Sunday, December 23, 2012

A few random reads

I read The Red Pyramid, first in The Kane Chronicles, by Rick Riordan. Carter and Sadie are brother and sister even though they were raised apart and hardly know each other. On one particularly exciting visit to the British Museum they discover they are from a family of Egyptian magicians, and they are descended from pharaohs. Their father, releases some gods, which then inhabit the bodies of Carter and Sadie who must learn to control the gods and develop their own magical powers whiles saving the world from Set and other evil forces. A fun introduction to Egyptian mythology. I thought Sadie's "Britishness" was a little bit forced, but still an enjoyable book.

Work on Purpose is by Lara Galinsky of Echoing Green which provides funding to social entrepreneurs. The book is about using your passion and your skills and knowledge to find the work you should do.

How to be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Home, Community, and World - at No Cost! by Nicole Bouchard Bolee. These are just everyday actions and resources available to everyone who wants to make a positive difference in the world. I don't think any of these things really make a difference on a large scale, but sometimes the most important thing is to change yourself and your perspective and attitude. The suggestions in this book help with that.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. I was looking forward to this because Selznick has written and/or illustrated some of my favorite children's books. This is a quick read; even though it's 600 pages long, most of them are illustrations. It alternates between the stories of Brian (in text) and Rose (in illustrations). Both are deaf and living 50 years apart. They both run away in search of a place to belong and end up in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. I didn't find the back and forth between the two stories confusing. The stories were similar and clearly related in some way, and in fact were tied together by the end of the book. I found it to be a little predictable and too simple, maybe (I'm not sure if that is the correct word). I suspect children reading it would not have the same issues that I did. While it's nowhere near as good as The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it was still an enjoyable story and worth reading.

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