Book Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

World War ZTitle: World War Z
Author: Max Brooks
Published:
Publisher:
Pages:From: Walmart
Rating: 8/10

When I first picked up Max Brooks’ novel World War Z from Walmart, I immediately thought of sitting in a dark movie theater, watching Brad Pitt run from a flood of zombies with his family. I was expecting a book similar to the movie, not one where the two are very different.

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Girl on Fire: Rememberlutions instead of resolutions

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, December 31, 2014]

[Note: This column was meant for January 1, 2015, but since New Year’s Day fell on a Thursday, my usual publish date, it ran a day early.]

Tomorrow it will be a new year, so I spent several days thinking of things to add to my New Year’s resolutions list.

Then, I found an article written about an interesting variation to resolutions. The writer said to create a rememberlutions jar in place of a resolutions list.

A rememberlutions jar is just that, a jar, where you house slips of paper on which are written things you accomplished throughout the year.

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Book Review: The Blessing Stone by Barbara Wood

Blessing StoneTitle: The Blessing Stone
Author: Barbara Wood
Published: 2004
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffith
Pages: 464
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 8/10

The first time I read Barbara Wood’s epic novel The Blessing Stone, I had kidnapped it from my aunt Kathy Vonnahme one holiday weekend, and finished it before we left Sunday. Needless to say, I loved that book.

So, because I had been in the mood to reread the brilliance that is Wood’s epic fantasy fiction, I had to buy it for myself.

After finishing The Blessing Stone, I remembered exactly why I loved it in the first place. It’s fiction, but takes on history through an almost fantastical lens, illuminating facets of time that people have forgotten, or want to know more about or just want to enjoy.

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Girl on Fire: Rage, rage against the dying of the light

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, December 18, 2014]

A week or so ago, I was sitting in a movie theater, the lights low and the sounds of people munching popcorn reverberating through the room. Then, when trailer after trailer of upcoming films finished, the adventure began.

Warning: spoiler alert.

The adventure was “Interstellar,” a science fiction thriller that takes place in a future when crops fail and governments claim space travel was a hoax. It’s the adventure of a group of men and women trying to continue the human species by traveling through space and time to find a habitable planet.

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Girl on Fire: Being respectful is still important

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, December 4, 2014]

During Thanksgiving and the following weekend, I spent my time with my mom’s family in Auburn, and dad’s family in Parkersburg and Clarion. Saturday I drove the three hours home, with a stop in Ankeny to drop my sister Brianna off at her apartment.

During the drive, Brianna and I talked about the festivities, focusing on my dad’s family. My grandparents on my mom’s side passed away when I was in high school and college, but my dad’s parents are both still alive and kicking. Being around them this holiday reinstated the fact that I know they won’t be around forever.

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Girl on Fire: My head is in the fitness game

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser November 20, 2014]

I had my final outside run of the year late last week. My neighbors have a chocolate lab, a friendly pup named Diesel, who loves running alongside me in the sunshine, but wasn’t around while my feet crunched on the country gravel.

Since then, winter finally hit Creston, and already I miss being able to be outside and not have my fingers freeze.

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Book Review: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

The Silent WifeTitle: The Silent Wife
Author: A.S.A. Harrison
Published: June 2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pages: 326
From: Walmart
Rating: 8/10

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: what makes a good book good is how the author is able to dig into the minds of his or her characters and pull out the thoughts, the issues, what makes those characters tick. A.S.A. Harrison does just that.

The Silent Wife, Harrison’s debut novel, is grouped in with the psychological thrillers, novels written by people such as Stephen King and Gillian Flynn. However, I feel the novel should be categorized more closely to literary fiction.

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Girl on Fire: My education baby step is taken

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, November 6, 2014]

Ice crystals flickered in the moonlight against the black paint of my car as I left my house and threw open the car door. I tugged my turquoise hat down over my ears, started the car and pulled out of my driveway, trying not to speed on my way into Creston. The blare of my phone still rang in my ears: a 6 a.m. structure fire.

I managed to catch Engine 2 before it pulled out onto North Sumner Avenue. We raced to the scene on East Townline Street before jumping out of the apparatus, grabbing tools and running around to the back of the house with the rest of the guys on-scene.

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Girl on Fire: Baby steps to further education

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, October 30, 2014]

Thanks to the wonder that is Facebook, I’ve been able to keep up with what my high school and college friends have been doing since graduation. Many have gotten married and had babies, while others have focused on themselves and climbed the career ladder.

This got me thinking about what I want to do with my future. I’ve so many options, but only one sticks out to me right now: continue my education.

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Book Review: A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire

Lion Among MenTitle: A Lion Among Men
Author: Gregory Maguire
Published: 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 309
From: Barnes and Noble
Rating: 6/10

Author Gregory Maguire set the stage for (pretty much) all his future work when he published Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. It can be hard maintaining that kind of celebrity, especially after such a popular book (turned musical). But, I think Maguire succeeds fairly well in the aftermath.

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