I really enjoyed this short look into the background of a character that I thought was long gone. While the story does not tie directly into the rest...moreI really enjoyed this short look into the background of a character that I thought was long gone. While the story does not tie directly into the rest of the Shannara line, it does help you to understand who the Weapon's Master really is, and why he is willing to do some of the things that he does. Not all of them mind you, but some of them.
Great job Mr. Brooks. I would love to see more stories like this one on some of the other characters.
This is a great book. When reading to my younger kids or getting them to read to me, a little bit of silliness goes along way to making reading more f...moreThis is a great book. When reading to my younger kids or getting them to read to me, a little bit of silliness goes along way to making reading more fun, especially when you have read the book several times.
I really enjoy the basic story telling style with words that are easy enough to read without making the story dull and boring.
Three short stories are are long enough to challenge a young reader while not totally overwhelming them.(less)
If you are like me, you might be a little sentiment...moreChristmas Markets in Vienna
By Katharina and Mick Bordet
Five out of Five Stars
If you are like me, you might be a little sentimental for the “old days.” Especially around the holidays. For me a lot of what the “old days” means is remembering growing up in Germany. What can I say, I am a sentimental sap. But when it comes to things that I remember best about living there, Christmas time is high on the list. Meeting my wife-to-be and skiing are also high on the list, but Christmas time is pretty darn close to the top.
Some of my favorite, sights, smells, experiences, and of course tastes came from the Christmas Markets that you can find pretty much in every town and village throughout Western Europe. So when I was given the chance to get a peek into the new book Christmas Markets in Vienna By Katharina and Mick Bordet, I jumped at the chance.
WARNING: If you like mulled wine (Gluhwein) you might want to cook up a batch of it before you start reading this book, because if not by the time you get to the end you are going to wish you had.
This book is part guide book, part map, and part beautiful picture book. Each Christmas Market in the Vienna area is given it’s own section, with descriptions of when it is open, if there is a cost to get in, what kinds of things that you might find there, and even links to maps that will help you get there. Believe me there was a serious case of, how come there is not a bridge from the states to Europe going on while I was reading and using the maps. You can also find the links to each of the Market’s official websites. For us “state side” that is likely not all that helpful, but if you happen to be in Vienna during Christmas time next year, you know where to go. Even if you have never been to one of the Christmas markets you have likely seen them on TV or have heard about them. But in case you haven’t this book will solve that problem. For the rest of us. This book will make you “homesick” if anything will, and in the best possible way.
Both Katharina and Mick wrote about their experiences in each of the markets, and it was great to get their opinions, what they were looking for and what they found. I really appreciated the fact that they told you which ones had the most tourists and when you might be able to visit to avoid the biggest crowds.
Then there were the pictures. Pictures of the stalls and the wears, pictures of the market itself, and pictures of the locations. This was particularly breath taking where some of the markets are in castles and monasteries.
The book is relatively short, and I have to say that is probably the only downfall. I read the whole thing, in about an hour, and I was sad when I got to the end and realized If I wanted to get more Christmas market experience I would likely have to buy a plane ticket. The only thing missing from the book were the actual smells and tastes, but then there is a goal for the next book they put out.
The book is available in both English and German, so you can take your pick on what version you want. My German is a little (a lot) rusty so I stuck with the English version. It is only available in ebook formats so you can’t get a hard copy of this book, but it is available for all your favorite ebook formats from all your favorite ebook markets so no matter what device you have you can get a copy of it. Christmas Markets in Vienna
***** In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a copy of this book free of charge as a preview copy. Having said that I would have gladly paid the meager price of $3.99 to get a copy of it. Nostalgia or no, it is a beautiful book and fully worth the price. Christmas Markets in Vienna(less)
I am a student of history, and not a historian. I enjoyed this. I have read a few other histories that included this time period. This one, since it i...moreI am a student of history, and not a historian. I enjoyed this. I have read a few other histories that included this time period. This one, since it is told from the point of view of Caesar it is obviously slanted in favor of the Romans, but it was still quite interesting to hear it from his point of view. I would recommend this anyone who is interested in this time period, but not as a first book. There is too much context about the time period that is really needed to appreciate this book. (less)
This is not really a zombie story. That is the first thing I want to say. And for that I am really grateful. I have never really been a fan of the whi...moreThis is not really a zombie story. That is the first thing I want to say. And for that I am really grateful. I have never really been a fan of the while zombie thing.
No, it isn't a Zombie book, Unkillable is a book about a guy who dies. He dies and he is dead. Until he's not at any more. So in that way it it a zombie story. Dan, is really dead, he has part falling off him, he even has a shambling walk, but he is no mindless, ravaging brain hungering zombie.
There is still a fair amount of killing and anger, figuring things out, and realizing what life might really be about. Which is what takes this book from being a zombie book, to being something completely different. It is a book about life, or dead, or is it really life?
Mr. McLean's story telling style, while it can be a little dark, is spot on as always. He draws a picture of a world that you just can't ignore, as dark and unlikable as it might be. There is an underbelly, there are things that you might not understand, that are even things you don't want to understand, but each of those things has a story. It seems to be Mr. McLean's job to tell you these stories. Honestly, there isn't anyone else I would want to tell them to me.
I listened to the podiobooks version of this story , and have to say that Mr. McLean has a voice that just makes these stories come alive. If you enjoy audio books at all, this is the way to get this story.
