Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A to Z....X, Y, and Z

Rats, I was so close to completing the A to Z, but you'll have to settle for a combined X, Y, Z because I went out of town this past weekend and got behind.

X is for Xanadu. "Daughter of Xanadu" by Dori Jones Yang

Athletic and strong willed, Princess Emmajin's determined to do what no woman has done before: become a warrior in the army of her grandfather, the Great Khan Khubilai. In the Mongol world the only way to achieve respect is to show bravery and win glory on the battlefield. The last thing she wants is the distraction of the foreigner Marco Polo, who challenges her beliefs in the gardens of Xanadu. Marco has no skills in the "manly arts" of the Mongols: horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Still, he charms the Khan with his wit and story-telling. Emmajin sees a different Marco as they travel across 13th-century China, hunting 'dragons' and fighting elephant-back warriors. Now she faces a different battle as she struggles with her attraction towards Marco and her incredible goal of winning fame as a soldier.

Y is for Year. "Year Zero" by Jeff Long
In Jerusalem, an American archaeologist working on Project Year Zero -- the search for the historical Jesus -- crosses the line between science and theft when he helps plunder an old Roman landfill beneath the crucifixion grounds known as Golgotha. Nathan Lee Swift's crime will have devastating consequences. When an ancient relic is opened on the black market, a two-thousand-year-old plague is unleashed -- and the dying begins. 

As the pestilence threatens to wipe out humanity, he finds a chance for redemption -- by finding the cure. Skirting the edges of civilization, Nathan Lee sets out to find his younger daughter and travels to Los Alamos, where a desperate tactic has been adopted: the use of human lab rats cloned from Project Year Zero remains. Now Nathan Lee will come face-to-face with one special cloned human who may hold the key to salvation -- in more ways than one. Patient Zero claims to remember who he is....
And his name is Jesus Christ.

Z is for Zentangle. "Joy of Zentangle" by Suzanne McNeill

Zentangle(R) is an easy-to-learn method of pattern drawing that reduces stress while promoting creativity. This book will introduce readers to the basic theory of Zentangle and provide instructions for drawing over 100 tangle patterns from such Certified Zentangle Teachers as Suzanne McNeill, Sandy Steen Bartholomew, and Marie Browning. This beautiful book is filled with examples of Zentangle drawings as well as other art projects and compelling stories from those who have improved their well-being through Zentangle.

Thanks for visiting me during the challenge and take care!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A to Z: W is for War

For this year's A to Z Blogging Challenge I'm featuring books that I'd like to read!
W is for War: The War Within These Walls by Aline Sax

It's World War II, and Misha's family, like the rest of the Jews living in Warsaw, has been moved by the Nazis into a single crowded ghetto. Conditions are appalling: every day more people die from disease, starvation, and deportations. Misha does his best to help his family survive, even crawling through the sewers to smuggle food. When conditions worsen, Misha joins a handful of other Jews who decide to make a final, desperate stand against the Nazis.

Heavily illustrated with sober blue-and-white drawings, this powerful novel dramatically captures the brutal reality of a tragic historical event.

Ever been to the Holocaust Museum or speak to a survivor?

Friday, April 25, 2014

A to Z: V is for Verity

For this year's A to Z Blogging Challenge I'm featuring books that I'd like to read!

V is for Verity: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?  

                                   Do you like war novels? 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A to Z: U is for Under

For this year's A to Z Blogging Challenge I'm featuring books that I'd like to read!

U is for Under: Trapped Under the Sea by Neil Swidey 

The harrowing story of five men who were sent into a dark, airless, miles-long tunnel, hundreds of feet below the ocean, to do a nearly impossible job—with deadly results
A quarter-century ago, Boston had the dirtiest harbor in America. The city had been dumping sewage into it for generations, coating the seafloor with a layer of “black mayonnaise.” Fisheries collapsed, wildlife fled, and locals referred to floating tampon applicators as “beach whistles.”

In the 1990s, work began on a state-of-the-art treatment plant and a 10-mile-long tunnel—its endpoint stretching farther from civilization than the earth’s deepest ocean trench—to carry waste out of the harbor. With this impressive feat of engineering, Boston was poised to show the country how to rebound from environmental ruin. But when bad decisions and clashing corporations endangered the project, a team of commercial divers was sent on a perilous mission to rescue the stymied cleanup effort. Five divers went in; not all of them came out alive. 

Do you love a good true story? Read any lately?