Book Review: The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket

The Lump of Coal

by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist (Illustrator)

This is a story about a lump of coal who can think, talk, and move itself around.

Is there a more charming holiday tale to behold? Probably, but Lemony Snicket has not written one.



I absolutely loved this book. In true Lemony Snicket fashion, the book talks to the reader, engaging them, and is full of dry wit. The illustrations, also, are wonderful and amusing, full of great detail.

This is a funny little story about the adventures of a lump of coal looking for a Christmas miracle. He just wants to be creative and draw charcoal lines and maybe barbecue some meat — he is a lump of coal, after all.

I think kids, especially young school aged kids, and adults alike will enjoy this quirky, off beat story that embraces the importance of miracles and creativity.

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Book Review: Equal Rites

Equal Rites (Discworld #3)

On Discworld, a dying wizard tries to pass on his powers to an eighth son of an eighth son, who is just at that moment being born. The fact that the son is actually a daughter is discovered just a little too late. The town witch insists on turning the baby into a perfectly normal witch, thus mending the magical damage of the wizard’s mistake. But now the young girl will be forced to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Unseen University–and attempt to save the world with one well-placed kick in some enchanted shins!
I have become totally enchanted with Terry Pratchett and the Discworld series. I really don’t know why I wasn’t reading this series earlier.
Equal Rites is the third installment of this series, and the first in the Witches part of the  series. You don’t need to read these in order, which is great in such a large series (41 books long!). I have read the first two books and loved them, but Equal Rites is even better.
The story follows a young witch named Esk as she figures out her wizarding powers — girls aren’t allowed to be wizards, but the wizarding staff given to Esk at her birth doesn’t know that. In the Discworld, women can be witches and men can be wizards and their magic is separate.
Esk is a great character and it was easy to root for her in her quest. Granny, the witch who trains her, is fantastic. She’s got an eccentric practicality and worldview that had me hooked right from the start. I could just picture her on her faulty boomstick, too set in her ways to fly too high or too fast, and, for some reason, I love how much she loves her goats. Both Esk and Granny drew me into this magical world in their own way, and I hope they crop up in another book because I am anxious to see them  again.
I love how Pratchett creates worlds and uses irreverent humour and witty observations to explore what’s going on. He has a way with juxtaposition and pointing out the small details that paint a rich picture. There are so many times when I stopped to reread a sentence or paragraph just because it was so well written or summed up a “truth” in an eloquent few words.



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Book Review: The NecroNomNomNomicon: Cookbook of the Dead

The NecroNomNomNomicon: Cookbook of the Dead

The Harrison family is dragged into the bizarre world of the supernatural as they become the pawns of the Cookbook of the Dead, in its bid to bring on its supernaturally flavored apocalypse. Boy, the family dog struggles to keep his family out of the Frying pan AND the fire as he defeats the Cookbook’s minions along the way.
Piers Anthony has this to say about The NecroNmNomNomicon: The Cookbook of the Dead:”…a rather original story centered on fantastic cooking – literally fantastic, literally cooking – merged with a boy and dog story. It’s pretty wild from the start, with the boy’s mother a superlatively bad cook getting into a televised cooking contest, and demonic figures being fended off by the dog. There is romance along the way, and plotting by evil figures, and of course that carnivorous sheep.. I think young readers will like it.” -Piers Anthony

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Author Interview: Josef Matulich

Today I get to introduce author Josef Matulich to my blog.

Power Tools coverWhat genre(s) do you write in? Tell us about your books.

It is difficult to put a genre to what I write. I usually call it horror/comedy with just a bit of smut for flavoring. That pretty much mirrors my real life.

What book are you promoting right now? What is it about?

That would be “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove,” the second book of my Arcanum Faire trilogy, a comedy of sex, magick, and power tools. The hero, Marc Sindri, is a practical tool-obsessed contractor sent to Arcanum, Ohio to build a renaissance faire. In the first book, Camp Arcanum, Marc meets a lovely Wiccan named Brenwyn, crosses her demonologist ex Jeremiah, and keeps his own two assistants Michael and Eleazar from killing each other in an escalating prank war. In the second book, Marc must meet his construction deadlines in spite of being nearly crippled by something ancient and evil conjured by Jeremiah. He supervises work through telepresence devices in the trees while fending off the incursions of OSHA, the Vatican, and Jeremiah’s whole family. All this while staying with Brenwyn for her magickal protection and hopefully not succumbing to the temptation to engage in sex which might cripple him for life. Read more

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