Monthly Archives: April, 2014

Man from the Sky

Man from the Sky:  a Novella by Danny Wynn

  • Publisher: Bacon Press Books
  • Publication date: 1/31/2014
  • Pages: 140

Rating:  * * *

This is a breezy little story starring wealthy, comfortably self-centered old Jaime, who passively longs for a Grand Adventure even as he languishes in discontent with his idyllic lifestyle.  Lo and behold, a Grand Adventure lands right in his path in the form of Stefan parachuting in.  Unencumbered by a sense of irony, Jaime merrily assists Stefan in making a fresh start in life.

I rather enjoy the blitheness with which Jaime and Stefan float through their days.

Thank you to Bacon Press Books and NetGalley for the copy I received in exchange for a review.

The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide

The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide

(c) 2013 by Creek Stewart.  Published by Living Ready Books

Rating:  * * * *

With frequent references to the materials Katniss and the other characters in The Hunger Games use to survive, this book provides the reader with an overview of survival techniques using the resources at hand to build shelters, find and purify water, forage for food, navigate, perform first aid, etc.

I really like this book because I expect it will grab the attention of readers who would not otherwise pick up an outdoors book. Each section is quick to read, full of references to the trilogy of books with which the author is clearly familiar, and contains photos for illustration.  While not exhaustive, the book goes into enough detail to spur interest in exploring the survival techniques further.

The author stresses that while The Hunger Games aren’t real, occurrences like getting lost while hiking or car breakdowns on rural roads – outside cell phone coverage areas – are.  A little knowledge can go a long way in preventing hypothermia and other adverse outcomes.

Clap Your Hands

I recently attended a terrific bluegrass concert.  Whenever the performers clapped their hands or stomped their feet during the songs, they did so on the 2nd and 4th beats.

Being from Central Minnesota, it was automatic for me (and the other audience members) to clap on the 1st and 3rd beats.

What’s your style?


The Word Exchange

The Word Exchange:  A Novel by Alena Graedon

(c) 2014 Doubleday

Genre:  Fiction

Rating:  * *

I love words and word plays, and word flu coupled with a conspiracy theory as a plot line nearly makes me giddy.

Words have become a commodity sold on the Word Exchange.  As the populace turns more and more to uber-smartphones to communicate, language and vocabulary are relegated to the past.  The Word Exchange holds a monopoly on word definitions, having bought out nearly all the dictionaries in existence, and as reliance on The Word Exchange grows, the ability to remember words disappears.  At the same time, a terrible Word Flu further wreaks havoc on language and communication.

The footnotes are distracting.  Anana and Bart, the narrators, mope obsessively.

I do like the trail of bread crumbs left by Doug.

I wanted to love this book.  It pains me to say I found it rather tedious.

Thank you to Doubleday and NetGalley for the copy of the book I received in exchange for a review.

Take that, Malfoy!

Having experienced Harry Potter this weekend – first time ever – it dawned on me that the reason I sought out the Wizard of Hogwart’s this weekend was to vicariously banish my own Malfoy.

My personal Malfoy made an unwelcome appearance in my thoughts, complete with the grumpy contention that the bullies nearly always win. As Harry Potter’s tale spun out, full of figurative castles to scale, wicked step-families, and the dreadful Draco Malfoy, I was reminded that the reason fairy tales appeal to us so much is the happy certainty that someone will slay the demons and remove the impediments to bliss.  Although Harry is not able to banish Malfoy for good, he is able to thwart him in smaller, highly satisfying ways.  My mood improved each time Malfoy got some of his come-uppance.  I can do this, too…I can channel Harry Potter if I need to.

Take that, Malfoy!

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