One of my favorite historical characters is Henry Flagler. Being from Florida, it is truly amazing to see the impact he had on my state, but one of the most interesting things in his history is his dream of extending his railroad from Miami down to Key West, despite all of the geographical, meterological, and laborious hurdles that stood in his way. This book gave a great history on this project.
Filled with photographs and displays from the railroad, this book is great. At only 52 pages, it was a quick but joyous read that allowed me to really dive deeper into this part of Florida's history. I actually picked this book up when my wife and I toured Whitehall, Flagler's house on Palm Beach that he made for his wife. I guess that made it a little more sentimental.
If you know nothing about Flagler's Folly or are just wanting to learn more, check this book out.
So I've been on a nature kick lately taking my son to various local parks and identifying birds, flowers, and other outdoor life and I thought this would be a fun, fast-paced read about an older guy who is completely out of shape but decides he wants to hike the Appalachian Trail. I've done similar yet vastly smaller scale things in my life. Twice I woke up and decided to run a 5k that day, completely untrained and out of shape.
What I hoped would be the story of a man and his fatter friend competing against all odds, pulling out every last bit of strength, determination, and will power in his tired, broken down body to complete the AT was actually anything but. I don't want to give away any spoilers here but WARNING: SPOILER ALERT! He doesn't do it! He doesn't even come close! After mocking the South and deciding he doesn't want to be in the South ever again, he hires a cab to take him to Virginia. After this point, my interest was lost.
Not only is this book completely unbelievable, it is actually more unbelievable than most movie scripts. I'm not calling him a fraud but I do believe in my heart he may have stretched a few things to make it more pleasant to read. The first half of the book was entertaining, though questionably true, but the second half of the book, when his friend and him decide to take a few months off (lame!), is boring. It is nothing more than him describing various histories of different aspects of the trail. Personally, I thought it was slow-moving and felt like it took me much longer to get through than the first half of the book.
As much as I complain, it wasn't all bad. The book was pretty funny and awe inspiring when he describes how difficult it is to actually hike the trail. I'm glad I read it because I feel like I learned quite a bit. I just wish it would've been more engaging than it was.
DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
We are instantly thrust back into the world of Coraira and things are picked up right where they were left off in Teagan of Tomorrow except the whole purpose of this book is to deepen the backstory of the relationship between Calla and Elora as well as continue to integrate Teagan as pivotal character in this epic.
I was a fan of the first three books in this series - they were solid, rich children's fantasy novels that really served to get kids into the genre. So when I picked up Second Twin, I had higher than normal expectations. Unfortunately, this book just didn't do it for me.
The book is written in a back and forth manner speaking of characters in ancient Coraira and modern Coraira, but rather than sit in one time period for a while and let the story start flowing, it jumped back and forth too often, breaking any flow that the story was starting to gain.
This series is also starting to encapsulate a large number of main or secondary characters (Asher, Ariana, Cinnamon, Teagan, Elora, Calla, Asgall, Fibryn, Grimblerod......) which makes it difficult to keep track of who is where and in what time period. If a few of these characters were taken out and the story made to be more streamlined, I think it would have succeeded a bit more.
But I haven't given up hope! I will continue this journey into Coraira and keep reading the series as they come out because I am a big fan of Mann and feel that she really can write a good story for children. And just because I didn't like this one does not diminish how much I enjoyed the first three.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.