Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review: Star Wars The Old Republic Graphic Novels (Volumes 1-3)


Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Lost Suns by Bioware and LucasArts (Volume Three)
       After hundreds of years, the Sith Empire has returned to the galaxy determined to crush the Republic that sent them into exile. For young Sith Teneb Kel, this is his only chance to rise above his lowly beginnings as a slave and prove his worth to the Dark Council. Yet the mission for him is unexpected. He will not hunt Jedi, but rather a fellow Sith who has betrayed the Empire - the Emperor's apprentice!

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Threat of Peace by Bioware and LucasArts (Volume Two)  
      The Sith have gained control of the Outer Rim, but their efforts to penetrate the Core Worlds have so far been thwarted. Now, representatives from both sides attempt to negotiate a peace treaty - but deception by the Sith puts the Jedi in an unfortunate position...

Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Blood of the Empire by Bioware and LucasArts (Volume One)

      One of the Republic's elite spies, Theron Shan, embarks on an assignment to uncover dark secrets that could shatter the fragile treaty with the Sith Empire. Jedi Master Zho, once Theron's mentor, long thought lost in Sith territory, has returned to the Republic, quite  bit more peculiar than before he left - and he is the only one who can guide Theron in Sith space for his mission. The spy's hands are full with Zho, not to mention a troublesome thief and the evil lord who never should have let that old Jedi return to the Republic

Review: Being an avid (albeit lapsed due to life stuffs) player of SWTOR, when I found the second volume at B&N for $5, I eager bought it, then purchased the other two from Amazon. It was thrilling to read about characters from the stories in SWTOR. Many of the NPCs you interact with, or the lore you live in video game mention the characters in this graphic novel. To read more about them was like seeing an old friend. The stories had depth and trauma and humor, with the classic Star Wars flair. These were enjoyable, and worth reading.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-59582-637-4 / 978-1-59582-642-8 / 978-1-59582-646-6
Year Published:
Date Finished: May 22, 2016
Pages: N/A

Monday, May 30, 2016


Since I don't live in a large population area, or one with a high level of geek-minded people, Free Comic Book Day isn't as widely celebrated as I would enjoy. But the husband and I did stop by two shops to pick up what we could.
Here is a picture of what I snagged:

Serenity: 8 of 10
I LOVED THIS STORY - Browncoats Forever! Seriously, after the devastation to my feels at the end of the movie, there is some restoration in the fact that Zoey and Walsh have a baby - that Walsh lives on in her. This comic also featured a Hellboy story and an Aliens story, neither of which made sense to me (they both get a 5 of 10). But who cares? I got this for the Serenity Story!

ROM: 6 of 10
I'm partial to robots - particular space robots. That's why I chose this one. It was okay. My idea for these free comics is to get you interested in the character - but if you don't understand the story or they don't adequately explain the world, you get lost and don't connect. That is what happened here. I think I might like this, except the story was muddled and I never understood the point of the ROM. Sad, really.

March: 8 of 10
This is a graphic novel about a young man’s adventure during the Civil Rights campaigns. It’s a brilliant medium for telling this story. Worth reading. 

Worlds of Aspen 2016: 7 of 10
I enjoyed the concept, and they did a fine job of introducing the main character and helping the reader connect to her. I would read this, if I found it. 

DC SuperHero Girls: 7 of 10
I applaud DC for creating an all-girls superhero show. The story was a bit weak, sadly. I hope this is just a one-off and the cartoon deals with more than just spats between friends and anxiety over school work. I hope they plan stories with substance. But it does show promise. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review: Fifteen Lanes by S. J. Laidlaw

Synopsis: Noor has lived all of her fourteen years in the fifteen lanes of Mumbai’s red light district. Born into a brothel, she is destined for the same fate as her mother: a desperate life trapped in the city’s sex trade. She must act soon to have any chance of escaping this grim future.
Across the sprawling city, fifteen-year-old Grace enjoys a life of privilege. Her father, the CEO of one of India’s largest international banks, has brought his family to Mumbai where they live in unparalleled luxury. But Grace’s seemingly perfect life is shattered when she becomes a victim of a cruel online attack. When their paths intersect, Noor and Grace will be changed forever. Can two girls living in vastly different worlds find a common path? Award-winning author S.J. Laidlaw masterfully weaves together their stories in a way that resonates across class and culture. Fifteen Lanes boldly explores the ties that bind us to places and people, and shows us that the strongest of bonds can be forged when hope is all but lost. (from the inside cover of the book)

