Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Note to Self: The Seven Dials Mystery

Book Count: 70

The Seven Dials Mystery By: Agatha Christie
Fiction: Mystery, 184 pages

This book is one in which none of Christie famous detectives solve the mystery. The main detective in the book is Bundle a young, rich lady whose father owns the estate where the murder mystery starts. It was full of twists in the story and left you with plenty of clues along the way.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Note to Self: What your Kindergartner Needs to Know

Book Count: 69

What your Kindergartner Needs to Know: Preparing Your Child for a Lifetime of Learning Edited by: E.D. Hirsch, Jr. and John Holdren
Non-Fiction: education, parenting 278 pages 1996

We read this book to get ideas of what things our oldest could be working on this year to be ready for kindergarten. And we found either she already knows it (or is learning it) or it is something that we would never think to teach at this age. For example: under things she already knows/ is learning is counting, ABC’s, writing their name, how plants grow, basic music and art concepts, and types of weather. Things that I would never think about teaching includes, subtraction, geography (although she can find some places on a map already, it wasn’t from trying to teach geography so much as pointing out where we were going on a trip or where people she knows lives), biographies of famous people, and history. (And I know, I out of all people should be into teaching her history, but in school we didn’t really start that until the 5th grade beyond learning about the First Thanksgiving every year.) The book also had a number of places to get more information or things to use in teaching on a subject, making it an overall useful book.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Note to Self: The Anubis Slayings

Book Count: 68

The Anubis Slayings By: P.C.Doherty
Fiction: Mystery, historic 308 pages 2000

Yes, we will keep reading historic mysteries until you come up with something better! Actually, the last two books we read were non fiction and the next one will also most likely be as well, we just would like to hear some POSITIVE feedback from you now and then. OK, ranting over. . . This book takes place during the rein of Pharaoh Hatusu, one of Egypt’s few women Pharaohs. And it is a story of murder, theft, and political intrigue. It was a page turner of a book; however, it is one where you don’t need to try to find out what happened, the author doesn’t give you all the pieces that you need ahead of time. But, they do make it clear that they are doing that at points in the book, so you feel less cheated about it.

A Book in Review: How to Brew

Book count: 67

How to Brew: Everything you need to know to brew beer right the first time By: John J. Palmer
Non-fiction: how to, cooking 317 pgs 2006

This book tells you everything that you need to know in order to make beer at home and then some. It covers using pre-made liquid or powder malt extracts to using only grains with everything in between. It deals with different styles of both ales & lagers. It includes all the formulas & math you would need to make your own beer as well as recipes for the major types of beers. There is also information on how to make different tools you may want to make better beer.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Book in Review: The Cheap Book

Book Count: 66

The Cheap Book: the official guide to embracing your inner cheapskate by: Robin Herbst & Julie Miller
Non-fiction 210 pgs 2008

This is a book on different ways one can save money by acting cheap, reusing things. & making do with what you have. It is also about living green. It has info on how to save money and resources along with interesting facts on saving energy, trees and other things. There are also funny stories on failed attempt on being cheap.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Slow month

August must be a slow month for blogging. Not only have we at weird News B. N.I. been having a hard time getting around to blogging, but all of the blogs we read are not writing as often. It makes sense that our friends that are getting married this month are a bit busy with other things, but blogs that are normally posting every day are doing so only once or twice a week. And our pastor hasn't posted since the middle of last month. So august must be a big month for funerals as that is usually the reason why he doesn't blog when there are things going on that he world usually write on. (Like China not letting Bibles into the country.) Anyway we were just wondering if we were the only ones who are seeing a lack of blogs this month. (Also, we are claiming preschooler who WILL NOT sleep as our excuse. Which you would thing would help with the reading of books, but at a certain level of tiredness letters no longer make sense.)

P.S. We are working on writing post using a tablet as we can then write in bed, but it does cause more typos as it can’t read our handwriting well, so we apologies for any typos that we miss.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Book in Review – Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society

Book Count: 65

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society By: Adeline Yen Mah
Fiction: Historic, youth 229 pages 2005

This is the story of a girl living in China during WWII. She lives with her dad and his girlfriend who hates her. As her name is the same as the girl in China’s version of Cinderella and she basically has an evil step-mother, her English name is Chinese Cinderella or CC for short. One day after she is kicked out of her home for upsetting her father’s girlfriend she joins up with a group called the Dragon Society of Wandering Knights. With them she finds a place that she is happy and an adoptive family. She learns Kung Fu and becomes part of the Chinese resistance against the Japanese. She also helps out downed American pilots that were part of the Doolittle Raiders. (An actual group in WWII.) This book also ends with historical information and also has the Chinese zodiac, glossary of Chinese words and phrases and a bibliography.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Note to Self: Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie

Book Count: 64

Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell By: Kristiana Gregory
Fiction: historic, youth 161 pages 1997

OK, this is another kids book that wasn’t a rereading of an old favorite like I was planning to do. By the time this book came out I was busy trying to get threw “War and Peace” and Shakespeare, but I had wanted to read this series for a while and after watching “Last Comic Standing” I just couldn’t resist the book on the Oregon Trail. Although, they didn’t cure typhoid with bacon in this book, they did have a lot of experiences that were more historically correct: both fun and sad. In fact I would say it has a good mix of things for a book that kids would read. It was not unrealistically upbeat. They dealt with many of the harsh realities of that time. But it was not so over the top that it was just depressing. Also, I somewhat like the way the book is set up as if it was non-fiction with the actual author information in the back as you almost have to stop and remind yourself that it is fiction as you read along. As the title states it is the story of a girl on the Oregon Trail. It takes place in 1847 when the trail was not brand new, by not so old as to have many bridges, forts and other niceties. She is 13 and the oldest living child in her family. (Her sisters died the year before due to swamp fever.) She along with her parent, little brothers and an aunt and uncle travel the trail. Along the way she makes friends, meets Indians, deals with dangers and sees people die and be born. After the story is historical information and pictures.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Note to Self: The Murder of Roger Ackoyd

Book Count: 63

The Murder of Roger Ackoyd By; Agatha Christie
Fiction: Mystery 255 pages

Note: DO NOT read this if you don’t want to know who the killer is.

Now I know where Colombo learned the solve crimes. Although the answer to the case it right in front of you the whole time, it is written so that you don’t seriously think of it even being a possibility until the end of the book. Also, in the edition I read the editor was nice enough to translate much of what Hercule Poirot says in French, which was nice.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A Book in Review – Buried Alive

Book Count: 62

Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear By: Jan Bondeson
Non-Fiction: history, medicine 282 pages 2001

As the title states this book is about the history of people being buried alive. It chronicles times when this fear was they highest, why it was so and what people did about it. There is also information on common buried alive myths and themes and books that use them. Including much on the works of Poe and even how Romeo and Juliet is a retelling of a popular story told long before Shakespeare. It also deals with how people could tell if one was dead at different times and how that affected this fear. Also I learned that taphophobia is the irrational fear of being buried alive.