Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I Want to Read It (52): The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity by Fr. Vittorio Guerrera, December 2, 2000. Published by TAN Books.
A fast-paced book that is easy to read; The Shroud of Turin is guaranteed to interest everyone and give convincing proof--despite the recent propaganda to the contrary--that the Shroud of Turin is the actual burial cloth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Filled with facts of science and history; you are guaranteed to learn a lot! Well researched and well written. This book is small and doesn't take too long to read -- makes a great gift!


Why


Last month, I not only listened to a recorded talk from Fr. Spitzer and then I had the chance to hear him speak at IBT (on "Science, Near Death Experiences, and the Shroud of Turin"), so I was hoping to find more books on it when I stumbled on Fr. Vittorio Guerrera's The Shroud of Turin: A Case for Authenticity.

The write-up on the back cover, which I can't find anywhere, gives a better glimpse as to why this book sounds so well researched. If you're looking for a more scientific angle that speaks about the "how" the Shroud of Turin could be true, then you really need to check out Fr. Spitzer's work (here are some great resources), as well as this book because it has a lot of promise. I just really want to read it and see what his take on the Shroud is! I'll just flail around here because this IS exciting!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Cats in the City


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, May 28, 2018

All About Middle Grade Review: Cats in the City



Cats in the City (Stick Cat, 2) by Tom Watson, April 25, 2017. 224 pages. Published by HarperCollins. Source: publisher.
Stick Cat is going somewhere he’s never been before—his best friend Edith’s apartment. It’s got everything: donut crumbs in the sink, a fire escape, and a window with a great view of the big city.

While admiring the view, Stick Cat sees trouble. Hazel, the bagel maker, is in serious danger in the building across the alley. Stick Cat will use his smarts—and Edith’s appetite—to devise a rescue plan. But can Hazel hang on long enough for this dynamic duo to save her?
First Sentence
It was Stick Cat's favorite time of day- early morning in the big city.


Earlier this month, I talked about A Tail of Two Kitties, the first of Tom Watson's newest series Stick Cat. Which means now is the perfect time to discuss Cats in the City with all of you. 

  • So far, the Stick Cat books have proved to be a light and funny way to break up some of the other books I'm currently working my way through. The second one was as charmingly funny as the first. I really think this is a series that young readers are going to love, so let's get down to business and talk about the latest adventures of Stick Cat and Edith.

  • For me, the funniest part(s) of the book were Stick Cat's exasperation with Edith antd how her crazy schemes almost always work out in the end. while I don't want to spoil their antics for potential readers, it is pretty funny how the craziest of plans seem to work out best for them. But I guess that's just how it goes for cats, you know. I'll give you a hint as to what's in-store: clothes pins and a laundry line.

  • In a way, it is still somewhat odd to think that stick characters and animals have proved to be so successful as an art medium for books. While it is far from my ideal form of illustrations, I think there are many readers, especially young ones, that will absolutely love the simple artwork; that and it may even inspire them to either keep creating or begin. 


  • While the plot itself is good, it is, at least to me, meant to be more on the entertaining side and less on the 'learning' side. That's not to say that it isn't worth reading. Just that it is more for pleasure than a epic commentary on what's going on in the world today. I've been studying the Old Testament and digging into theology books this year (yeah, that's some heavy reading), so, this has been a nice, relaxing change of literary pace.

Final Verdict: Cats in the City- Two cats, one (or more) crazy plan(s) = the day being saved (all before their owners return). A nice, light and fun read that would be perfect for young readers.

A copy of this book was received from the publisher for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: A Tail of Two Kitties


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, May 14, 2018

All About Middle Grade Review: A Tail of Two Kitties

past

A Tail of Two Kitties (Stick Cat, 1) by Tom Watson, May 3, 2016. Published by HarperCollins. Source: Publisher.
There’s a new pet in town.

Stick Cat.