Review: This book is hard to write about as I don't feel I have adequate words. The ones that come to mind are these: brutal, heartbreaking, beautiful, hopeful.
Given Laidlaw's work with the victims of the sex industry in India, it is not surprising this book has a realism to it that stabs one to the heart. Not everyone lives. Not everyone gets to a better life. But some do and that's enough. The characters feel real, complex, with cross motivations and emotions and mixed loyalties. The mistakes they make hit close to home. Noor’s vulnerability and Grace’s loneliness are tangible. I ached for these girls and the choices they made. I hated the ones who hurt them, the ones who deceived them, and the ones who used them.
I would highly recommend this book for reading with high school age kids. It opens the doors for discussions about the many forms and places ones finds sexual exploitation – places and forms kids might not expect. It also opens discussion about sex trafficking and the condition of women in the third world.
Worth reading. Worth every heartbreaking second to read.

Bookmarks: 9 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-101-91780-0
Year Published: 2016
Date Finished: 5-13-2016
Pages: 300

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: The Official DC Superhero Cookbook by Matthew Mead

Synopsis: This cookbook is packed with simple, fun recipes designed to evoke kids' favorite super heroes and to enhance their super powers. DC Super Hero logo stencils and character cut-outs make for extra-fun food styling. More than sixty easy, tasty recipes inspired by beloved DC characters (including Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Wonder Woman--and more!) are fun for kids of all ages to prepare and to eat! From the Up, Up and Away Parfait and Green Arrow Fruit Kebobs to Holy Guacamole and the Bat Cave Chicken Stew, the colorfully presented recipes are perfect for making everyday family meals extra special, as well as for themed parties. Simple, step-by-step instructions are easy to replicate. And kids will enjoy flipping through the fabulous finish photos. Special sections on lunch box suggestions and super hero parties are packed with clever ideas. And DC Super Hero symbol stencils and character cut-outs make it easy to style every dish. (from the online description)

Review: This is a fun, colorful cookbook. Easy to follow directions for lots of kid-favorites, it's perfect for young superheros in training. There are lots of ways parents can sneak in veggies, and every recipe can be adaptive for sensitive tummies. The book also includes stencils in the back, in the shapes that you might need to make the decorative elements of the recipes. My only qualm is that several recipes use food coloring or icing gel to get the colors. But I think, there are healthy alternatives - like organic food coloring - that one can use with a minimum of work.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-935703-91-4
Year Published: 2015
Date Finished: 5-13-2017
Pages: 112

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Review: Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction by Erika Janik

Synopsis: In 1910, Alice Wells took the oath to join the all-male Los Angeles Police Department. She wore no uniform, carried no weapon, and kept her badge stuffed in her pocketbook. She wasn’t the first or only policewoman, but she became the movement’s most visible voice. Police work from its very beginning was considered a male domain, far too dangerous and rough for a respectable woman to even contemplate doing, much less take on as a profession. A policewoman worked outside the home, walking dangerous city streets late at night to confront burglars, drunks, scam artists, and prostitutes. To solve crimes, she observed, collected evidence, and used reason and logic—traits typically associated with men. And most controversially of all, she had a purpose separate from her husband, children, and home. Women who donned the badge faced harassment and discrimination. It would take more than seventy years for women to enter the force as full-fledged officers. Yet within the covers of popular fiction, women not only wrote mysteries but also created female characters that handily solved crimes. Smart, independent, and courageous, these nineteenth- and early twentieth-century female sleuths (including a healthy number created by male writers) set the stage for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Sara Paretsky’s V. I. Warshawski, Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta, and Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, as well as TV detectives such as Prime Suspect’s Jane Tennison and Law and Order’s Olivia Benson. The authors were not amateurs dabbling in detection but professional writers who helped define the genre and competed with men, often to greater success. Pistols and Petticoats tells the story of women’s very early place in crime fiction and their public crusade to transform policing. Whether real or fictional, investigating women were nearly always at odds with society. Most women refused to let that stop them, paving the way to a modern professional life for women on the force and in popular culture. (from the inside cover of the book)

