Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Solomon's Thieves, Book One...

Solomon's Thieves,
Book One
by Jordan Mechner,
LeUyen Pham, Alex Puvillan

Using the dissolution of the French Templar's as the beginning premise this tale takes off from the start...swashbuckling adventure, a woman betrayed, and a vow of of course I loved it!!!

The art work is rough and dramatic and though set in the 1400's the dialog would be easily followed by teen readers. Fan's of First Second's Prince of Persia and the gamers
Prince of Persia Collector's Edition: Prima Official Game Guide (Prima Official Game Guides) will find this telling of the story of Martin and his loss - between the loss of his brothers of the order and the loss of the woman he loves - a compelling read.

Lover's of the adult books about the Templar Legacy will love introducing this exciting era to their kids through
Solomon's Thieves, Book One, did I mention that this is book one of a trilogy? It carries the same mystery, ancient religion, and drama of the DaVinci Code or Steven Berry Cotton Malone Series.

Product Description From Amazon:

On the run from the law . . . in 14th century France

Life as a Templar Knight returning from the Crusades is dull— bread, beans, and lots and lots of walking. But after Martin stumbles upon his lost love (now married—to someone else), things begin to get more interesting very quickly. There’s a vast conspiracy afoot to destroy the Templar Order and steal their treasure. Soon, Martin finds himself one of the only Templars out of prison—and out for revenge!

A swashbuckling story of betrayal, adventure, and an epic swindle, Solomon’s Thieves is the first volume in a trilogy written by Jordan Mechner (the creator of the acclaimed Prince of Persia video games) and illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall
by Lauren Oliver

I have to say that my initial reason for picking up this book is a current fascination with debut didn't disappoint!

How to describe it? It appears that all the pertinent adjectives have already been used up in all the posted reviews...

Heartbreaking, compelling, raw, beautiful, emotional and complex - Before I Fall is all that!!!

In her debut novel author Lauren Oliver manages to find a "teen" voice that is so real I felt like I was sitting at Starbucks at 3pm! ...of course that could be because Oliver is just barely beyond teen herself.

So - you have probably already gathered that this is a "groundhog day" style telling of the life and death of Samantha know this girl. She is the girl that hangs with the "cool kids", has everything yet doesn't appear to appreciate any of it.

The compelling nature of Lauren Oliver's writing takes you from disdain and revulsion to Samantha working through the process of understanding what is truly important and through 7 efforts - to change her outlook.

My one problem with the book was that Oliver does such a great job of developing Samantha's character that I seriously didn't like her and didn't care...but the writing is so good and the story draws you in...all I can say is trust and read this book all the way through to the end.

Product Review From Amazon:

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

What's New, Cupcake?

What's New, Cupcake?
by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

I haven't had this much fun since Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make the first cupcake craft book from the team of Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.

In the forward of What's New Cupcake? they promise fun, spectacle and ease...and they deliver on all accounts. This book leaves you laughing out loud - calling people over to look at cupcake art (be careful husbands get grouchy after about the third time) - and racing to the kitchen to see what ingredients you have on hand!

There are cupcakes for every occasion and some just to titillate! From Stuffed Turkeys for Thanksgiving to Ghosts and Black Cat cupcakes for Halloween. Whole cake displays made of individual cupcakes artfully arranged in a Formula One car - a Summer Water Park - Golf Course (complete with sand trap) - Yarn Platter that will delight the knitter's (or crochet fans) in your life. Some standouts for me were the Ants on a Picnic and "I Thought You Ordered Chocolate Moose?".

From first hand experience I can confirm delivery on the "easier than the first book" promise. I made the Rubber Ducky cupcakes...yummy, easy and a definite conversation piece at the Easter table!

One of the really nice things about this book is the "so many ways to decorate" section where they breakdown various candies, cookies, toppings and misc. parts. It is a great how to for creating flowers, whimsical mosaics, borders, animals and more. This is knowledge that you can use to make everything you cook CUTE!!! but don't get carried away with it, even the most tolerant family may decide you need an intervention.

Ok now, off to the gym!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Update: Judging A Book By It's Cover...

Just a quick update to my Judging A Book By It's Cover post - Becca Fitzpatrick revealed the cover to her upcoming it everything you hoped for?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Free Comic Book Day!!! May 1st!

Save the Date: Free Comic Book Day is May 1

Do you already have your route to the nearest comic shop mapped out? Do you know what free comic you're planning to read first, and which one you're saving for last? Better get ready, becauseFree Comic Book Day 10 (FCBD10), is only a month away!

