Sunday, June 21, 2015

Triumph! 48 Hour Book Challenge Finish Line

The Iron Guy has not only finished his 48 Hour Book Challenge but has triumphed, making this year his personal best. Here's the rundown:

Saturday--started at 8:00 am, read The Boundless and listened to Airborn until 3:00 pm, did an hour of social media, looking and commenting on other blogs for an hour, then listened to Airborn and read Yeah, Yeah, Yeah (a really good book, a fascinating read full of info on the backgrounds on the Beatles that I didn't know--and I grew up in that era!) until 10:00 pm for a total of 14 hours.

Sunday--started at 7:30 am listened to Airborn and read Reflections on the Psalms by C. S. Lewis until 9:00 then started again at 4:30 pm and read and finished The Boundless, listened to more of Airborn and read more of Yeah, Yeah, Yeah and did a little more social media until 11:30 for a total of 9 hours today, bringing the grand total to 22 and 1/2 hours, a new personal best for the Iron Guy. And even though I had only four items this weekend (I must confess that I read slowly), I read/listened to a lot of truly good stuff and will give each item the full review it desreves during the week. Yes, the Iron Guy is always ready to push himself to the utmost so that boys everywhere can learn more about great reads but, hey, that's just what MANLY MEN do!

Second Report from the Front!

Yes! It took a while but I finished one book this afternoon, The Boundless by Kenneth Oppell. What a book it was! Action, adventure, magic, all accompanied by a colorful cast of good guys and a nasty villain. Everything boys could want in a book. I'll give full reviews later in the week. Also spent time with another Kenneth Oppell book, the audiobook version of Airborn and, wow! Remember how I said, in my last post, that the book took a while to get going but cool things were about to happen? Well, I was more than repaid for my patience. After chapter 5, the action picked up and it's been a wonderful and fun ride ever since.

This needs to be a short post. My time officially ends at 11:30 pm and it's 11:00 pm now. I'll have my final post up tomorrow morning. I've put in roughly 10 hours today. When I figure it up tomorrow, I may have a personal best!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

First Check In: "You Can't Find a Cup of Tea Big Enough or a Book Long Enough to Suit Me."

That's what C. S. Lewis once said and he's right. I love tea and I love books--things that all MANLY MEN enjoy. Seriously, though, I've been reading a lot as part of the 48 Hour Book Challenge and its been a lot of fun. I've gone through two cups of Darjeeling tea (which I've drunk from my very MANLY Carolinas Panther mug) and have been steadily reading The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel and listening to Airborn, also by Kenneth Oppel. What terrific books! The Boundless (recommended by our friend and reader guy Mighty Micah) is a really good adventure story about the world's longest train, a boy who gets lost and nearly separated from the train, a murderer trying to find him, a sasquatch and every boy's dream, which is, according to page 141, is to join the circus. I'm a little over halfway through and enjoying it immensely.

But even the Iron Guy can't sit and read all the time. I still have to walk the dog, put away laundry (yes, MANLY MEN do their own laundry!) and do a few other things which get me off my chair. That's why it's great that we can listen to an audiobook during the Challenge--we can still "read" while doing other things. Well, this is one very terrific audiobook. It's long--about 10 1/2 hours--but it has really drawn me in. I'll give a full review another time but let me just say for now that it creates a totally believable alternate universe and populates it with good and interesting characters that you want to hear more about. It's not a book that starts off with a bang; I'm on chapter 5 and there has only been one thrilling event, a mid-air rescue in chapter one. This book takes it's own sweet time to set up the good stuff but there promises to be some very cool things happening before long. This is one of those books that, as C. S. Lewis would say, can't be long enough.

So I started reading and listening at 8:00 am and now it's 3:00 pm, so that makes seven hours of reading listening so far. I'm going to check out what my fellow bloggers have been doing and then get back to it.

ONWARD, fellow readers!

Friday, June 19, 2015

48 Hour Book Challenge--2015 Edition

Yes, reader guys everywhere, it's June once again and that means it's time for the Iron Guy's annual test of endurance and stamina, that time when he pushes his amazing MANLY MANLINESS to limits undreamed of. In other words, it's time for the 48 Hour Book Challenge, a weekend in which lots of kidlit book bloggers see how many hours they can read in a 48-hour period. The Iron Guy has done this in the past and has, of course, held the blog world in awe of his ability to sit in one spot and read. (click on the "48 hour book challenge" tab under this post to see what I've done in the past 48 Hour Challenges) This year promises to be one of the best ever, so stay tuned to this blog and see Iron Guy achieve even greater awesomeness!

What will I read this weekend? Well, I plan to finish a couple of books on my TBR ("to be read") list but there are a couple of others:


The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel--Our friend Mighty Micah recommended this one to me, so how could I refuse?










Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! : the Beatles, Beatlemania, and the Music That Changed the World by Bob Spitz--The story of the greatest rock band of all time. Gotta be a good one.








We're also allowed to listen to one audiobook, so I've got Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. Yes, that's two books by the same author in one weekend but this one is supposed to be really good, so why not?

