The Lightning Thief


This is book 3 for Once Upon a Time.


The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion;(March 21, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0786838655


From School Library Journal

At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he’s really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades’s realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There’s lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus’s adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn’t over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist’s next move.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George’s School, Newport, RI

So… I had forgotten that i bought these three books  long ago.   Since you attention span and comprehension and eyes have, let’s say… not been the best, I thought reading something easy might work.   And it actually did!    So, for now it’s YA books to keep me reading i guess.

I know this was made into a movie, which I haven’t seen, but I certainly can see how young people could enjoy this as a movie.

For adults it is double spaced and fast reading.  I don’t think too many pages go by when you find yourself utter..”what next?”   

I was surprised with parts of the ending and even more surprised to read that it “could have been” a stand alone book…but we all know it isn’t.   I just wanted to mention that in case you want a quick enjoyable read with likeable (and non likeable) characters but not necessarily want to read the whole series.

I did enjoy this and even though my past learning much about “the Gods” I guess I knew enough to not have a problem.  (that would be embarrassing for a 70 yr old to have a problem with a book written for the very young..duh…but then again some teachers I had I can honestly say I didn’t learn very much from!)

If you want quick and enjoyable and easy..this may be a book for you.  OR.. for you to read to a child or grandchild?  Check it out.

Xanth by Two


I read this book for Once Upon a Time..


Xanth by Two by Piers Anthony (two complete books in one)

Series: Xanth Novels
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (February 16, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0765324156

(cover art: Darrel K Sweet)


Demons Don’t Dream begins a Xanth sequence as young adventures play for the highest stakes of all: the future of Xanth–and of Earth as well!
Dug thought that the disk he got from his friend was just a fantasy game.  He didn’t particularly like fantasy games, but he’d made a bet with Ed, and a bet’s a bet.  So he loaded the game and…
Within moments he had left Mundania and was standing in a forest glade in Xanth, with his Companion in Adventure Nada Naga — a beautiful Princess who just happened to be a shape-changing serpent.  For a long time Dug thought that this was just an incredibly convincing virtual world.  Then he began to believe in Magic.  Which was a good thing, because the prize in this Game is the Power of Magic in Xanth.
In the next installment, Harpy Thyme, Gloha must brave a demoness and snow dragons, malevolent clouds and musical volcanoes, on a wild odyssey that takes her not only across the length and breadth of Xanth, but on journeys through Time, Space, and the perilous realms of Madness and Mundanity.

Many years ago I read a number of Piers Anthony’s Xanth books but along the way I guess I got to busy with family and stopped reading for a long time.

I found this book in a thrift store and decided it would be good for OUaT and grabbed it up.

Some might say that Piers Anthony is a genius.  Right from the beginning his books about Xanth, are full of “puns”.  After my first few books I wondered how he could possibly keep up the puns and keep finding new ones!  So, although years (eons?) have passed I found myself  rolling my eyes to the heavens as he once again managed to write, not just a story, but a game, using as many puns at before.  (re: a Humble Pie bush grew pies that made you humble if you ate it)

The first story Demons Don’t Dream was very original in that instead of just a story of someone (and some things) that live in Xanth having a story, he took someone from Mundania (that would be us) and brought them into his book via a game they had to play.

One thing I would say is that if you  have never read any Xanth books you wouldn’t enjoy this book because  knowing about Xanth and it’s magic’s  would leave you wondering just what was going on.  But if you  have read some and want a trip back in time this would be a good book to read.

Unfortunately even reading this one book took me a very long time.. I was/ am dealing with much depression and anxiety and the passing of the love of my life, BooBoo Kitty.  So I have to admit that the book didn’t have enough of “something” to keep my mind off of other matters and so I didn’t jump back to the book each time I sat down.  But please know it was not the fault of the Author or the book.

Once Upon a Time VIII

Every year I wait for Carl to do my two favorite challenges. With the beginning of Spring  the first of the two begins… Once Upon a Time VIII.

My hopes may be more than I can even accomplish..but I will surely try!

onceup8200_zpsae373bec[2] You have a variety of choices as to how many books you want to read, and as always all Carl hopes for is that you all have fun!


The Journey is a promise to read one book…so that’s what I will try.

It’s a toss up so I might get more then one (I would like that).  The Piers Anthony book called Xanth Two actually has 2 of his books in one.


The other book is a birthday present from my friend Michelle who took a sneak peek at my wish list on Amazon.  I have a number of “Official Movie Guides” by Brian Sibley and so the Desolation of Smaug was on my list.  I hope he puts a third one out for the last of the series.