With the biggest comic book event of the year being celebrated in just a few short weeks, is your source for all the information you want on this year's free comics.

"With Free Comic Book Day, what began as a good idea is confirmed to be a great idea, supported now by a other sources - meaning movies, graphic novels, merchandising. It ended up as a brilliant idea that works in tandem with everything else."

- John Romita, Jr., artist of Iron Man/Thor

"This will be my fourth year as a Free Comic Book Day participant, and I try to do a signing at a different store in a different state each time. I'll be in California this year at Four-Color Fantasies. I've got 47 more states to hit, so I think I'll be doing this a while."

- Thomas Zahler, creator of Love and Capes #13

"FCBD is a giant leap in the right direction to get new interest from people who may be comic book fans but just don't know it yet."

- Andy Schmidt, editor of G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #155 ½

What He Said!

We interviewed the top creators involved in FCBD10 and got their thoughts on the event! Click on these great interviews for more:
May 1, 2010
FCBD e-Newsletter

The Book Of Spies by Gayle Lynds

The Book of Spies
by Gayle Lynds

Everything I love in a mystery...

Imagine a Library of Gold - a library of rare books that has been preserved, guarded and passed down through the ages. Protected by kings, potentates, czars and powerful men who saved it for themselves alone to enjoy.

...and now imagine that one of these books is stolen from the Library! How some of the world's most powerful men react gives us a look at the world of privilege and unlimited wealth. Everyone goes looking for the Book of Spies - leading authorities on the Library of Gold, scholars, government agencies, and the agents of the group of men from whom it was stolen.

The action in the book is very fast, hop scotching around the world (we should only be so lucky to be able to bypass and manipulate airports and security), involving a host of wonderful characters, quirks of the financial world, links to terrorism and much more.

This is a roller coaster ride to every corner of the earth - Gayle Lynds writing draws you into a world that few of us will ever know, offering thrilling locations, terrorist plots, CIA, and snipers all taking place among antiquity - everything I love in a mystery...I will be checking out more from this author.

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

By Deborah Blum

Murder by poison...
The title almost tells the whole story. Almost, because there is a whole lot more to this story than murder by poison. Deborah Blum takes us along a hazardous journey with two pioneers in what we, of this television age, know as CSI - in all its various iterations

Dr. Charles Norris, as chief medical examiner of the great city of New York, takes on murder, accidental and natural deaths, prohibition, politicians, sloppy police work, money-grubbing coroners and mortuaries in a battle for the recognition of Forensic Medicine as a legitimate science and admissible evidence in the courts.

Toxicologist Alexander Gettler, working with Norris, devises tests and experiments for detecting the most obscure poisons that kill by murder or accident.

The history of poisons goes back much further in time than can be imagined. The discoveries that led to how they work helped solved many crimes and improved the knowledge of how the human body works. The chemistry is there but simplified so that the average reader is not boggled by atoms and molecules. The tests and experiments are perhaps, a little grisly, but the results seem to justify them.

The cases are perpetrated by all kinds of people for many strange reasons - anger, hatred, money, insanity, desperation, pure wickedness, accidental, and the Prohibition war between bootleggers and government chemists. This is a telling history of crime in a great city, and those who were in the forefront of solving those crimes.

With The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York Deborah Blum gives us a readable (actually enjoyable) history of the development of forensics through some grim periods in history.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman

Alchemy and Meggy Swan

By Karen Cushman

The importance of being accepted is probably the number one issue facing children today as it was in the Elizabethan Era of Meggy Swann.

In the tradition of most Karen Cushman novels - this story takes you deep into the period "After the accession of Elizabeth I to the throne of England but afore London's first theater and Shakespeare".

You will feel the uneven cobblestones, smell the reeking streams of waste, hear the tunes of the balladeers and the jeers of the passersby at Meggy's crooked body.

Cushman draws you into the period and Meggy's world of daily pain and rejection - but this book is not without joy. When Roger and a troupe of "players" come into Meggy's life things begin to change.

5th Grade through tweens and teens will love Meggy's troubles, travails and her pluck!

While it can be a bit cumbersome at the start, the Olde English dialect soon feels second nature and what a great introduction for kids that will soon be asked to read Shakespeare. I think that starting them out with a storyline they will relate to and a heroine closer to their age will make learning to understand this conversational style so much easier.

Cushman includes information on the "alchemy" of the day and explanations of the language and customs of the time in the "Authors Notes" at the end of the book. What a wonderful teaching opportunity!


Related Posts with Thumbnails