Review: With clear and lively pose, Erika Janik takes the reader through the tempestuous history of women solving crime. Loosely chronological, Janik starts in late 1700s, with the Gothic novel – the forerunner of mystery novels. Her research is excellent, bringing the historical and fictional characters to life. Non-fiction historical writing can be dull, even with a lively subject, but Janik deftly dodges that trap and creates a book that is amusing, intriguing, and easy to read. She didn’t get bogged down in a plethora of details, adding just the right amount to draw the reader into the world.
In particular, I enjoy how she compared the women in fiction to those in real life. As often occurs, the female detectives in fiction lived exciting, glamorous lives, solving strange and wild mysteries. In contrast, the women in real life where usually relegated to being social workers with badges or moral keepers, shepherding vulnerable girls away from dance halls and malt shops. Janik did an excellent job of tracing how women moved from these background positions to where they are today – chief of police, head detectives, and women on patrol, with all the duties, power, and responsibilities of their male counterparts.
The prose repeats itself occasionally, but that doesn’t detract from the book. It’s inevitable when writing about any historical subject – it gets tangled.
I had a similar emotional response to her work that I often have to books about the history of women – a deep annoyance at the ignorance of men (and some women) regarding the capabilities of women. The arguments used to keep women out of certain professions, the unfair treatment, the rigged standards, and the sexual harassment. It burns me up.
To conclude, I would recommend Janik’s book to many people. This is perfect as an overview of the subject, and an excellent place to start reading about the topic. It will be of particular interest to those lovers of crime fiction, women’s history in the United States, and anyone who is looking for an enjoyable non-fiction read. This would make an excellent beach book, even if just to give you ideas of excellent crime novels to read!

Note: I received this book free through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's Program, in exchange for my fair and honest opinion. 

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-8070-3938-0
Year Published: 2016
Date Finished: 5-12-2016
Pages: 238

Review: Stories of God by Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. by M.D. Herter Norton

Synopsis: Rilke's haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety. Rainer Maria Rilke felt that the world and all its joys most truly belonged to the young, and in Stories of God he captured for them the magic, charm and wisdom of fairy and folk tales. (from the online description)

Review: I was deeply disappointed in this book. Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet is lovely, lyrical and moving. This was boring and somewhat esoteric. Perhaps, as the narrator says, because the stories were meant for children (although the book isn't marketed for children) or because my brain has trouble with anything to philosophical. Whatever the reason, these are stories written by a poet, and while poets may have a command of vocabulary, they often have poor skills in stringing those words into stories. Others, of course, will most certainly disagree. But since I favor staccato poems and sharp imagines, Rilke's stories are not for me.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-393-00154-7
Year Published: 1963 (Written in 1932)
Date Finished: 5-5-2016
Pages: 139

Friday, May 13, 2016

Review: The Dead in the Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley (Flavia De Luce, Book 6)

Synopsis: On a spring morning in 1951, eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test. Following a trail of clues sparked by the discovery of a reel of film stashed away in the attic, she unravels the deepest secrets of the de Luce clan, involving none other than Winston Churchill himself. Surrounded by family, friends, and a famous pathologist from the Home Office—and making spectacular use of Harriet’s beloved Gipsy Moth plane, Blithe Spirit—Flavia will do anything, even take to the skies, to land a killer. (from the back of the book)

Review: After all the build-up, we finally get the answer to the questions about Harriet - who she was, why she left, and how she died. But, sadly, this book wasn't as satisfying as it could have been. It was more disjointed than his previous Flavia stories. Flavia seemed to lack interested in the murder (although, having her mother's body resting down the hall might have had something to do with this), and even her scheme to raise her mother from the dead was quickly abandoned - very unFlavia like. There also seemed to be some discontinuities, which I won't mention here to prevent Spoilers. But they bothered me.
Despite all this, this book still delivered. We learned, as Flavia did, about who she is - and who she will be. And in the end, Bradley's work isn't a serious of murder mysteries but a study of a precocious 11-year-old genius, who loves chemistry, solving mysteries, and her broken and wounded family.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-385-34405-0
Year Published: 2014
Date Finished: 4-29-2016
Pages: 315

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review: Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley (Flavia De Luce, Book 5)