On big photo in the book was a bunch of Happy Dwarves in Barrels.


I generally write a much longer post but this is better then none!

Happy Once Upon a Time everyone!  I hope you all enjoy every book you read!

In the Arena

In The Arena by Charlton Heston.

Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster(September 12, 1995)
ISBN-10: 0684803941



From Booklist

You’d hardly expect Chuck Heston–as decent a guy as any American actor’s ever been–to produce a racy tell-all, and he doesn’t. Rather, he recounts his career, although only after glowingly recalling his rural Michigan childhood and poor adolescence in contrastingly tony Wilmette, Illinois–then as now among Chicago’s wealthiest suburbs. A drama scholarship to Northwestern University set him on the road to success and a string of distinguished films rivaled by few other actors of his generation. The stories of making those movies are the meat here, with seasoning coming from Heston’s parallel stage accomplishments, his activism with the Screen Actors’ Guild (he succeeded Ronald Reagan as SAG president), words of wisdom on the crafts of acting and filmmaking, tart asides on current cultural foibles (like Reagan, he’s a former Democrat turned staunch Republican), and loving references to wife and children. But there’s no gossip, which movie lovers who especially admire the grand-style filmmaking of Heston’s 1950s^-1960s heyday won’t miss a bit, so enthralled they’ll be with the production anecdotes about The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, and El Cid, among others. Ray Olson

First off I will say I bought this book from the Friends of the Library for one dollar. (later, at home, I found it was autographed!  I know it’s a true autograph because I have a photo of “Moses” signed by Mr Heston and it’s a perfect match)

Anyway, I bought the book because of the price, and because it was in mint condition (never looked like it was read) and because I actually met Charlton Heston at an autograph show when I live in California.  He signed his skinny little butt off for two days all for charity.  I thought that was nice of him.

I also admit that Mr Heston didn’t win any “good votes” from me with his love of guns. But that’s a personal thing.  I’ve loved his movies over the years but never considered myself a “Heston Fan”..must have been those guns.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind if someone likes to Skeet Shoot or  Target Shoot etc I just don’t like how easy they are to get and I’ll drop the subject because the subject here is his autobiography.

I think he did a very good job writing the book.  Most of the time I felt as if I was sitting in a room and he was telling his story, which made me feel comfortable reading it.

I also found  he had a good sense of humor, and often wrote tid-bits in parenthesis which made him even more human.

Although the bulk of his book was about his movies he did it in a way that made them interesting.  He would talk about how he got the movie, who was going to be in it with him and what he thought of them.  Who was directing and how did he get along with him   It felt more like “behind the scenes” rather than a “list of my movies”.

Some stories were worth a chuckle like the one about Mr DeMille while shooting The Greatest Show on Earth….

The actors did very well, but it was a tricky shoot.  De Mille was giving last minute instructions one morning before a matinee when he noticed 2 extra girls chattering near the back of the tent.  “young lady,” he said, pointing, “no, you with the red scarf, miss.. yes, you.  I’m trying to explain to everyone what we have to do this afternoon, but you clearly feel what you’re saying to your friend is more important.  Please come down here and use the microphone, so we can all hear your vital message.

Very reluctantly, the girl came down, shyly took the mike and announced, “I just said , I wonder when that bald-headed old son of a bitch is gonna call lunch.”

DeMill knew when he was licked, when the laughing died , he took the mike back, “Lunch” he said.”

While reading his book I learned many small things like: a second unit director is the unit assembled to shoot all the action scenes. The first unit directors would shoot all the dialogue and close ups with the principles.

I guess I didn’t even realize how many movies he made and how many I had seen!  I do remember seeing Ben Hur as a class trip from school and was amazed that it had an “intermission” because the movie was so long!  (but I have to admit that as handsome as Heston was….. Stephen Boyd made my heart go pitty-pat lol


Ok… so this took me forever to read..not because I didn’t find it a good  book, but because of health issues.   But slow or not I hope I never quit reading a good book!

The Night Watch

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters.

Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Trade(September 27, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1594482306


From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Waters (Fingersmith) applies her talent for literary suspense to WWII-era London in her latest historical. She populates the novel with ordinary people overlooked by history books and sets their individual passions against the chaotic background of extraordinary times. There are Kay, a "night watch" ambulance driver; her lover, Helen; two imprisoned conscientious objectors, upper-class Fraser and working-class Duncan; Duncan’s sister, Viv; Viv’s married soldier-lover, Reggie; and Julia, a building inspector–cum–mystery novelist. The novel works backward in time, beginning in 1947, as London emerges from the rubble of war, then to 1944, a time of nightly air raids, and finally to 1941, when the war’s end was not in sight. Through all the turmoil on the world stage, the characters steal moments of love, fragments of calm and put their lives on the line for great sex and small kindnesses. Waters’s sharply drawn page-turner doesn’t quite equal the work of literary greats who’ve already mapped out WWII-era London. But she matches any of them with her scene of two women on the verge of an affair during a nighttime bombing raid, lost in blackout London with only the light of their passion as a guide

This is my third book by Sarah Waters.  The review from Amazon (long ago) made me pick it up and put in ye ol’ tbr pile.  It took forever but I finally got around to reading it.

It had many things in it that I enjoy reading about, especially reading about WWII.  I am not sure when or how I got so interested in a war that ended close to the time I was born, but somehow it happened. 

I also just love reading about England, most especially the Victorian times , and as I said times around WWII.  It’s also managed to make me read about Churchill .

This book had a bunch about how it was to survive during the war, and then trying to get back to life and try to feel as if it never happened, but those things are never forgotten and even change you for the rest of your life.  

As in Waters other books she brings many interesting characters to light, and with life being hard because of the war, the fact that they all struggled just to stay alive let alone keep secrets or doing the unthinkable to survive is very compelling reading.

Although I enjoyed this book, I have to admit that  I liked Fingersmith and the Little Stranger more.  However, that’s not to say you wouldn’t enjoy this book, especially if you have read others by Sarah Waters.

Accidents Happen

Accidents Happen by Louise Millar.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books(June 25, 2013)
ISBN-10: 145165670X


From Booklist

*Starred Review* Kate Parker’s extraordinarily bad luck—both parents killed in a freak traffic accident on her wedding day, her husband murdered at home five years later—has left her wary about everything and overprotective of her 10-year-old son, Jack. Even her concerns about such warning flags as recent burglaries and a creepy neighbor’s behavior are considered just skittish Kate’s overreactions, especially by her in-laws, who threaten to raise Jack themselves. Kate’s sole and virtually obsessional solace lies in finding statistics showing the probability of danger in everyday life. So she’s instantly attracted to the book Beat the Odds and Change Your Life, left casually in a juice bar, and to its author, Jago Martin, an Edinburgh professor guest-lecturing at Oxford, who offers to help Kate deal with her anxiety. The risky activities Jago proposes actually make Kate feel alive again—the unlikely result of a pathological plan fueled by revenge. Fans of Millar’s accomplished debut, The Playdate (2012), won’t be surprised to find that things are not always what they seem here and that paranoia may indeed be just increased awareness. As Millar makes truth elusive and builds suspense, she is establishing herself in the top tier of writers of psychological thrillers. –Michele Leber

This was one of those “unexpected books”…  Of all things for me to be reading about with my problems, is someone who is “sick with anxiety”!  Needless to say I had bought the book a while ago and forgotten what it was about. The cover didn’t give anything away so I just jumped in.

At first one thinks that as bad as things are for ourselves this woman has got it worse!  And just when you begin to think she can beat her obsessions…. the total unexpected things begin to happen!

I actually enjoyed the book.. I found myself picking it up more often then other books just to see what was going to happen next !  Overall this was a good read, and I liked how it turned into a mystery more then just a “bad luck story”.

Never Come Back

Never Come Back by David Bell.

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade (October 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0451417518


Amazon Review

Elizabeth Hampton is consumed by grief when her mother dies unexpectedly. Leslie Hampton cared for Elizabeth’s troubled brother Ronnie’s special needs, assuming Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. But Leslie’s sudden death propels Elizabeth into a world of danger and double lives that undoes everything she thought she knew….
When police discover that Leslie was strangled, they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother? 
More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family’s secrets unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger.

This is the 3rd book by David Bell that I have read. (Cemetery Girl and Hiding Place were the others) Every one of them has been easy reading (double spaced), enjoyable stories, and each was a book I couldn’t leave set down for too long.

Once again I would tell anyone who wants a fast reading enjoyable book to maybe take along with them to a doctors office or trip to pick up a David Bell book!

This particular book was a quick mystery on the death of  Elizabeth Hampton’s mother. Immediately the police suspected the son who is a special needs young man.  The story includes Elizabeth finding out things about her mom that she never knew, and the ending of the death of her mom has a quick twist at the end.


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