Tuesday, January 31, 2006

An Innocent Soldier by Josef Holub

The year is 1800. Napoleon has just called a draft for all able bodied men ages 17 and older to form a grand army and march on Russia. A sixteen-year-old orphan farm hand is taken to the draft by his wealthy farmer and substituted for the farmers 17-year-old son. The bewildered young man soon finds himself with a new name, a uniform and training. From the outset there is a sargeant who harasses and bullies him. Due to his familiarity with horses he is soon assigned to be a servant to a young lieutenant no older than himself. For the pair this invasion becomes more survival from the illnesses and lack of food, water, clothing and other supplies that plague the too big, undersupplied army. It doesn't take long for the pair to become close friends though one is wellborn and the other is poor. The lieutenant can use his influence to help the duo through some bad spots and Adam has skills as a thief and farmhand that go a long way towards helping them survive. These two friends witness all the horrors of war from those who died from grievous wounds to those who steal from those in need for their own bounty to abused horses, people and animals dead of starvation, freezing, cholera. Adam is very practical about his situation and the story is even funny in places. These two teenagers are quite likeable. If you know history you know how badly Napoleon misjudged this invasion, if you don't this book is a good way to learn a little history. jdw 1/31/06

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Crackback by John Coy

Miles Manning isn't that coolest guy in school, or the guy that gets all the hot good looking girls but there is one thing that Miles is good at, in fact he may be the best at it, football. He is so good that he made the varsity starting squad in his sophmore year. His best friend Zach plays on the other side with him and everbody is counting on them to take state.

Miles thinks this is going to be the easist thing to win since their school is rated the best in the state, their star quaterback is one of the best players on the team and their defense is the envy of every school in the state. Then everything changes for the worst, first head coach gets sick and has to step down and the replacement coach is not too fond on the style and play of Miles, then his best friend is trying to get him to use performance enhancer to help him get better physically. But the worst thing of them all is Miles' father, who gives him the hardest time and is difficult to please. Can Miles stick it through and finsh the season as champions as pridicted?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Come Back to Afghanistan By:Said Hyder Akbar

Someone has commented that this novel is our passport to the battle for for the soul of Afghanistan . The author of the book travels, leaving the comforts of home, which is California; venturing where few dare to go on a trip. This novel offers profound truths about U.S. policy in the Middle East.

This book deals with post taliban government. Later on, the author's father of the book becomes governor of a province that borders on Pakistan. Tonight as I watch CNN live, I feel I was actually living over again this novel. We see live shots of Afghanistan, and bombed out buildings. I learned that hospitality is a big culture tradition in Afghanistan.

No wonder the U.S. cannot catch Al Qaeda in Afghanistan . The country is called the graveyard of empires; there's no way anyone could conquer the areas that are so rugged, and very dry.

This book is so interesting, and true to today's politics it makes you wonder why we as U.S. supporters we didnot pay attention sooner to Afghanistan needs.

This book is an excellent read.

LRD 1/16/06

Thursday, January 12, 2006

All Rivers Flow to the Sea by Alison McGhee

In All Rivers Flow to the Sea Rose and her sister Ivy were in a car accident. Ivy now lays in a hospital bed with a brain hemorrhage, which makes her brain dead. She is alive but just barely. Rose goes back to her normal routine but she is always thinking about Ivy. She goes and visits her daily. Rose finds solance in Tom Miller whose father died, so he knows what it is like to lose someone you love. Tom helps Rose through the months that Ivy is in the hospital and she falls in love with him.

Tom Burnham

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Alichino vol. 1 by Shurei

In this manga from Tokyopop we meet Tsugiri and shape changers known as Alichino. Alichino are drawn to humans by their intense suffering. They have the power to grant sufferers their greatest wishes and end the suffering. But their goodness is all an illusion for payment is the loss of the human soul to feed the Alichino power. Only a kusabi with a completely pure soul can stop an Alichino but if an Alichino devours his soul first its the ULTIMATE way to enhance his own powers and they will kill any human in their way. Tsugiri is kusabi. Long protected by others who cherish his goodness, he grew up while most kusabi never make it to adulthood. Now he must deal with who and what he is, and the deaths caused by his living. Pretty illustrations, confusing story so far. We have vol. 2 as well.
jdw 1/11/06