Monday 26 August 2013

Death By Living - ND Wilson - Life Is Meant To Be Spent

Death By Living:
Life Is Meant To Be Spent
N.D. Wilson
Thomas Nelson
ISBN 9780849920097

This little book is an amazing mix of theology, philosophy, memoir, pense and story. The main premise is that we really live by spending our life. They paint is brought home to us again and again through different vignette's. Wilson is open and transparent. He shares his struggles, joys and disappointments.  Both Tolkien and Lewis believe that stories were truth in as much as they taught and showed us that there is more than what we see. Wilson has managed to extend that insight by sharing his own stories. Also Madeliene L'Engle stated "I am using myth in its ancient meaning - That which was true, that which is true, that which will be true, that strange truth which is as elusive as home." Wilson has shared his myth and how he uses myth making to give life more meaning and unravel the meaning in life.

This book was an amazing read! I have started only giving 5 start ratings to books I would like to read again, or books I look forward to sharing with my children. This book falls into both categories. So give it a chance. 

Note: Contest Giveaway
As I stated earlier this is an awesome book and you can win it just by leaving a comment on this post, second ballad for following on me on twitter, third for retweeting the contest. Winner will be announced on September 7th 2013, check back and email me you mailing address. Contest open to North America.

Books by N.D. Wilson
100 Cupboards:

The Door Before - 100 Cupboards Book 0.5
100 Cupboards - 100 Cupboards Book 1
Dandelion Fire - 100 Cupboards Book 2
The Chestnut King - 100 Cupboards Books 3

Ashton Burials:
The Dragon's Tooth
The Drowned Vault

Leepike Ridge

Right Behind

Picture Books:
The Dragon and the Garden - The Old Stories
In The Time of Noah - The Old Stories

Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl
Death By Living

Author Profile Interview with N.D. Wilson

Monday 19 August 2013

The Testing - Joelle Charbonneau - Book 1

The Testing
The Testing Book #1
Joelle Charbonneau
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN 9780547959108

This book surprised me, plain and simple. I must admit when reading about the book I knew I would end up comparing it to the Hunger Games and know that many other would also. And to be honest for about the first third of the book I was asking myself 'How would Katniss handle this?' or 'how would Collins have written that'? But soon this story grabbed me and took me to places I had not yet imagined. It was an amazing read and I cannot wait for the next installment in the story.
In a world devastated by the Seven Stages War, no one is really safe. There are zones or colonies where the survivors try and survive and try and repair the earth and the environment. Yet even there things are not as they seem, as Cia Vale discovers when she is selected to be a testing candidate. On the eve of her selection her father warns her that the testing would be devastating, he warns her to trust no one.

From the beginning I found myself trusting Cia. Cheering her on. It was an excellent read. But I must warn you the ending is very suspenseful and leaves you wanting the next book right away.

Books by Joelle Charbonneau:
Time Bomb

Dividing Eden:
0.5 Into the Garden
1.0 Dividing Eden
2.0 Eden Conquered 
2.5 Forbidden Fruit 

The Testing:
The Testing Guide - Short Story Prequel
The Testing - The Testing Book #1
Independent Study - The Testing Book #2
Graduation Day - The Testing Book #3

The Skating Series:
Skating on the Edge
Skating Over the Line
Skating Around the Law
Skating Under the Wire

The Glee Club Series:
Murder for Choir
End Me A Tenor
A Chorus Lineup

Contributed to:
Among The Shadows: 13 Stories of Darkness & Light
Terminal Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection
Collateral Damage: A Do Some Damage Collection
Crime Factory Issue 7

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Updated 2016-04-13

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

Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Monday 12 August 2013

Crush Candy Corpse - Sylvia McNicoll

Crush. Candy. Corpse.
Sylvia McNicoll
eISBN 9781459400641
ISBN 9781459400627

This book took me completely by surprise. I was intrigued from the first time I saw the cover and title. I found that I kept thinking  about it and once I finally read it I found that I thought about it for weeks after finishing it. The story is amazingly well written, it is told in two parts a trial and Sunny remembering the events that led up to the charges. It all started with required community service hours to finish school.

