Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yes, Indeed!!! Rick Riordan Wrties TWO More Winners!!

I've told you before that I'm probably Rick Riordan's # 1 fan in Charlotte and there's a very good reason. It's because he writes fan-tastic books.Actually, now there are TWO more very good reasons and they are THE DEMIGOD DIARIES and THE MARK OF ATHENA, two terrific books!! You want action? You got it! You want suspense that will make your pulse race like a Kentucky Derby horse? It's there. And you want the trademark goofball humor? It's all there!
Take a look:

The Demigod Diaries--There are four stories, written by different demigods in their diaries. Luke Castellan and Thalia get trapped in a decrepit old mansion in Richmond, waiting for a monster to devour them. Percy and Annabeth have to get the cadeuceus, the symbol of Hermes, back from a giant who runs a flea market! Leo Valdez tries to track down his walking mechanical table while dodging the Maneads--the most frightening creatures I've seen yet in a Rick Riordan book. At the end is a story by a guest author--and wait until you find out who it is! All these stories move along and keep you laughing, gasping in suspense and reading, reading, reading. Plus there are cards, puzzles, etc. A true winner! If you haven't already read it, don't waste a minute--go find it at your library or bookstore or get it on your e-reader.

The Mark of Athena--The seven demigods finally set off on their quest to keep Gaea from awakening and destroying the world. Of course, to do so, they must sail across the Atlantic and try to survive what awaits them. If they make it, then they must get past the Pillars of Hercules--and past Hercules himself! If they can do that, then the REAL danger begins in Rome! Annabeth must go on a quest alone to follow the Mark of Athena and recover the Pallas Athena. (what's that? I won't tell you! You gotta find out!) Percy and Jason and Piper must overcome two giants while Leo and Hazel and Frank make an unexpected discovery. Do you think they've faced danger before? Ha! Just wait until you see who Annabeth meets!! Or the underwater trap waiting for Percy, Jason and Piper. And, while this is going on, the demigods from Camp Jupiter are moving across the country to attack Camp Half-Blood. Whew!
If you haven't noticed, there's a lot going on in this book! These are two of the best in the whole Percy Jackson series. There's enough adventure and excitement to satisfy the most enthusiastic or reluctant guy reader. But not only is there action, there's also laugh-out-loud humor. Like when Percy tries to save the quest from half-dolphin monsters by using a can of Diet Coke. Or when they face an evil giant wearing a tutu. And there are very touching scenes as well, like when Hazel finally figures out the connection between her and Leo and Sammy Valdez. And then there's the scene in which Annabeth starts to descend under Rome to find the Pallas Athena. She knows that the chances are coming back alive are extremely slim. She looks up and sees the blue sky framed in the doorway leading underground. She also knows that she can go back up those stairs into the sunshine and be safe. She has a choice to make.What will she do? THAT'S masterful writing, guys!

These books get the Iron Guy Seal of Approval as Two Terrific Books!!


I have to warn you. There is--there is--well, the only way to warn you properly is to make a Public Service Announcement:

Well, you've been warned but you've also been encouraged. Go and get these two fantastic reads!! You will not regret it. And if you've already read them, hit that "Comment" button below and send me a review. We love to hear what reader guys think!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This Turkey Is Thankful For Good Football Books!

It's almost Thanksgiving, the day a lot of guys like to eat insane amounts of turkey and watch FOOTBALL! Of course the Iron Guy does too. (I guess that makes me the Gridiron Guy---ah hahahaha!!!) The season is halfway over and we in Charlotte have groaned all year, watching our beloved and frustrating Panthers lose some games that were going our way. Anyway, here are some good books about the pigskin sport:

How Football Works by Keltie Thomas

Here's one that I've written about before and it's still terrific. Chock-full of useful information, this book is a must-read for the the novice or the long-time fan. You can see my original  review Go ahead and take a look--not only does it tell you how terrific the book  is, but it lets you see how hopeful we Panthers fans at this time last year. Well, we had Cam Newton tearing up the gridirons in his impressive rookie year, so we had good reason. But this year---Oh, will we ever learn????

Long Arm Quarterback by Matt Christopher

Most reader guys know that the name "Matt Christopher" on a book guarantees a good read. Here's what I said in the original review:

 Long-Arm Quarterback by Matt Christopher. I hope you know about him already. He writes sports books and I haven't read one yet that I didn't like. Cap Wadell is frustrated because his little Texas town is so small that they can't get enough guys together to make a football team. His grandfather Tully remembers when he was in high school and played with six-person teams; in fact, there was a high school league made of six-person teams. Tully suggests that all the small towns in that area get together and make such a league. Cap's friends get excited at the idea and, before long, there's a league going. Tully agrees to coach Cap's team but there's a problem--Cap's friend Jimmy joins the team. That's not so bad, but Jimmy's grandfather Sable comes along to help coach. Sable used to play on Tully's league on a different team and was a good player. Tully won the championship that year and Sable is still mad about it after all these years. Will that old rivalry tear the team apart? Will Sable ever put his anger away and think about the good of the team? I had to read all the way to the end to find out!

NFC South by Michael Teitelbaum

This is a good one if you want some quick facts about the teams in the NFC South Division: the Atlanta Falcons, the Panthers, the New Orleans Saints or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The whole book took me only 15 minutes to read. There a short history of each team (only a page long) plus info on the Home Field, Big Days, Superstars (Then and Now), and Stat Leaders for each team. Interesting reading.

And here's a video to make you laugh. It's based on an old Andy Griffith routine called "What It Was Was Football" about a young hillbilly boy who sees his first football game. It'a about 7 minutes long, so make yourselves comfortable.

If I don't see you before then,  I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Awesome=Alvin Ho

Hey gang, this is your friendly neighborhood Iron Guy Carl, letting you know about a couple of awesome videos otherwise known as book trailers. They're like movie trailers except that they're for---well, books! These are epic and they are all about the hilarious Alvin Ho books. "Who is Alvin Ho?" Well, he's a second-grader who is afraid of everything. Better yet, let's put it in his own words: "The first thing you should know about me is that I am afraid of many things. Elevators. Tunnels. Bridges. Substitute teachers. The dark. Scary movies. Shots. School. Among other things." He's so afraid that he can't speak in school. And he carries a Personal Disaster Kit which contains useful things like "Garlic. For fending off vampires and teachers." These are seriously funny, laugh-out-loudly-enough-to-startle-your-neighbors books.

There are four of them now and a fifth to come out next spring. But don't wait until then--go to your closest library or bookstore and find them! (There's also an audiobook version of the first two, read by an actual 10-year-old boy. It's hysterical, especially when he tries to sound like Alvin's dad)

And here are the video trailers I told you about:
So what are you waiting for? Go get them and prepare to LAUGH!