whale (2000)
Emma's Emu (1995)
Galactic Snapshots (1993)
Cosmic Snapshots (1993)
Follow That Star (1992)
Cosimo Cat (1990)
Colin's Fantastic Video Adventure (1985)

Barnes and the Brains
A Bad Case of Ghosts (1993)
A Strange Case of Magic (1994)
A Crazy Case of Robots (1994)
An Incredible Case of Dinosaurs (1994)
A Weird Case of Super-Goo (1997)
A Creepy Case of Vampires (2002)

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Red Glove - Holly Black - The Curse Workers Book 2

Red Glove
The Curse Workers Book 2
Holly Black
McElderry Books an imprint of
Simon and Schuster
ISBN 9781442403390

Red Glove continues shortly after the book White Cat. The Curse Workers are at it still. In a world much like ours, but where some people have the gift or the curse that their touch can influence people; some can bring or take luck, or memories, even life. Society dictates that all people wear gloves to prevent unintentional contact and thus being 'worked'. Cassel comes from a family of workers, and until recently he believed he did not have the touch.

Cassel is still being pulled by all sides - his mother wanting to use him in her next scheme, his brother wanting him for some scams, the government wanting him to catch everyone and the woman he loves hates his guts. Not exactly a simple life.

Holly Black writes wonderful books. I have yet to read anything by her that disappoints. In fact, all of her books I have read have ended up in my Top 10 for the quarter in which they were read. It's funny in that I read over 100 books a year and most I enjoy, a few I love, but even fewer still I wish I could visit. This is one of those books. I would be intrigued to wake up one day in this world. I k now that as I read these books they become so ingrained in my consciousness that I dream about them, the characters pop into my mind in meetings and during conversations. Holy Black is an addictive author. Once you sample her writing you will not want to stop. So check out this series, and let Black work her magic on you.

Other Books by Holly Black:

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories (2010)

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (2013)
Doll Bones (2013)
The Modern Faerie Tales
Tithe (2002)
Valiant (2005)
Ironside (2007)

The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Field Guide (2003)
The Seeing Stone (2003)
Lucinda's Secret (2003)
The Ironwood Tree (2004)
The Wrath of Mulgarath (2004)
Arthur Spiderwick's Notebook of Fantastical Observations (2005)
Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You (2005)
Care and Feeding of Sprites (2006)

Beyond Spiderwick
The Nixie's Song (2007)
A Giant Problem (2008)
The Wyrm King (2009)

The Good Neighbors
Kin (2008)
Kith (2009)
Kind (2010)

The Curse Workers
White Cat (2010)
Red Glove (2011)
Black Heart (2012)

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd (2009)
Zombies vs. Unicorns (2010)
Welcome to Bordertown (2011)