Friday, December 30, 2011

The big book of American trivia

The Big Book of American Trivia
J.Stephen Lang
Tyndale House Publishers

What make of car was named for a chief of the Ottawa tribe? What popular toy, launched in 1960, was a plastic box filled with aluminum powder? What historic masked parade takes place in Philidelphia on New Year's Day? And, what Northern "rust belt" state, leads the narion in the growing of Christmas trees?
The answer to these questions and three thousand more can all be found, dancing across the pages of this entertaining and factual book. World records, Hollywood cinema, Presidents, facts about your home state and a plethora of other interesting subjects will arrest your atntion as you learn share and enjoy these facinating facts in America's history!
Have fun teaching your children, stumping your friends and expanding your own knowledge. Fun for road trips, fireside,educational settings and more, this book will keep you entertained for hours. Who knew learning could be so fun?! And just in case you still don't believe this informational book can be amusing, ask yourself this, What men-only contest started by Carnival cruise line is now a feature of every cruise ship? A. The Mr. Hairy Chest contest, of course!

This book is put together really well. All of the trivia questions are sorted by category, and the answers are easily found on the next page. This book is fun and educational. I even found the size and feel of the pages to be optimal. A much reccomended book to anyone who enjoys learning... You never know when random tid-its of knowledge will come in handy!
I received this book free from the publisher for review.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Dragons of Chiril

The Dragons of Chiril
Donita K. Paul
Waterbrook Press
June 2011

Tipper watched as yet another one of her father's sculptures headed down the road on the back of a wagon, pulled by her seedy art dealing liaison. She hated selling on her father's masterpieces, especially since he had no say in the matter as he had been gone more years than he had been present in her life. She missed him, but she also needed the money from his artwork to pay the expenses of the large estate she and her mother still inhabited.
Beccaroon, her vibrant grand parrot, had been charged by her father to keep watch over her. Sometimes he could understand what her dad must have felt towards her. He was fiercely protective of her, and even though her show of affections ruffled his feathers, he loved her, just as she loved him and cherished their friendship.
Lady Peg was outside when they arrived home. Tipper loved her mother, but was often exasperated at her ever present state of confusion and befuddle talk. Lady Peg still talked as though she conversed with her father every night. Would Tipper ever be able to help her mother see the truth of his absence?
Upon going to bed that evening, Tipper is shortly thereafter awakened to see a vision of her father. After a very brief exchange with him, she falls back asleep with a feeling that what she witnessed was actually a real encounter. Trying to convince Beccaroon the next morning was altogether another story. Hopeful that what she saw wasn't a dream, they decide to wait up for his re-appearance the next night. 
Their world is about to drastically change. Everything they thought to be normal will be challenged. Discovering that their minor dragons can understand them, seeing animals crawl out of a wizards cape, watching atumanhofer appear out of thin air.... All things that will now define their idea of everyday occurrences. As the two set out on a quest to save her father's life, they are met with strange, dangerous,and new landscapes filled with distrusting people.
Being forced to adapt to the very present, Tipper finds herself on the adventure of her life. But will this escapade lead them down the road to her fathers healing before it's too late? In a struggle of good verses evil, surrounded by a wonder filled and mysterious world, they embark on a most unexpected journey.

I was drawn to reading this book, having previously read and loved the author's DragonKeeper Chronicles. I was a little bit dissappointed with this book. While there is no question she is a talented writer, it didn't capture the entrancing magical feel I had come to expect from her writing. That having been said, I wouldn't hesitate to finish the series, as this is the first. I would reccommend it, but I would suggest the reader try the DragonKeeperChronicles first, to help understand all the different characters and settings that are developed in her first series.
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