Kevin's Points of Interest
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
This is one of those reviews where the book I finally got around to reading is one of the most popular of the last 10 years, so it doesn’t take much writing to say how I felt about it. Unbroken is a must-read, obviously (thanks to my brother Chris for encouraging me to get this one in my hands). I now look forward to seeing the movie, which I’m certain i...
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True Grit by Charles Portis
Great characters, a consistently unique writing style, and a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience...these are difficult things to accomplish when writing a novel. To pull off all three, at once, in the same book, and also make the story exciting, surprising, and thought-provoking as well--that’s absolutely remarkable! Which is what we have with True Gri...
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Called to Create by Jordan Raynor
Whether you are a Christian or not, Called to Create is an excellent book in which you will find positive, enriching motivation for your work and your life’s calling. If you are a Christian and do feel a spiritual connection with God and faith--this book has the potential to drastically improve your outlook on work and what you’re meant to do in life. Th...
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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
By description, look, and tone, this novel sets up like a fantasy story. And from the beginning...one certainly expects a wizard or two to show up. Or some type of imaginative creature. Towards the middle, a bit of magic does enter the book--however it’s actually more of the scientific, technological magic type of stuff. More precisely, it’s Google. The...
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The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize” stamp right on the front of this one, plus the fact it’s a National Book Award winner, plus all the reviews and accolades it’s received basically tell you all you need to know. This is a must-read book. You must read this book. Must. Read. My wife Abby and I both loved it. The Underground Railroad is magnificent. ...
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Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower book 4) by Stephen King
Roland’s unending, life-defining, completely immersive, and totally mesmerizing quest for the Dark Tower continues. And as a bonus - Topeka, KS makes an appearance in King’s apocalyptic future vision! Shout out to Kansas!! This series continues to amaze me and rattle my senses. Four books into the Dark Tower journey and I’m one million percent certain...
The Wastelands (The Dark Tower book 3) Review
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The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
The Inquisitor’s Tale is a cleverly structured, well-written, surprising, thoughtful, intriguing book. It is also challenging and profound, so I’d recommend it to be best for older, more mature eager readers. There is plenty of excitement, danger, drama, and yes...a dragon(!)...all factors that work well to keep our attention. The main characters are ‘...
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The Wastelands - The Dark Tower Book III
The road to the Dark Tower just keeps getting harder for the gunslinger and his band of followers, yet the books keep getting better and better! Mr. King is a master of the written word, as most everyone knows. The books in this series demonstrate his talents to the maximum. His deep, complex characters are creatively immersed in a carefully crafted and thor...
THE DRAWING OF THE THREE REVIEW
THE GUNSLINGER REVIEW
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Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
How’d you like to spend a nightmarish Groundhog Day with a chaotic group of friends, relentlessly investigating the mysterious death/possible murder of your beloved high school boyfriend, all while simply trying to survive and make it back to real life? Sounds awful. But it makes for a good book! The strength of Neverworld Wake is in the setting and the...
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Nocturnals Book 4: The Hidden Kingdom by Tracey Hecht and Sarah Fieber
This is an outstanding book for teachers and classrooms, appropriate for anyone really--from grades one to six and it would be enjoyed equally by boys and girls. The suspenseful, slowly building plot of The Hidden Kingdom centers on an odd but endearing crew of animals who consider themselves caped crusaders...saviors of the forest and of their fellow crea...
THE NOCTURNALS SERIES TEACHER RESOURCES
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Firefight and Calamity (Books 2 and 3 of The Reckoners Series) by Brandon Sanderson
Basically, you just need to click on the link below for my review of Steelheart. The first book in this epic series about...umm...Epics. Steelheart is the best of the trio so if you read and enjoy that one, you’ll definitely want to finish the series. If you want some more info on the rest of the books first then you're in the right place! Firefight takes...
CLICK HERE FOR STEELHEART REVIEW
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Peeves by Mike Van Waes
Peeves is a wonderful book...well-written with action, suspense, exciting plot twists, and relatable, well developed characters. Strangely though, it’s not so much of a “fun” book. But it is still entertaining, endearing, and educational. Allow me to explain. Basically, Slim Pickens--the main character--is infected by an experimental drug that causes ...
