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Archive for June, 2011

See this book below?… THAT SORT OF COVER DRIVES ME NUTS!  

If I am at a bookstore looking through books and I come across this my first instinct is to think, “Rex Stout?”   what sort of book is Rex Stout??… then I read more and find that Rex Stout is the Author and the book title is below in small letters. And I put the book back because it has already annoyed me.

 

That drives me absolutely crazy! (yeah I know: small leap for mankind)

Look below.  This cover caught my eye. Great colors and art work. But once again  …what the heck is a Jasper Fforde????.. ohhhhhhh, again.. it’s the Author ..and again the book title is in small letters down below.  Had I seen that great cover AND the title immediately..I would go further and check the inside cover to see what it’s about.

And I’m sorry, I really don’t much care how famous the authors name is… I still want to know the TITLE to be the first thing (other than artwork) that jumps out at me!

I guess I could say that at least Mr Martin gave his book as big a billing as his name.  However………….. ahh, never mind.

This next one almost gets it right!  At least the book title comes first! But once again the author begs to outdo the book.  *sigh* But still, since I read left to right and top to bottom at least I have a title!

Then there are the ones like this one below.  I thought the title was: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest Stieg Larsson.  It didn’t make sense to me until I realized Steig Larsson was the author. Right. OK on to the next..

Walter is finally on the right track!  I give good points to  Walter Koenig!! (by the way this is an old book…and one that will give you chuckles)

..and now some points for EXCELLENCE…..

Wow! Will you look at this!  Authors name on top but in small letters!!!!!  One glance and you know the Title!  In this instance it’s ok that the authors name is on top because the Title is still what is dominant!  (also it’s part of a really enjoyable series)

And one more cover of excellence.  James A Owen who also gives the cover a chance to sell the story by having the Title of the book larger than his name.  Of course James is a little different from most authors.. he’s also the artist making the cover! 

I applaud Michael Scott and James A Owen!!

I wonder if publishers should make a guide line for book covers .  Title first? or author first… either way as long as I know if I am looking for a title or an author!!!!!!   Books are nearly always set up , in stores and libraries, according to author names so one has no problem finding Michael Scott under the S’s, or James A Owen under the O’s.  The title should always jump out at you and tell you something about the book.

  I know many won’t agree, and that’s ok..we aren’t all meant to be the same..but,  if I am randomly looking for a book to read I want to see the TITLES dang it !!!

Ok.. that’s my rant for today.

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We Seven

We Seven by the Astronauts Themselves.

M. Scott Carpenter

John H Glenn Jr.

Walter M Schirra Jr.

L. Gordon Cooper Jr.

Virgil L Grissom

Alan B Shepard Jr.

Donald K Slayton

Names that will be written in the History books about our beginning ventures into Space.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 12, 2010)
ISBN-10: 9781439181034

Product Description

The pioneer astronauts who took America into space tell their personal stories about the challenges they faced — their fears, joys, friendships, and successes.

Chosen from hundreds of crackerjack pilots for their fitness, intelligence, and courage, the original Mercury Seven astronauts risked their lives to cross the space frontier. In We Seven, they take readers behind the scenes to show them their training, technology, and teamwork, and to share personal stories, including the lighter moments of their mission. They bring readers inside the Mercury program — even into the space capsules themselves. We Seven straps you in with the astronauts and rockets you along for the ride.

Share Alan Shepard’s exhilaration as he breaks through the earth’s atmosphere. Endure moments of panic with Gus Grissom when his hatch blows, stranding him in the open sea. Race with John Glenn as he makes split-second life-or-death maneuvers during reentry, and feel his relief when he emerges safe but drenched with sweat.

Despite such heroism, Project Mercury was more than the story of individual missions. It defined the manned space flight program to come, from Gemini through Apollo. In We Seven, America’s original astronauts tell us firsthand — as only they can — about the space program they pioneered, and share with us the hopes and dreams of the U.S. at the dawn of a new era.

Most who know me know that I love our Space Program and most especially the Mercury , Gemini, and Apollo flights. 

In the beginning:  there were 7 Astronauts. 

Not that I haven’t read other books about our Space Race to the Moon, but I purchased this book because it was to be the individuals talking about their first missions.

I have to admit that parts of it were a bit techy for the likes of me, but as soon as they began speaking of their individual flights I knew I’d enjoy the book.. and I did.

The Amazon review is a good one and it covers the books pretty well.

So I thought I would give you some passages from the book..because no matter how many books I read on the beginning of our Space Missions, I always learn a little more.

From John Glenn:

“The engineers worked out three different ways of firing the small retro-rockets which would start us back towards the earth when it was time to come home.  These were wired so they could be activated either by the automatic timer on the instrument panel, by the Astronaut himself, if the timer failed, or by command sent up by radio from control stations on the ground if the other two methods failed”

Who knew just how many backups they had in place to be sure things worked?!