This was a pretty enjoyable story. I found it to be straight forward and easy to follow. Mr. Lenahan does a good job keeping the story moving through...moreThis was a pretty enjoyable story. I found it to be straight forward and easy to follow. Mr. Lenahan does a good job keeping the story moving through the whole book, giving enough depth and history that you feel like you know what is going on while not over loading you. The premise is believable, and his hooks into "real world" Mythology make give the story just that much more credence.
The story is not very deep, and if you are looking for something that will bring you some new understanding of life of the hero's quest you will not find it here. But If you are looking for a good story with lots of action, and a hero who is easy to relate to, this might be the story for you.
I would easily recommend this to middle teens and young adults looking for a fantasy story that is off the beaten path.
The book is available via podiobooks, (which is where I got it) and is read by the author. His audio quality is quite good, and he has a good voice for story telling
I had not heard for John Lenahan before I read this book, though I will be seeking him out in the future and hope to read the other books in this series soon.(less)
If I pick up a book and read it, and then know that I have to read it to my kids, well that is a pretty good indicator that I think it is a great stor...moreIf I pick up a book and read it, and then know that I have to read it to my kids, well that is a pretty good indicator that I think it is a great story.
Mr. Ricks does it again. Just when I thought I had read every genre that he could write, he writes something like this.
Athena and the Mechanic is a well written and colorful short story about a down to earth Superhero and her unlikely partners.
The story is well told, and gives a brief glimpse into world where superheros and villains live, work, play and go about their lives just like the rest of us. Just like the rest of us, they have a job to do, it just so happens that their jobs often include smashing things, flying through the air, and occasionally flinging a a well aimed rock from space.
As usual Mr. Ricks captures the voice of his character perfectly. As I was reading I could feel Athena's doubts and fears as well as her confidence and understanding as she battles with giant robots and even over comes her doubts about some smaller ones.
As I read the story to my kids, the older kids laughed at the parts I expected them to and cheered for Athena as she did battle. The younger ones enjoyed to story, though some of the references were over their head, but they loved the pictures, and did not let me forget to show them the pictures. One of them (the 6 year old) even when back through the pictures after we read the story.
Over all this was a win in my book.
***** Disclaimer ***** in the interest of full disclosure, I do know Mr. Ricks and I consider him to be a pretty good friend. At the same time I think he is a good enough friend that if I had not liked the story I could tell him him about it. That is not the case here.(less)
The best thing I can say about this book is that it is rather short. Thomas the Tank Engine has never been high reading, but it seems to me that since...moreThe best thing I can say about this book is that it is rather short. Thomas the Tank Engine has never been high reading, but it seems to me that since the Thomas Movie the books have gone down hill. This is a good example of that.
My younger kids like the book because it is Thomas, but the older kids groan at even having to hear it while I read it to the younger ones, and shout suggestions at the book from across the room, like how did hail break a huge metal track? Or Why not drive around the toad. And If they are in a gross mood, just run the stinking toad over. My Favorite thought on this is do you know how much money they lost between stopping all rail traffic on this line, loosing customers and then flying the ones that stuck around in a helicopter to their destination.
But, it is a kids book so. The sign songy rhyming is not too over the top, though I think it could have been done better. The premise of the book is rather improbably, but we are talking about a world where train engines can talk. If you have read all the Thomas books a 100 times and you are looking for one that your younger kids will like you could do worse than this one. (less)
This is one of those books that for reasons that I can't understand, my children love. We have the original version, and I am very glad that the book...moreThis is one of those books that for reasons that I can't understand, my children love. We have the original version, and I am very glad that the book is starting to fall apart because I now have a good reason not to read it. I love my kids and normally I will read whatever they bring to me but I always cringe when they bring this one.
This books seems to be about someone who wants something but is not willing to pay the price it takes to get what they want. They have to be forced into it. And then all the transgressions of the past are instantly forgotten. I am not sure I like that message. (less)
I was not familiar with this legend before I read this story to the kids a few weeks ago, so I have no idea if this is a good retelling of the myth or...moreI was not familiar with this legend before I read this story to the kids a few weeks ago, so I have no idea if this is a good retelling of the myth or not.
With that out of the way, I really enjoyed this story. I really appreciate Christmas stories that are not all sappy, and Santa Claus filled. Better than me enjoying it my children enjoyed it and were able to get the symbolism without it being spoon feed to them.
I really enjoyed this book. I don't say that about many things, because really I don't really enjoy a lot of them. I might enjoy them, but this one wa...moreI really enjoyed this book. I don't say that about many things, because really I don't really enjoy a lot of them. I might enjoy them, but this one was different, this story was something special. This was a fantastic romp into a world that I would have never thought that I would enjoy, and in the end I was completely wrong.
Let me see if I can explain a little better. I am not a huge anime fan, so when the blurb about the book started of with, "giant robots" I thought maybe I wouldn't be interested. When the blurb ended with, "The power of rock-n-roll" I thought, well I like rock and roll, but being rather tone deaf I don't know actually anything about music so stories about music don't ever really appeal to me.
While it is true that there are both giant robots and rock-n-roll in this book Mr. Ricks does a wonderful job making the story about something else completely.
The story itself is about how a young man fresh out of the state sponsored shelters and on his own for the first time, finds himself near the center, and tangled up in a struggle that could very easily change the face of the universe as he knows it. Along the way he figured out that he is a lot more than he thinks.
This book is available at both BN.com and Amazon.com as well as at the authors website, where you can also find a free audio version, which I can highly recommend.
This is the first book 1 in a yet to be completed series, so if you are like me and like to wait until the story is complete, you might want to hold off reading this.(less)