OK, then. I'll officially start the challenge later tonight(actually started @ 11:30 pm--update from this afternoon), so watch this blog and follow the progress of the incredible--

IRON GUY!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Third Meeting of the Boys Read and Write Club

That's right, guys, we held the third meeting of the totally hip and happening Boys Read and Write Club last Saturday. And we had a good time too! Our friend Mighty Micah, who was at the second meeting, couldn't be here this month but we did have a great new friend come for the first time. His name is Walden and he likes mystery and comedy books. But I'll get to that in a minute. Our club always starts off with an activity, so this time we tried the Balance and Rescue activity from the upcoming Superhero Training Camp program. (which will happen at 2:00 pm on June 30 here at the Myers Park library) I put two rows of narrow tape down on the floor. One row of tape represented a cord stretched between tall buildings; the other was a wire over a deep prehistoric canyon. At the end of each row was a Cute Little Bunny that needed rescuing, one from a burning house and one from a T. Rex. If his feet didn't stay on the tape, he'd plunge hundreds of feet to certain destruction. If
he touched the burning house or the T. Rex, he'd be burned to a cinder or snapped up by hungry jaws. Was Walden up to challenge? Of course he was, just like all the MANLY MEN who attend this club! He walked the rows of tape as confidently and sure-footedly as the most fearless mountain goat. In fact, he even managed to walk BACKWARD at one point! What a guy! What a hero! (too bad I don't have any pictures of him performing his mighty deeds available)

After that, we had some snacks and talked about some of our favorite books. Walden has read some books by Gordon Korman that he likes a lot, such as The Masterminds. And, as I said, Walden is a big fan of mysteries and comedy. I wish we would have had some copies of the Brixton Brothers books on hand, so he could have gotten both in the same books.
However, I did have The Wright 3 by Blue Balliet, which has a good bit of mystery. We also had Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look, one of the hold-your-sides-funny books in the Alvin Ho series. He checked them out and will write reviews of them for us. Good choices, Walden! Can't wait to hear what you think of them.


The next meeting of the club will be on Saturday, July 11 at 2:00 pm. Hope to see a bunch of you then!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Super Summer Reading!

Greetings, reader guys and heroes everywhere! Next Monday, June 15, starts the library's ultra-cool and very exciting Summer Reading program. This year's theme is Every Hero Has a Story. Isn't that the perfect theme for GUYS? Doesn't that just make you think of flying through the air or racing through the streets in a high-tech vehicle? Of course it does! Every GUY knows he's really a superhero! Well, all kidding aside, this year's Summer Reading will be a lot of fun. It's a chance to get prizes for reading and participate in great activities. Find out more by going to the library's Summer Reading--Every Hero Has a Story site. It should tell you all you need to know but if you don't understand something, I (or anyone at the library) will be glad to explain to you how it works.

In addition, there will be a Summer Reading Kickoff here on Monday, June 15. We'll have some self-directed activities and Discovery Place will do a program at 2:00 pm. There will also be really good weekly programs like the Storytime Explorers on Monday nights at 6:30 and Tuesdays at 2:00 on (you guessed it) Tuesday afternoons at 2:00 pm.

But the Iron Guy, always looking out terrific stuff for boys to do, has scheduled some things for GUYS. The first is the next monthly meeting of the Boys Read and Write Club on Saturday, June 13 at 2:00 pm. The next will be the first Guys Movie Night on Tuesday, June 30 at 6:00 pm. This will be a chance for boys to come with their dads, grandpas, uncles, older brothers, mentors, etc. and have fun being GUYS by watching a movie together. This month we'll show The Incredibles.


All right, heroes, call the Myers Park library at 704-416-5800 to sign up for these programs. Let's have fun and knock out summer boredom together!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Our First Review From Mighty Micah!

Hey, reader guys everywhere. Have I got something exciting for you--our first review from Micah, the newest member of our very fun Boys Read and Write Club. If you remember, he picked three books to read and write about. And here's his reaction to the first one, The Roar by Emma Clayton. Let's hear what Micah (aka Mighty Micah) has to say:

The Roar is a fictional story placed in future London where the world is divided into two parts, over the wall, where poisonous dust and gas rule the Earth (or so they say), and behind the wall, which is further divided into two subdivisions,  the Shadows, the home of the poor, and the Golden Turrets, the home of the rich.   I liked The Roar because of the excitement throughout the book.  The Roar also contains hope directed toward a better life. 

Mika Smith was born in The Shadows and has lived there his entire life.  Ever since his sister Ellie disappeared one year ago, Mika has been hoping for a chance at a better life and that time is now.

Meanwhile, up in orbit aboard the space Station, The Queen of the North, Mal Gorman, a 108 year old walking zombie has finally struck gold, but what will he do with it. 


Pod Fighter, the tie between Mika and Mal Gorman has come out and now it is time for them to meet.

Thanks, Micah! (Hey--did you notice that the guy in the book is also named Mika?  Of course you did!) I enjoyed this book a whole, whole lot. And I wasn't the only one--that book got more comments than any other ever reviewed on this blog. It has excitement to the max along with thrilling pod fights, a thoroughly despicable villain and a deeply-held secret. Take a look at my original review and all the comments here.

View full imageThe library system has plenty of copies of The Roar. And we also have copies of The Whisper, the sequel, which I haven't read. I haven't heard of Pod Fighter, though, Micah. Is that a new book? I heard Emma Clayton was going to make this a trilogy but I haven't found out anything about a new book. If you know, Micah, or if any of you reader guys know, please tell me in the Comment section below this post. And if you've read The Roar or The Whisper, let me know that too!

BTW, Micah, any time a guy writes in his first review, he gets a free book from our ultra-cool prize box. Come in any time and claim your book!