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review 2018-01-25 00:00
The Egypt Game
The Egypt Game - Zilpha Keatley Snyder,Alton Raible This is another Newberry Honor book that my son and I are reading together. I enjoyed it and thought it was a fun story. It starts out with two girls and their little 4 year old brother that love "Egyptology" so they create their own imaginative game to play in secret. As they bring new kids with new ideas, into their club including even a couple of boys, The Egypt Game evolves and takes on a life of its own.

The book highlights that its ok for kids of different races to intermix; that boys and girls can also learn and have fun together at the same time without being ridiculed; and that you shouldn't judge people that you don't know, based on rumors, hearsay, looks etc.

My son hasn't finished reading yet so I don't have his thoughts on the book yet but I'll update later...
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review 2018-01-16 19:47
Tales of Ancient Egypt / Roger Lancelyn Green
Tales of Ancient Egypt (Puffin Classics) - Heather Copley,Roger Lancelyn Green

These stories include the great myths - of Amen-Ra, who created all the creatures in the world; of Isis, seaching the waters for her dead husband Osiris; of the Bennu Bird and the Book of Thoth. But there are also tales told for pleasure about magic, treasure and adventure - even the first ever Cinderella story.


  If I have ever read a book of Egyptian myths before, I don’t remember it. This little volume was a very pleasant introduction to the Egyptian mythos—something that I’ve learned by osmosis while reading books about the land’s history and art and reading fiction set in Ancient Egypt. As in most mythologies, there are unexpected treasures.

The man who polished these little tales was a friend of C.S. Lewis and seems to have made his reputation on rewriting myths and legends for the children’s market. I realize now that the vocabulary of this volume was probably suitable for children, but it did not detract from my enjoyment as an adult reader. He blends history and myth to make both clearer for the reader.

I have always found the Ancient Egyptians to be fascinating—this volume merely reinforced my obsession.


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text 2018-01-12 15:39
TBR Friday
Tales of Ancient Egypt (Puffin Classics) - Heather Copley,Roger Lancelyn Green
The Birdwatcher - William Shaw
Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language - Arika Okrent
Walls: Resisting the Third Reich: One Woman's Story - Hiltgunt Zassenhaus

How did I miss that yesterday was Thursday?  Oops!


I'm actually almost finished Tales of Ancient Egypt.  And I've also begun reading The Knife of Never Letting Go.  With any luck, I will finish the former this evening and be able to return it to the library tomorrow.


Next up, The Birdwatcher.  Because you know that I'm a bird watcher, plus who can resist a murder mystery investigated by a policeman with murder in his background.  I'm thinking this one will go quickly!


Then to Two Boys Kissing.  It's for my February book club meeting, which I will be missing.  I should feel bad, I guess, but I'll be bird watching in Taiwan, so not too bad.


Two non-fiction offerings as well, In the Land of Invented Languages (because I've always secretly wanted to speak Klingon) and Walls : resisting the Third Reich


I must have these finished before January 28th, when I fly to Taipei.  Fingers crossed!

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review 2018-01-08 16:58
The Drowning King by Emily Holleman
The Drowning King (A Fall of Egypt Novel) - Emily Holleman

There's a mythology out there surrounding Cleopatra. Whether it's the manner in which she presented herself to Caesar or the intrigue surrounding how she died. *Side note- I can't remember which History Channel show (one of the ones that use to actually discuss history, I imagine) but there was one that proved the whole rug thing, could have never happened. She would have died before she got to Caesar. *  Everyone has an opinion of the woman. If you are one of the few people who don't have an opinion, plenty has been written about the woman. An opinion would be easy to come by. This story, however, cares very little for Cleopatra. This is a story about Ptolemy and Arsinoe, Cleopatra's siblings/spouses/pains in her backside. 


Actually, this is a story about Ptolemy and what happens when little boys become men. Somewhere among the constant descriptions of wet dreams and the use of the f-word (Which by the way, I need to do some research on. Was that even a word ancient Egyptians would have known?), Ptolemy is fighting to earn the respect he deserves as the rightful king of Egypt. The reader is introduced to an 11 year old Ptolemy who is struggling to mature into the powerful ruler Egypt needs in order to keep Rome at bay. The author would have your believe that the most important aspect of presiding over a dynasty is "conquering" the women around you. I guess that comes with a lot of nocturnal emissions. The fact that Arsinoe (and occasionally Cleopatra) are the focus of his wet dreams doesn't bother me. I am well versed enough in my ancient dynasties to know that if you are a Ptolemy, it means you have to marry your sister, or in some cases, your step-mom. I get that. It doesn't bother me. What drove me bonkers was the constant focus on Ptolemy and his penis. If I wanted to read a book about what goes on when a boy becomes a man, I'd go back to 7th grade health. And to be perfectly honest, as a mother of girls, I'm trying to avoid thinking about the primal urges of teenage boys before I absolutely have to. I'm going to loose enough sleep over that at some point in my life. 


When the reader isn't asked to feel bad for Ptolemy and his penis, we are asked to feel sorry for Arsinoe. Apparently Arsinoe has some major choices to make. Should she f*ck her brother or Alexander, her childhood playmate? Or does she just throw herself into being Cleopatra's minion? The last one is kind of an afterthought. Arsinoe feels like an afterthought (which she kind of is in the grand scheme of things). This was one of the biggest let downs for me. In the previous novel, the reader is introduced to this spunky, tough little Arsinoe who literally fights to survive a shattered Egypt. Suddenly, Cleopatra is back! So now, she turns into a mopey teenage girl who only wants Alexander to throw her against the way and have his way with her? Ugh. 


Maybe at this point you are starting to wonder how I could possibly give this book as many as three stars. Why would I even continue to read this book after the fifth Ptolemy wet dream? Because I was hoping the author would bring back some of what made the previous novel so good. She did. For about the last 75 pages. The battle at sea between Arsinoe and Caesar? The writing was exceptional. Had that style been on display for the entire novel, this would easily be a 5 star book. It also means, I'm probably going to pick up the third and final novel. I have to see how this ends, right?  

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text 2018-01-02 03:37
Reading progress update: I've read 147 out of 432 pages.
The Drowning King (A Fall of Egypt Novel) - Emily Holleman

"Tell me, Eirene, to whom do we owe our loyalty: the living or the dead.”


Eirene gave her a curious look. “ The living, my queen. The dead have already abandoned us.”


Lines like this are causing me to have a love/hate relationship. Mainly because these scenes are followed by a chapter about a teenage boy and his wet dreams. 

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