Saturday, January 11, 2014
Dragons in Our Midst (Series) by Bryan Davis
Living Ink Books, AMG Publishers (2004, 2005)
Welcome to a great upper elementary, middle school, young adult Christian fantasy series by Bryan Davis.
I stumbled upon the first of the series, Raising Dragons, a few years ago. I started it, and then had to wait. I thought I had to wait. It has been out, but the library did not have the copies, that I could find.
Now I have personal copies. I imagine the library does as well.
Dragons in Our Midst is a fun adventure that combines dragons, humans (some that are dragons at the same time), the battle of good and evil, and a building climax where a war is waged for control of the Earth. Oh, and it's a bit of a love story. Merlin and King Arthur play into the story, but I won't tell you how. Christian themes are woven throughout the tale.
Read this series if you love history, fantasy, dragons, conflict, and a great story!
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
You know of whom I speak.
J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit. Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King). Classics from any standpoint.
My copy of The Hobbit, a story that was first introduced to me by my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Sharon (we secretly thought he resembled a hobbit), was published somewhere in the 60's. There are so many dates, copyrights, and editions, I can't figure out which date to go with. A beautiful book.
The Lord of the Rings, of course, encompassing three books (by the way - peoples - who has borrowed my Fellowship of the Rings???), has had much ado made about it with the excellent movies. Old favorites, becoming new favorites, both in print and in media.
Now. The Hobbit. My, they are taking liberties, aren't they? We just saw The Hobbit (The Desolation of Smaug) at the theater. Dramatic. Beautiful. Wonderful characters (thank you, Mr. Tolkien). But new characters? Changes in who is when, where, and doing what? Budding romances not mentioned in the books. Like many, I love the old favorites. Why are they so changed?
But still. Alas. They are still favorites. I will go see the last installment when it comes out. There is one change that would be ok with me. Concerning Thorin Oakenshield. Perhaps you know what I am thinking.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Mastering the Art of French Eating, Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris by Ann Mah
(Viking Penguin, 2013)
One of my personally requested Christmas gifts was this new book by Ann Mah. Mastering the Art of French Eating, Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris is over half read and I am in love with it.
Not necessarily the foods that she traces down (I think I can safely skip the andouillette, which is created by cooking, seasoning, and stuffing tripe into sausage type shapes), but the stories behind the foods and the history of the people and locations throughout France that specialize in each food are enticingly captivating.
Though not what I imagined when I requested this book, I am enjoying the observational narrative and the spackling of French words and their meanings. Each chapter focuses on one specific French food. Mah then goes on to search out and sample all things about that French cuisinary treat. Steak frites, crepes, salade lyonnaise, and boeuf bourguignon are but a few of her focus foods. Mah includes conversations with chefs, friends, and new acquaintances, as well as her favorite recipe for each chapter.
Reading this book is giving me a broad exposure to the many people that make up the French. Not just people living in Paris, but characters that live throughout France. As she travels and explores the different food regions, Mah gives away some of the zeal that the French have concerning food.
It's making me hungry!
Read Mastering the Art of French Eating for a lesson in how to eat like the French.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
One Realm Beyond, Realm Walkers by Donita K. Paul
"Look at the book my Nana read!" says H.D.
Nana did read One Realm Beyond, the first book in the new Realm Walker series for young readers. This Nana thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Paul's newest creation.
Based on my enjoyment of reading Donita K. Paul's Dragon Keepers series, which I adored, I was more than happy to read the ARC (advanced reader copy) of One Realm Beyond. One Realm Beyond is due out for purchase and your enjoyment on January 28, 2014.
Cantor D'Ahma, the hero and newly fledged realm walker, is a very likeable character. He is filled with all sorts of misgivings about his endeavors and has much to learn about travel and work and helping towards the greater good - as he journeys to other realms (sort of like planets, but closely connected by special doors).
Add several unique and crazily interesting friends, dragons, a cat, and conspirators, and Cantor has a tale to share with readers. Evil abounds and Cantor and his partners are seeking the best way to straighten things out.
My only problem with One Realm Beyond is that now I have to wait for Mrs. Paul to complete the series. Ahhh. It shall be worth the wait.
Check it out. Coming soon to the pages near you.
One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I love reading anything written by Donita K. Paul. Not only are her characters interesting, unique, and real, she cares about her readers on a personal level.
One Realm Beyond is the beginning of a new series (I hope) featuring Cantor, a new realm walker. He is soon joined by fantastic characters, including a female partner and a dragon (who owns a cat). Just the idea of realm walkers, and walkers moving between realms that are sort of like different planets makes one want to read this book. I love it. Can't wait for the next installment!
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