Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain

It’s fair to say that I read a good number of books children’s books. Having kids of my own, I like to pilfer their shelves from time to time. In our house, we like to stock “the classics” as a sort of quality guarantee. Since children’s books became a genre there have been writers who have tried to cash in on the children’s market as a way to make a quick buck with little effort. Reading “the classics” means that you get the best books from every era without having to wade through the formulaic twaddle, most of which has mercifully been forgotten over the years.
It’s a different story with modern children’s books. Picking up a new children’s book means taking a chance on wasting your time, and the modern children’s book publishing machine loves tried and true formulas. After the success of Harry Potter we got books about schools for magical/mythological/specially talented kids who are sorted into groups based on their personalities. After The Hunger Games took off, we’ve have had m…

Review Grab Bag # 1

In order to fulfill my New Year's Resolution for this year, I have to read 100 books and review them all. Well, it looks like I'm going to easily read the 100 books this year. Unfortunately, I'm way behind in reviewing them.

Enjoy therefore, the first of several Review Grab Bags full of mini reviews of books I've read this year.

The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott

The Talisman is a first-rate adventure novel by Sir Walter Scott, though not quite on par with his more famous Ivanhoe. The events center on the end of the Third Crusade, and the historical figures of the Crusaders are rendered wonderfully. As in many accounts from the medieval time onward, Saladin’s character is romanticized to a great degree, but the story wouldn’t work otherwise. One aspect of the ending, which is will not name in order to avoid spoilers, fell a bit flat with me, but overall I enjoyed the book very much and would recommend it to anyone interested in the time period of the Crusades.

5/5 Stars

How to be Free From Bitterness by Jim Wilson

This book had lots of good information and advice, but it seemed unfinished. I felt as if I was reading someone's notes on these topics rather than finished articles. Maybe someday Canon will send an editor through to make the book seem more cohesive and to polish up the prose a bit.

4/5 stars

Refuting Evolution by Jonathan Safarti

I found the first 5 chapters extremely compelling, and I felt the author did a good job of interacting with the literature of evolutionists. The latter half of the book seemed to get broader, too broad, and by the end it felt like the author was throwing random facts at his reader. For example, several pages are taken up with debunking the myth that medieval Christians believed the world to be flat, even though the work being critiqued admittedly does not make that claim. A good book overall, but it could have been more focused at some points.

3/5 stars

The Babylonians: An Introduction by Gwendolyn Leick

This was a really fun book to read. It was very broad and general in its scope, but at the same time scholarly. It also has a great bibliography.

5/5 stars

The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris
This book had everything I look for in a story. William Morris has taken the form of the Medieval Romance and perfected it.

5/5 stars

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

Not as good as "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," but still amusing in its own way.

3/5 stars