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old amateur detective and ardent chemist Flavia de Luce is used to digging up clues, whether they’re found among the potions in her laboratory or between the pages of her insufferable sisters’ diaries. What she is not accustomed to is digging up bodies. Upon the five-hundredth anniversary of St. Tancred’s death, the English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey is busily preparing to open its patron saint’s tomb. Nobody is more excited to peek inside the crypt than Flavia, yet what she finds will halt the proceedings dead in their tracks: the body of Mr. Collicutt, the church organist, his face grotesquely and inexplicably masked. Who held a vendetta against Mr. Collicutt, and why would they hide him in such a sacred resting place? The irrepressible Flavia decides to find out. And what she unearths will prove there’s never such thing as an open-and-shut case. (from the back of the book)

Review: It was a delight to once again go along with Flavia as she navigates her life - and the solving of a murder. We learn more about Harriet and her life at Buckshaw. We see the subtle changes in Flavia's sisters, how they are growing, maturing, as is Flavia. And Mr. de Luce - we see the burden he holds begin to take their toll. As with all these books, this feels more like an episode in a longer story. And the ending - it's brutal. If I had to wait for the next book in the serious, I might have exploded.
As other's have noted, Bradley seems to be moving away from the mystery as the center of the story and more towards Flavia's relationship with her family, and her own maturation. Much of the book centered on her navigating the impending changes to her life - namely, the selling of Buckshaw. The mystery was slightly fantastic to believe, but, since it wasn't the real focus,it simply added an interested back drop for Flavia's explorations. As always, the colorful cast of characters populated the play, making Bradley's work delightful. I highly recommend this, as I do all of these novels.

Book: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-385-34403-6
Year Published: 2013
Date Finished; 4-28-2016
Pages: 378

Monday, May 9, 2016

Review: The Shuttle by Francis Hodgson Burnett

Synopsis: This book is about a American heiresses marrying English aristocrats; by extension it is about the effect of American energy, dynamism and affluence on an effete and impoverished English ruling class. Sir Nigel Anstruthers crosses the Atlantic to look for a rich wife and returns with the daughter of an American millionaire, Rosalie Vanderpoel. He turns out to be a bully, a miser and a philanderer and virtually imprisons his wife in the house. Only when Rosalie's sister Bettina is grown up does it occur to her and her father that some sort of rescue expedition should take place. And the beautiful, kind and dynamic Bettina leaves for Europe to try and find out why Rosalie has, inexplicably, chosen to lose touch with her family. In the process she engages in a psychological war with Sir Nigel; meets and falls in love with another Englishman; and starts to use the Vanderpoel money to modernize ‘Stornham Court’. (from the Persephone website description)

Review: When I saw this in an antique shop out in Washington State, I knew I had to own it. Burnett's children's books shaped my thinking as a child, and it is thrilling to discover her adult works. The Shuttle is a mature, slow, deep, read, full of gorgeous descriptions, tense moments, and thoughtful observations clearly taken first hand. More lyrical than her other works, it seems that Burnett used this work as a way to remark on the culture and society she knew well, herself someone who "shuttled" back and forth from the U.S. and England over thirty times - a rarity in those days. True to her style, the characters and story extol beauty, kindness, energy, and family. For fans of Burnett, for soft romances from the early 1900s, and for historical novels, this is an excellent choice. I highly recommend.

Bookmarks: 8 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: N/A/ (Note: Persephone Books' reprint carries the ISBN 9781903155615)
Year Published: 1907
Date Finished: 4-24-2016
Pages: 512

Friday, May 6, 2016

Review: Orange Jumpsuit: Letters to the God of Freedom by Tara Leigh Cobble

Synopsis: New York City moved at the pace of my heart. Everything fit. Then came a familiar, unmistakable nudge – God was calling me to leave the sparkle and comfort of Manhattan to put down roots in small-town South Carolina. Leaving behind the city I adored for a town that surprised me first with love, and then with heartache, it felt like God was stripping me of everything. It felt like wrath I began to wonder if I had heard Him right. Had I ever heard Him? Did I even know Him at all? This is a story of letting go, of choosing. Through the crushing blows of sanctification, the loss of my “home,” the end of relationships, and the betrayal of friends, I was forced to look at the darkness of my own heart. Will I walk away from Him? Or will I learn instead to walk in freedom from the fears that imprison me? This is a love story. But it’s no fairytale. Or maybe, it is. (from the back of the book)

