Book Review: Making Money by Terry Pratchett

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This second Moist von Lipwig novel also seems to be the last book in the long-running Discworld series. It’s a pity, too. For even after so many years and so many books, this one seems full of youthful energy and the promise of things to come. Moist von Lipwig has transformed the Post Office of Ankh-Morpork from a bottomless pit of undelivered mail into a fast-paced, successful mail service. Even the clacks service, under his ... Read More »

Book Review: The Point Man by Steve Englehart

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The Point Man by Steve Englehart The cover art of this book may lead one to expect a whimsical, comic-bookish fantasy in which a Vietnam war veteran turned disc jockey discovers a magical talent appropriate to someone who always volunteered to be “point man”—wherever he points his finger, magic happens. This mind trick is aided by the fact that author Englehart also wrote—besides a sequel to this book titled The Long Man—several well-received graphic novels, including ... Read More »

Book Review: The African Queen by C.S. Forester

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The African Queen by C.S. Forester I still haven’t seen the Katharine Hepburn-Humphrey Bogart movie, directed by John Huston, for which Bogie won his acting Oscar. But now I’ve read the book the movie was based on, The African Queen by C.S. Forester, author of the Hornblower saga. Written in the mid-1930s, it takes place in about 1914 when WWI is gearing up. Rose Sayer is the sister of a middle-class English missionary in German Central Africa. ... Read More »

Book Review: Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

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If you had a name like Moist von Lipwig, you would probably change it. Especially if you were a con artist with a forgettable face and a criminal mind. Moist changes more than his name. He changes his appearance, changes his address, and with his gift of persuasion he changes the net worth of a lot of people, usually by taking advantage of their innate greed. Through one scam after another Moist has become very ... Read More »

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

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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

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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 a ... Read More »

Book Review: The Truth by Terry Pratchett

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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

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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

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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

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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 »