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Archive for January 15th, 2011

 

 

The Road to Recovery:
Today I went for my first half-hour walk.  You’ll recall yesterday I was only able to manage about a third of a mile in 20 minutes and was feeling pretty puffed at the end of that.  Well, today I got out for a full 30 minutes and I reckon I walked about one and a third to one and half miles.  No pain.  No chest tightness.  No real shortness of breath.   I did warm up very quickly, which I attribute to the higher pulse and blood pressure than normal, but all in all I’m pretty happy to feel like I accomplished a little more than yesterday.  I didn’t jog.  I only walked, but I did try to stay on my mid-foot and toes and lean a bit forward.  This made me feel like it was almost walking briskly.
Baby steps…  Slowly, slowly…
Two Book Reviews:
This week I read two more of James’ books:  “Demigods And Monsters“, edited by Rick Riordan (2008©), and “The Lost Hero“, written by Rick Riordan (2010©).   The first book is mostly a series of short articles authors of children’s (young adults) fiction writers.  They are offering their thoughts about why particular aspects of the Percy Jackson series are so enjoyable for them as readers and as authors.  To the extent the authors deal with the professional writing aspects of the series, their comments are interesting.  The the extent they extend the stories with their explanations or attempts at humor, the book is tolerable.  This is a book I would only recommend if you are an absolute Percy Jackson fanatic – and even then, probably only if your in your pre-teens.  Other than that, it’s ok, but purchase it used or on deep discount.  I read the book on Tuesday, 11 January, so it’s possible I might have been influenced by the new meds, but I don’t think so.  I completed the second book Thursday, 13 January ’11.
The second book is the first book in a new “Percy Jackson” series.  The original series was all about Greek mythology.  This new series is an attempt to add Roman mythology to the mix.  The new main protagonist is named Jason Grace and he is the son of Jupiter (king of the Roman gods).  Jason is half-human and, therefore, only a demigod.  The story line follows Jason and his two best friends, Piper McLean (daughter of Aphrodite) and Leo Valdez (son of Hephaestus) as they battle various figures from Roman and Greek mythology to save the goddess Hera and the world.  The book is probably 100-150 pages longer than it needs to be, and feels a bit of a long slog as you’re reading it, but once finished, you (I at least) feel as if it was a very good adventure and you wish you could move straight to book two (which isn’t due out until October 2011).
The author talks through each of the main characters, so the viewpoint changes and the reader feels more connected to each.  This was different from the original series where the only point of view was that of the main character (Percy).  After I finished reading the book, I discussed it with my son James and we both agreed we found Leo to be the most interesting of the three points of view.  We disagreed on number two.  James felt Jason was more interesting than Piper.  I felt the reverse.  As Piper is a female character being written about by a male author, I wonder if female readers find her believable, too.  I’ll have to ask one (if I ever meet one).  Anyway, I hope the series is as good as the first book and I highly recommend reading “The Lost Hero“, particularly if you want to read a book to some pre-teens in your family.
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