From the very beginning we knew a tragedy was coming, but we did not know how. We had no idea what got us from where we were to a corpse. Sonja Anna Ehret aka Sunny has been charged with manslaughter, the story takes place a year after the events. The trial begins and Sunny is living through the trial and remembering the story as she experienced it. Sunny was volunteering at Paradise Manor because she had to for school. But while there she meets Cole Demers a young man about her age that comes almost every day to visit his grandmother. They develop a friendship and often spend their time at the manor together helping the older people. Cole shares with Sunny that he promised his grandmother that he would help he pass if it was needed. After an accident Sunny feels responsible for, she is faced with questions or loyalty, commitment and following through.

This is one of the best books I have read in the last year. It will make you think. It will stir your heart. Give it is read it is truly a gem!

Books by Sylvia McNicoll:
Blueberries and Whipped Cream - 1988
Jump Start - 1989
The Tiger Catcher's Kid - 1989
Project Disaster - 1990
More than Money - 1990
Facing the Enemy - 1992
Bringing Up Beauty - 1994
The Big Race - 1996
Walking a Thin Line - 1997
Double Dribble - 1999
Smoky and the Gorilla - 1999
Grave Secrets - 1999
Caught in a Lie - 2000
A Different Kind of Beauty - 2004
Beauty Returns - 2006
Last Chance For Paris - 2008
Slam Dunk Robot  2007
crush. candy. corpse. - 2012
Dying to Go Viral - 2013

Body Swap - 2018

The Great Mistake Mysteries:
The Best Mistake Mystery - 2017
The Artsy Mistake Mystery - 2017
The Snake Mistake Mystery - 2018
The Diamond Mistake Mystery - 2019

Books Written as Geena Dare:
Stage School Series:
Dan Clowning Around #5 - 1998
Matt Heartbreak Hero #6 - 1998
Lauren Dating Dreams #7 - 1999
Abbi Secret Stranger #9 - 1999
Jenna Standing Tall #10 - 1999
Dan Double Drama #11 -1999

Book Ghostwritten as Sharon Siamon:
The Spellbound Sleepover 1999

Mom and Dad's Guide to Martial Arts 1999

Foreign Editions unavailable in English to date:
Zannas vanskelige valg  2007 (Alpha Wolf)
Zanna - mellom barken og veden 2007 (River of Ice)
Snøras   2008 (Avalanche)
Zanna i fare 2008 (Victim's Impact)
Redningsaksjonen  2009 (The Nine Minute Disaster Zone) 

Author Profile and Interview with Sylvia McNicoll

Friday 9 August 2013

Updated 2016-04-13

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

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Monday 5 August 2013

Johnny Hangtime - Dan Gutman

Johnny Hangtime
Dan Gutman
Harper Collins
Browse Inside
eISBN 9780061790508
ISBN 9780380810123

Dan Gutman has written over 100 books, this was the sixth book by Dan that I have read and with each one I have a greater respect for his skill, talent and diversity as a writer. This was a great story that I could not put down. I read it in two sittings, and then went back and reread it because it was so fun. It's is a great story that children and some parents or older readers will really enjoy. I mean how awesome is a book that begins with jumping off the Empire State building. In some ways reading this is like reading  a back story to the Mission Impossible movies, but with a kid 13 year old kid as the action hero, and man does he love his action.

Johnny thyme aka Johnny Hangtime is a stunt man, or really a stunk kid. You won't see his name in the credits because he is sworn to secrecy about the stunts he does for the handsome and famous Ricky Corvette! His contract is so severe he can't go to gym class, school dances or anything that could prevent him from doing stunts or as they call it pulling a gag. But this latest film has a gag that just might be too much. Johnny's dad was one of the all-time best stuntmen, who perished trying to go over Niagara Falls. Now Johnny has been asked to do the same.

This story has a number of plot twists that took me by surprise. It was an incredibly enjoyable read. My highest rating for a book is my level of desire to share it with my kids. This I one I know they will love when they are older, and I will enjoy rereading with them!

