Nancy Drew

‘Not many girls would have used their wits the way you did.’

Hello! Today I will be blogging about the Nancy Drew mystery series, by Carolyn Keene. First, I will give you some general information:

  • Author: Carolyn Keene
  • Genre: Mystery fiction
  • Age: 10+
  • Please note: These books contain tense moments and cliffhangers as well as light elements of romance such as dating.

The Nancy Drew books were originally published in the 1930’s. Since then, a newer series, called Nancy Drew Girl Detective, has come out, starting in 2006, that is published in first person instead of third. I have never bothered with the new series, as it is my firm belief that the original is always best.

Nancy Drew was actually published by many authors, all under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The pseudonym (a false name an author uses for his books, AKA pen name. Example: Dr. Seuss is actually Theodore Geisel) was originally taken up by Leslie McFarlane, the author of the Hardy Boys, which is pretty much Nancy Drew for boys. For the Hardy Boys novels, McFarlane used the name Franklin W. Dixon as a pseudonym.

Nancy Drew is a series of mystery novels originally consisting of 56 books, from The Secret of the Old Clock to The Thirteenth Pearl. In each book, Nancy Drew, a 19-year-old daughter of a well-known attorney, solves a mystery that often contains some mysterious object with her friends, cousins Georgia (George) Fayne and Bess Marvin. With the help of their boyfriends, Ned Nickerson, Dave Evans, and Burt Eddleton, they solve the case, after many intense cliffhangers (some of them quite literally), and plenty of danger.

I like reading the Nancy Drew mystery stories as something light and cheesy after reading something deep or slow, as a kind of ‘break’.  Because there are so many, the plots can get unoriginal. Something I chuckle at is that Nancy is the perfect girl: gorgeous, smart, athletic, and incredibly talented. There was one time when she did a spectacular twist-flip dive off a high diving board, and what sleuth knows how to do that?! But I enjoy the Nancy Drew books; they are still very entertaining, and in a good way.

Here is a list of the first ten books:

  1. The Secret of the Old Clock
  2. The Hidden Staircase
  3. The Bungalow Mystery
  4. The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  5. The Secret of Shadow Ranch
  6. The Secret of Red Gate Farm
  7. The Clue in the Diary
  8. Nancy’s Mysterious Letter
  9. The Sign of the Twisted Candles
  10. Password to Larkspur Lane

If you like haunting mysteries and easy reading, then Nancy Drew is a great pick!

If you would like more information on these books, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Life sure was more complicated now than wehen they were little kids.

Hello! Today I will be blogging about a Christian book trilogy called Forged in Flames, by Susan Reimer. First, I will give you some genral information:

  • Author: Susan Reimer
  • Genre: Christian fiction
  • Age: 12+
  • Please note: These books contain elements of drug addiction, bullying, and alchohol, as well as strong Christian elements.

Forged in Flames is a book series for young adults that consists of three books: EmbersA Spark of Faith, and Through the Fire. It is written by Susan Reimer. Forged in Flames is a Christian series that teaches readers to have faith in God and learn to follow him. Each contains a study on a book of the Bible in the back that is explained throughout the book in a fictional youth group. This religious element can be relied on, becaus Susan Reimer is a former youth group leader and each book has been edited thrououghly for accuracy in accordance to the Bible.

In the first book, Embers, you learn about Peter Xavier, a boy starting grade eleven. As his life continues, the problems of drug addiction, death, and agruments invade his life, and he must find faith and trust in God to help him through the obstacles that have been placed in front of him.

In the second book, A Spark of Faith, you learn what it’s like to live as Alex Smiley, one of Peter’s friends from the firtst book. Because he is diagnosed with Down syndrome, Alex finds the restrictions of the syndrome begin to increase as his friends move on in life. Alex must have faith in God as he learns that everyone is fearfuly and wonderfully made in their own way.

In the third and final book, Through the Fire, you follow Joey Floretti, Peter and Alex’s friend. As the graduation of grade twelves slowly nears, he finds himself struggling to make the right choices. While he appreciates his father and his garage, Joey knows that’s not what he wants and starts to resort to bad ways to earn money. Through his late grandfather’s diary and the local youth group, he learns that it is better to do what it right than what is easy, and learns to connect with God and find his purpose in life.

These books are all enjoyable reads, but I find Through the Fire the best. Perhaps that is because Joey is going through normal teenage struggles, as not everyone has Down syndrome or has a family member suffering from drug addiction. Joey finds his own struggles that many other adolescents face. These books make more sense if they are read in order, as minor connections take place, but because each is about someone else, it is not absoloutely necessary.

If you are looking for inspirational Christian writing that really helps you connect with the characters and the Lord, then you will enjoy these books!

If you want more information on this book, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

The Princess Bride

As you wish.

Hello! Today I will be blogging about  one of my favourite books called The Princess Bride. First, here is a general overview:

  • Author: William Goldman
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age: 10+
  • Please note: Includes violent scenes and battles

The Princess Bride is a classic book written by William Goldman. It was oublished in 1973, and since then has had multiple editions made, including a 20th anniversary edition and 30th anniversary edition. The copy I own has three intoductions, specialty paper, elagant designs, and fantastic illustrations. It is also much bigger in size, making me feel like I am holding a real wonder, which I am.

In The Princess Bride, Buttercup is a poor girl living with her parents and ‘Farm Boy’, Westley, their servant, in the country of Florin. When the Count comes to inspect their cows, Buttercup sees the Countess staring at the Farm Boy in a very peculiar way, leading Buttercup to begin to love Westley immensley. When Westley leaves to seek his fortune in America, he is killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts, and Buttercup begins to shrink into herself. But soon Prince Humperdinck wished her for his wife, and she lives with him in peparatino for the wedding, but one day while she is riding, she is kidnapped, and must depend on the Man in Black to save her…

Throughout this incredible book, there is wondeful laugh-out-loud humour, valiant fights, despairing captures, and ripping adventure that brings you to the very end….I have read this book twice and plan to read it again soon.

A movie of The Princess Bride was filmed in 1987, starring Robin Wright as Buttercup and Cary Elwes as Westley. The script was written by William Goldman, the author of The Princess Bride himself, so the movie takes a wonderful perspective on the book and is just as enjoyable, yet shorter, so read the book first! 

There is also an extra chapter that acts as a sequel to The Princess Bride called Buttercup’s Baby, a story of the brave group of heroes (yes, group, but saying so would be a spoiler) continued from the The Princess Bride. It is just as enjoyable, yet unfinished.

Many people may be decieved by William Goldman’s claim that The Princess Bride was orginally written by an S. Morgenstern long ago, and that Goldman abridged the 1000 page book to 300. According to Goldman, The Princess Bride was orginally a history book on the countries of Florin and Guilder with a bit of story in between, but in reality, those countries don’t exist, and neither does Goldman’s ‘S. Morgenstern’. I was very frustrated upon finding this out the first time, but Goldman’s lie does not directly affect the story, and I love the book just the same.

If you want a quick, uplifting, suspenseful, funny, and adventurous fantasy in your hands, then read The Princess Bride, for it classifies as ‘all of the above’!

If you want more information on this book, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Cosmos: Possible Worlds

Science, like love, is a means to that transcendence, to that soaring experience of the oneness of being fully alive.

Hello! Today I will be blogging about Cosmos, a book I am reading that I enjoy greatly. First, I will give you an overview:

  • Title: Cosmos: Possible Worlds
  • Author: Ann Druyan
  • Age: 12+
  • Genre: Nonfiction science (adult)
  • Please note: Includes references to the Christian Bible and scientific theories opposed by some religions.

Cosmos: Possible Worlds is an adult nonfiction novel that covers topics of the cosmos, as you may have gathered. Through examples in history of apparent events, the author causes the reader to search inside themselves for a deeper meaning in their writing. Through certain subjects, Druyan makes relevant hidden meanings in historical events. She causes you to reflect upon your own life in a universal way.

Druyan also includes theories of astronomers and other scientists of the universe and its properties/ For example: some scientists think that our universe is one of millions of universes in the cosmos, and that our cosmos is one of millions of other cosmoses. She also provides sneak-peeks of current activities from NASA and other organizations. The author describes theories and estimates of newfound properties constantly discovered and amazes readers with never-before-conceived hypothesis of extraterrestrial life in the cosmos and new blueprints of moons, planets, and even our younger Earth.

Through Cosmos: Possible Worlds, Druyan encourages others to dig beneath the surface and discover their own opinions.

I enjoy reading Cosmos: Possible Worlds one chapter at a time, as they do not relate in a connected story and each provides a different topic. I am fascinated by her concepts of life and the universe and love receiving new theories and thoughts on the greatest unknown I have always been fascinated with: the cosmos.

Ann Druyan is a scientist working for NASA. She formerly published a separate Cosmos book with her husband in the 1970’s, called Cosmos: A Personal VoyageCosmos: Possible Worlds is described as a sequel to her former book, but does not relate except in references to the text.

Anyone who has a fascination for the cosmos or is searching for ‘themselves’ would enjoy reading this book. I highly recommend it to all!

If you want more information on this book, CLICK HERE.

Thank you for reading!

Susan