Thursday, February 16, 2017

Good Quick Reads About Sports

Hey there, guys and sports fans everywhere, this is Iron Guy Carl with a bunch of good books that are fun, interesting (even informative) and don't take very long to finish. I call books like that Good Quick Reads.
Ever since our good friend Ms. Yingling challenged book bloggers to talk more about sports books, the Iron Guy decided to take her up on that challenge. In fact, he even made it a New Year's resolution. So here are my first offerings for 2017:

Free Throw by Jake Maddox--Last year Jason was the tallest kid on the Hampton Hornets and was the star player. But this year, Derek grew five inches and is now the tallest. Coach gives him the center position but now, when Derek has open shots, Jason won't pass the ball to him. And now Derek can't hit his free throws and Jason keeps reminding him about it. Could the team win with all this going on?

Who Is Wayne Gretzky? by Gail Herman, illustrated by Ted Hammond

All guys seem to love the Who Was... or Who Is... series of biographies. And there's a good reason! They are always interesting, always quick to read and always have stories that really draw you in. And they often talk about amazing people. Like Wayne Gretzky. He was a truly incredible athlete, setting unbelievable records. Find out how young he was when he first started skating, why he was called "The Great One," and why he gave the Stanley Cup trophy to another player in 1987.

Who Is Muhammed Ali? by James Buckley, Jr. and illustrated by Stephen Marchesi

Everyone knows about the man who could "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." He lived an epic life, achieving victories no one thought possible, losing it all when he refused to sign up for the Vietnam War and making comeback after comeback. It's a great story and, even if you think you know a lot about him, like the Iron Guy who lived through that whole era, you'll still find out things you never knew! (PS--this book came out in 2014 and Ali has died since then. The book cover you see has been updated in the library's system)

Mickey Mantle: The Commerce Comet by Jonah Winter, illustrated by C. F. Payne

This is an extremely short biography (I read it in about 15 minutes) but, wow, what an impact it had on me! Mickey Mantle set records that have not been broken to this day! But he didn't start out with many advantages--in fact, his home was a "tiny shack with ten people, three beds and no indoor plumbing." Yet he was asked to join the New York Yankees, the greatest team of that time, when he was 16! He was too young, of course, but joined when he was old enough--then an accident happened that affected him for life. What was it? Oh, man, you've got to read this story to find out!

Boys, if you want to read some terrific stories, here they are. Grownups, if you're looking for books for boys who say they don't like to read, hand them one of these. I guarantee you, you will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Once Again--What Do Boys LOVE?

Here it is again, guys. It's February. Time for that cringeworthy holiday. You know which one I mean. The one dedicated to all the things that make Manly Men cringe. Stuff like kissing and romance and looovveee. Yeesh! It's enough to make us run and hide until February 15. But have no fear, boys--the Iron Guy is here to turn your minds from all the (shudder!) romantic scenes all around us.
How MANLY MEN  view romance!

Every few years I write a post about this time that talks about love, as I did in 2014. But not all the mushy looovveee scenes that's surround us now--I write about things that GUYS would LOVE. What do you think they might be?

Extra large cheeseburgers

Yep, that's extra large

Space movies with lots of things that blow up

Pretty much anything with superheroes or pirates


And, based on what you have told me in the past, boys love these book series:

Harry Potter and Percy Jackson (of course!)

The Sea Of Monsters

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society

How about it, guys? Can you think of any others?? Or how about a book you love that not part of a series? Write in and tell us! I have some door hangers for any one who does.

So tell us about a book or books you LOVE and I'll make sure you get one of these. But don't waste your time--tell us soon because that holiday is right around the corner!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The First Terrific Books of 2017

Hey guys, in the last post, I said I was about to finish a really good book and couldn't wait to tell you about it. Well, I finished it yesterday and it's soooo great that I'm really excited about it. Actually, it's the second book in a series, so that means you get to hear about two books in one post. Yes, I know that's generous but that's just how the Iron Guy is!

These terrific reads are the first two books in The Hero's Guide to... series by the amazing Christopher Healy. The first one is The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom and the second is The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle.
Wow. Wow. Wow! Were these ever FUN!!

You know the stories of Snow White, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella? Who were the princes in those stories, hmmm? It was Prince Charming, right? WRONG!! There were actually FOUR princes and not one of them was named Charming--the bards who sang those stories just thought that was more convenient. So what do you really know about them? And about the princesses? Oh, you'd be SURPRISED! One prince would faint at the sight of a wrinkle on his clothes. Another was as big as three football players and charged into situations before thinking about them. And the princesses--what were they like? Well, it would take too long to explain but one prince had a good reason to run when he woke up Sleeping Beauty!

Are you interested now? Well, let me tell you quickly what happens. In the first one, a witch has captured all the bards in the kingdoms and plans to execute them all, so the princes (and the princesses) have to rescue them. In the second, they all have to find and extricate a jeweled sword with a malevolent gem from the Bandit King's castle. Of course, in both these books, NOTHING goes as planned. There are big (and hilarious!) surprises at every turn. And in every kingdom. And in every forest and country road. Along the way, you'll meet a giant with impeccably good manners, find out what trolls really like to eat, and cross a moat full of bladejaw eels.

Guys, do you want action? It's here! Do you want comedy? It's here too. Do you want action and comedy at the same time?? Oh, man, you'll get as much as you would ever want! I can't begin to tell you how much fun you will have reading these books!! So why wait? Go check them out NOW!

There are also audiobook versions. Those would be incredible! And there's one more book in the series--The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw. I'd love to read that one too but need to move on to some other things--like sports books. I'll get back to it one day but if any of you boys get to it before I do, write in and tell us about it. (but no spoilers!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Simple Resolution for 2017

Belated greetings of the new year, guys! The Iron Guy is sorry to have taken so long to post but the first few weeks of the new year are always busy. But I hope to make up for it. And I'll start right away.

