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review 2017-03-26 00:02
Tribute to the late Colin Dexter
Last Bus to Woodstock - Colin Dexter

I read this first Inspector Morse mystery in honour of the author who passed away this week. In fact, I have the set of thirteen Morse novels and I really must be getting on with them. I deliberately read this first one fairly intensively, if only to keep the complex storyline fixed in my head, but the central characters - Chief Inspector Morse and Detective Sergeant Lewis - popularized in the ITV adaption, come together for the first time here and offer the prospect of a burgeoning relationship. Of course, once exposed to the TV characters, as one reads it's hard not to conjure up a mental picture of John Thaw and Kevin Whately, even if the Chief Inspector is driving a Lancia.

 

Like Morse, Colin Dexter's writing style is complex and his plotlines intelligent and sophisticated. A former graduate of Cambridge, it is curious that the author should choose to set his series of novels in Oxford. Yet, the backdrop of dreaming spires and college cloisters surrenders a potential wealth of articulate, affluent characters linked to this seat of learning, alongside the harsher reality of city life in the Thames valley. Following the well-trodden footsteps of Sherlock Holmes, in Morse we are enthralled by the detective's superior intellect, in spite of the character's equally obvious flaws. And in DS Lewis, Morse has the perfect foil, whereby blunt common sense and diligent police work enables the more florid, ale-fuelled genius to flourish.

 

In a sense, the emotional vulnerability displayed by Morse in his pursuit of a 'love' interest is surprising, but his ineptitude in the relationship department is nonetheless endearing. In this opening story, Morse and Lewis are beginning to find the measure of each other and formulating a working relationship, which meshes their respective strengths, but the sparks between them also also keeps this partnership interesting, with more to come.

 

As well as the crime (in this instance murder), the key to the crime novel is often how the 'solution' is unpacked and here Dexter has Morse subtly explain his 'working out' to Lewis. The conclusion is slightly melodramatic for my taste, but a giant among literary detectives began his rise to popularity with this book.

 

Twelve books to go. How exciting! And what an exceptional body of work!

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review 2015-10-11 14:23
Magic Bat Day
Magic Bat Day (The Hometown All Stars) - Dale Tangeman,Kevin Christofora

Magic Bat Day is the first real practice after they get their uniforms. Batting is the most fun of all skills and drills! This book concept shows techniques of how to hold the bat and where to stand. Most importantly, it shows that every kid can find their own magic bat and self- confidence.

 

Most parents today know very little about baseball. So, unlike previous generations, they don't have a lot to pass on to their children, and most kids today know more about Angry Birds than they do about America's National Pastime. America’s Pastime is fading away due to America’s own melting pot. Generations of Americans have been diluted and have not grown up on baseball.

 

It’s a different world, and today’s kids have lost touch with the game. Kids don’t play outside much, and the sandlot’s turned into a parking lot. Now they’re playing more computer games and watching TV. Baseball’s getting lost. I want to bring the American pastime back into kids’ lives and I know how.

 

As a coach, I see kids showing up at their first practice not knowing what home plate is. They don’t even know which direction to run! There’s such a need for baseball … the things they learn will help them in every part of their lives. Things like teamwork, discipline, things like strategy and thinking before they act. I am going to help get kids out of the house and get them moving – more green, less screen!

It all starts with a bedtime story!

Source: www.thehometownallstars.com
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review 2015-10-11 14:18
Nick's Very First Day of Baseball
Nick's Very First Day of Baseball - Kevin Christofora

Most parents today know very little about baseball. So, unlike previous generations, they don't have a lot to pass on to their children, and most kids today know more about Angry Birds than they do about America's National Pastime. America’s Pastime is fading away due to America’s own melting pot. Generations of Americans have been diluted and have not grown up on baseball.

 

It’s a different world, and today’s kids have lost touch with the game. Kids don’t play outside much, and the sandlot’s turned into a parking lot. Now they’re playing more computer games and watching TV. Baseball’s getting lost. I want to bring the American pastime back into kids’ lives and I know how.

 

As a coach, I see kids showing up at their first practice not knowing what home plate is. They don’t even know which direction to run! There’s such a need for baseball … the things they learn will help them in every part of their lives. Things like teamwork, discipline, things like strategy and thinking before they act. I am going to help get kids out of the house and get them moving – more green, less screen!

 

It all starts with a bedtime story!

Source: www.thehometownallstars.com
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review 2015-05-27 08:09
Woodstock: Master Of Disguise
Woodstock: Master of Disguise: A Peanuts Collection - Charles M. Schulz

Consisting of a lot of different short comics featuring Snoopy but mostly Woodstock (and some others of the Peanuts gang) this was a nice surprise for me. I'd never read any Peanuts comics before and I liked them. They were not extremely funny or something, and the name is a bit weird because more often Woodstock isn't wearing any kind of disguise.

 

What also helped were some nostalgic feeling to the series I used to watch, and Peanuts in general. I was pleasantly surprised and also got a copy of Snoopy: Master of Disguise, which I hope to read some time soon.

 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2015-03-27 00:51
Charles M. Schulz is still the genius!
Woodstock: Master of Disguise: A Peanuts Collection - Charles M. Schulz

Like the title says, Charles M. Schultz is still a supreme genius to me.  I have always loved the Peanuts gang.  Most of all, Snoopy and Woodstock.  

 

In this comic for kids, Woodstock and Snoopy are at it again.  They are just too funny together.  We love to watch them e frienemies - since that is where we love to find them.  They are either getting along and are wonderful friends, or they are giving each other crap to keep them humble.

 

In Woodstock: Master of Disguise I love the quirky Snoopy and how he speaks for both himself, and Woodstock.  We never actually hear the bird speak, but through Snoopy and his responses - well, I have a clue.  Don't you love them?

 

It is like best friends who cannot help themselves.  They feel more like family and they get away with more too.  In one piece of the comic, Woodstock puts on Snoopy's cologne.  Odd yes, but makes for a funny piece.  The whole Peanuts gang is present - and makes for a lot of fun!

 

I am absolutely grateful that I can still read about the peanuts gang and this is a wonderful novel that will be found when it comes out on April 28, 2015 in most eBook forms as well as print.  I think it would be a great gift! CLICK HERE to find it at Goodreads if you want to keep tabs on it for purchase.

 

 

 

***This ARC copy was received FREE from Netgalley.com for reviewing purposes.  My humble and honest opinion was not a reflection of Netgalley, nor its affiliates.

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