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review 2018-07-17 00:45
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is one of those books that are tricky to review. I can't quite put my finger on what I didn't like. I don't think there was anything present that I didn't like per se, it was more of what was lacking. I just didn't feel that burning in my chest, that rushing in my brain that I usually get when I read good fantasy books, that burning that makes me want to keep reading. This one just kind of puttered along and I dutifully followed, hoping for the best. 

There were so many interesting elements in the story (nightgaunts, a boy called Nobody, a murder mystery, a witch's ghost, and a graveyard home). So many things that should make this book absolutely fascinating. But for the most part I found it kind of boring. 

Bod felt like a character in a book. He lacked personality and I didn't relate to him at all. The story was very drawn out and ramble-y. Most of the ends tie up fairly neatly by the end, but for the majority of the novel, they just seem like a random chain of stories. Even at the end, it just wasn't satisfying. There was no real moment where everything clicked. It just kind of all fell into a pile on the floor and then the book was over. 

This book was really just missing that spark. Despite being set in a graveyard, despite the pitiable orphan boy who doesn't fully fit in with the living or the dead, despite all of the fascinating ghouls, hellhounds, witches, and other awesome creatures, this book just felt mediocre. 

Very creative, which is why I gave the book 3-stars, but really the story just felt okay. I didn't feel invested in how it ended. I just kind of shrugged when it was over and went on with my day. 
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review 2018-07-10 19:16
Contemporary fiction meets supernatural thriller
Graveyard Shakes - Benchmark Publishing Group;Stephen Jay Jackson;Rina Alvarez;Lisa Crane;Scott-Laura Schoeggl;Jessica Friedman;Sara Lynn;Sarah Alston;Emily Ku;Paula Maxheim;Michelle Posey;Melissa Madden;Jorge Gonzalez;Terry B Bruno;Samuel Guss;Erin Johnson;G.E. Masana

Continuing the trend of reading books selected for the Summer Reading program, I read Graveyard Shakes by Laura Terry. The reader follows two very different storylines that at the outset have no correlation to one another. The first revolves around two sisters who have newly arrived at a boarding school and are struggling to come to terms with their change of environment. The second focuses on a little ghost and his friend Modie (I don't know either) who as best as I can tell is a reanimated corpse. So on the one hand we are rooted in reality with a situation that seems very familiar: wanting to fit in yet also wanting to be recognized as the individual that you are. On the other hand, the supernatural elements of ghosts and zombies are compacted with horror because the only way that Modie can stay 'alive' is to absorb the soul of a dead (i.e. murdered) child. Yes, this is a middle grade graphic novel. (It is at this point that I have essentially 'sold' this book to the reluctant child reader standing in front of me while the parent stares at me open mouthed.) The good parts: The illustrative style was excellent and I really enjoyed the character journey of Victoria, the older sister. The not so good: It was way more disturbing and graphic than I expected plus the ending was entirely too predictable after all of the narrative build-up. While I did thoroughly enjoy the illustrations, I don't know that I'll be rushing out to read Terry's next work (unless the cover draws me in again). I didn't overwhelmingly dislike this book but I also didn't love it with all of my heart and soul (get outta here, Modie!). The little guys and ghouls in your life that love a good ghost story will probably fall head-over-heels for this one. 5/10

 

An example from the inside. [Source: A Kids Book A Day]

 

What's Up Next: The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-04-25 01:01
If you enjoy books about cemeteries (and I do, honestly!), you’ll love "Chicago Eternal" by Larry Broutman. The book is a beautiful coffee-table-style volume on heavy paper stock with photographs—mostly in color—of impressive monuments in the city’s finest historic graveyards. The visuals are accompanied by well-researched information on the individuals and families represented.

Some of the city’s permanent “residents” are well known. Famous names include Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens, Oscar F. Mayer of meat-packing fame, and Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor of a reaper that revolutionized agriculture in the 1800s. Others are not celebrated but passed away as young children or have an especially striking gravestone.

The book even comes with 3-D paper glasses that add to the fun. So sit back and enjoy!
 
Diana Schneidman (Amazon review)

 

Source: www.amazon.com/Chicago-Eternal-Larry-Broutman/dp/1893121747/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524614162&sr=8-1&keywords=Chicago+Eternal
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review 2018-04-25 00:55
Chicago Eternal - Larry Broutman

Photographer and author Larry Broutman joined WGN-TV Morning News anchors, Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten, in the studio to discuss Chicago Eternal and its many fascinating historic tales.

Source: www.everythinggoesmedia.com/product-page/chicago-eternal
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text 2018-04-25 00:47
Television and Radio Interviews with Larry Broutman

Larry Broutman wants to make sure that the amazing stories of Chicagoans from the past are not lost to time. Through his striking photographs of their final resting places and accompany text, Broutman has documented the journeys of Chicago’s heroes, villains, and everyday folks in his book, Chicago Eternal. This newly released coffee table book of photography has already attracted plenty of media attention. Larry Broutman recently made appearances on Chicago Tonight and the WGN-TV Morning News. He did interviews on WGN Radio’s After Hours with Rick Kogan, WDCB-90.9 FM’s The Arts Section, and WGN Radio’s Steve Cochran Show.

Check out his television and radio interviews to learn why Broutman chose cemeteries for his subject matter, how the ultimate Cubs fan can eternally be a part of Wrigley Field, Al Capone’s surprising graveyard neighbors, which are the most photographed tombstones in town and why, and many more fascinating historic tales.

 

Chicago Tonight: “A Tombstone Tour of Chicago”

https://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2018/04/16/tombstone-tour-chicago

 

WGN-TV Morning News: “Larry Broutman Talks About "Chicago Eternal"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7noOG-zT5gw

 

WGN Radio After Hours with Rick Kogan: “Rick Kogan Chats with Author Larry Broutman”

http://wgnradio.com/2018/04/24/rick-kogan-chats-with-author-larry-broutman/

 

WDCB-90.9 FM The Arts Section “New Book Captures Beauty of Chicago-Area Cemeteries”

https://soundcloud.com/wdcbnews/the-arts-section-new-book-captures-beauty-within-chicago-area-cemeteries

 

Steve Cochran Show, WGN Radio: “Chicago Eternal / Larry Broutman Interview”

https://chicagolighthouse.org/press/broutman-chicago-eternal-steve-cochran/

 

Purchase Chicago Eternal at:

https://www.everythinggoesmedia.com/product-page/chicago-eternal

 

Source: www.everythinggoesmedia.com/product-page/chicago-eternal
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