Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: Breakout Kidnapped Edition

My best friend and I attended the new sensation Breakout. It’s a cleverly designed interactive game in which you are locked in a room and are given one hour to solve the clues and ‘breakout’ to win the game. It’s a bit difficult to review this game because I want to be sensitive to those who have not attempted the game. I don’t want to provide spoilers and give anything away.

My friend Julie had also wanted to attend however when we made our online purchases Ashley and I were able to buy the tickets but then it showed that game as being closed. (A maximum of eight people per room are allowed.) That was a real bummer. When Ashley and I arrived it was evening. We had the 8pm ‘game’. The parking lot consisted of a smaller building with some other bigger ones around it. I was a bit surprised our game would take place in the smaller office space building. On the outside I wasn’t impressed. There was only a few signs outside but nothing to really add to the intrigue of what would be coming up for the gamers.

Upon entering the building, you see a decent sized sitting area with a small desk and computer area. The man at the desk, fresh out of his teen years it looked, was amusing, exciting to listen to, and quite enjoyable. He was very knowledgable and explained things easily. He definitely knew the speech and still added some entertainment in the atmosphere. We had to sign a waiver on a small tablet. I was kind of disappointed to learn you could only do each game once but at the same time I also understand...but I think for those who don’t succeed and ‘breakout’ it should be something you can attempt again. (In my opinion.)

Friday, May 15, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: GRAPHIC NOVELS

TOP FIVE GRAPHIC NOVELS:
HARDCORE:

1. SCOTT PILGRIM, VOL. 6, by Bryan Lee O'Malley
2. BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
3. CAN'T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT?, by Roz Chast
4. THE THRILLING ADVENTURES OF LOVELACE AND BABBAGE, by Sydney Padua
5. AVENGERS: RAGE OF ULTRON, by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña

SPOTLIGHT:     
SCOTT PILGRIM, VOL. 6
Bryan Lee O'Malley
It's finally here! Six years and almost 1000 pages have all led to this epic finale! With six of Ramona's seven evil exes dispatched, it should be time for Scott Pilgrim to face Gideon Graves, the biggest and baddest of her former beaus. But didn't Ramona take off at the end of Book 5? Shouldn't that let Scott off the hook? Maybe it should, maybe it shouldn't, but one thing is for certain all of this has been building to Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour! The sixth and final volume to indie comics most influential series in the last decade! Soon to be a major motion picture coming in August 2010 directed by Edgar Wright and starring Michael Cera.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: CHILDREN'S BOOKS

TOP FIVE CHILDREN’S BOOKS:
PICTURE BOOKS:

1. THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES, by B. J. Novak
2. THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT, by Drew Daywalt. Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
3. I WISH YOU MORE, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
4. WAITING IS NOT EASY!, by Mo Willems
5. DRAGONS LOVE TACOS, by Adam Rubin. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

SPOTLIGHT:   
DRAGONS LOVE TACOS
by Adam Rubin. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
This scrumptious New York Times bestseller has a whole lot of kick!

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble.

The award-winning team behind Those Darn Squirrels! has created an unforgettable, laugh-until-salsa-comes-out-of-your-nose tale of new friends and the perfect snack.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: NONFICTION

TOP FIVE NONFICTION:
HARDCORE:

1. HOPE, by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus with Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan
2. THE ROAD TO CHARACTER, by David Brooks
3. AND THE GOOD NEWS IS..., by Dana Perino
4. BILL O'REILLY'S LEGENDS AND LIES, by David Fisher
5. DEAD WAKE, by Erik Larson

SPOTLIGHT:
HOPE
Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus
Two victims of the infamous Cleveland kidnapper share the story of their abductions, their decade in captivity, and their final, dramatic rescue

On May 6, 2013, Amanda Berry made headlines around the world when she fled a Cleveland area home and called 911, saying: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry. . . . I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for ten years.”

A horrifying story rapidly unfolded. Ariel Castro, a local school bus driver, had separately lured Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight to his home, where he kept them chained in the basement. In the decade that followed, the three were raped, psychologically abused, and threatened with death. Berry bore a child—Jocelyn—by their captor.

Drawing upon their recollections and the diaries they kept, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus describe a tale of unimaginable torment, and Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan interweave the events within Castro’s house with the ongoing efforts to find the missing girls.

The full story behind the headlines—including shocking information never previously released—Hope is a harrowing yet inspiring chronicle of three women whose courage, ingenuity, and resourcefulness ultimately delivered them back to their lives and families.

