Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mad Skills

This is a screen capture of one of the most viewed photos from Yahoo! News.

The text on the side says:
An Indian army soldier displays his skills on the sidelines of the Polo Season 2009 in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009. The Hyderabad Polo season began Sept.14 and ends Sept.29. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

I'm sorry? Exactly what skills are those? And why at a polo match? I know that the matches themselves can be a bit a bit rough, but the image I have in my mind of polo is rather upper class, starched shirts and champagne. Not burning petrol and three cans of silver spray paint.

Friday, September 18, 2009

North! Or Be Eaten - a review

"Pencils down." That is a phrase that I heard often in school. The time for the test was over. The teacher's pet would walk about and collect them to be graded. It didn't matter if you were actually finished with the test. The time was up.

I have been watching the calendar slip by at a very fast pace this last month. I just heard the teacher say, "Pencils down." My time was up. My review was due.

I did not finish reading the wonderfully written North! Or Be Eaten. But I read enough of it to form some opinions and I gather them here.

North! Or Be Eaten is the second book in the Wingfeather Saga. I don't know if the Saga is a trilogy. Surely it must be, for it is a fantasy story. (Oh, be quiet Mr. Lewis. You, too, Mr. Jordan.)

One of the problems when one starts to read a Saga from the middle is that one doesn't really know what's going on. I caught on soon enough, but I probably should have read book one (On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness) first.

The author, Andrew Peterson, paints on a wide open canvas with his brush and colors. The central characters, Janner, Tink and Leeli Igiby, travel with their family and friends towards the Ice Prairies to the North. They are outrunning the Fangs of Dang and trolls. Hence, the title of the book.

There is action in each chapter, suspense in every other chapter, wonderful word pictures on each page. Describing the sea dragons that Janner encounters ...
They were as beautiful as they were fearsome. Their bodies shimmered with metallic scales that swirled with color. The dragon closest to him glittered orange and gold, like the strikes of a thousand matchsticks, but its winglike fins cycled between shades of blue.

Oskar is the character I identified with most. The bookseller was more of a booklover. One that cherished the pages between the covers. I think that Oskar would have liked to have read this book.

I sometimes heard another phrase in school. "Pencils down. It is time for recess."

My recess will be finishing North! Or Be Eaten. A time to set my busy schedule aside and relax without care.

Find a copy of this book. Better yet, find a copy of the first book. Read it. And then find and read this one. Be taken to another place.

North! Or Be Eaten
Written and Illustrated by Andrew Peterson
Published by WaterBrook Press in 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7387-0

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Good Food in Nashville

Sometimes pictures just say things more clearly than words. But I'll add captions. They don't count.

Noshville. Our favorite eating joint in the Nashville area.

Monte Cristo. Mark.

Hamburger. Plain. Caroline. (or, as she calls it, Hurburger.)

Reuben. Angie.

Tennessee Club. Edison.

Knish. Angie.