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Book Review: Eleventh Hour – Graeme Base November 20, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Book Review, Children Books.
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Sounds like the books from October have been received and well loved.  Thanks again to everyone who entered and stay tuned for Christmas give aways.  🙂

Today’s Book Review comes from my local book club last night.  Due to busy holidays we decided to share our favorite picture books and drink hot chocolate.  Really not a bad way to spend the evening.

One of the most fascinating books which was talked about was Graeme Base’s Eleventh Hour.  This is a book with absolutely beautiful illustrations which tells the story of Horace the Elephant who is celebrating his eleventh birthday on the eleventh day of November.  He invites eleven friends to come and play games and have a feast at 11 o’clock.  Are we sensing a theme here?  However the feast is stolen just before eating time and now you need to figure out who did it.  There are plenty of clues through the book and ever illustration includes codes and cryptograms.  The book is absolutely fascinating to look at and try to solve and if you need a little help there is a sealed portion in the back which gives you instructions for where to start looking.

Great for both kids and grownups.  I think it may have to be a Christmas pressie at my house this year.

Genre:  Picture Book

Age: 8+ for reading level, all ages will enjoy the pictures, solving all the clues may be a 12+ or with parental help.

Content: Family friendly

Overall: 5 paws



Happy Friday the 13th November 13, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Life, Musings.
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Heya folks,

It’s Friday the 13th around these parts and for me it lives upto it’s reputation.  😛  Just turning into one of those days when I don’t wanna nuthing.  Somehow I’m sure I’ll survive.

In other news I had to laugh, and sometimes cringe, at last night’s episode of Supernatural.  Seeing the boys surrounded by fans was hysterical.  Watching Chuck make progress with Becky likewise hysterical.  The information about the fan boys at the end was also funny, but almost in a TMI way.

I do owe a review for this week, it just never happened.  Though one coming soon for the rest of the Kristin Landon series.

That is all.


This just in… November 9, 2009

Posted by kmcalear in Life, Musings, News.
Tags: , ,
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Good morning blog land!

This just in!

Where do you get your news?

The other day one of my students informed me that I was behind the times because I get a lot of my news by the radio. “This isn’t like the 1920s!” I was told. But in truth, I find I get better updates through NPR and some of the morning radio talk shows. In fact, I’d love to hear radio “soap operas” and “novels”. Wouldn’t that be a beautiful market to sell audio books? I’d tune in.

I’ve never actually read a physical newspaper. My parents never had one in the house, Mom used to claim it was doing her part for the environment. Of course it used to make ‘get a news article’ school assignments difficult as teachers would assume we had newspapers lying around, when we didn’t. (Yes, gasp, before we had the internet in my house! Was there such a time?)

I also hate the news on television, it’s rarely relevant and mostly sensationalized. Maybe it’s my bias, but I lost interest when I flipped between two different news channels during the first Bush Jr election and the same event was spun as Pro or Anti Republican depending on channel.

I also get my news from online sources, because you have access to a lot at the search of a google screen. There’s even often video included.

So my thoughts for the day… why can’t we have a new market for our books in audio on the radio?

Book Review: The Dark Reaches – Kristin Landon November 4, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Book Review, Life.

Somehow it is already November…I’m not sure how that happened.  Just a blink ago it was July and now we’re in the fast slide that is the holiday season and the end of another year.  Wow.

Anyway…that aside.  I had a lovely Halloween and hope you did as well.  All the books from our birthday bash in October are in the mail and should be winging their way off to their new homes.  Thanks again for the participation!  Remember that books make perfect Christmas presents and are easy to wrap!

Moving on to today’s review.  I found myself browsing the stacks of the library and deciding I was in a science fiction mood.  I’ve been on a UF kick for months, so I think I surprised everyone when I went for the SF, but SF is an old love and UF is still a youthful suitor.  So there.

I’d not read Kristin Landon when I picked up The Dark Reaches and had no idea it was book three in the series.  One of the things I like though is that it didn’t matter.  I could tell there were place where there was backstory I didn’t understand, but she did such a good job of dropping hints without info dumping that I didn’t feel like I was missing out.  I was curious enough that I went and got the other two books and will talk about those later when I’ve finished them.

The Dark Reaches is interesting on a lot of levels.  It’s definitely science fiction, set in time hundreds of years after the Earth has been abandoned due to the presence of the Cold Minds, who are bent on eradicating the human race, save for the ones they can use.  The jump ship technology is very interesting as are the various allowances made for the gravity levels on each of the planets or habitats.  Landon is specific about the gravity and what it means to how people move, how they eat, what they can grow.  The worlds are very well thought out and all ties together easily so I was never stopped by the technical information instead it just added to the story.

I found myself quickly fond of the main character Linnea and her lover Iain.  They are both people who’s lives are in flux and who continually question the way that they think and what their end goals not only are, but should be.  The secondary characters were also charming and when sacrifices are made there’s an honest emotion to it.

Not to say it was a perfect book.  Some of the things Linnea did with solid pig headedness made me want to whappit her.  For all that she loves Iain she sometimes doesn’t trust him very much and he deserves her trust.  He does everything he can to earn it without smothering her even when he knows he should.  And why the heck is she holding a gun on the cover?  I know the answer to this, but sheesh…she never uses one.


Genre:  Science Fiction – Relationship

Age: 12+

Content:  Very minor language, fade to black sexuality and violence

Overall: 5 paws


Do you NaNo your WriMo? November 2, 2009

Posted by Realitybypass in Inspiration, Life, Writing Craft.
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It’s November.  For some people the month of November represents pies and Thanksgiving celebrations, colored leaves and maybe even snow.  In Author and wanna be author land it launches a thirty day sprint to write 50,000 words known as NaNoWriMo (National novel Writing Month).  Now, lest anyone think I disapprove of NaNo I’ve done it before.  I’ll likely do it again.  I’ve pondered doing it this year and concluded that there are some other goals I want to reach with my writing and a frantic race to the end of the month won’t give me what I need.  However, I’m in support of those who are.

Sooo…who out there is NaNoing?  And besides chocolate and caffine what steps have you put in place to prepare yourselves for the work to come?