Read by Jorjeana Marie, Marisol Ramirez and Arthur Morey.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: FICTION


TOP FIVE FICTION:
HARDCORE:

1. GATHERING PREY, by John Sandford
2. MEMORY MAN, by David Baldacci
3. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, by Paula Hawkins
4. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, by Anthony Doerr
5. GOD HELP THE CHILD, by Toni Morrison

SPOTLIGHT: 
GATHERING PREY
John Sandford
The extraordinary new Lucas Davenport thriller from #1 New York Times–bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize–winner John Sandford.
They call them Travelers. They move from city to city, panhandling, committing no crimes—they just like to stay on the move. And now somebody is killing them.

Lucas Davenport’s adopted daughter, Letty, is home from college when she gets a phone call from a woman Traveler she’d befriended in San Francisco. The woman thinks somebody’s killing her friends, she’s afraid she knows who it is, and now her male companion has gone missing. She’s hiding out in North Dakota, and she doesn’t know what to do.

Letty tells Lucas she’s going to get her, and, though he suspects Letty’s getting played, he volunteers to go with her. When he hears the woman’s story, though, he begins to think there’s something in it. Little does he know. In the days to come, he will embark upon an odyssey through a subculture unlike any he has ever seen, a trip that will not only put the two of them in danger—but just may change the course of his life.

WHO'S ON TOP: MOVIES

SPOTLIGHT:
The Age of Adaline
Movie people have been lapping at the fountain of youth since cinema’s creation, both on-screen and off. That’s no surprise given that cinema confers a kind of immortality on performers even if, as parades of tragically frozen faces attest, it can get confusing for the real people on camera. In Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard,” Norma Desmond so deeply embodies this confusion that she punctuates a banal observation with a pitiful question: “Stars are ageless — aren’t they?” Norma may be a Hollywood tragedy, but the movie brilliantly proves that she’s got the ageless part right. — Manohla Dargis


TOP 10 MOVIES:
1. Avengers: Age of Ultron
2. Hot Pursuit
3. The Age of Adaline
4. Furious 7
5. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
6. Ex Machina
7. Home
8. Woman in Gold
9. Cinderella
10. Uunfriended


Disclaimer: All information was gathered from the Nytimes.com.

Monday, May 11, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: GRAPHIC NOVELS

TOP 5 GRAPHIC NOVELS:
HARDCOVER:

1. BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
2. ONCE UPON A TIME: OUT OF THE PAST, by Kalinda Vazquez and others
3. CAN'T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT?, by Roz Chast
4. AVENGERS AND X-MEN: AXIS, by Rick Remender and others
5. AVENGERS: RAGE OF ULTRON, by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña

SPOTLIGHT: 
ONCE UPON A TIME: OUT OF THE PAST
Kalinda Vazquez and others
Return to the immersive world of ABC's hit television series ONCE UPON A TIME with an all-new sequel to the original graphic novel, ONCE UPON A TIME: The Shadow of the Queen. Welcome to the Enchanted Forest, where the characters from classic fairy tales have come to life and are locked in an epic struggle between good and evil! Plott ed by series writer and co-executi ve producer, Kalinda Vazquez, and co-written by returning author Corinna Bechko, the release will tie into official show continuity and dive in to four never-before-told stories of fan favorite characters!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: CHILDREN'S BOOKS

TOP 5 CHILDREN'S BOOKS:
PICTURE BOOKS:

1. THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES, by B. J. Novak
2. THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT, by Drew Daywalt. Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
3. PRESS HERE, by Hervé Tullet
4. DRAGONS LOVE TACOS, by Adam Rubin. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
5. GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT, CONSTRUCTION SITE, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld\

SPOTLIGHT: 
THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES
B. J. Novak
A book with no pictures? 

What could be fun about that?

After all, if a book has no pictures, there's nothing to look at but the words on the page. 

Words that might make you say silly sounds... In ridiculous voices...


Hey, what kind of book is this, anyway?

At once disarmingly simple and ingeniously imaginative, The Book With No Pictures inspires laughter every time it is opened, creating a warm and joyous experience to share--and introducing young children to the powerful idea that the written word can be an unending source of mischief and delight.

WHO'S ON TOP: NONFICTION

TOP 5 NONFICTION:
HARDCOVER:

1. THE ROAD TO CHARACTER, by David Brooks
2. BILL O'REILLY'S LEGENDS AND LIES, by David Fisher
3. DEALING WITH CHINA, by Henry M. Paulson Jr
4. DEAD WAKE, by Erik Larson
5. THE RESIDENCE, by Kate Andersen Brower

SPOTLIGHT: 
THE ROAD TO CHARACTER
David Brooks
I wrote this book not sure I could follow the road to character, but I wanted at least to know what the road looks like and how other people have trodden it.”—David Brooks

With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success, Brooks challenges us, and himself, to rebalance the scales between our “résumé virtues”—achieving wealth, fame, and status—and our “eulogy virtues,” those that exist at the core of our being: kindness, bravery, honesty, or faithfulness, focusing on what kind of relationships we have formed.

Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade.

Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, 

Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade.
Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.

“Joy,” David Brooks writes, “is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes.” 

“Joy,” David Brooks writes, “is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes.” 

WHO'S ON TOP: FICTION


TOP 5 FICTION:
HARDCOVER:

1. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, by Paula Hawkins
2. THE LIAR, by Nora Roberts
3. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, by Anthony Doerr
4. EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES, by Lisa Scottoline
5. THE STRANGER, by Harlan Coben

SPOTLIGHT:
ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SE
Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Monday, April 27, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: MOVIES


SPOTLIGHT: 

THE AGE OF ADALINE

Movie people have been lapping at the fountain of youth since cinema’s creation, both on-screen and off. That’s no surprise given that cinema confers a kind of immortality on performers even if, as parades of tragically frozen faces attest, it can get confusing for the real people on camera. In Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard,” Norma Desmond so deeply embodies this confusion that she punctuates a banal observation with a pitiful question: “Stars are ageless — aren’t they?” Norma may be a Hollywood tragedy, but the movie brilliantly proves that she’s got the ageless part right. — Manohla Dargis




TOP 10 MOVIES:


  1. FURIOUS 7
  2. PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2
  3. THE AGE OF ADALINE
  4. HOME
  5. UNFRIENDED
  6. EX MACHINA
  7. WOMAN IN GOLD
  8. THE LONGEST RIDE
  9. GET HARD
  10. MONKEY KINGDOM

Disclaimer: All information was gathered from Nytimes.com.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: GRAPHIC NOVELS


TOP FIVE GRAPHIC NOVELS:

HARDCOVER:

  1. BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE, by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
  2. AVENGERS: RAGE OF ULTRON, by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña
  3. CAN'T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT?, by Roz Chast
  4. THE SCULPTOR, by Scott McCloud
  5. SECONDS, by Bryan Lee O'Malley

SPOTLIGHT:

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE

Alan Moore and Brian Bolland
For the first time the Joker's origin is revealed in this tale of insanity and human perseverance. Looking to prove that any man can be pushed past his breaking point and go mad, the Joker attempts to drive Commissioner Gordon insane. 

After shooting and permanently paralyzing his daughter Barbara (a.k.a. Batgirl), the Joker kidnaps the commissioner and attacks his mind in hopes of breaking the man. 

But refusing to give up, Gordon maintains his sanity with the help of Batman in an effort to beset the madman.

WHO'S ON TOP: CHILDREN'S BOOK



TOP FIVE CHILDREN'S BOOK:

PICTURE'S BOOKS:

  1. THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT, by Drew Daywalt. Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
  2. THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES, by B. J. Novak
  3. PETE THE CAT'S GROOVY GUIDE TO LIFE, by James Dean and Kimberly Dean. Illustrated by James Dean
  4. I WISH YOU MORE, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
  5. DRAGONS LOVE TACOS, by Adam Rubin. Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

SPOTLIGHT

THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT 

Drew Daywalt. Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: We quit!

Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from coloring all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other. 

What is Duncan to do? Debut author Drew Daywalt and New York Timesbestseller Oliver Jeffers create a colorful solution in this playful, imaginative story that will have children laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

WHO'S ON TOP: NONFICTION


TOP FIVE NONFICTION:

HARDCOVER:

  1. BILL O'REILLY'S LEGENDS AND LIES, by David Fisher
  2. DEAD WAKE, by Erik Larson
  3. THE RESIDENCE, by Kate Andersen Brower
  4. BEING MORTAL, by Atul Gawande
  5. A FINE ROMANCE, by Candice Bergen

SPOTLIGHT:

BILL O'REILLY'S LEGENDS AND LIES

David Fisher
The must-have companion to Bill O’Reilly’s documentary series Legends and Lies: The Real West, a fascinating, eye-opening look at the truth behind the western legends we all think we know

How did Davy Crockett save President Jackson’s life only to end up dying at the Alamo? Was the Lone Ranger based on a real lawman—and was he an African American? What amazing detective work led to the capture of Black Bart, the "gentleman bandit" and one of the west’s most famous stagecoach robbers? Did Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid really die in a hail of bullets in South America? Generations of Americans have grown up on TV shows, movies and books about these western icons. But what really happened in the Wild West? All the stories you think you know, and others that will astonish you, are here--some heroic, some brutal and bloody, all riveting. Included are the ten legends featured in Bill O’Reilly's Legends and Lies docuseries —from Kit Carson to Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok to Doc Holliday-- accompanied by two bonus chapters on Daniel Boone and Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley.

Frontier America was a place where instinct mattered more than education, and courage was necessary for survival. It was a place where luck made a difference and legends were made. Heavily illustrated with spectacular artwork that further brings this history to life, and told in fast-paced, immersive narrative, Legends and Lies is an irresistible, adventure-packed ride back into one of the most storied era of our nation’s rich history.