Another great book by an amazing author!

Books by Dan Gutman:
The Genius Files:
Mission Unstoppable (2011)
Never Say Genius (?)

My Weirder School: (Harper Collins)
Miss Child Has Gone Wild! (2011)
Mr. Harrison is Embarrisin'! (2012)
Mrs. Lilly is Silly! (2013)

My Weird School Daze: (HarperCollins)
Mrs. Dole is Out of Control! (2008)
Mr. Sunny is Funny! (2007)
Mr. Granite is from Another Planet! (2008)
Coach Hyatt is a Riot! (2009)
Officer Spence Makes No Sense! (2009)
Mrs. Jafee is Daffy! (2009)
Dr. Brad Has Gone Mad! (2009)
Miss Laney is Zany! (2010)
Mrs. Lizzy is Dizzy! (2010)
Miss Mary is Scary! (2010)
Mr. Tony is Full of Baloney! (2010)
Ms. Leaky is Freaky! (2011)

My Weird School: (HarperCollins)
Miss Daisy is Crazy! (2004)
Mr. Klutz is Nuts! (2004)
Mrs. Roopy is Loopy! (2004)
Ms. Hannah is Bananas! (2004)
Miss Small is Off the Wall! (2005)
Mr. Hynde is Out of His Mind! (2005)
Mrs. Cooney is Loony! (2005)
Ms. LaGrange is Strange! (2005)
Miss Lazar is Bizarre! (2005)
Mr. Docker is Off His Rocker! (2006)
Mrs. Kormel is Not Normal! (2006)
Ms. Todd is Odd! (2006)
Mrs. Patty is Batty! (2006)
Miss Holly is Too Jolly! (2006)
Mr. Macky is Wacky! (2007)
Ms. Coco is Loco! (2007)
Miss Suki is Kooky! (2007)
Mrs. Yonkers is Bonkers! (2007)
Dr. Carbles is Losing His Marbles! (2007)
Mr. Louie is Screwy! (2007)
Ms. Krup Cracks Me Up! (2008)

Funny Boy: (Hyperion)
Funny Boy Meets the Airsick Alien from Andromeda (1999)
Funny Boy Versus the Bubble Brained Barbers from the Big
Bang (2000)
Funny Boy Meets the Chit-Chatting Cheese from Chattanooga

Tales From The Sandlot: (Scholastic)
The Green Monster in Left Field (1997)
The Catcher Who Shocked the World (1997)
The Pitcher Who Went Out of His Mind (1997)
The Shortstop Who Knew Too Much (1997)

And Me Series: (Harper Collins)
Roberto & Me (2010)
Ray & Me (2009)
Jim & Me (2008)
Satch & Me (2006)
Abner & Me (2005)
Mickey & Me (2003)
Shoeless Joe & Me (2002)
Babe & Me (2000)
Jackie & Me (1999)
Honus & Me (1997)

Million Dollar:
The Million Dollar Shot (1997)
The Million Dollar Kick (2001)
The Million Dollar Goal (2003)
The Million Dollar Strike (2004)
The Million Dollar Putt (2006)

Kid Who Ran for President:
The Kid Who Ran for President (1996)
The Kid Who Became President (1999)

Qwerty Stevens Adventures:
Back in Time With Thomas Edison (2001)
Back in Time With Benjamin Franklin (2002)

Homework Machine:
The Homework Machine (2006)
Return of the Homework Machine (2009)

