Friday, December 31, 2010

The Friday 56, The Help

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it to Freda's Voice.

This week the book is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I heard so many good things about this book that I had to read it. I’m almost done with it and hoping to finish it tonight and I’m really liking it. I hope it finishes as well as it started.

The sentence:

It is kinky, more pubic than cranial, and whitish blond, breaking off easily, like hay.

It kind of makes me feel better about my hair, which is not a dream but not quite as bad as this sounds.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor Review

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor by Chuck Black

(from the back of the book)
Sir Quinlan leaves his boyhood friend to serve the Prince, fighting a battle darker and more intense than any he’s ever known. The mysterious Sir Baylor recruits him into the ranks of an elite unit of knights known as the Swords of Valor, but when tragedy strikes and everyone blames Quinlan, the Swords of Valor disband, ending a legacy of heroic deeds.

Alone and despairing, Quinlan wanders the kingdom, fleeing his past. His providential encounter with Taras, a mysterious Silent Warrior and former trainer of Valor Knights, offers Quinlan a chance to redeem himself and learn the ways of the secret warriors.

The training is grueling, and just when Quinlan seems to have left his failures behind, he receives an impossible challenge from the Prince – one that will force him to face his past… and the mighty men who blame him for the tragedy that ruined them.

Can Quinlan reunite the Valor Knights in time to save the people from the Dark Knight’s evil plot to rule the Kingdom of Arrethtrae, or will the Valor Knights lose the most important battle of all?

This is the fifth book in the Knights of Arrethtrae series. There is a little intro so that new readers will have some idea of the world of the knights going into the story. Not having read any of the other books I found it helpful because it gave me some context for the story I was about to read but this book can certainly stand alone and you do not have to have read the others first. There is no mistaking that this story is a biblical allegory. There is nothing subtle about the message here. And sometimes, especially when Quinlan is speaking to his trainer, Taras, it can get a bit preachy but that is forgivable as that is much of the point of the book and it is an important part of Quinlan’s training and his entire journey. The book does a good job of making the fight of good versus evil a real battle that we all have to be aware of and the dangers if we ignore it. It also brings up some important biblical issues. Quinlan must make some hard choices, leave behind what he has known, face struggles, failures and his own self-doubt, make decisions based on faith alone and often must act when it would be easier to just go home. It also explores the fact that God often chooses the unexpected people, how even those who have the outward appearance of being a follower are not always so, that there will still be tragedy and heartache, and many other biblical truths that our heroes and those around them face. It doesn’t shy away from the harder aspects to try and make a happier story. Although it is an allegory and is meant to teach a lesson it is still an exciting adventure story with action, suspense and a little mystery and magic. In the back that are a lot of discussion questions (and answers) that will get readers thinking more deeply about the story and will help readers understand concepts that they might not have gotten from just reading the book. I like that the questions encourage the reader to look to the Bible for the answers. It is a story about knights and there are sword fights and danger and adventure but the message is always at the forefront. It is a strong, forceful message. I don’t think that is a bad thing but it might turn some people off and might be better suited to children who are already interested and trying to learn more instead of a story to spark the first interest.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Remember Why You Play

Bless Their Hearts Mom is giving away a copy of Remember Why You Play by David Thomas.

To enter leave a comment with a way to contact you if you win.

Extra entries? Oh, yeah. There are a bunch.

•Follow Bless Their Hearts Mom on Blogger/Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
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•Tweet about this contest (2 entries), include @BTHM1 in your tweet! (this can be done DAILY for 2 entries PER day)
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•Enter the post link in a Giveaway Linky on another site (4 entries)** MUST provide link to the Giveaway Linky!
•Blog about the giveaway (5 entries)

Get all that? Well, hold on. There are a few more things you need to know.

Each entry must be entered separately.
The contest is open until January 14th.
The contest is open to the US and Canada.
And the winner has three days to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bride and the Beast Movie Review

Bride and the Beast
With Charlotte Austin and Lance Fuller

When Laura and Dan get married, she's more interested in Dan's gorilla. It's revealed through hypnosis that she was Queen of the Gorillas in a previous incarnation.

Did I expect this to be a good movie? Of course not. With Ed Wood’s name on it anywhere you knew it wasn’t going to be a masterpiece. I did expect it to be somewhat entertaining though, in a cheesy sort of way. The gorilla suits were indeed laughable and the plot ridiculous beyond a doubt but you need more than that to make a good B movie. You need something to make it worth watching. There was nothing here that made this movie truly fun to watch. There weren’t even any moments when you burst out laughing at just how bad the whole thing was. In fact, it was all rather boring. It has all the features that make a bad movie, poor acting, poor script, stock footage and bad gorilla effects, without any thing to make it into true cheesy goodness.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Prostho Plus Vocabulary

All these words are from Prostho Plus by Piers Anthony. They are mostly dental terms, of which he uses a lot.