“Someone estimated that we spent a good two-thirds of our time devising and testing out this system of automatic controls which would allow us to orbit a capsule without a man before we were ready to risk a pilot.  It so happens that safety was always one of the most important factors in running project Mercury.”

From Alan Shepard:

“At 9:34 EST on May 5, 1961 the technicians got to the bottom of their countdown list and there was nothing left to do but push the button which ignited the Redstone.  The flames roared out of the engine and licked across the pad, searing the concrete.  For a second, the Redstone seemed to hesitate. Slowly and agonizingly at last, it began to climb.”

I am so sad that our program has come to such a screeching halt.  And I am sadder yet because these men, and others thought this was only the first step into space, and that it would go on and on…..

I not only believe Space is our final frontier… but a necessary frontier.

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New, Used Books

The first two are used books are from sellers on Amazon.  I’ve wanted Spellwright (hoping it’s good) for some time but it wasn’t “top of the list” and it was pricey… as a used book it was “the right price” so I sent for it knowing  book2  is about to come out .

The second book should come as no surprise.  Cecil B. DeMille, another Biography by Simon Louvish.  It’s a great combination, movie celebrities and.  Mr Louvish.  He seems to know so much about old Hollywood that he makes the biographies come to life.

I really should stop going to the used books store!  Seriously, I go because I am hoping one day that some Wilke Collins books show up in hardback. I know I can get them in paperback but my eyes say hardback!

Lately I have been darn good and twice I walked out with no books!.. but not this time *groan*

First I found a beautiful copy of The Secret Garden put out by Hallmark. It even has a velveteen cover… 1.00 dollar. (and for the record The Secret Garden was on my Wish list!  *ka-ching!*)

Then I found one of the “collection of Pooh books” in pristine condition  or 1.00 !

I always look through their collection of Biographies and Autobiographies.  I like the older celebrities because there is always a lot of old Hollywood and studios in the backgrounds.  Unfortunately for my poor book shelves I found not one but two books!

Autobiography Jackie Cooper .. 1.00 dollar.  I loved Jackie Cooper.  I loved the fact he was a child star and made movies with other huge celebrities and then when he was an adult he even had his own television show called The People’s Choice. 

I can’t believe that as I looked up some information on Jackie I found out he just passed away this past May 3rd at the age of 88.  :o(

Talking to Myself… Pearl Bailey… 1.00 dollar.  Ahhh, Pearly Mae! I still remember early televisions appearances by Pear Bailey and her laid back attitude that always brought smiles to my face.  Not to mention she had a most fabulous voice, and was married to my favorite drummer of all time, Louie Bellson. 

There are no photo’s in the book on Pearl Bailey..or I’d show you a few… but there are some photo’s in Please Don’t Shoot my Dog .

Jackie was in the original Little Rascals…

… and made more than one movie with Wallace Beery

Interesting people for sure…

…and once again my tbr pile grows!

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The Warlock

The Warlock by Michael Scott

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (May 24, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0385735332

Product Description

In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning.
With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

About the Author

An authority on mythology and folklore, MICHAEL SCOTT is one of Ireland’s most successful authors. A master of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and folklore, he has been hailed by the Irish Times as “the King of Fantasy in these isles.” Visit him at DillonScott.com

I’ve read this series of books right from the beginning.  When I read the title of the first book: The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) my mind jumped to the first Harry Potter where I remembered hearing the name Nicholas Flamel, and I thought, “hmmmm, maybe I should check this out”… and I did… and I loved it!  And I’ve enjoyed every single book that followed it, The Warlock not being an exception!

(But it almost was!) I can’t give away any Nicholas Flamel Secrets but I was not happy with page 127! (now everyone who has the book will turn to page 127 lol).. but then again I did keep reading… after all there are far too many characters for me to “sulk” over one!

All the regulars were back at their old games!  Dr John Dee and Virginia Dare were winning over Josh while Nicholas and Perenelle had won over Sophie.  The twins were split! (enter twilight music) Mars Uthor could move again! (Ooooo now how did that happen?!)  and many others were taking sides.  Prometheus, Niten, Scathatch, and Shakespeare.  And then there’s all the monsters on Alcatraz Island waiting to be set loose on San Francisco!

Then about page 200 all was “better” in my Nicholas Flamel mood. (guess you will just have to read the books to know what I am talking about!)

I read the book slowly (yeah, I know I’ve done that with all my books lately) but I did want to savor this one.  I’ve waited a year for it to come out and now it’s over. *pout* … but I do have to say, book 5 had a most surprising ending….. yet still a bit of a cliff hanger wondering how it will all end!!!

So.. here I wait broken hearted.. having to wait another whole year until I get to read the conclusion!!

If you like ya books I do believe you will like this series!!  I’ve come to more than like this series of books.  I think Michael Scott is a very fine author indeed!… now, if he’d only stay off of twitter and finish writing the dang last book!!!

I do want to thank Michael for being not only a very fine author but also a very approachable person, who is kind enough to keep in touch with his fans.   Thanks Michael!… now get to work!

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