Here, There Be Dragons, The Chronicles of Imaginarium Geographica written and illustrated by James A. Owen;2006; $9.99; 326 pages; Simon Pulse, New York, NY; 978-1-4169-12228-6; Purchased from Amazon.com; 2/13-2/15
Why did I pick this up? Because I have read it and enjoyed it so I nominated it to be read by the book group I belong to, The Corner Reading Society and it was chosen. I got to read it again because I will be moderating the discussion and because I get to come up with a menu for our meal before the discussion.
What is the story? New authors John, Jack and Charles are pulled into a battle for dominion over the lands of the archipelago, lands from books and stories from our past. Goblins, Trolls, Elves, Fauns, Satyrs, Nemo, Arthur, Deucalion and Pandora are all part of the story. The battles between the forces of good and evil are convincing and exciting.
Did I like it? Yes, even though this is the second time I have read it, it is still an exciting story. I saw even more literary illusions and foreshadowing of the entire series.
What is with the title of the review? As I read this I saw foreshadowing that will affect things through out the rest of the series.
Drawing out the Dragons, A Meditation on Art, Destiny, and the Power of Choice by James A. Owen; 2011; $15.00; 94 pages; Coppervale Press, Taylor, AZ; 978-1-59478-004-2; purchased from the author; 2/4-2/5
Why did I pick this up? James A. Owen is the author of one of my favorite series, The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica and so I have been seeking out other things that he has written.
What is the story? It is a combination of autobiography of the author and lessons that he has learned over the course of his life that can be applied to anyone. There are many affirmations here that should apply to almost everyone. It is a compelling book that has prompted me to start some things.
What is with the title of the review? Along with Sacred Marriage this is a book that I think I will be reading more than once. I think I will probably pick up a second copy so that I can highlight pieces and write notes in it.
I am going to start with the worse books, I didn’t finish one book this year. It was The Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, some of the stories were good, but there were several stories that were just too scientifically dense for me. I gave three books that I did finish a grade of D, Selected Short Stories of William Faulkner; Vietnam, I Pledge Allegiance and Looking for the King, An Inklings Novel. I don’t understand the hoopla about Faulkner, maybe his novels are better and I will try one of the novels, I will ask a friend who was a English teacher which one I should read. Vietnam, I Pledge Allegiance was an interesting story of four friends but there were several inaccuracies which derailed the story for me. Looking for the King which starred C.S. Lewis and J.R.R.Tolkien was just terrible.
Best Single Book: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This was pretty much the most fun I had reading a book this year. Full of movie and music trivia from the 1980’s and a suspenseful story of industrial espionage and life in the near future. The balance between humor and suspense is effectively handled.
Best Series: Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen The Imaginarium Geographica is an atlas of imaginary places that interacts with the real world. There are always three caretakers of the atlas and they are always authors. The authors that are the caretakers in this series are C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams, they are assisted throughout the series by previous caretakers such as Twain, Poe, the Percys, Shakespeare, Defoe, Burton, Wells and many others. Owen deftly combines literary stories into new fresh stories, combining Peter Pan, The Pied Piper and Icarus in one of the stories. Usually when I read a new series I read each one and then put the next one on hold. This time half way through the second book I put the next three on hold. I read through books three, four and five. I managed to read book six before the release because I acquired the authors advanced reading copy. I am really looking forward to reading more by Mr. Owen, the final book in the series comes out in August.
Book that made me think: Unladylike by Pam Hogeweide Pam has written an important book about the role of women in the church. Every man or woman who is involved in a church should read this book. It will make you think about the role we all play in the church.
Best adaption of Shakespeare: Courting Cate by Leslie Gould. This is an adaption of The Taming of the Shrew, best adaption of a that play since the musical Kiss Me Kate. It is the first in a series of three adaptations of Shakespeare that Leslie is writing, the next is Adoring Addie. I am really looking forward to these books, cause like I told Leslie a good story is a good story.
Best Mutilated Book: (also most undesired annotation) The Autobiography of Mark Twain, the book as published is over 700 pages long, but the actual autobiography is only pages 203-467. I cut out those pages and rebound them and read them, it was an awesome autobiography.
Lost Treasures of the Pirates of the Caribbean by James A. Owen and Jeremy Owens; 2007; $16.99; 27 pages; Simon & Schuster Books for Young Children, New York, NY; 978-1-4169-3960-3; Purchased from the author; 11/24-11/24
Why did I pick this up? James A. Owen is the author of The Chronicles of the Imaganarium Geographica, a series that I discovered and devoured this year.
What is the story? There are supposed reproductions of several pirates’ maps and stories about some of the pirates and a riddle which if solved will lead to another map.
Did I like it? It was not what I expected from James A. Owen, and I was disappointed. I am not going to grade it because there is no real story to render judgement upon.
What is with the title of the review? There is a riddle at the end of the book that will allow those who can solve it access to another map.