Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday #14: Top 10 All Time Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

So today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is my top 10 Favorite Authors of all time!

So, here's my top 10 favorite authors of all time (in no particular order).

1. Neil Gaiman

I have always enjoyed Neil Gaiman's stories.  They are so full of wonder and pure creativity that I often find myself enjoying every new book he has written!

Favorite Books:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Sandman Comics

2. Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta was the first Aussie author I had ever read from and her stories are truly heartwarming and realistic as I find myself relating to many of the characters from her books.

Favorite Books:

The Piper'sSon
Jellicoe Road
Saving Francesca

3. Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas is truly one of the best romance authors out there and her romance titles are truly amazing to read!

Favorite Books:

Devil in Winter
It Happened One Autumn
Mine Til Midnight

4. Teresa Medeiros

Teresa Medeiros was the first romance author I had ever read from and becasue of that, her stories are truly memorable to read!

Favorite Books:

The Devil Wears Plaids
The Pleasure of Your Kiss
Nobody's Darling

5. Laini Taylor

Even though I just recently got into her work, Laini Taylor's "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" series has seriously become one of my most favorite fantasy titles ever!

Favorite Books:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Days of Blood and Starlight

6. J.K. Rowling

As a true Harry Potter fan, J.K. Rowling's books have really changed my whole perspecttive on the YA crowd and it is a wonderful treat to read her works over and over again!

Favorite Books:

The Harry Potter Series

7. Marissa Meyer

After reading Cinder, I was quite impressed with Marissa Meyer's skills in retelling ancient fairy tales and she has definitely earned her place on my top authors list for that reason!

Favorite Books:


8. Stephanie Perkins

I just loved "Lola and the Boy Next Door" and there is always something cute about Stephanie Perkins' books that I love reading about!

Favorite Books:

Lola and the Boy Next Door

9. Henrik Drescher

With his amazing and surreal aartwork and easy going storytelling, Henrik Dresscher has become of my most favorite authors and artists that I had ever read! 

Favorite Books:

Simon's Book
Looking for Santa Claus
The Fool and the Flying Ship (artwork)

10. Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss is seriously one of the most influential authors in the children's book community and his books continue to remain favorites in my heart for many years!

Favorite Books:

The Cat in the Hat
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The Lorax

So, who are your favorite authors of all time? Please feel free to comment below!

Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Saturday, April 18, 2015

[BOOK REVIEW] Anansi by Brian Gleeson

Title:  Anansi

Author:  Brian Gleeson

Artist:   Steven Guarnaccia

Genre:  Comedy / Jamaica / Animals / Morals / Trickery

Year Published: 1991

Year Read:  1993

Rabbit Ears Books     

Series: We All Have Tales

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Death of a Family Member)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository 
I have seen many videos from Rabbit Ears Productions and my favorite ones were “The Fool and the Flying Ship” and “The Fisherman and his Wife.” But now, I have stumbled upon another video from the Rabbit Ears series that has also become a favorite of mine and that video is “Anansi.” “Anansi” has become one of my favorite Rabbit Ears videos because of its Jamaican theme story and Denzel Washington’s dazzling narration. Unlike, most Rabbit Ears stories, “Anansi” has two stories combined into one story.  
“Anansi” is full of positive  elements that I would like to point out. One of those positive elements is Denzel Washington’s narration. Denzel Washington does a terrific job at narrating this story as he speaks with a fluent Jamaican accent making the audience believe that he is really from Jamaica. Probably one of the most memorable quotes  spoken by Denzel Washington was when Anansi was telling the other animals he will not eat anything until the eighth day which he brilliantly states, “Me eat on the eighth day!” Another positive element in this story was the music done by UB40. UB40 provides the perfect Jamaican score to match  the laid back mood of the story. One great example of UB40’s masterful skills in making Jamaican music was when they start to pace up the beat when Anansi is dancing around trying to get the hot beans off his head and when they create a sharp beat of saws and hammers when reacting the scene where the African-Americans were being sold to slavery in the beginning of the story. The last positive element that I would like to point out is in Steven Guarnaccia’s illustrations. Steven Guarnaccia’s illustrations are jagged yet creative in making the glorious drawings of Anansi and his animal friends. My favorite illustration by Steven Guarnaccia was of Anansi the spider himself as he was portrayed as a Jamaican spider with black dreadlocks and a yellow and orange Hawaiian T-shirt. 
“Anansi” is a classic among both adults and children because the children will enjoy the colorful drawings done by Steven Guarnaccia and the masterful storytelling by Denzel Washington. Parents would also enjoy this story because they may have been big fans of Denzel Washington and would not be disappointed for his performance in this short  story. Since, there is nothing inappropriate in this story, “Anansi” is a perfect video to watch for the entire family. However, due to lack of animation in this video, some kids who are more familiar with action may find this video a tad bit boring, but Denzel Washington’s narration, UB40’s music and Steven Guarnaccia’s illustrations will keep the kids interested.

