Friday, March 22, 2013


“To add a library to a house is to give that house a soul.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero


By: Ridley Pearson

Genre: Young Adult fiction, fantasy at Walt Disney World.

Imagine being a 14 year old teen model asked to be a DHI (Disney Holographic Image) to act as a tour guide for the Magic Kingdom at the “happiest place on earth”.  Then imagine something goes wrong with your computer program and you find yourself each night waking up as a hologram in the Magic Kingdom Park battling the Disney villains for control of the Magic Kingdom.  That was the premise of the first fast moving book.

In this second in the series the five teens find themselves battling for control of the Animal Kingdom, and maybe all the outside world as the evil witch, Maleficent from Snow White, escapes her captivity to try and team up with the most evil of all the Disney villains.

That is the very simplest of explanations of the plot of “Disney at Dawn”, but there are various sub plots and fairly fast moving action throughout the book.

This is not why I love this series so much though.  As an avid Walt Disney World fan I am intrigued by all the behind the scenes information about the park that is included in the book series.  

The first book,”Disney After Dark” (which I recommend you read first),  took you inside the castle to Walt’s private apartment, the apartment over the fire station and various other backstage production areas of the Magic Kingdom.  

In “Disney at Dawn” the back stage tours continue, in the Animal Kingdom park, complete with an explanation as to how the tigers are moved around in Maharajah Jungle Trek for the safety of all concerned. 

These back stage tours make me all the more anxious to get back to Walt Disney World and to check out all the areas that are listed to see what is fact and fiction in the public areas.

If you were a fan of such young adult books as “The Hardy Boys”, “Nancy Drew” and yes even good ole “Harry Potter” you will probably enjoy the Kingdom Keeper series, although the writing is not near as intense as Harry Potter, it does move quickly and keeps your interest. 

I give this series of books a good solid B in my rating system for light and quick reading.

Jan who will admit she is still a kid at heart and enjoys young adult fiction books for light entertainment in OK

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.
- B.B. King


How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse

By Sam Sheridan
               Genre: Non-fiction on prepping with a little fiction thrown in.

When I asked about what types of books I should write reviews about people responded frequently they wanted to hear about books on prepping.  With the state of the world around us I understand this completely.  They wanted both fiction and non-fiction on the subject.  This book fills the bill on both levels.

Sam Sheridan writes about his true life mission to become safe in the world no matter how or when the apocalypse hits. 

Before marrying and having a son he was an adventurer. He had worked as an EMT, a wilderness firefighter, a sailor, a cowboy, and even a construction worker at the South Pole. 

He had also traveled the world as an amateur boxer and mixed martial arts fighter.  He had thought he was prepared for anything and everything and he worried it would all hit the fan some day.  He had been a soul that was filled with what ifs from childhood.

Then he married and had a child and he suddenly realized full force how unprepared he was.  This book is the story of his journey to be more prepared than your average prepper.  Well beyond the usual buckets of grain and deodorant in the basement. 

The fiction in the book is the ongoing “story” of why he sought training in so many fields.  The fictional story starts with the “big one” hitting near his home in Los Angeles, CA and with his son and wife trapped in the back seat of their car under a slab of bridge.

In this scenario he needs to figure out how to rescue them before a semi-truck that is dangling on the remaining bridge pieces above them falls to crush them fatally.  Obviously he needs to move the heavy concrete swiftly and get them out of the car, but how? 

This is where the non-fiction steps in and he tells of seeking out an Olympic weight lifter for specialized training.  He goes into the details of how to do a proper lift.  He gives some wonderful detail on the type of training he received, who he received it from and what NOT to do. 

Back at the fiction part you find out if the training works, or what other knowledge he might have to include to protect his little family as they struggle to survive not only the earthquake, but other scenarios as they struggle to live the next several years in TEOTWAWKI.

The continuing story covers just about every apocalyptic scenario you can think of and the specialized training he took in real life to not only survive, but to thrive.

It’s all covered from rioting gangs, thru zombie attacks, to three years of solid snow. You learn along with him on how to drive like a stunt driver, shoot like a sniper, knife fight dirty, steal cars, do first aid, drive a sled dog team, build an igloo and much more.

Survival is the theme of this nomadic family as they flee LA just ahead of the mechanical giant alien spiders and run into other troubles along the way.

The book is written in a no nonsense manner and if you are easily offended by the rare swear word (and I do mean rare in this book) then this book is not for you.  If you are interested in learning some basics on survival in all aspects of a possible TEOTWAWKI situation then it is a good book to read to get the basics of true survival under your belt.

In my rating system I gave it a B.  Although the swear words were rare, I saw no need for them at all, but that is my own preference and that is not why I gave it a B.

Parts of the book really dragged for me.  I know that at my current age I am not going to go train with an Olympic weight lifter, nor am I likely to take up Eskrima.  I’d be happy just to be able to pick up a fifty pound bag of feed and carry it right now.  So all of the training detail was a bit slow for me.  I did read it thoroughly though so I’d know how to move that feed without hurting my back in the future.

Nor am I ever likely to take on a gang of zombie like creatures intent on eating me and mine for dinner with nothing but a sharp knife.  Yet, I did read that section in case I do ever find I might need to.  I’m going to be the pot roast for certain.

Like I said the book drug a bit for me toward the end, after the fictional part was finished and I more skimmed than read the last few pages.  But then it was late that night and I was tired. 

Would I recommend this book?  Yes, if for no other reason than to be an eye opener as to how unprepared we all are for any doomsday scenario.

Jan who needs to take the stairs more so she could possibly at least walk to safety in a hurry if need be in OK