Gingival: of or pertaining to the gums

Buccal: of or pertaining to the cheek

Occlusals: pertaining to the masticating surfaces of the premolar and molar teeth

Malocclusals: a misalignment of teeth and/or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches

Sprue: an opening through which molten metal is poured into a mold

Perspicacious: having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning

Distal: situated away from the point of origin or attachment, as of a limb or bone; terminal

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Not So Pre-Christmas Giveaway

Luxury Reading is having a Pre-Christmas Giveaway. Or at least it was when she posted it. I'm a little late but you still have plenty of time to enter.

What could you win?

Huck by Janet Elder

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig

Blast From The Past (Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls) by Meg Cabot

Chef by Jaspreet Singh

The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge by Patricia Duncker

The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman and Rob Shepperson

There will be 3 winners and 2 books for each.

All books are new or like new.

To enter leave Vera a comment saying which two books you would like to win. And remember to make sure you include your e-mail address.

Extra entries: (make sure you post each entry separately):
- Subscribe via e-mail, follow or subscribe to the feed of Luxury Reading. (1 entry each)
- Enter another giveaway on Luxury Reading. (1 entry each)
- Follow Luxury Reading on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway. (1 entry, 1 tweet per day)

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Deadline to enter is midnight on January 12th.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Prostho Plus Review

Prostho Plus by Piers Anthony

(from the back of the book)
What’s keeping you from your grand tour of the universe? Are you afraid of being caught out in the vastness of space with a painful cavity and no one capable of fixing it? Well fear not – the galaxy is simply teeming with dentists!

For Dr. Dillingham, dentist of Earth, it was the shock of his life – captures by aliens, forced to fix a strange cavity in an even stranger mouth; them whisked off to deep space. But luckily for the good dentist, Dillingham discovered that he liked zooming about the galaxy, solving unprecedented problems and making new and decidedly different acquaintances. And when he was offered the chance to apply to the Galactic University of Dentistry as Earth’s first (and only) applicant, Dillingham had a choice to make: go back to his safe little world of bored housewives and miles of braces, or make a mark for mankind among the teeth of the stars.

It was really no choice at all.

This is fun light reading. It starts off quickly, there is no long build up to lead us into the story but instead the doctor’s adventure starts right away. The quick start does get the book moving at a good pace but it also sends us off without knowing the characters very well. It is an interesting concept to look at galactic travel from the viewpoint of a dentist and Anthony does a great job of giving the good doctor a variety of mouths, teeth, and problems to work on. And Dillingham finds that there is much more to dentistry in space then he ever could have imagined as he finds himself mixed up in politics, being sold, being hunted and having to do some impromptu electrical work on robot teeth. Dillingham does tend to explain his procedures a lot at times and you get lessons on how to fill cavities or what happens when your occlusion is imperfect. It also sometimes reads like a public service announcement on the importance of brushing and flossing. But I think that adds to the fun of reading about a poor kidnapped Earth dentist who really cares about healthy teeth, no matter where they are found. It’s fun, short and moves quickly and is an interesting slant on the story of mankind’s first contact with alien life. It is well worth your time, especially if you are looking for something that is not too deep.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Friday 56, The Journals of Lewis and Clark

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it to Freda's Voice.

Okay, it’s late but it’s still Friday and I don’t want to miss two weeks in a row since I’m trying to get back on track here. So…

This week the book is The Journals of Lewis and Clark selected and with an intro by John Bakeless. I love stories of explorers and there is some very interesting stuff here although it can also get pretty repetitive at times. But you just can’t beat the story told in the explorers own words.

The sentence:

A fat dog was presented as a mark of their great respect for the party, of which they partook heartily, and thought it good and well flavored.

Yummy! I wonder if it taste like chicken.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Books I Finished in November

Wow. What happened to November? Time has been getting away from me lately. I have no idea where the last two weeks went. And now I find that it is already December. I’ll have to start thinking about Christmas gifts. But not until after I do my list of books I finished in November.

2% of 2% of All the World’s Stories
Collection of stories written by children who go to an after school program call 826 Boston. It’s interesting to try to follow the train of thought in some of these stories.

Sky Burial by Xinran
For such a powerful story I expected to be moved more than I was.

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 by David Peterson
I liked this one as much as I liked the first one. Which was quite a bit.

The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins
I loved all the characters in this book, which is good because it is character driven.

Dead Pan by Gayle Trent
A cozy mystery that didn’t hold many surprises. It wasn’t bad but I think there are better out there.

The Bait and the Trap by George Challis
Who doesn’t love swashbuckling? Dashing heroes, flashing swords and beautiful maidens.

The Pets by Bragi Olafsson
Huh? So it had a slow start but then I got interested only to be left with an ending I didn’t get.

Prostho Plus by Piers Anthony
A poor Earth dentist thrown into deep space to take care of the galaxies teeth. It’s fun but be prepared to be convicted about poor oral hygiene.

Resolution by Robert Parker
Second in the series. I love these books so far. Parker has made these two guys men I would like to meet.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Coming of age tale with just a touch of science thrown in. I like how you get to experience Calpunia’s sense of wonder.

Discoveries: Writing by Georges Jean
Not as interesting as I had hoped it would be. It’s a history of writing, script and printing which I thought I was interested in until I read this book.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
An interesting look at a man who is losing his ability to think and realizes it as it is happening. Which sounds depressing but it isn’t.