Same story, different gods

Throne of Fire is the second book in Rick Riordan’s The Kane Chronicles. It follows siblings Sadie and Carter Kane as they continue their quest to keep the Egyptian god Set from destroying the world. This time, their task is to find the Book of Ra and use it to awaken the Egyptian sun god, who has ‘retired’ from the world, before Apophis, an Egyptian monster and the embodiment of chaos escapes from his prison and destroys the world. We get some new characters, as well as reconnecting with a few old ones like Amos, Zia and Desjardins. Students of Sadie and Carter who figure prominently in the story include Walt, a charms maker and Jas, a healer. We also get a new bad guy nicknamed Vlad the Inhaler, and a new god (I won’t name him to avoid a spoiler).

While I enjoyed it, to be honest it’s more of the same from Riordan. He’s not doing anything new here. He’s found a formula and he’s sticking to it.

Posted by Liza

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The Water Seeker

I recently read a book called “The Water Seeker” by Kimberly Willis Holt. I chose this book simply because I wanted to read a “NEW” book & the ones I kept choosing from the Adult section all had too many swear words in them. So I went for one in the children’s section.

I am glad I found this book. “The Water Seeker” is a quaint story about a father & his son. They have the ability to find water with a stick from a tree. The father leaves his son in the care of relatives after his wife dies. He searches for work. The son has many experiences and heartache while his father is away which help him to learn a lot about life.

After a time, the father comes back. More adventure and heartache is in store. It’s also a story about making a trek west to find a better life & how the boy eventually becomes a man because of the choices he has to make. The book has romance, sickness, triumphs, disappointment & adventure. My favorite theme about the book is that life isn’t always the way we think it will turn out. But that each change that happens to us is a growing experience!

I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone.

- Becky L.

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Book Review for Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Book Content:

This book examines instantaneous judgments we make daily, both personally and professionally. It explores the curiosity that, though years of experience, individuals can hone their instincts for those judgments, whether it be in judging the authenticity of ancient sculpture, understanding the odds in a new gambling game, articulating what would improve the taste of a new snack food, or reading the intent of an individual facing off with the police.

Sometimes those instincts are powerfully correct, but research (discussed in detail in the book) has shown that unless we spend the time to become aware and understand how and why we make such judgments, when we try to articulate the reasoning for our choices,

1) we describe reasons that would lead to different judgments than the ones we actually made, and

2) afterward our instinct becomes less accurate, following the “reasons” for choices that we articulated, rather than the (apparently more accurate) standards we had previously used.

My Opinion:

Individuals truly interested in being without racial prejudice should read chapter 3, The Warren Harding Error. It describes the measurement of our subconscious negative preconceptions, sometimes against our own race or gender, and the extraordinary effect of positive cultural role models upon those judgments. I loved learning these lessons from this book, and I am trying to have it impact the way I parent my children and the cultural influences I intentionally expose them to.

Additionally, Mr. Gladwell uses the conclusion of the book to describe how we can circumvent our own instantaneous judgments when they hinder us from the best decisions.

If you have sufficient inclination, read the entire book; otherwise just read chapter 3 and the conclusion. They are well worth your time.

-Karla H.

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is one of my favorite books that I can read again and again. It is the timeless story of putting too much stock in one’s first impressions of someone and gradually being proven wrong. This classic comedy of manners appeals to those who love a good romance without any inappropriate content. It is also fascinating from a historical perspective as one learns about life in the English countryside at the turn of the 19th century.

-Julie B.

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In Sacred Loneliness by Todd Compton

I’ve recently developed an interest in some of the more ‘sticky’ spots in LDS history. This book, In Sacred Loneliness discusses each of the plural wives of Joseph Smith in their own chapter. Because of the self-contained nature of the format, it could easily be used as a reference book, a sort of encyclopedia of Joseph’s polygamy. It also includes a section of pictures in the center of the book for those who might be wondering what these women looked like. Let me also say that I am not here to debate the historicity of the book, or the validity, doctrinal status or any other religious element of polygamy. I’m not saying I’m for it or against it, just that found the book intriguing.

Compton does an excellent job of summarizing the life of each woman, but since so many of the details overlap, reading the book from cover to cover is a bit of a challenge. There are only so many ways an author can say “And then the prophet was assassinated”. In some ways, that was the hardest part of each chapter to read. As a believing member of the church, I felt as though I went through his death (and the wives’ loss) vicariously over thirty times! I can’t imagine losing my husband; for it to be in so public and violent a manner would magnify it one hundred fold.

I did learn some interesting facts, like the fact that almost every plural wife of Joseph was then sealed for time to one of the other apostles (often Brigham Young or Heber Kimball). I also thought it was interesting that some marriages were termed ‘dynastic’, meaning that they were intended to link families considered to be powerful in the early LDS church to Joseph in the eternities. I also learned the term ‘practical polygamy’ which I found quite interesting (essentially that polygamy was practiced to give women a support system; not for any romantic reason)

If you’d like to know more about polygamy as it was practiced in the earliest era of the church, this book is worth a read. Just be prepared to put it down and pick it up several times before you finish it.

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