Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Sisterhood, Everlasting -- Ann Brashares

Carolyn Keene, Louisa May Alcott, and Laura Ingalls Wilder sold me on serial fiction back when I was a kid. As an adult, Diane Duane, Jim Butcher, and Anne McCaffrey continued that trend.

So, when I started reading YA, I looked for characters I could follow, too. I stumbled on Ann Brashares's Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants quite accidentally, but I got hooked. Ms. Brashares writes likeable characters that readers want to follow through their lives.

BOOK REVIEW: All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky -- Joe

Young Adult is the new black. Big name authors are defecting from adult fare and writing for a younger audience. Not to worry, though, adult readers. Even if your favorite authors are now writing for your kids (or grandkids) much of young adult is very much worthwhile for all ages.

When I heard Joe R. Lansdale had written a young adult, I had to grab All the Earth, Thrown to the Sky. I wanted to scream when I realized the story took place in the Dust Bowl. I've been doing research for a YA based in that time period for months now. Damn.

But, on with the review:

BOOK REVIEW: Silver Shark -- Ilona Andrews

I was delighted to hear my favorite urban fantasy duo has branched out into science fiction. Duo, you ask? Yes, Ilona Andrews is actually Ilona and Andrew Gordon, a married couple of late from Central Texas who met in Composition class and probably keep that initial spark burning by writing romances together.

Ilona describes this novella as a billionaire and secretary romance, except the secretary can kill you with her mind. That's a pretty apt description. Please note, this story is about a fourth the length of standard Ilona Andrews fare. By definition, a novella is a short novel, generally about 17,000 to 40,000 words in length.

Friday, October 14, 2011

National White Cane Day -- October 15

In honor of National White Cane Day, I'm offering just a bit of an education. People who are using a white cane are either blind of visually disabled. I've used a white cane for ten years now and I've learned a lot from it and often as not been a teacher for people who've never encountered one before.

So what is a white cane and what does it mean? A white cane helps visually impaired or blind people get around.

They use the white cane for two reasons. One, it's kind of like the "STUDENT DRIVER" sign you see on some automobiles. It tells you to beware and clear the road for someone who might perhaps not be as experienced as you are.