Book Review: Favorite Operas by Italian and French Composers by Paul England


Favorite Operas by Italian and French Composers by Paul England This book reproduces a portion of the 1929 book Fifty Favorite Operas, the other part of which was reprinted as Favorite Operas by German and Russian Composers. And although it is no more visually attractive or attuned to contemporary culture than the average facsimile edition of a pre-World-War-II book about opera, I cannot recommended it highly enough. In fact, reading this book filled my head with thrilling ... Read More »

Book Review: Silvertongue by Charlie Fletcher


  Silvertongue by Charlie Fletcher   Completing the trilogy that began with Stoneheart and Ironhand, this book brings the ordeal of young Londoner George Chapman to a terrific climax. A being of pure evil has entered the world through the black mirrors that hold back the outer darkness. The old darkness in the heart of the city has broken loose. The two darknesses have joined forces with all the taints (gargoyles, dragons, and other inhuman statues) to bring ... Read More »

Book Review: The Truth by Terry Pratchett


The 25th title in the popular Discworld series is called The Truth, and to tell the truth, I enjoyed it thoroughly. In the tradition of Moving Pictures and Soul Music, it introduces a new hero who, in turn, introduces a new pop-culture art form into the fragile reality of Ankh-Morpork. Unlike those two prior instances, however, the journalist with the movable-type printing press who introduces the concept of a daily newspaper does NOT end up opening a rift into the Dungeon ... Read More »

Book Review: Ironhand by Charlie Fletcher


Ironhand by Charlie Fletcher   In Stoneheart, a London schoolboy named George Chapman accidentally damaged a carved stone dragon. This rash act plunged him into a hidden world, an “unLondon,” in which statues and gargoyles move about and have feelings, and where the humanlike “spits” are at war with the monstrous “taints.” George had an opportunity to pay his debt to the city’s heart of stone, but instead he chose to go “the hard way.” In ... Read More »

Book Review: Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher


Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher   The first chapter of this book really grabbed me. The rest of it held me in its ruthless grip. And now I eagerly look forward to the rest of the “Stoneheart Trilogy,” of which this is the first book. It begins with a school trip to a London museum, and a lonely, frustrated boy named George. George is having trouble fitting in. He misses his Dad (who is dead). He ... Read More »

Book Review: Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt


This is the first book in the highly-honored seven-book series about the Tillerman family, which also includes the Newbery Medal winner Dicey’s Song and the Newbery Honor book A Solitary Blue. The author’s other interesting-sounding titles include Jackaroo, The Callendar Papers, Tell Me if the Lovers Are Losers, and The Vandemark Mummy. This is the story of four siblings, between the ages of six and thirteen, whose mother leaves them sitting in a parked car in a strange town and never comes ... Read More »

Book Review: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes


Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes   The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Paul Revere and the World He Lived In revisited that world in this book, which won the Newbery Medal in 1944. It views the early stages of America’s struggle for independence from the British Empire through the eyes of a young silversmith’s apprentice. Jonathan Lyte Tremain is his full name. The “Lyte” bit means that he is related to one of Boston’s richest, most prominent Tory ... Read More »

Book Review: Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

PratchettMoving Pictures

The tenth Discworld book reprises the roles of Death, the ape Librarian, the peddlar Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, Detritus the troll, city watchmen Colon and Nobby, the Patrician, and others. But the heroes are new. Victor Tugelbend, a brilliant student at Unseen University, is lazy and afraid of becoming a target in the wizard-eat-wizard world of magical politics. Victor has used his uncle’s legacy and his own wits to become a “lifelong student,” by consistently scoring less than a ... Read More »

Book Review: Whittington by Alan Armstrong


Whittington by Alan Armstrong In this Newbery Honor Book, Alan Armstrong draws on his research into the life and letters of an 18th century textile merchant to craft a heartwarming work of juvenile fiction. He published the non-fiction side of his work under the title Forget Not Mee & My Garden (sic). And perhaps you will be interested in reading it after this story, or rather the story within the story, draws you into its intriguing world. ... Read More »

Book Review: The Xanth Chronicles by Piers Anthony


The Xanth Chronicles by Piers Anthony This is actually not one book, but a series of nearly 30 books and counting. At this writing, the published titles include: A Spell for Chameleon The Source of Magic Castle Roogna Centaur Aisle Ogre, Ogre Night Mare Dragon on a Pedestal Crewel Lye: A Caustic Yarn Golem in the Gears Vale of the Vole Heaven Cent Man from Mundania Isle of View Question Quest The Color of Her ... Read More »