It’s a big day in the big city for Stick Cat and his best friend, Edith. There are treasures to hunt, songs to sing, pigeons to catch, and naps to take. But way up on the twenty-third floor, danger lurks just around the corner. Terrible noises and violent crashes trap a desperate man in the building across the alley. Stick Cat will need to navigate his way across the alley—and around Edith’s peculiar ways—to attempt a rescue.

With Tom Watson’s trademark combination of laughs and adventure, Stick Cat’s high-wire act is sure to please cat lovers and Stick Dog fans everywhere. 
First Sentence
Do you remember our deal from the Stick Dog books?


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I Want to Read It (51): Mexican Martyrdom



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.




Mexican Martyrdom: Firsthand Accounts of the Religious Persecution in Mexico 1926-1935 by Wilfred Parsons, January 1993. 316 pages. Published by Tan Books. 
Mexican Martyrdom is a series of true stories of the terrible anti-Catholic persecutions which took place in Mexico in the 1920s. Told by the Jesuit priest, Fr. Wilfrid Parson, these stories are based upon cases he had seen himself or that had been described to him personally by the people who had undergone the atrocities of those times.

Though most contemporary readers don t know it, a full-fledged persecution of the Church, with thousands of martyrdoms, took place in modern times, just south of our own border including the famous Jesuit priest, Fr. Miguel Pro, was martyred before a firing squad during this persecution.

Between the conquest of Mexico by Cortes in 1521, and the Mexican Independence from Spain in 1821, Spain created in Mexico a great Catholic civilization to rival that of any nation in Europe. But when the Great Mexican Revolution began in 1810, this flourishing country began to wither and die. That Revolution was not to end until 1928, with the end of the brutal rule of President Plutarco Elias Calles, though in many ways it continues still. The heroic resistance of Mexican Catholics during this persecution is a great inspiration to Catholics today.

Mexican Martyrdom proves that hatred for the Catholic Church exists even in our times and can still flare into open and bloody persecution in this so-called enlightened age.
Why

I have been wanting to read Mexican Martyrdom for a couple years now. While I still need to read Blood-Drenched Altars first, as is recommended for a broader scope of what is covered in this book. That aside, I'm really looking forward to delving deeper into the persecutions that happened in Mexico during the early to mid-1900s.

Hey y'all, so if you're looking for history books that give a broader, and let's be honest a deeper, look at contested points in history, then just ask me. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: The Vision, vol 1: Little Better Than a Man


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Comic Review: The Vision, vols 1: Little Worse Than a Man


The Vision, vol 1: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King,  Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Artist), Jordie Bellaire (Colorist), Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Mike del Mundo (Cover Artist), July 12, 2016. Published by Marvel. Source: Borrowed from Library.
The Vision wants to be human, and what's more human than family? So he heads back to the beginning, to the laboratory where Ultron created him and molded him into a weapon. The place where he first rebelled against his given destiny and imagined that he could be more -that he could be a man. There, he builds them. A wife, Virginia. Two teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition (or is that obsession?) the unrelenting need to be ordinary.
Behold the Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong? Artificial hearts will be broken, bodies will not stay buried, the truth will not remain hidden, and the Vision will never be the same.


Well, this was perhaps my least favorite comic that I have read in the past six months. Admittedly, I didn't have high hopes for it because I am not a fan of theVision (even less so after reading this).


  • As I said above, I didn't have high hopes for the Vision going in. He's just not a character that I enjoy reading about and his story has never really interested me. The only reason I decided to pick a copy up from the library is that it, well, it was there and I thought maybe it would prove to be fascinating new take on his story. 


  • I will give The Vision: Little Worse Than a Man one point- it was pretty creepy the story they created here. It was more like a dystopian meets sci-fi meets horror, than your typical Marvel comic. Even so, it was not enough to make me fully embrace the madness of the road that the Vision was heading down. I'll be blunt, the story they created is creepy in more than one way. The first being that you have this machine trying to replicate the dynamics of a normal family, which is not possible no matter how hard he tries. The second being that what comes out of his meddling in things not possible, hmm reminds me so much of Tony Stark and his ego, is nothing short of insanity. 