[BOOK REVIEW] Mose the Fireman by Eric Metaxas

Title:  Mose the Fireman

Author:  Eric Metaxas

Artist:  Everett Peck

Genre:  Adventure / New York / Firefighters / Tall Tale

Year Published: 1993

Year Read:  2009

Rabbit Ears Books     

Series: American Heroes and Legends   

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+  (Nothing Objectionable)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository 

“Mose the Fireman” is a brilliant story from Rabbit Ears Productions about how New York’s greatest fireman, Moses “Mose” Humphrey single  handily saves New York city from fires everywhere. Michael Keaton’s New York accented narration along with Walter Becker and John Beasley’s jazzy music and Everett Peck’s scratchy yet hilarious illustrations make “Mose the Fireman” a worthy video for children to watch for many years.
Moses Humphrey was born in 1809, the same year that Abraham Lincoln was born and one winter, there was an enormous fire in New York and it spread all over the city. While the firemen were putting out the fire, there was suddenly a huge explosion from one of the buildings as the top half of one of the buildings was blasted to pieces and the pieces of the top half of the building fell into the East River. The firemen thought that everyone who was trapped in the building was given up for dead until one of the fireman from engine number  forty heard a cry in a busted hog head. When the firemen went to inspect the hog head, they found a small red-headed baby inside the hog head and the firemen of engine number forty decided to adopt the child and they named him Moses, but everyone called him Mose.
Michael Keaton’s narration is brilliant and creative as he uses a New York accent to narrate the story, giving the story a spirited feel of the city of New York. Also, Michael Keaton sounds extremely rough yet smooth when he is narrating this story, making the characters, mainly Mose, somewhat tough guys while they save the town at the same time. Walter Becker and John Beasley’s music is jazzy and truly captures the spirit of New York. The music is also frenetic during the action scenes, making the scenes stand out very well as there is some tension added towards the music and yet the music is still jazzy enough to make people dance through the dramatic scenes rather than wait  in anticipation about what is going to happen next in the scene. Everett Peck’s illustrations are scratchy yet hilarious at the same time, giving a rough feel to the story. The illustration that is the true highlight of the story is the illustration of Mose himself as he has a squared chin and is extremely muscular and yet has a friendly  smile on his face throughout the video, making him somewhat a tough character who loves to help people wherever he goes.

“Mose the Fireman” is a great story for children who love to read stories about the world of firefighting and who also love to read about various tall tales in America . I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since some of Michael Keaton’s narration might be a bit too hard for smaller children to understand.

[BOOK REVIEW] Follow the Drinking Gourd by Bernardine Connelly

Title:  Follow the Drinking Gourd

Author:  Bernardine Connelly

Artist: Yvonne Buchanan

Genre:  Family / African American / Slavery / Drama / Racism

Year Published: 1992

Year Read:  1993

Rabbit Ears Books

Series: American Heroes and Legends

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Themes of Racism and Slavery)

Buy or Add on:  Amazon  //  Goodreads 

“Follow the Drinking Gourd” is another tender story from Rabbit Ears’ “American Heroes and Legends” series and it masterfully details the story of how a family of African-American slaves tried to escape slavery through the Underground Railroad.  This story is clearly one of Rabbit Ears’ best stories and also their most dramatic story ever created.
Morgan Freeman’s tender narration is perfect for this story as he narrates with emotion and coolness about a family’s efforts to escape the hardships of the cotton plantation.  Morgan Freeman’s highlighted moment in this story comes when he makes a “FWAP!” sound effect when Mary’s mother covers her daughter’s mouth with her hand.  Taj Mahal’s guitar music is memorizing and perfect for the mood of this story, which is sad and tender as he expresses the family’s feelings about being slaves in a sorrowful guitar solo and when he sings the lyrics to the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” he sounds so dense and sad yet beautiful and peaceful.  Yvonne Buchanan’s illustrations are colorful and beautiful especially of the image of Mary herself as a light brown haired beauty who wears an old fashioned red checkered dress, as shown on the cover.

“Follow the Drinking Gourd” is a true dramatic story about the Underground Railroad and it shows the bravery of the family in a positive light as they struggled to find the freedom that they longed for.  This story is a true masterpiece and is probably one of Rabbit Ears’ finest stories ever told and children ages five and up will truly appreciate this story of courage and wit.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Sunday Post Meme (24)

Hey everybody! I am participating in a book meme called the Sunday Post which is being hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer! The goal of this meme is to share news you have on various books and things you’ve read or received and also talk about what is coming up for your blog! Book hauls can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books and you can share these finds with other book bloggers!

Hey everyone! Now, I know that I haven't  been around lately and that was because I had just recently gotten a new job at Dollar General and so far, I'm still having a bit of trouble understanding everything that goes on there, but I am getting a little better at it!  Hopefully, I'll be able to get back to reading as soon as possible and try to balance my new job with my reading (because I seriously want to get back to reading books again)!

Feature and Follow Friday #6: April Passing By 

Well, that’s the Sunday News for today and I will have more news for the various books I’ve read in the near future!

Posted on Sunday, April 12, 2015.