Mark Twain: A Literary Life, by Everett Emerson (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000)

“Mark Twain endures. Readers sense his humanity, enjoy his humor, and appreciate his insights into human nature, even into such painful experiences as embarrassment and humiliation. No matter how remarkable the life of Samuel Clemens was, what matters most is … Continue reading

Forgotten Fads and Fabulous Flops, by Paul Kirchner (Rhino Records, 1995)

We’ve all had those moments of brilliance, where some idea so astoundingly splendid and mind-bogglingly impressive that we can’t believe no one else has ever thought of it pops into our head. You know, like pet rocks. Paper dresses. Instant … Continue reading

Exploring Harry Potter, by Elizabeth D. Schafer (Beacham Publishing, 2000)

Coming on the heels of the immense, almost unprecedented popularity of the Harry Potter books comes this gem. The full title is Beacham’s Sourcebooks For Teaching Young Adult Fiction: Exploring Harry Potter, and it’s the first in a series that … Continue reading

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Tie-In Omnibus

Angel: Hollywood Noir, by Jeff Mariotte (Pocket Books, 2001) Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All In A Row, by Christopher Golden (Pocket, 2000) Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Tales of the Slayer (Pocket, 2001) Buffy The Vampire … Continue reading

The Grimms’ German Folk Tales, by Francis P. Magoun, Jr. and Alexander H. Krappe (translators) (Southern Illinois University Press, 1960)

Once upon a time, there was a prince/princess/tailor/three sons/twelve lazy servants/a frog/a horse/a frog, a horse, and a prince/an old man. They fell on hard times/their father died/they were driven out of the house/they decided to seek their fortune/they decided … Continue reading

The Beggar’s Opera, by John Gay (Barron’s Educational Series, 1962)

The Beggar’s Opera, or at least the edition I recieved for review, and I, have an unusual history. Ever since I received this book in the mail, one thing after another manifested to distract me from my mission. Every time … Continue reading

Merlin’s Kin: World Tales of the Heroic Magician, by Josepha Sherman, (August House, 1998)

Merlin’s Kin is a clever, well-researched exploration into the theme of the heroic magician that can be found in every culture around the world. Josepha Sherman, well known for her previous folklore collections, Once Upon A Galaxy, and Trickster Tales, … Continue reading

Maiden, Mother, Crone: The Myth and Reality of the Triple Goddess, by D.J. Conway (Llewellyn Publications, 1994)

To put things in perspective, Christianity and its worship of a dominant male figure has been in existence less than two thousand years. In contrast, the female trinity of the maiden, the mother, and the crone is stated to have … Continue reading

Faith and Meaning In The Southern Uplands, by Loyal Jones (University of Illinois Press, 1999)

When I first recieved this book, I was looking forward to reading it as I would any book — sit back with a cold drink and a comfy chair and devour the material within. Unfortunately, once I started, I was … Continue reading

The Spiderwick Chronicles: Notebook For Fantastical Observations, by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black (Simon and Schuster, 2005)

Appearing as a supplement to Black and DiTerlizzi’s excellent Spiderwick Chronicles series, this lovely little hardbound notebook is a potpourri of imaginative explorations based on the material introduced in the books. Each “section” is prefaced with a mini-essay regarding some … Continue reading