  • You know what else this book left me feeling, a stronger sense that Iron Man is the biggest problem in the Marvel U as he seems to be the cause of 75% of their problems. But that's a conversation for another time and place. 


  • As much as I disliked the story-line, the artwork really brought things to such vivid life. I felt the artist and colorist really did an excellent job of bringing out the visual aspect of the story. Yeah, it was probably my favorite part because you could really see the madness of the entire plot popping off the pages. Even so, it was not enough to make me see the story in a more favorable light.

Final Verdict: The Vision, vol 1: Little More Than a Man- Well, I'll leave it at this: Not for me. This failed to really hook me, other than leave me horrified in a can't turn away kind of way, and this will be one that I don't plan on pursuing any further than this.
A copy of this book was borrowed from the library. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Comic Review: Mockingbird, vol 1: I Can Explain



Mockingbird, vol 1: I Can Explain by  Chelsea Cain with illustrations by Kate Niemczyk, November 1, 2016. 136 pages. Published by Marvel. Source: Borrowed from Library.
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bobbi Morse, the former Avenger known as Mockingbird, goes solo in her own incredible adventures! With a scientific mind and a lethal mastery of martial arts, she's one of the most versatile, in-demand assets at Maria Hill's disposal - that makes her ideal for investigating strange goings-on in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s own medical and recovery network. And when Lance Hunter's undercover gig at the London Hellfire Club goes south, Mockingbird sets off, battle staves at the ready, to save him - and the Queen of England! From helping out a teen driven bonkers by her own new powers, to doing a little dog-sitting, Bobbi shows that she's a woman of many talents as bestselling author Chelsea Cain and artist Kate Niemczyk make Mockingbird sing!


Why, yes, I am familiar with the character Mockingbird. Even though I had not read any comics prior to this one that was solely about her, I did know her from the occasional appearance in other series.
  • Did I love it 100%? No. Was Mockingbird: I Can Explain entertaining? Fairly. Like all things, it had both its good and bad points. It was far from perfect, but it was a good building block for getting to know Bobbi and her story within the Marvel U. So, let's get down to the good/bad of the bind-up.
  • Let's talk about the good points first. It was more humorous than I thought it would be. Humor aside, what I really found most enjoyable about these volumes was Bobbi herself. Especially in the scenes that had to do with all those (required) doctor visits; the sass is strong with this one. I'll admit, her character was not as fun to read about when Lance was involved with the story as he just brought the story down completely (more on that later).
  • Though it was pretty enjoyable, there were a few things that kept me from enjoying it half as much as I hoped. For instance, Lance. Every scene that he was in totally brought down the overall story as he did not bring anything to the table. You know how as women we, and rightly so, get angry when in media women are objectified. Well, what we have hear is the reverse; and let me tell you, I am just as much angered that they basically turned this, lame to begin with, male character into a scantily clad piece of 'fanservice'. Let's just remember, if you don't like male creators treating women like objects, than maybe female creators shouldn't sink to their level and do the same thing. Yeah, I have a lot of problems with the whole double-standard that certain creators use within their art. This is also why I didn't love this batch of comics as much as I wanted to.  
  • While I mostly enjoyed learning more about Bobbi (aka Mockingbird), at times it felt like they were trying way too hard to make her fill some odd role. It would have been way more interesting if they had just focused on what makes her such an interesting character; that and not pulling in a male character that gave absolutely nothing to the story (their banter wasn't even funny). Where the comic does excel, is when it is just Bobbi taking control of the situation and showing what she's made of. 

  • As to the artwork: For the most part I really enjoyed they way the artist brought the Bobbi's world to life. The facial expressions were definitely one of the best parts as it so perfectly captured her attitude. I actually kind of liked how the artwork subtly changed from volume to volume because the small changes helped it to match up with what was going on (from the zombie-ish to kids breaking out with powers).


Final Verdict: Mockingbird: I Can Explain- Good artwork with an okay at times story-line. Definitely looking forward to following more of Mockingbird/Bobbi's story as the next few volumes unfold.


A copy of this book was borrowed from the library. All thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Mockingbird, vol 1: I Can Explain


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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