Review: This is the third and last in Cobble's The Letters Trilogy. The premise of this one is my favorite - the idea that we are a prisoner take to the court of the King, given a place at his table and in his house - and yet, we insist on wearing our prison garb, our "orange jumpsuit". This metaphor so clearly illustrates how most of us live life.
In this installment of the trilogy, Cobble writes about her move from New York City to a small town in South Carolina. Unlike her move to NYC, the move to South Carolina wasn't something she wanted. It was the opposite. And yet, she knew God was leading her and obeyed.
The best part of this book was the portion where she spoke about not hearing God's voice, and the devastation it caused in her heart. Beset by doubt and hopelessness, she fought to reclaim what she had once known about God. It was powerful to read.
Unfortunately, that portion was overshadowed by the endless prattle about her romantic relationships. In her previous two books, there was a balance, but in this one, so much of the prose was given over to this person. It is worth mentioning, of course, that it was the catalyst for much of her growth. But it got tedious to read chapter after chapter. And it is the unromantic cynic in me, but several time, she rekindled her relationship with the person when anyone with two brain cells could see he was no good.
In the end, I would recommend this book, even given the above comments. I have, more than a few times, been told I have a heart of ice when it comes to romance. So I am apt to be harsher on people who are romantic than most. Read her work, by all means. She writes well and writes wisdom worth having.

Bookmarks: 6 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-0-9837850-2-6
Year Published: 2011
Date Finished: 4-21-2016
Pages: 217

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Review: Crowded Skies: Letters to Manhattan by Tara Leigh Cobble

Synopsis: We all struggle and scrape and pray, trying to find the piece of life with our name on it. I’ve been frustrated by my mistakes, my lack of clarity, and my unwillingness to do the right thing even when I finally do figure it out. In one episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza decided to do the opposite of everything he was naturally inclined to do, in hopes that life would turn out better for him. Sometimes that seems like the right answer for me, too, because I’ve found that I usually want the things that aren’t the best for me. That’s why it came as such a surprise to find a place where my desires and God’s desires seemed to overlap. Against all odds, that place was New York City. And I have found Him here, amidst the skyscrapers and street vendors. Figuring out God’s plan for my life has been beautiful and terrifying, but I’m so glad to be on the journey with Him. He has displayed a power enormous enough to heal my deepest wounds, yet intimate enough for the smallest moments—like the time He painted my wall. I hope my stories will remind you of all the ways He has shown up in yours. (from the back of the book)

Review: After reading Tara Leigh Cobble's Here's To Hindsight, I had to read this one. It's the second in her unofficial memoir trilogy. In this installment, Cobble speaks about her increasing loneliness in Nashville, her move to New York, the stall in her ability to write music, and her adventures in New York City, with its people, energy, and culture. But mostly, she writes about the journey God took her on during this part of her life. Learning to trust, seeing God's goodness, mercy, instruction, and correction. Cobble chatty prose and relatable thoughts make this engaging and helpful. Reading her struggles helped me identify similar ones in my own life  - and seeing how God worked in her life gave me hope that I will see the same in my life.
My only disappointment was how often she dwelled on her romantic relationships. But it wasn't enough to detract from the book overall. I recommend this book to anyone, but in particular young Christians who may be struggling to find there place in the Kingdom.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 978-1-60530-739-8
Year Published: 2008
Date Finished: 4-21-2016
Pages: 206

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh

Synopsis: It been nearly five centuries since the starship Phoenix, lost in space and desperately searching for the nearest G5 star, had encountered the planet of the atevi. On the alien world, law was kept by the use of registered assassination, alliances were defined by individual loyalties not geographical boarders, and war became inevitable once humans and one faction of atevi established a working relationship. It was war that humans had no chance of winning on this planet so many light-years from home. Now, nearly two hundred years after that conflict, humanity has traded its advanced technology for peace and an island refuge that no atevi will ever visit. Then the sole human the treaty allows into atevi society is marked for assassin's bullet. The work of an isolated lunatic?...The interests of a particular faction?...Or the consequences of one human's fondness for a species which has fourteen words betrayal and not a single word for love? (from the back of the book)

