Mysteries and Puzzles

Book title: Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (Encyclopedia Brown)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Secret Pitch (Encyclopedia Brown) - book cover picture

Encyclopedia Brown is a 5th grade boy who solves puzzles, crimes and mysteries as easily and as unconsciously as breathing. Each book is a series of short mysteries (5-10 pages each) ending with a question - usually "how did Encyclopedia know that X was responsible for the crime". The answer to each mystery is at the back of the book. Solving the mystery takes no special knowledge, but it does require paying attention to detail. Don't turn to the answer too fast.This book is the second in the series, but the books do not have to be read in order. I loved the Encyclopedia Brown books when I was growing up. I am reading them again before I give them to my nephew who I hope will enjoy them as I did.Adults who like this series may also enjoy the Lateral Thinking Puzzles books.

EAN: 9780553157369
Pages: 128
Publisher: Yearling
Donald J. Sobol
Leonard W. Shortall

Great Take from Across the Big Divide

Book title: Confederates in the Attic
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Audio Cassette
Confederates in the Attic - book cover picture

Being a Northerner whose ancestors fought for the Union, I've always struggled to understand the tenacity the South holds onto the Civil War. Living for a year in Charleston, S.C. didn't provide any illumination, but did leave me with a bitter taste towards Confederate culture.Tony Horwitz's glimpse into the South provides a great read. Anyone looking for easy and unambigious answers should look elsewhere. But the author like myself seems to struggle to come to grips with the Southern peculiarities and is always clear and honest with his approach to his subjects and also the reader. His emotions are clearly communicated, at times hopeful, at times frusturated, at times frightend.I recommend this to anyone with an interest in either modern American culture or the Civil War.

EAN: 9780553525830
Publisher: Random House Audio
Tony Horwitz

One of the better Sci-fi Reads

Book title: The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1) - book cover picture

I've been reading sci-fi for over 10 years now, and while none beats the Covenant series in my mind, this comes very close. A friend clued me into the EOTW, and, despite a slow beginning, I soon became enthralled with all the subplots and intrique. One of the more fascinatings things I found about reading Jordan is trying to imagine where he could possibly go with all those seemingly trivial tangents the stories take. I'm on book 3 now (it's taken me a month) and I'm trying to pace myself for the #8 release in November (I hate waiting). I really enjoy the Aes Sedai; having women take such a pivotal role in many of the main events makes this series so much more than a sword weilding/blood spewing fest. My favorite character though, is one of the men, Perrin. I hope Jordan develops this character's complexities in dealing with his "gift". I've already recommended this to a couple "non sci-fi" reader friends, and they love it too.

EAN: 9780312850098
Pages: 688
Publisher: Tor Books
Robert Jordan

Enhanced poetry appreciation

Book title: The Sounds of Poetry : A Brief Guide
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Sounds of Poetry : A Brief Guide - book cover picture

This is obviously not the first book to explore poetry from an angle other than the meaning of its words -- for another example, see John Ciardi's "How Does a Poem Mean?". Nonetheless, it's a very readable discussion of one of the things that distinguishes poetry from prose -- the importance of how it sounds, either spoken aloud or spoken in the reader's mind. I love to read poetry, and this book has given me a new layer of understanding -- both of poems themselves and of what I enjoy about them.

EAN: 9780374266950
Pages: 129
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Robert Pinsky

I just read all 7 of the Dresden files

Book title: Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, Book 7)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, Book 7) - book cover picture

...with the writing style and the characters and the atmosphere and oh... everything. highly enjoyable series - now Harry just needs to get his head on straight and ask Murphy out! Dead Beat is a little darker than the earlier books and a lot more introspective, but that's kind of to be expected at this point - Harry just found out crazy stuff about both his biological family (mom's past anyways) and his emotional family (Ebenezer), not to mention burned his hand beyond recognition all in the last book - the boy has got a lot to think about. All in all, an excellent, if expensive, addition to the Dresden files.

EAN: 9780451460271
Pages: 400
Publisher: Roc Hardcover
Jim Butcher

Wonderful for all ages!!

Book title: Mr. Lunch Takes a Plane Ride (Picture Puffins)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Mr. Lunch Takes a Plane Ride (Picture Puffins) - book cover picture

This is a wonderful and imaginative book. Children will enjoy the sweet simple story of Mr. Lunch (a dog who loves to chase birds, but not catch them)and the adults will certainly not mind reading the story again and again. The illustrations alone are fabulous, I would highly recomend the entire Mr. Lunch series. This is the first in a series of three books starring the "professional" dog. I would also check out, "Olive, the Other Reindeer" and "Monkey Buisness" if you want books both you and your child can enjoy together! I also think they are just fine to have in your collection, if you don't have any children, you'll enjoy them just the same.

EAN: 9780140548686
Pages: 40
Publisher: Puffin Books
J. Otto Seibold
Vivian Walsh

Witty and Interesting!

Book title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) - book cover picture

I bought this book because my younger brother wanted to read it. of course, it was appropriate that i read it first to make sure that it was alright for him to read. i finished all three of them in days! i absoultly loved the sorcers stone especially because it places you in a magical world that all people feel is there, somewhere. the controversy about this book is totally wrong, it doesn't bring ideas of cults and whatnot into a child mind, it stimulates the imagination.

EAN: 0038332175202
Pages: 309
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
J.K. Rowling

A journey throught time and space!

Book title: A Wrinkle in Time: And Related Readings (Literature Connections)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
A Wrinkle in Time: And Related Readings (Literature Connections) - book cover picture

"A Wrinkle in Time" is a journey through time in space which catches your interest in moments. Whether it's the excitement of traveling through time or the thought of death, the interest of the novel stays in your mind. Most of this interest comes about because of the fantasy behind the plot Meg and her brother Charles have to find their father in some far off universe. This universe is so wacky it's a fantasy land within all fantasy lands. Besides the story being a thrilling fantasy, it's also a touching novel. This novel is a full package of emotions which is why this is one of the best books I have ever read. If you are the type of person who likes to be in fantasy dream lands this is definitely the book for you because that is what this book does best, pulls you in and makes you feel you're experiencing all the events that are happening.

EAN: 9780395771549
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Madeleine L'Engle

Icy fingers up and down my spine!

Book title: Simeon's Bride
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Simeon's Bride - book cover picture

This is quite possibly the best series of mysteries I have ever read and I wish Taylor would keep cranking them out. I can't remember reading a book where I was actually "there" for the entire thing--even SIMEON'S BRIDE which was my first experience with Taylor's writing. The characters are human and likeable and the plot never thins nor weakens in any way. I've read this book twice and intend to read it again. Superb!!!

EAN: 9780553575798
Pages: 368
Publisher: Bantam
Alison G. Taylor

Find Yourself en route to Gratifying Work

Book title: I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This : A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
I Don't Know What I Want, But I Know It's Not This : A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work - book cover picture

Ms. Jansen's new book is THE definitive resource for those seeking a job change or career makeover. Her series of self-assessments is both thorough and insightful. Definitely a tool to help one get more in touch with oneself -- essential before embarking on any job or career change. The author uses real examples to which the average person can relate. This is not just an executive job search tool, but one for career changers at every level -- those just starting out, those who are burned out, veteran job seekers, would-be entrepreneurs.... It's never too late to learn more about yourself, particularly during these challenging economic times when there's even more at stake with every career move. Read it, take the tests, and prepare to become enlightened!

EAN: 9780142002483
Pages: 288
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Julie Jansen

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