I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book, and it was significantly abridged. It included fifteen activities of the promised fifty-two of the title.The activities themselves were simple and easy to do. Homeschoolers who are trying to incorporate more outdoor time in their weeks as recommended by Charlotte Mason, but who are unsure how to proceed, will find some great jumping off ideas here. Seasoned outdoors types will probably not find much new to justify the purchase.I am giving this three stars, with the caveat above, that I have not seen the entire book, and can't recommend it in total.
An enjoyable first mystery in a new series by Richard Yancey. Our protagonist is your everyday guy, dreaming his life away in a night-watchman's job for fourteen years. When he "lucks into money," he fulfills his childhood dream and hangs up his PI shingle in downtown Knoxville.I loved this book for it's humanness. Teddy Ruzak, Investigative Consultant, is funny and sad all at once. Watching his first case unravel is like watching a train wreck. The the dialogue is real, and the humor sublime. I am looking forward to the sequel, due in August '08.The author makes some minor chronology errors, which do not affect the outcome of the mystery. Hopefully, he and his editor will clean that up in future books.
Jump-start family fun time with these 101 ideas for games and pastimes. You shouldn't wait for your next vacation to spend some time with these simple, low-tech games.Right out of the bubble mailer my boys were playing Word Tennis and laughing out loud. On first inspection, I spotted some tried-and-true favorites, like Rock Paper Scissors, which are probably already in most families' repertoire. But for the most part, the games were new to us. I appreciate the useful table of contents matrix, which matches each activity with the number of people needed.You might think of "vacation games" as "games to play in the car." But that is just the first section of this book. There are categories for: Travel Games, Games at the Destination, Beach Games, Sand Figures, Outdoor Games, Games to Play at Home, Birthday Party Games, and finally Games for Babies and Young Children.If you are like me, and your brain stalls when required to come up with something to entertain your children, you'll want to have this book handy. I know I will.
This first installment in the Richard Jury / Melrose Plant detective stories is written with wit and wisdom. The characters are memorable, the setting is the classic village and the puzzle does not fail to please.
Another well-written installment in this series which has yet to disappoint. Inspector Jury is called to the village of Littlebourne to investigate a body in a marshy wood. He invites his friend, amateur sleuth Melrose Plant to accompany him. Four seemingly unconnected events must have a deeper meaning, and Jury and Plant investigate.The settings and characters are believably drawn here. The treasure map included was ingenious. And I was kept guessing, and guessed wrong, right up to the end.
I am new to the Paul Madriani series of legal thriller novels by Steve Martini. I came to this book with no preconceived notions about the characters or what to expect in the plot. While I would not usually admit to being a fan of thrillers, I admit that I did enjoy this book.Martini's characterizations are pretty bare-bones. I still have no idea what kind of house Paul lives in, what color his hair is or what his car looks like. Martini is not one for great descriptive details like clothing or food, but uses a crisp narrative style relying heavily on dialogue. And his dialogue is spot-on. The story is told from dual perspectives, with chapters alternating primarily between Madriani and Liquida, the "Mexicutioner." The plot was complex, but entirely plausible. I couldn't help thinking that Paul Madriani deserves a place on the silver screen.I was also pleased to see a minimum of foul language and no graphic sexual content. The violence, though, is described in detail. While it is not full of hyperbole, the methodical, matter-of-fact, description of someone being killed was a bit unnerving for me. But not so much as to put me off of this book, or any of the others. I'm going to look up a few Madriani novels at the library soon.
Thomas Flynn's Bikeman is a moving epic poem about his experiences in Lower Manhattan on the morning of September 11, 2001.If the word "poetry" evokes highbrow language and stilted rhymes, do not be put off. Flynn's poetry is free-form prose, and it speaks in the vernacular. In the following verses, he contrasts the burning towers, while they stood, with the Statue of Liberty, just off in the harbor:"No, this is not the lady of the harbor / who carries the torch of dreams. / It is a barbarian beacon, with no intention / to warn those who see her beams."Flynn's story is harrowing. Parts of it are painfully -- and "painfully" is really an inadequate word -- sad. It is completely devoid of humor, but not of compassion. It is real. It concerns his experiences in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the towers.I have been privileged to read the personal story of a survivor of the Twin Towers. He wrote that story shortly after the attacks, in an email sent to his colleague, my sister. She sent it to me, and since then I have read it over on subsequent September 11's. Of course, that is a private memoir. Now, here is a memoir which the entire world can share.I cried through Bikeman. It is cathartic. Why do I need to read these stories of survivors? Why was I plastered to the television for weeks that September? Disbelief? Compassion? Guilt? I don't know. But I think I value this because it is so easy to forget, for those of us who experienced this from afar, the raw horror of death and destruction. We should never forget.I am a homeschool mom. My boys will read Bikeman in high school, when they study Modern / American history.
This fourth installment of the Midtown Blue police series is the best yet. Tony Cavalucci, our hero and a patrolman in the MIdtown South precinct in Manhattan, has a lot on his plate in early September, 2001. His dysfunctional family is acting up again, causing strife between he and his fiancee, Michele. Something fishy may be going on at his church. Tony and his partner, Joe Fiore, and their comrades have their hands full with the usual reff-raff, plus they foiled an armed robbery attempt leading to five arrests.Then the morning of September 11 dawns, and we go with Tony to Ground Zero through that day and night, and the next day. This is an well-written, compelling story of ordinary lives lived on the cusp of catastrophy. Even if you haven't read the first three books (but I recommend you do), this is still a good read as a stand-alone.