Review: C.J. Cherryh is an author one constantly comes across in used book shops and library sales. She is a prolific and much-lauded sci-fi/fantasy author, with a plethora of awards on her shelf. And yet, I had never read her. So when an Instragram acquaintance hosted a First Author Contact read of her novel, Foreigner, in April, I eagerly signed up.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I had my doubts early on, as it took me about a third of the way in to get hooked. Being used to more action based stories, I found the excessive amount of time spent listening to Bren think a bit tedious. His endless questions and self-doubt and circles of thought – after a while, I wanted to just shout, “Do something, stupid!” He spent so much time waiting for something to happen instead of seeking out the answers. But towards the end, I began to understand that Bren was a diplomat and a culture attaché – not detective or solider. Cherryh writing had him stay true to who he was – and I admired that, even if it annoyed me.
Her world-building is fantastic. Cherryh draws the reader into the alien world of the atevi, making it feel both foreign and yet, accessible through her descriptions. Each of the atevi characters felt complex, products of that culture, and not just humans in disguise. Through Bren, we learned the intricate code of loyalty, or man’china – who is loyal to whom, and what level of loyalty. Cherryh accurately captures what is like to live in a culture not one’s own, where the rules are unknown or barely understood, where priorities in one do not exist in the other, where words, gestures, and actions mean entirely different things. Bren isolation, confusion, and fatigue reminded me of my own time overseas.
As the book progresses, the mystery of who wants Bren dead grow, becoming a convoluted tangle of characters and actions. It was here that the story shifted from Bren’s internal musings to his thoughts on the actions around him. It was here we see the atevi at the most – foreign, and yet, when they are most like a people humans might connect with.
Thought the mystery is answered in the end, many more questions appear -just as one would expect from the first book in a trilogy (a trilogy that is the first in a set of seven trilogies, which are still being published).
While I am not certain I will continue with this story arc (being that there are at least twenty-one books to read), I certainly will continue to read Cherryh. Her writing intrigues me and I’m eager to read more of her work. 

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: Shortlisted for the Locus Award in 1995

ISBN: 0-88677-637-6
Year Published: 1994
Date Finished: 4-19-2016
Pages: 427

Review: The Acorn Quest by Jane Yolen

Synopsis: The dire warning has come: the animals of Woodland wills starve if something isn't done. The Wizard Squirrelin is the kingdom's last and only hope - and he tells the startled knights at King Earthor's round table, Nuts! In fact, nuts to all of you." But nuts are the answer for Woodland. One very special nut, at least. Across the land far away, past a sleeping dragon, in the middle of a Magical Lake is the Golden Acorn that, Squirrelin tells them, has the power to save the land from famine. Their knapsacks packed with the last few mealy apples from Woodland's stricken trees, Squirrelin and four brave knights - Sir Tarryhere the turtle, Sir Belliful the ground-hog, Sir Gimmemore the rabbit, and Sir Runsalot the mouse - set out to seek the Golden Acorn, through Perilous, Dolorous and Very Queer Adventures, to the very Edge of the World (from the back of the book)

Review: Told as a quest Fairy-Tale, this is a charming story with more depth than one usually finds. Courage is the central theme - what is means and who has it. As the characters face perils of many kids, they reveal who they truly are - and some are't so good. I liked that not all the characters were clean and noble, that the quest defeated some due to there own lack of courage. This is an excellent book for kids, perfect for reading with an adult. Highly recommend.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-690-04107-1
Year Published: 1981
Date Finished: 4-19-2016
Pages: 58

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Review: The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard

Synopsis: The Divine Conspiracy has revolutionized how we think about the true meaning of discipleship. In this classic, one of the most brilliant Christian thinkers of our times and author of the acclaimed The Spirit of Disciplines, Dallas Willard, skillfully weaves together biblical teaching, popular culture, science, scholarship, and spiritual practice, revealing what it means to "apprentice" ourselves to Jesus. Using Jesus’s Sermon of the Mount as his foundation, Willard masterfully explores life-changing ways to experience and be guided by God on a daily basis, resulting in a more authentic and dynamic faith. (from the online description)

Review: I listened to this on audiobook. I'm going to read it again, so I can mark all the spots I wanted to remember. More extensive review will be forthcoming.

Bookmarks: 9 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-06-069333-9
Year Published: 1998
Date Finished: 4-15-2016
Pages: 428