A lot of grownups start the new year with resolutions, that is, with commitments to yourself to do something better. Some people want to lose weight, exercise more, stop a bad habit, etc. The Iron Guy usually makes resolutions about what kind of stuff to read, as I did in 2014. I got the idea for this year's resolution from our good friend Ms. Yingling. She wrote a post about a football book called Left Out and challenged bloggers to read more sports books, especially sports fiction. What a great idea! Boys---Sports. It's a natural combination. So why haven't I read more sports books over the years? Such an obvious connection and I missed it! The Iron Guy hangs his head in shame---but only for a moment! Here's a chance to correct that oversight. The Charlotte Meckelnburg library system has lots and lots and lots of books, both fiction and nonfiction, about sports that guys would love. Therefore, Ms. Yingling, I will take you up on your challenge! The books are out there---bring them on!! (I have one already--Free Throw by Jake Maddox. I haven't read it yet but I know his books are quick and good)

Actually, this is a long-term resolution for all of 2017. There are so many sports books that it would take a long time to read even a small amount of them.  Besides, I've got a few other things to do soon. I've got plans for a couple of things on the blog this year. And I'm going to finish a really fun book soon and I can't wait to tell you about it. Then I've got one really, really big (and scary!) project planned for this year that will test the Iron Guy's MANLY MANLINESS to the very limits. What is it? You've got to stay tuned to find out!

The Iron Guy--he loves books, he loves sports.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a very Happy New Year! 2016 was a great year for reading I have no doubt that 2017 will be just as exciting. What were your favorites this year? What do you look forward to reading next year? Write in and tell us and have a--


The iron Guy is excited about great new reading in 2017!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Have a Great Holiday Season--And Do Some Binge Reading!

Greetings of the season, guys! This is a great time of year, isn't it? Lights and decorations are out all over the place, kids get out of school and the grownup world ends its hustle, bustle and stress for a while to reflect on friendship, good cheer, family and good will. (and if you don't those are MANLY virtues, you're WRONG!) I sincerely hope that everyone has a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa this year--which, by happy coincidence, all happen roughly at the same time in 2016.

Now this is time that a lot of bloggers talk about their Best of 2016 Lists or recommend Books For the Holidays (and if you'd like to see some holiday book recommendations, look here and here) but this year the Iron Guy is going to something different while you're out of school.

I'm going to challenge you to do some binge reading.

"What is binge reading?" you  ask. Well, what is binge watching? Everyone knows what that is. This is the same idea. Instead of watching several episodes of your favorite show in a row, take some time to read several books in your favorite series. Or read several of your favorite individual books. Or graphic novels. Or biographies or nonfiction. You get the idea--take take some time and read a bunch. You've got a break from school; why not take some time for some serious binge reading?

The Iron Guy, of course, will lead the way. I'll have a few days off, so I plan to read the first two books in the Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom series. Plus several graphic novels. And some other random things.

What about you? Do you have any favorite series you'd like to catch up on? Of course, there are the usual books--Harry Potter, Percy Jackson/Kane Chronicles/Magnus Chase, The 39 Clues, My Weird School, etc. All of these would be great but let me also suggest:

The Copernicus Legacy
You've heard me talk about this. These would be perfect to binge on over the break. In fact, I got this idea of binge reading from Joanne Roberts, a blogger who left a comment about bingeing (is that spelled right?) on these books on my last post.

The Goofballs and the Secrets of Droon series
Also by Tony Abbott. Great for younger reader guys.

The Alvin Ho series
Funny, funny, funny and also great for younger or older reader guys

And there are many others. So grab a few of your favorites, turn off that computer or TV screen, find a comfortable spot and enjoy some big-time binge reading! Then don't forget to write in and tell us if you do. (that goes for you too, grownups!)

The Iron Guy in his happy holiday place with a MANLY stack of books for binge reading

And have a thoroughly wonderful holiday season!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Crown of Fire--A Fitting End to a Great Series

All right, guys, let me ask you---how do you feel when a favorite TV series ends? Or at the end of a day at a great theme park? Or after you've eaten the last slice of your favorite pizza? Or you happy and satisfied? Or are you a bit sad that it's over? Or do you feel both things at the same time? Well, that's what the Iron Guy is going through right now. I've recently finished The Crown of Fire, the final book in that terrific series The Copernicus Legacy by the unbelievably-talented Tony Abbott. I'm happy and satisfied after such a good read but I enjoyed it so much I wish there could have been more!

Where should I start? It would take way too long to summarize all that's happened in these books, so if you want a quick synopsis of the main plot line, click here for a review of an earlier book. This book wraps up the plot lines; we get to find all the Relics, see what happens when they are joined together (or when at least half of them are put together), learn what happens at CERN, what happens to Becca because of the poisoning, find out what all those nuclear warheads are for and finally discover the secret of Galina's past. Along the way there are characters who jump from building to building while bad guys shoot at them, look for the most powerful Relic in the Antarctic wilderness, have guns pointed at them by art-stealing Nazis, search in creepy flooded caverns under The Monster---and then there's the mind-bending and mind-blowing finale with all the paradoxes that time travel creates. In short, there's enough action and danger to leave any reader happy and satisfied.

There are some book series that grab hold of you so strongly that you spend every spare minute reading them. Then you remember them the rest of your lives. For me, they were the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, (at least the first series) and then the Barnstormers/Sluggers series. Now The Copernicus Legacy joins that proud company. Go find them and read them!! Go find them and read them!! You will be richly rewarded when you do.

PS--don't forget there are also two books in The Copernicus Archives series, which tie in with the four other books and get referenced in this one especially. They are every bit as exciting as the Legacy books.