Mara Daughter of the Nile
Book Review / January 28, 2016

Title: Mara, Daughter of the Nile Author: Eloise Jarvis McGraw Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Puffin Books Release Date: Unknown day 1953 Format: Paperback Pages: 279 Source: Owned Mara is a proud and beautiful slave girl who yearns for freedom. In order to gain it, she finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies – each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt. Against her will, Mara finds herself falling in love with one of her masters, the noble Sheftu, and she starts to believe in his plans of restoring Thutmose III to the throne. But just when Mara is ready to offer Sheftu her help and her heart, her duplicity is discovered, and a battle ensues in which both Mara’s life and the fate of Egypt are at stake. (via Goodreads) Amazon   Let’s hear it for strong female protagonists found in books published in 1953! Mara is a suspiciously well-educated, intelligent, crafty, and (obviously)painfully beautiful slave. She yearns for adventure and freedom.Her command of both the Egyptian and Babylonian languages lands her on an adventure away from traditional enslavement, and out into the royal city of Thebes where she acts as…

2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas
Book Review / January 26, 2016

Title: 2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas Author: Marie-Helene Bertino Genre: Fiction Publisher: Crown Release Date: August 5th, 2014 Format: Audiobook Pages: 272 (7 hours, 14 minutes) Source: Library Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it. As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s…

Lone Wolf and Cub, Volume 3: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger
Book Review / January 22, 2016

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 3: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger Series: Lone Wolf and Cub Author: Kazuo Koike Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Dark Horse Manga Release Date: November 28th, 2000 Format: Paperback Pages: 314 Source: Library Join renegade samurai Itto Ogami and his infant son, Daigoro, in five more adventures on the dark road to Hell. What do three mysterious Shogunate assassins, a street entertainer, and the crests of the dead have in common? “The Baby Cart Wolf” continues his dealing of death for gold and encounters one roninwho is bent on putting a stop to his journey. Will he succeed? Follow the monthly adventures of Lone Wolf and Cub, one of the true classics of comics literature, available in America for the first time in over a decade! This volume contains the following stories: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger Half Mat, One Mat, A Fistful of Rice The White Path Between the Rivers The Virgin and the Whore Close Quarters (via Goodreads)   After reading the first Omnibus, Volume 3 picks up two stories before the first omnibus ends. Unfortunately, my library didn’t have the second omnibus, so we’re resorting to individual volumes now. Picking…

Girl on a Wire
Uncategorized / January 15, 2016

Title: Girl on a Wire Series: Cirque American Author: Gwenda Bond Genre: Young Adult Publisher: Skyscape Release Date: October 1st, 2014 Format: eBook Pages: 386 Source: Kindle First A ballerina, twirling on a wire high above the crowd. Horses, prancing like salsa dancers. Trapeze artists, flying like somersaulting falcons. And magic crackling through the air. Welcome to the Cirque American! Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies. Jules ignores the drama and focuses on the wire, skyrocketing to fame as the girl in a red tutu who dances across the wire at death-defying heights. But when she discovers a peacock feather—an infamous object of bad luck—planted on her costume, Jules nearly loses her footing. She has no choice but to seek help from the unlikeliest of people: Remy Garcia, son of the Garcia clan matriarch and the best trapeze artist…

Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Vol. 1
Book Review / January 11, 2016

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub, Omnibus Volume 1 Series: Lone Wolf and Cub (#1-3) Author: Kauzo Koike Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Dark Horse Manga Release Date: May 1st, 2013 (Original Manga Publication Date: 1970) Format: Paperback Pages: 713 Source: Library Shogunate executioner Ogami Itto is framed as a traitor by the agents from a rival clan. With his wife murdered and with an infant son to protect, Ogami chooses the path of the ronin, the masterless samurai. The Lone Wolf and Cub wander feudal Japan, Ogami’s sword for hire, but all roads will lead them to a single destination: vengeance. A samurai epic of staggering proportions, the acclaimed Lone Wolf and Cub begins its second life at Dark Horse Manga with new, larger editions of over 700 pages, value priced. The brilliant storytelling of series creator Kazuo Koike and the groundbreaking cinematic visuals of Goseki Kojima create a graphic-fiction masterpiece of beauty, fury, and thematic power. This volume collects material previously published in Dark Horse graphic novels Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 1: The Assassin’s Road, Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 2: The Gateless Barrier, Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 3: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger. (via Goodreads)  …

The Situational Leader: The Other 59 Minutes
Book Review / January 6, 2016

Title: The Situational Leader: The Other 59 Minutes Author: Paul Hersey Genre: Business Publisher: Warner Books (NY) Release Date: March 1st, 1985 Format: Hardback Pages: 128 Source: Owned The Situational Leader is the story of a manager responsible for achieving, developing people, and contributing to organizational success. (via Goodreads)   I read portions of this book back in 2009 when I was training to become a Store Manager for Starbucks. (That’s right people, at one point I was training to become a Starbucks manager. I loved working there.) That is when I received this specific version of the book. This book is actually a first edition published from 1985. However, life led me elsewhere, and I recently took Situational Leadership II (SLII) training at my new company. This program is an updated version of The Situational Leader content for the 2000’s along with a classroom-led component. My new company did not give me a book to read, but instead we used workbooks designed for classroom training. This sparked my memories, and I pulled this book off the shelves with intending to read it all the way through for a post-class refresher. This book is in majority duplicative information from the course I…

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