Other Books:
The Day Roy Riegels Ran the Wrong Way (2011)
The Talent Show (2010)
The Christmas Genie (2009)
Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children's Book Authors Tell You
How To Go Green (2009)
Nightmare at the Book Fair (2008)
Casey Back at Bat (2007)
Getting Air (2007))
Jackie Robinson and the Big Game (2006)
The Get Rich Quick Club (2004)
Babe Ruth and the Ice Cream Mess (2004)
Race For The Sky (2003)
The Secret Life of Dr. Demented (2001)
Johnny Hangtime (2000)
Landslide! A Kid's Guide to the U.S. Elections (2000)
Jackie Robinson (1999)
Joe DiMaggio (1999)
Cal Ripken, Jr.: My Story (1999)
Virtually Perfect (1998)
Katy's Gift (1998)
The Way Baseball Works (1996)
Gymnastics (1996)
Ice Skating (1995)
Taking Flight (1995)
They Came From Centerfield (1995)
Banana Bats & Ding-Dong Balls (1995)
World Series Classics (1994)
Baseball's Greatest Games (1994)
Baseball's Biggest Bloopers (1993)
Baseball Babylon (1992)
SuperMemory (1991)
It Ain't Cheatin' If You Don't Get Caught (1990)
I Didn't Know You Could Do THAT With A Computer (1986)
The Greatest Games (1985)

Author Profile and interview with Dan Gutman.

Friday 2 August 2013

Getting back at it - Or a Fitness Confession

Getting back at it - Or a Fitness Confession 
Over the past five years I have written a number of fitness posts. Some reviews of books, programs and even equipment. But last year I went through a number of changes and had some setbacks. But that was after some great success. Last year I hit my lowest weight since my teens at 192. Less than a month later I got water on the knee. Things went downhill from there.  Then in June with a promotion and new role at work my hours shifted from 6:30AM-2:30PM for the first time in years I was working 8-4 and later 9-5. A year later I am not fully adjusted to the new schedule. I had been working 6-2 or 6:30-2:30 for almost 5 years. And I love the shift, got up early often and worked out before work. Got home took over with the kids got supper for them and me and ate early. And had whole evening for reading and writing once kids were in bed. But the combination of changed schedule, more responsibility at work, and shifted sleep and eating schedule's took a toll.  I manage to stay consistent until October of last year but then completely fell off the wagon. I have tried to get back into it but never got consistent and ended up with water on the knee twice more when trying to take up running. 

I hit my low point at the end of March. I ended up back at 238 lbs after being away for our 10th anniversary and eating and drinking too much. Seeing my brother Mitch's progress reminded me how important it is. Combined with watching my boss make some serious life style changes and make some great progress. I decided to get back at it. I have worked out 22 days straight and recorded everything I eat in My Fitness Pal. I am happy to say I am down 21.8 lbs in a month. I have been doing body weight exercises pushups, sit-ups, squats, pull-ups and dips using an app called Just 6 Weeks (Available for iOS and Android). The goal in the app is to get to single set of 100 Push-ups, 200 Sit-ups, 150 Dips, 200 Squats, and 20 Pull-Ups. I have also been doing DDP. I have done the DDP intermittently for 2 months then every day for the last 22 as of the writing of this. Here is the chart of my weight from My Fitness Pall over the last year, as you can see there were numerous gaps. But part of achieving goals is writing them down and sharing them.

Here is the link to my review of the YRG For Regular Guys book by Diamond Dallas Page. It was great at motivating me and helped me to get disciplined to start working out again. The video's for the DDP vary in length from 14 Minutes for an abs core program to 66 minutes for the longest workout. But most are 20 or 20 minutes. You do not need any equipment other than a water bottle, towel and exercise mat. And I must say it is very enjoyable and seems like it will be very sustainable. There is also a very large online community at Team DDP to help keep someone on track. As I work through the official 13 week program I will write some reviews. And so the journey begins again.

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

My Homepage
My Blog 


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

"Now we can travel with more books stored in our telephones than the ancient Egyptians kept in their vast library at Alexandria."
           Mike Aquilina

"No tea cup is big enough nor book long enough for me to be satisfied."
           C.S. Lewis

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left over I buy food and clothes!"

Other Articles in This Series:
YRG For Regular Guys - Diamond Dallas Page and Dr. Craig Aaron
Getting back at it - Or a Fitness Confession - How I Found DDP
A Short History of DDP
DDP just buy it!
Manduka Black Mat Pro Review
Clean Comfort - A Roadmap in Food and Memories - Stacey Morris
DDP Day 226 Update - May 30th 2014
DDP at the 1 Year Mark
On becoming the first DDP Certified Instructor in Ontario
... More to come