Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Books from July

The Jester- by James Patterson & Andrew Gross A
Wow. This book was dark. It covers one of the most embarrassing and horrifyingly ugly eras of European history: the crusades and their aftermath. It was very good and I would never read it again. A peasant goes off on the crusades to win his family’s freedom; witnesses bloody horror and deprivation; then returns to find his wife raped & kidnapped by nobles, his son murdered and his inn burned down. Our hero, Hugh, then assumes the role of a jester to find his wife, and discovers the true depths of evil within the closed walls of the nobility. An ugly dark book, however the writing brilliantly resounds with the truth of the times…

Firebirds: An Anthology of original Science Fiction and Fantasy- edited by Sharyn November A+
I loved these stories! In fact, most of them are fabulous. We’ve got writers like Lloyd Alexander and Robin Mckinley in here! There were a couple of stories I wasn’t thrilled with, but even then I could see how good the writing was- And there were a couple stories in here that I just loved. Gonna probably try and buy this one, ‘cuz I know there are stories in here I’d like to read again.

Beads: An Exploration of Bead Traditions Around the World- by Janet Coles & Robert Budwig B
I’m not all that fascinated with the history of beads or how they’re used across the world; however, they make this fun and interesting by describing how pieces are made, and providing good descriptions and pictures. I loved the pictures.

The Worlds Greatest Super Heroes (Graphic Novel)- Text by Paul Dini, Art by Alex Ross- originally published separately as Superman: Peace on Earth; Batman: War on Crime; Shazam!: Power of Hope; Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth; JlA: Secret Origins; and JLA: Liberty and Justice A+
Okay, I never collected any of these titles, (in fact, I never even picked up most of them) but I thoroughly enjoyed these stories- The writers ask the question: What would these super heroes do if they were real? If they actually lived today in the world we are presently dealing with… So, Superman (the adopted son of a farmer) fights hunger on a global scale, Batman enters a crime war in downtown Gotham City, Shazam! (the boy hero) becomes entangled in a child abuse situation, Wonder Woman attempts to change the oppressive role of women in the middle East; and the JLA battles a disease… The art is astonishingly beautiful- Ross’s art reflects the theme of realness. They look real… I mean it- they look REAL. What makes these stories unique is that each of the heroes deals with failure. How on earth could an almost naked Wonder Woman reach a Muslim woman swathed in black fabric? How could Superman actually make a dent in the global crisis of poverty and starvation?

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer A
Loved this. A fun adventure. High-tech Fairies and a twelve year old master criminal in the making. Didn't know it was a first in a series, but I will be looking for the rest now...

Lisey’s Story by Steven King A
I’m not a King fan, sorry… In general, they are too dark and graphic for me. But I did enjoy this one. King once again returns to his theme of relationships/working together as the only way to defeat evil… Lisey’s husband died two years ago and through his writings and some strange paranormal-esque events she relives some of the good memories of their lives together and some of the nasty times… She learns the full story of husband’s secret history and uses them to defeat a seriously messed-up bad guy.

Collection Style: Arranging and Displaying Your Treasures by Marie Proeller Hueston B
I didn’t check this out of the library- Beth did and, while I read some of it, I didn’t read all of it… However, I’m feeling compelled to say that the pictures were fascinating, and most were quite beautiful… Some are quite strange. Did you know there’s somebody out there who owns over a hundred wooden potato mashers?? And someone else who owns about a hundred clear glass cake stands?? And rag balls from Early American history??? What do you do with a hundred rag balls?? Why would you WANT a hundred rag balls???

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