Tag Archives: book review

Getting Married?

It must be review time! This is a nice one from School Library Journal about my new book TYING THE KNOT: A WORLD HISTORY OF MARRIAGE:

What’s love got to do with it? Not much, Keyser asserts in this examination of the history of marriage. Up until about 250 years ago, marriage was mainly a transaction or union of couples that entailed political, social, and economic factors. Her discussion of traditions and customs from different cultures and countries is a fascinating and insightful one. All types of unions are explored in this book, including levirate, same-sex, green card, and polyandry marriages. Keyser is straightforward and objective in her examination of different views on the institution. She highlights how changes in society (women’s rights, economic conditions, divorce rates, etc.) as well as a general shifting of attitudes has greatly affected marital unions. Keyser’s book is well researched and greatly illustrated with photographs. VERDICT This highly readable text would be a commendable addition to a social science collection for its pertinent information on cultural studies.

Calling all lovers of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books!

I adored Choose Your Own Adventure books when I was a kid, so I jumped at the chance for my son and I to test drive THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO: AMAZON (An Ultimate Adventure Novel) by Hena Khan and David Borgenicht, illustrated by Yancey Labat.

Here’s my test driver:

Here’s the book blurb from Chronicle:

A new thrill ride begins in the Amazon rainforest with the latest novel in the Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure series! Join an expedition of students exploring the Amazon jungle and face real dangers and decisions. Your choices will determine your fate. Will you survive your encounters with piranhas, tarantulas, mosquitoes, monkeys, and jaguars? Or will you be forced to return home early? Only you can decide how to survive. There are twenty-two possible endings to this adventure, but only ONE leads to ultimate success! Featuring dynamic comic book–style illustrations, and based on real, true-life facts about the Amazon, this story will be a surefire hit with anyone craving a fun, highly visual reading experience.

Our chat:

Me:  So what do you think of the cover?
Boy:  Oooh!  Interesting.

Me:  How did you feel about the intro with the team bios.
Boy:  Important but kinda boring.  Glad you read it to me.  I could relate to the characters though.

Me:  How did you feel about the 2nd person?
Boy:  I didn’t like it.  Kind of annoying but I guess I got used to it.

Me:  Did you like it?
Boy:  Yeah!  I’d totally read more of them.

Me:  Why did you like?
Boy:  Cool that there was lots of action.  Especially that you could die.  Most books don’t put in the dying part.  Or anacondas.

Me:  How did you feel about the choices you had to make?
Boy:  It was kinda obvious which ones would kill you.

In summary, we both got into this book.  We loved the design and ample graphics, especially when the choice points were related to the graphics (like where on a map we should go).  It was fun to read together, and once the Boy got hooked, he was really into it and didn’t want to stop reading.  As a writer myself, I wonder if Choose Your Own Adventure style books could work in third person because I’m with the Boy–2nd person is weird.

Favorite spread: