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26. Review: The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 Is a metatextual masterpiece

2015-03-25-multiversityultracomics

 Writer:
Grant Morrison
Penciller:
Doug Mahnke 
Inkers: 
Christian Alamy
Mark Irwin
Keith Champagne
Jaime Mendoza 
Colorists:
Gabe Eltaeb
David Baron

Comics aren’t meant to make readers feel guilty, but The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 paints the fan as the individual leading the protagonist to his ultimate fate. This is it – the haunted story teased since the first installment of Author Grant Morrison’s magnum Multiversity opus. The Multiversity as it stands is my favorite ongoing series from superhero publisher DC, it’s something that’s hard to believe anyone at the Big Two could even think about publishing. Morrison has been circling a sphere of comics self awareness with titles like Animal Man for several years now, and this feels like the natural progression of all those titles. Even though the writer continues to discover new things about self reflexive superheroes, he never feels like he’s repeating himself in this work. The ideas of the Psycho Pirate and Animal Man being erased from continuity is far different from than the mechanically engineered Ultra Comics presented in this work.

Standing on it’s own merits devoid of what came before with the series, is this book good?

Yes. The story can simply be read without that context via the playful opening from Morrison and the exceptional Doug Mahnke (who’s pencils have been sorely absent from Green Lantern.) Nearly every idea within this saga is a reintroduced story beat hatched from the DC vault. Still, this hero (Ultra Comics) emerged from pretty obscure roots and builds on nearly everything that Morrison has done with the DC Universe. There is even a reference to Final Crisis directly in this title showing that Morrison takes this absurdist pillar of the DC landscape that he has built extremely seriously.

The first thing that catches my eye about The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 is the Doug Mahnke cover. The piece is elegantly designed yet filled with utter madness reflecting some of the best covers from tales long ago. The text reading “YOU MUST NOT READ THIS COMIC,” should be the first clue that this is one of the most subversive and enthralling DC books you’re going to find this side of Convergence. What follows this is stirring image complete with a warning from Ultra Comics (our protagonist) to not finish this issue for the sake of his own very life. The storytelling stakes are set in this issue, and if we the reader choose to continue reading we’re to believe that the very fate of Ultra Comics has been decided. That’s a lot to take in over the span of just one story, and my own personal guilt regarding what happens next led is my own fault.

The first issue of The Multiversity arguably mixed the most concepts and characters and introduced us to the primary threat featured in this story – it’s essential reading to anyone left scratching their heads with this issue. This can be read stand alone as mentioned earlier, but to enjoy this text to the fullest a background in Morrison DC’s work is ideal. Ultra Comics is a book was first introduced via the live dissection from a Monitor within that issue. As a result, don’t expect this comic to be an easy read without the context of the broader series. It’s tempting to say that the threat of this book will be capitalized on as the baddie for the full Multiversity event, but Morrison has trained readers not to look at his work with such a clear lens. The Gentry are not everything that caused the bleakness in Multiversity – as the Multiversity Guidebook clearly articulated.

Mahnke’s storytelling skills haven’t missed a beat. The artist perfectly captures the detailed linework and impossibly huge facial expressions that make this work something truly special. His haunting images are best utilized in the context of horror, which this series arguably falls under. The villains contained within this story are terrifying, silly, and then maddening all in the context of one issue. Mahnke is called upon to be a really versatile artist in this experience, and does a great job on the static rendition of Ultra Comics nobly glimpsing at the reader. Also called upon are several other small flashes of violence with an exploration into the brutality buried deep within superheroes. Christian Alamy, Mark Irwin, Keith Champagne, and Jamie Mendoza bring this issue to a total of four inkers in this oversized. There are the occasional moments of inconsistency here, but overall this is some admirable work from the four mostly blending into each other and not detracting from the reader experience too much. The important part of the art in this issue is that Mahnke was allowed to draw a riveting horror comic.

There are so many different ideas crammed into this one piece of writing. The self reflexive asides kept the plot from becoming too complicated or too pedestrian. The buffer of Ultra Comics explaining his bizarre inner thoughts to the reader perfectly bring casual fans into the strange world of the title. There are so many different ways in which the story engages with readers, whether it be through Ultra Comics speech patterns, inner thoughts, dialogue trees, word balloons, and even meta-commentary within the context of the work itself.

To say much more about this story would spoil the delightful surprises waiting inside for readers to engage with. The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 is the only comic that ever melted off my face and left me in charge of the fate of my new favorite superhero.

I’m sorry Ultra Comics.

4 Comments on Review: The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 Is a metatextual masterpiece, last added: 3/28/2015
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27. To Serve

In restaurants, the food is served;
In tennis, it’s a ball.
In prison, it’s a stretch of time;
To jurors, it’s a call.

We serve our country, serve our guests
And serve at someone’s side;
We serve as ushers or as maids
To march before a bride.

We’re served a summons or a suit
To answer to the law
And sometimes, justice being served
Provides a deal that’s raw.

In life, however, oftentimes
What I, in fact, observe,
Is that we rarely get what we
Believe that we deserve.

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28. Alan Rickman in BAFTA Interview and Upcoming Projects

Alan Rickman is known for not being the subject of many interviews. However, BAFTA seems to be lucky. Rickman’s interview is to be a part of BAFTA’s “Life in Pictures” event–where many big name stars (such as Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, etc.) sit down for talks with BAFTA. The event is April 15. The Variety reports:

Rickman began his acting career in theater, where his credits include a Tony nomination for his performance in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” His feature film debut came in the 1988 alongside Bruce Willis in “Die Hard.” Since then he has appeared in more than 40 films, including the Harry Potter series, “Sweeney Todd” and “Love Actually.”

Rickman was awarded a BAFTA in 1992 for his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.” In the same year, he was also BAFTA-nominated for his lead role in “Truly, Madly, Deeply.” He received two further BAFTA nominations in 1996 and 1997, for “Sense and Sensibility” and “Michael Collins,” respectively.

Rickman made his directorial debut in 1997 with “The Winter Guest,” starring Emma Thompson and Phyllida Law. He recently directed and co-wrote his second feature film, historical drama “A Little Chaos,” in which he also stars with Kate Winslet and Stanley Tucci. The film premiered as the Closing Gala at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, and opens in the U.K. on April 17. Focus Features recently removed the pic from its release schedule in the U.S.

Rickman will next be seen in “Eye in the Sky,” co-starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Colin Firth and Barkhad Abdi, and will reprise his role as the Blue Caterpillar in “Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.”

 

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29. the sweetest thing (from Tamra Tuller)

Those of you who thought I could not possibly get any older were wrong.

Another birthday nears.

But oh how sweet has sweet Tamra Tuller made these days of near senescence.

Tamra, I've never seen anything like this. It's a magnificent idea, perfectly packaged.

And together we have built three very pretty books.

Thank you for the years, the friendship, the stories. Honey. That's just right.

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30. Enemies Yay

EnemiesYay_MouseBear

Enemies Yay is the collaborative work of Laura Blythman and Pete Cromer – both of whom also create incredible colorful work of their own.  Utilizing paper cuts adorned with neon color palettes and patterns, this collaborative collection packs a real punch. With equal parts playfulness and detail, it’s hard not to spend hours looking at each piece, there always seems to be more to discover in their work, which often features quirky characters and lush florals. Their work is a testament to the magic that can happen when you collaborate, and it’s exciting to see what will become of the duo next! Be sure to check out their instagram where they share news and sales of their prints!

EnemiesYay_Forest_Bear EnemiesYay_Happiness EnemiesYay_LetsInviteEveryone EnemiesYay_Lovers EnemiesYay_MAgic EnemiesYay_Poster EnemiesYay_StreetPeople fluer_cushionsPost written by Bryna Shields.

 

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31. Reminder: J.K. Rowling’s “Very Good Lives” To Be Published Next Month

As reported previously here on Leaky, J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Address is being printed in book form. All proceeds of the little, yet powerful, 80-page book will go towards Lumos, as well as university-wide scholarships for potential Harvard students. The book is available for preorder, and will be published April 14, 2105. Amazon’s summary of the book reads:

In 2008, J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply affecting commencement speech at Harvard University. Now published for the first time in book form, VERY GOOD LIVES presents J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life. How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Drawing from stories of her own post-graduate years, the world famous author addresses some of life’s most important questions with acuity and emotional force.

Sales of VERY GOOD LIVES will benefit both Lumos, a charity organization founded by J.K. Rowling, which works to transform the lives of disadvantaged children, and university-wide financial aid at Harvard University.

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32. It must time for a drink

Another dog character pencil sketch. It must time for a drink.



via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/1bC2kY9

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33. {Indie Spotlight & Giveaway} THE SISTERHOOD by Alison Clarke

The Sisterhood is a fantastical tale about a sorceress’ daughter, and her best friend, who is a dragon. They go on an unforgettable journey to save the universe. This novel is filled with Celtic, Greek, and Ghanaian mythology. It is a magical ride, and a wonderful trip to The Fantastic. It is Book One of The Sisterhood series. This series will be a trilogy. Alison Clarke is an author who

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34. Interview: We talk Europen graphic novels with Titan’s new editor Lizzie Kaye

Lizzie_pic1

Last week Titan Comics announced it had hired Lizzie Kaye,  formerly of SelfMadeHero, to the position of editor for their European graphic novel line. We talked with Kaye within a week of her jumping on-board the Titan Comics team about her new gig and Titan’s expansion into the bande dessinée market.

Edie Nugent: Congrats on your new position as editor for Titan’s European graphic novel line. How does it feel to step into those shoes after many years with indie publisher SelfMadeHero?

Lizzie Kaye: Thanks, it’s wonderful to have joined Titan, it’s a company that’s doing really interesting things and moving in a great direction. Obviously, it’s a bit of a change from SelfMadeHero, in terms of the kinds of books each company puts out, but I’m excited by so many of the titles we have coming up and can’t wait to see other people getting excited by them too!

Nugent: You have a background in literature. How you feel you’ll be able to draw on that knowledge in bringing bande dessinée to Titan readers?

Kaye: I think it’s most useful in that studying literature results in you being well-read, which leads to a good understanding of pacing, character, and plot.

This is something that the European market deals with differently than the US/UK market, as the standard length of an album is normally 48 pages. When they have the luxury of that page count, creators can take their time building characters and revealing the plot at a slightly slower pace.  A lot of, though by no means all, BD series are designed from the outset to be at least three volumes, so you could almost consider them as neat, three-act plays.

It also helps in that the European market operates within a slightly different outlook, and BD are often filled with literary references, even if the subject matter itself may not explicitly be so. For example, the series The Chronicles of Legion, the first three volumes of which are out now, with the fourth coming soon, is ostensibly a vampire story. But it’s also more than that. It draws heavily on the origins of gothic literature (before vampires could sparkle!) as well as using devices traditionally found in that literature, such as a story within a story and a layering of narratives. Form my perspective, a literary background helps in that I can see the references, and therefore am able to judge the tone and direction of the story, and consider how that may translate to a market less familiar with seeing those devices used in a sequential art format.

Nugent: Three-act play, it sounds almost like a more Manga way of telling a story. Do you think the BD market exists in that place between monthly single-issue sequential storytelling and the more fast-paced, multi-volume format of Manga?

Kaye: That is one way of looking at it. BD readers can sometimes have to wait a long time for the next volume of a series they are following. It’s important from the outset that the narrative is tightly constructed, and that the characters are memorable, in order to retain the reader. I don’t necessarily think it exists in a place between monthly single-issue releases and manga, more that it uses the medium of sequential art for a different kind of story-telling that is less episodic in nature.

Having said all that, there are of course a number of series that go into much longer runs, Samurai, the first four volumes of which will be released by Titan as an omnibus later in the year, being one of them.

Nugent: Titan has released BD’s of Snowpiercer, which was a French graphic novel-turned-movie starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, Elric, which is based on Michael Moorcock stories, and now Void. How does Titan decide which BD’s to put on the publishing slate? 

Kaye: A lot of factors come into play when we’re choosing which titles to put out. There are certain books that we’d love to see in the English speaking market that we specifically seek out based on our own love of the stories or creators, such as the upcoming Lone Sloane series by Philippe Druillet, and my own personal favourite, The Nikopol Trilogy by Enki Bilal.

For others with creators that might not have had as much exposure in the English speaking market, we take a lot of time to consider the artwork, the story, the length of the series, and how we feel readers might react to it. There are a lot of incredible BD series out there, luckily, so we have a rich seam to mine, and we want readers to really love what we offer them.

Nugent: What series would you recommend to readers just starting to explore what BD’s have to offer?

Kaye: That’s a tough one, as there are so many great stories out there! It depends on each reader’s specific interests, and that’s the beauty of the BD market, it caters for all readers.

I think Elric is a great starting point, because it is so incredibly beautiful, each page is a joy to look at. It’s a good introduction to the more European artwork style, which tends to be a little looser and fluid with a more painterly aesthetic. Titan also has a wonderful new series coming out now called Masked, which is a European take on the Superhero genre, and would be a great entry point, too, and the artwork in that would probably be a little more familiar.

1 Comments on Interview: We talk Europen graphic novels with Titan’s new editor Lizzie Kaye, last added: 3/28/2015
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35. What Did You Do This Week, Gail? March 27th Edition

What I focused on this rough week: Small things, since I could squeeze those into the time I had.

Goal 1. Mummy Book. I did some tweaking of early chapters based on some new research and found some new material for research.

Goal 2. Short Work. Worked on the new essay. Did a little bit of market research.

Goal 3. Adult version of Greg and Emma. Looked at a couple of pages. Had some ideas that I've forgotten. Did some market research.

Goal 5. Community Building. I finished the Connecticut Children's Lit Calendar for next month and passed it on to Computer Guy for fitting into the e-newsletter. It will go out this weekend. Also did a little tweeting.

Goal 6. Continue Marketing Saving the Planet & Stuff. I put in a few evenings on an annotated excerpt program I'm doing here next month for STP&S.

Things could have been a whole lot worse.


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36. ‘Home’ Review Roundup

What the critics are saying about the cutesy alien invasion offering from DreamWorks.

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37. Beep

Huck came to me with How to Read a Story by Kate Messner and Mark Siegel. “Mommy, will you be my reading buddy?” Of course I will!

He starts reading me the book. And then, halfway through, only a few pages after the sneaky video I took below, he…stopped reading out loud. Got sucked into the story and read silently for the first time. Thanks to this charming picture book, I got to be there for the moment of transition. It was magical. And yes, since he’s my youngest, a little bittersweet–the last one to cross the bridge to solo, silent immersion. But only a little bittersweet. Mostly just magical.

 

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38. J.K. Rowling’s Wonderful, Polite Discussion on Dumbledore with Fan

In the recent days, even after Jo tweeted that she didn’t take offense to a fan’s question on Dumbledore’s sexuality, many news sources are still praising J.K. Rowling for her “great come back,” her amazing “shut down,” her “burn” of the fan’s opinion that she did not see Dumbledore as gay, always seeing a possible connection between Dumbledore and McGonagall. As J.K. rowling said herself, the question was not offensive, it was “gentle” and “her response was very sweet.” The media continues to misrepresent the following Twitter interaction between Jo and fan, @anakocovic21:

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@anakocovic21 Tweeted in reply “Amazing answer…Yes you are absolutely right. Such an inspiration!!!”

After fans following the conversation began rallying for Jo’s response, with the perspective of the response being a quick quipped “shut down.” Jo defended @anakocovic21, saying:

A minority of people are rushing to judgement without the facts, so here they are: did NOT ask an offensive question!

My reply to her question was gentle and her response was very sweet. Read the full conversation here:

. LOTS of people saw Dumbledore and McGonagall together. You aren’t alone!

Given all the poor media attention, Ms. Kocovic appears to have shut down her profile, at least from the public eye. (On the plus side, she gained a new follower: J.K. Rowling.) Here at Leaky, we hope to spread the truth about the Twitter conversation between Jo and @anakocovic21, and help stop the spread of this media-fueled smear campaign.

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39. #661 – Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds by Dale Kutzera

Wattpad Coverx

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Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds

Series: The Amazing Adventures of Andy McBean
Written by Dale Kutzera
Illustrated by Joemel Requeza
Salmon Bay Books        10/6/2014
978-0-69202392-1
285 pages Age 8 to 12
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“Andy McBean is struggling to survive Middle School in the soggy hills of the Pacific Northwest. He’s messy, fearful of bullies, and hates the rain. And spending much of the last year in the hospital battling leukemia hasn’t helped. Then one night a meteor storm devastates the county, cutting off power and communications. One giant boulder skids to a halt right on Andy’s front lawn. The glowing meteor draws the attention of neighbors, the media, the army, and even the new girl from Andy’s art class. He is thrilled at the notoriety, but everything changes when the meteor cracks opens and a towering machine steps out. Separated from his family, Andy must fend for himself and rescue his friends. Join Andy on this thrilling adventure as he meets an alien, learns what they want on planet earth, and devises a bold plan to stop them.”

The Story

Andy wakes one morning to find an alien pod on his front lawn. Mom’s roses are ruined. The aliens are here to collect—using a Vaporizer—all the water found on Earth, including that of humans, who are more than 60% water. These creatures travel the universe harvesting water from planets without significant life. The “Big Heads,” who bark the orders, make a decision: humans are not significant. Large tripod machines crush homes and businesses with grabbers capable of sweeping up people and holding them in a cage, until it is time to vaporize them for their watery bodies.

Andy gets away and rescues Charlie from her ruined home and then his best friend Hector. They avoid the large, bulky “Thugs,” who bully the worker aliens until they obey the Big Heads’ commands, and the crushing arms of the grabbers. Andy befriends a worker alien by the name of Been’Tok. Been’Tok, Andy, Hector, Charlie, and Andy’s dad plan to shut down the vaporizer, free the hostages, and send the aliens back to where they came from. But can an eight-year-old boy, recently recovered from bouts of leukemia treatment, save his world?

am3

Review

Inspired by War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds actually brings the aliens to Earth. The action is fast. Andy and his friends are easy to like and fun to watch as they travel by foot. The story is believable, though Andy has several lucky escapes from the aliens (great fun!). Been’Tok is a cute, three-eyed monster with a heart and soul. He loves collecting the odd artifacts he finds while vaporizing various planets for the water his planet desperately needs. He disagrees with his commander, believing humans are significant, especially after Andy saves his life.

The cuteness of Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds reminded me of E. T., even though the two are different types of stories. Until the end, it is not clear whether Been’Tok wants to return home. He enjoys the company of Andy and his friends. The communication barriers make for some delightful scenes as Been’Tok tries to learn Andy’s language. World leaders and military might around the world meeting Been’Tok is funny. Unfortunately, there are several typos throughout the book, but I could actually ignore them—a first—thanks to the intense story that held my interest (though that does not excuse the sloppy editing). Black and white illustrations enhance the story.

am1

Middle grade kids, especially boys, will love the world Kutzera created.  The three-tiered aliens can be humorous and dangerous at the same time. Readers will find several surprises along the way and a happy conclusion. Andy is a terrific character from his loyalty to his best friend Hector, his desire to impress Charlie—the new girl at school—and his valiant attempts to move past his illness, despite his parents’ fears and coddling. Will Andy McBean have future adventures?* If he does, I hope Been’Tok finds a way to join him.am4
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ANDY MCBEAN AND THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. Text copyright © 2014 by Dale Kutzera. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Joemel Requeza. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Salmon Bay Books, Seattle, WA.

*Series: The Amazing Adventures of Andy McBean
. . . . .   .    . #2: Andy McBean 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea released 12/29/2014

Purchase Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds at AmazonB&NSmashwords.
Learn more about Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds HERE
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Meet the author, Dale Kutzera at his website: http://dalekutzera.com/
Meet the illustrator, Joemel Requeza, at his website:
Find Salmon Bay Books here:
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Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 4stars, Books for Boys, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Series Tagged: aliens, Andy McBean and the War of the Worlds, Dale Kutzera, Joemel Requeza, relationships, Salmon Bay Books, saving the world, The Amazing Adventures of Andy McBean

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40. Book Review: Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment

From Goodreads:
When thirty-eight-year-old Ian Thorson died from dehydration and dysentery on a remote Arizona mountaintop in 2012, The New York Timesreported the story under the headline: "Mysterious Buddhist Retreat in the Desert Ends in a Grisly Death." Scott Carney, a journalist and anthropologist who lived in India for six years, was struck by how Thorson’s death echoed other incidents that reflected the little-talked-about connection between intensive meditation and mental instability.
 
Using these tragedies as a springboard, Carney explores how those who go to extremes to achieve divine revelations—and undertake it in illusory ways—can tangle with madness. He also delves into the unorthodox interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism that attracted Thorson and the bizarre teachings of its chief evangelists: Thorson’s wife, Lama Christie McNally, and her previous husband, Geshe Michael Roach, the supreme spiritual leader of Diamond Mountain University, where Thorson died.
 
Carney unravels how the cultlike practices of McNally and Roach and the questionable circumstances surrounding Thorson’s death illuminate a uniquely American tendency to mix and match eastern religious traditions like LEGO pieces in a quest to reach an enlightened, perfected state, no matter the cost.
 
Aided by Thorson’s private papers, along with cutting-edge neurological research that reveals the profound impact of intensive meditation on the brain and stories of miracles and black magic, sexualized rituals, and tantric rites from former Diamond Mountain acolytes, A Death on Diamond Mountain is a gripping work of investigative journalism that reveals how the path to enlightenment can be riddled with danger.
Writing
Last year I read and reviewed Carney's The Red Market about trade in humans and their various body parts.  It was great, but I think this is the book that has cemented him as a must-read author for me.  His reporting style here is very similar to Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven.  He takes on a specific case of an inexcusable death and uses it to examine the entirety of Tibetan Buddhism, focusing in on one particular guru and the cult that sprung up around him.  It's incredibly detailed and accessible to all readers, including those who are unfamiliar with the concepts of Buddhism.  As detailed as he is with his explanations of the religion, its history, and its practices, he also manages to keep the pace active and the reader involved in the story.

My one other note about the writing is that it's obvious that Carney has done his research and spoken to a variety of sources.  In addition to references, he includes detailed notes on each chapter describing who he spoke to and where the information came from.  It's incredibly helpful from a documentation standpoint, and also serves to provide an interested reader with a jumping off point for further study.

Entertainment Value
Cults in general fascinate me, but all of the cults I've read about have largely centered around a Judeo-Christian worldview (Jim Jones, who started as a church, the FLDS church, etc).  I was thrilled to have a chance to see a cult that centers around something so completely different, but that works in the same ways.  I couldn't believe how such disparate religions could become cult followings so similarly. At the same time, it made sense, particularly when paired with Carney's observation that cults tend to form in any religion when mystical experiences take precedence over religious traditions.

Overall
I thoroughly enjoyed my read of this book and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in cults, Tibetan Buddhism, religious extremism, or even true crime.  Carney is an author who is now officially on my radar and who I'll be watching for in the future.

Thanks to Roshe and Gotham Books for providing me with a copy to review.

0 Comments on Book Review: Death on Diamond Mountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path to Enlightenment as of 3/27/2015 4:16:00 PM
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41. Illustration Friday: Outside



You could call this a late submission for last week's Ruckus or an uncharacteristically early submission for this week's Outside.  I prefer to call it versatile by way of serendipity.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  It promises to be very warm where we are.

Happy spring!

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42. The Science of Reading

In a recent neuroscience study, researchers focused on the visual side of the brain and concluded that volunteers saw words and pictures and not individual letters. This research could prove very helpful in understanding how struggling readers process words, and improve tactics for teaching.

Arbordale truly believes that reading, and being read to, is a very important part of growing up. So, we are closing out the work with a Friday Reads Giveaway! Comment on this post to be entered to win these three Arbordale books!

Daisylocks_128 ShapeFamily_128 AnimalPartners_187

Learn more about the Journal of Neuroscience article on Science News.


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43. James Bond’s worst enemy arrives in the first Spectre teaser trailer

spectre poster

Even though filming seemingly just began about a month and a half ago, MGM and Sony have started to rev up the marketing machine for Spectre full blast.

Here’s the first teaser which gives us just enough to get rather excited about, including the debut of Christoph Waltz‘s shadowy villain(?), who is maybe Blofeld?

One thing that’s clear, much like Quantum of Solace was for Casino Royale, with Spectre we’ll be getting another direct sequel, this time to the billion dollar grossing Skyfall. I’m holding out hope that it lives up to its predecessor’s legacy (unlike QoS).

Spectre arrives on November 6th, here’s the official synopsis:

A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

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44. BOBBEE BEE:WHOSE JOB IS IT? (REPLAY)

THIS is a story about four people named EVERYBODY, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, AND NOBODY. There was an important job to be done and EVERYBODY was sure SOMEBODY would do it. ANYBODY could have done it, but NOBODY did it. SOMEBODY got angry about that, because it was EVERYBODY'S job. EVERYBODY thought ANYBODY could do it but NOBODY realized that EVERYBODY wouldn't do it. It ended up that EVERYBODY blamed SOMEBODY when NOBODY did what ANYBODY could have done.




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45. Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 28 of 31

CLASSROOM SLICE OF LIFE STORY CHALLENGE: DAY 28 OF  31 It is Day Twenty-Eight of the Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge. Hooray! At this point your kids have generated a ton of stories.… Continue reading

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46. Emma Watson named #1 on “99 Top Outstanding Woman 2015″

AskMen is known for posting lists with themes such as “The Top 99 Most Desirable Women.” This year, claiming to be “better than that,” they changed their theme to give notoriety to outstanding, inspirational women. Emma Watson was voted as the number one most outstanding woman, according to the list. AskMen gives criteria used to make the list, by posting a video on their site below the article, the video titled “How We Chose the Top 99?”. AskMen writes why Emma is outstanding, saying:

Hermione Granger is courageous, loyal and moral to a fault — she embodies the best of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. So it’s fitting that the little girl who was cast to play her back in 1999 would grow up to become a woman not so different from the fictional heroine she embodied. The 24-year-old Watson has noble pursuits in mind. Her alignment with the United Nations’ HeForShe campaign has made her the face of feminism right now, and she’s helping change the way men think about women. Now that’s power.

Emma Watson is so many incredible things at once — rich, successful, famous, stylish, beautiful, intelligent, personable, kind. And yet, rather than be content with a life of luxury, she’s thrown her back into a serious social issue in an effort to shift the way our society treats women. — James Bassil, AskMen Publisher

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47. Rio Rancho school library review committe rules to keep Palomar on the shelves

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Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar—a masterpiece of small town life, longing and the search for love—survived a challenge and will remain on the shelves at the school library in Rio Rancho, NM Betsy Gomez reports for the CBLDF.

The book was challenged a few weeks ago as “child porn” by a parent in a highly slanted scare TV report. A review committee has decided that the book can stay:

The Rio Rancho review committee agreed. By a 5-3 vote, the committee voted on March 16 to retain the book.

“We commend the Rio Rancho Public Schools for adhering to its challenge policy, and are pleased with the result that the review committee has retained this important book for the benefit of its student community,” says Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of KRRP sponsor organization Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

As NCAC’s original letter stated, a decision to keep Palomar would “demonstrate respect for your readers and their choices, for the professionalism of the librarians who serve the reading public, and for the First Amendment and its importance to a pluralistic, democratic society.”


5-3 is a little close, but the literary merit of Hernandez’s work is universally acknowledged and it’s a relief to see that the obvious scare quotes of the first TV report were not persuasive.

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48. Outcomes-Based Planning Discussion at the YALSA Board Meeting on Friday at Midwinter 2015

Throughout the YALSA Board meeting at Midwinter, the Board discussed some of the possible changes YALSA needs to make so that the organization can grow and change its strategic plan to reflect the Futures Report. In order to incorporate outcomes-based thinking into the strategic planning process, several things must be decided relating to the future direction of YALSA. What do we really want YALSA to look like in the future?

Having worked with outcomes-based planning in a school setting for several years, we were very pleasantly surprised to hear a number of board members relate their experiences with outcomes-based planning at their libraries. I think that everyone understood that this type of planning serves to focus the activities of an organization to attain measurable results. To that end, the YALSA board can look forward to many fruitful discussions between now and annual conference in San Francisco as we define and refine our goals and intended outcomes.

Is outcomes-based planning something new to you? IMLS has a section of their website that explains the process and why it is beneficial for libraries to use it. If you have more questions about outcomes-based planning and YALSA, feel free to contact Board members Vicki Emery or Carrie Kausch. Contact information can be found on the YALSA website.


Vicki Emery and Carrie Kausch

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49. ‘Harvey Beaks’ Creator C.H. Greenblatt on How to Break Into The Biz and Why Artists Should Post on Tumblr

C.H. Greenblatt, creator of the animated series "Chowder," is back with a new series, "Harvey Beaks," that premieres this Sunday on Nickelodeon.

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50. Week in Review, March 23rd-27th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com…

Pam Muñoz Ryan Talks with Roger

March 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book: trailblazing women, Earth Day 2015, National Poetry Month, folklore from around the world, and sporting life

Not on our site, but worth a read: Elizabeth Wein invokes Roger in her BoB decision

Reviews of the Week:

Read Roger:

Out of the Box:

Lolly’s Classroom:

Events calendar

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!

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