Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Book Spotlight: The Art of ManlinessThe Art of Manliness

For thousands of years, the skills and knowledge of the art of manliness were passed down from father to son, and from man to man. Each succeeding generation was prepared to take its place in the long and storied history of manhood. But for the past few decades, the chain of manliness has been broken. Many men today have grown up without a father or a positive male role model to mentor them on their road to manhood. The skills that every man should possess have ceased to be passed down and carried forward. At the same time, society has stopped celebrating manliness and has stripped it of its positive qualities, leaving only a shell of negative stereotypes.

But men around the world are tired of this unfortunate status quo. They’re hungry to learn how to man up; they want to reconnect the chain of manliness by becoming a strong link themselves. But where to begin? What things does a man need to know to better himself and journey from boy to man? The Art of Manliness book has the answers and can be your starting point as you travel down the path to true manliness.

While we couldn’t put everything a man needs to know in a book, The Art of Manliness is an excellent introduction to essential man knowledge and the basics of honorable manhood. Read more

Book Spotlight: The Fablehaven Series

fablehaven series

The Fablehaven books are so entertaining that I read the first three in a single sitting. They kept me turning the pages until 4:40 in the morning. Each book was better than the last! Brandon Mull is a talented new fantasy writer, and I can’t wait to read more from him. The world he has created is deep, intriguing, magical, and full of surprising discoveries and unexpected dangers. I especially liked his two main characters, Kendra and Seth. They both act like real people, and unlike many fictional siblings, they help and support each other when they’re in trouble. The Fablehaven series is one of the most enjoyable fantasies I’ve read in the past few years. I only wish I could have read it when I was ten or twelve. —Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon

The series is generating buzz as a contender in the fantasy-adventure genre to replace the Harry Potter franchise. —The Hollywood Reporter

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The Pioneer of Cowboy Stories

The VirginianThe Virginian is the story of a quiet hero, “a courageous loner who follows his private code of honor while prevailing over the forces of evil.” In Owen Wister Out West, Owen Wister’s daughter captures the essence of the historical impact of The Virginian:

. . . For the first time, a cowboy was a gentleman and a hero, but nobody realized then that the book was the master design on which thousands of Westerns would be modeled. Its hero was the first cowboy to capture the public’s imagination, and hundreds of young girls fell in love with him . . . besides being handsome, he was humorous and human . . . The Virginian himself is the progenitor of the cowboy as folk figure. Because of him, little boys wear ten-gallon hats and carry toy pistols. This one novel set the tradition of the West permanently. We still have Western stories, Western movies, and Western radio and television drama in which the cowboy hero defends justice and his girl’s honor and shoots it out with the villain . . . It was written as fiction but has become history . . .

The novel was made into at least four movies and a television series. Before the first silent film was made, it was performed in theatres. . . Read more

Book Spotlight: Found

FOUND Margaret Peterson Haddix Book Trailer

Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he’s never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who’s also adoped, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, “You are one of the missing.” The second one says, “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.”

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah’s sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere — and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip’s lives.

Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying? Read more

Book Reviews: Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

joan of arc When JOAN OF ARC was first published in Harper’s magazine in 1895, the reading public did not recognize Mark Twain behind it. It is ostensibly a translation of Sieur Louis de Conte’s memoirs, the one person who was with Joan during the three important stages of her life: as a visionary village peasant, as a military genius and as the defendant at her trial. The narrator, quiet, retiring and sentimental, is quite unlike the true author. Twain was fascinated by Joan. He spent 12 years in research and made many attempts before finally getting the story right. He wanted to laud Joan for her unique role in history. He was able to do so after studying contemporary accounts written by both sides, the French and the English. Read more

Book Review: Tunnel in the Sky

tunnel in the skyA seventeen year old boy is stranded alone on an unknown planet. He is excited, terrified and happy for he is here as a final exam. His career goal demands he take a class in survival. The final exam is to survive a few days in the wilderness of an unsettled planet. On his second day in the wilderness, suddenly, everything goes horribly wrong. He loses all his supplies and has to struggle to find food armed only with a knife. The days pass into weeks. The “tunnel in the sky” that brought him to the planet fails to reappear. There is no explanation and no way home. He realizes that he and his classmates are stranded. Now he faces the problem of finding his classmates who are somewhere on the planet. Then, when he finds them, the real problems of survival begin. Read more

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