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Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Remember the movie “The Game” starring Michael Douglas? If not, rent it ASAP, it's fantastic. Caraval captures a small feeling of the “what's real and what's part of the game” magic of that film. However this story is set in a fantasy-like version of Venice and features a tough, determined, yet vulnerable heroine named Scarlett Dragna. Scarlett’s ...
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The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
This is the second book in the epic Dark Tower series. It's fabulous. You know that Mr. King is a phenomenal writer, I don't need to write words to tell you that. So I just wanted to try out a video and share about the book itself. My copy, which I found in a used bookstore in Breckenridge, has these cool illustrations. You may have to hunt around to find t...
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The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
For me, The Girl Who Drank the Moon was a fascinating book for many reasons. I’ll do my best to keep this short. Quick plot summary--In a town known as The Protectorate, sadness is the norm and hope for a happy life is minimal. A fog hovers over the townspeople at all times. Particularly on a certain day each year when someone is forced to leave their bab...
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The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
This is an excellent, captivating, mesmerizing book. The whole time I’m reading it, I’m thinking ‘What a brilliant idea, how could this not already be a book and TV series and movie and everything?!’ Well, it’s a novel now, plus an upcoming movie. And since reading it was fantastic, I’m certain watching it will be brilliant too. The heroine of T...
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Dune by Frank Herbert
I finally made it out of the exhausting unending desert! This is how you feel when you finish the epic, remarkable book that is...Dune. I picked up this old paperback on a whim simply because it looked cool and seemed like a novel I should read. Turns out I am a much bigger fan of sword and sorcery fantasy than I am world-building sci-fi with mind-bogglingly...
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Mutant Bunny Island by Obert Skye
Man, this book is out there. I mean OUT THERE. It’s clever and full of imaginative writing, but just so strange. And very difficult to explain. Our hero Perry is a young introvert who loves a comic book hero named Admiral Uli. Admiral Uli appears in a comic series titled Ocean Blasterzoids and the author includes a few pages from this made-up comic book t...
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Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
First of all, right here at the top, I have to say something. In reviews and promotional materials for this novel, you will inevitably see many comparisons to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I have to say I don’t think this is entirely accurate. While both books do deal with immersive virtual reality and the inherent dangers within, Ready Player One is t...
Click here to check out my Ready Player One review!
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The Legend of Shadow High by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Ever After High Meets Monster High! I absolutely believe this is a near perfect mash-up book and it would definitely be ideal for fans of either series. Just to catch you up real quick if you have no clue about either of these product lines: In Ever After High, you have meticulously-designed teenage characters who are the daughters of fairy tale superstars...
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The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot, Guinevere, Excalibur...the infamous Sword in the Stone, magic, epic heroism...you’ve heard it all before, right? Perhaps--but you may not know the real history behind the mythic legend. The Winter King, masterfully written by Mr. Bernard Cornwell, tells this timeless tale in a bold new way. Unending wars fought across a multitude...
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Babymouse: Tales From The Locker (Middle School Series) by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
First off, I don’t read a ton of these “crossover” books meant to appeal to readers who are moving into longer chapter books as they approach 6th grade and up. It’s not that I’m against them, I simply don’t come across them too often. That being said, I really liked this new form for Babymouse and as far as I know, it works perfectly as a longer-...
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The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol
In this finely-written, creative middle grade novel, we learn about the trials, troubles and triumphs of a not-quite-all-the-way-there witch. Or, as I suppose we could call her, The Apprentice Witch. The main character Arianwyn (beautiful name, by the way), though strong in magic and from a long line of witches, is unable to pass her witch evaluation on fir...
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Song of Solomon and The Catcher in the Rye
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger Yep, I just came out of a deep dive into two heavy classics. I recently gave Song of Solomon to my wife as a gift because we once saw an article in a magazine where someone said he “envied anyone who hasn’t read Song of Solomon yet because he wished he could have that feeling agai...
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The Explorers: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress
This is an excellent book for eager reading middle grade boys or girls. Kids will find a familiar plot line but they will be wowed by the many unique elements and the fun characters. Sebastian, the lead, is a very orderly, studious, habitual kid whose carefully organized existence is threatened when he discovers--yes--a door in an alley near his home. Throu...
click here to view this book on Amazon
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