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The Adventures of Shamis and Larry
The Adventures of Shamis and Larry
by Jeff Sartini
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.00
16 used & new from $6.98

4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable YA Adventure Story, Filled with Magnificent Puns and Wordplay, June 11, 2015
If you appreciate dry humor, wry wit, and satirical fantasy, then you are in the right place. If you love The Princess Bride or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or A. A. Milne’s lesser known Once on a Time, then you will appreciate the wordplay in Jeff Sartini’s The Adventures of Shamis and Larry. Jeff has skillfully designed a tale children will enjoy for the adventure and adults will enjoy for the subtle (and many times, not so subtle) puns and the humorous exploration of the limitations of language.

The story centers around rhetoric and reputations: What names do people put on things, particularly themselves? Are those names fitting? How will people misinterpret them? In what ways are those names intended to mislead others purposefully?

But my description is too academic. Fundamentally, the story pulls us in because we are drawn to the two brothers, who must go on a “perilous” quest as punishment for pulling a prank on their mother. She sends them out into the world to obtain the magical Engagement Water, which she hopes to use to win the heart (and money) of the Prince. Shamis and Larry then stumble out into the wide world, dressed in their “questing kilts,” ready for grand adventures.

The two make for entertaining company as we follow them from town to town in the mixed up story-world. They soon pickup sidekicks in the form of a One-Headed Monkey (Yes, I relayed that accurately) and a Magical Mule (that is 1/2 horse, 1/2 donkey, and 1/2 canary)–capital letters and rules on the proper use of them abound in the story. Both provide ample entertainment: Where will the monkey perch next? How many heads does a monkey normally have? Why is the mule magical, and how does he climb to high places (including the crow’s nest on a pirate ship)? These questions pull children in and make adults smile.

Through adventures with palindromes and anagrams, Shamis and Larry follow clues from one place to another until the Oracle Bob tells them to find the Engagement Water with the Swamp Pirates. The brothers are good-hearted and learn adventuring places them in situations where they can help others connect–as they lead Loomis to a life of adventure and assist a mattress-maker in finding a surprising new stuffing for his beds.

If you’re curious to discover where the story goes and who an Evil Vegetarian is, if you want to see the Pirates’ Lair and learn whether Shamis and Larry find the Engagement Water and what their mother does with it, if you smile at “The Chapter Where Nothing Exciting Happens,” then this is the book for you. All throughout, the brothers banter back and forth, facing “perils” and “arduous” journeys, uncovering “magic” in its various forms. Wordplay abounds, and I look eagerly for Book Two.

Chandler Brett


Ultimate Lost and Philosophy: Think Together, Die Alone
Ultimate Lost and Philosophy: Think Together, Die Alone
by William Irwin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.47
71 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, August 7, 2012
The Blackwell Pop Culture series is always a fun and interesting outing. This volume on Lost (the updated, revised version) contains helpful insights about the show, with references to philosophy, a subject that all too many people think has no practical use. The essays here show the philosophy can be helpful when philosophers write in a more accessible style about something that other people find interesting.


Halo Screen Protector Film Clear (Invisible) for iPhone 4S 4G 4 (3 Pack + 3 Back Films) Lifetime Replacement Warranty
Halo Screen Protector Film Clear (Invisible) for iPhone 4S 4G 4 (3 Pack + 3 Back Films) Lifetime Replacement Warranty
Offered by TDC Direct
2 used & new from $4.90

18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plagued by dust bubbles, but if careful, can work., September 12, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wanted to like these protectors. I watched the video about how to install, rolling off the sticky guard while pressing down with a credit card. I followed the instructions in two separate locations, trying to find a "dust-free" environment, but five out of six (three front and back protectors) had multiple dust bubbles. The last had a couple dust bubbles, but that was fine. Once you pull the guards off the protector film, there is no keeping dust off of them (I tried using eyeglass cleaner)--so if you don't get them in place the first time, that's it. They say they are washable and re-useable, but watermarks and fingerprints abound.

I did eventually order a second set and did put one on my iPhone in a bathroom steamed up from a hot shower. I was able to place it without any serious bubbles in the center, but there are a couple bubbles on the corners. I can live with those, though. The protector does a nice job of otherwise "blending in," save when you see the rainbow effect at an angle (largely when the screen is off--so not a big deal). If it protects the screen and stays on the phone for a reasonable amount of time, that is the important part now.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2011 1:47 AM PST


Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality
Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality
by William Irwin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.02
74 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iron Man and Philosophy, November 30, 2010
This book is a thoughtful collection of essays analyzing the character of Tony Stark and the long line of Iron Man stories in both the comic books and the films. If you are interested in all things Iron Man, then this book will be an interesting and entertaining read.


Meaning of Revelation
Meaning of Revelation
by H. Richard Niebuhr
Edition: Paperback
48 used & new from $0.01

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Theological Classic, October 26, 2003
This review is from: Meaning of Revelation (Paperback)
It is completely ludicrous that this work is out of print. It is perhaps the most important of Richard Niebuhr's books (despite the continued influence of _Christ and Culture_ and _The Responsible Self_). One of the central issues theologians wrestled with in the 20th century was the rise of historicist thought. Such thought is still with us today; it is the grounding of postmodern secularist relativism -- because we are each limited by our prejudices (shaped by our social, geographical, and temporal locations), we cannot possibly critique one another. Niebuhr was one of the first theologians in American to offer a solid theological answer; his thought still resonates today in the work of Stanley Hauerwas and others, who argue that God has entered history and that we are to join this particular history, that of Israel, Jesus, and the Church. Niebuhr tells us Christians that we should acknowledge our groundedness, our contingencies, our limitations. Only God can transcend all these differences and present us with the gift of unity. God invites all to become part of this historical movement. Niebuhr's book is a difficult read, but worth the effort.


Resident Aliens: A Provocative Christian Assessment of Culture and Ministry for People Who Know that Something is Wrong
Resident Aliens: A Provocative Christian Assessment of Culture and Ministry for People Who Know that Something is Wrong
by Stanley Hauerwas
Edition: Paperback
158 used & new from $0.01

16 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars resonating theme; poorly written, October 26, 2003
This work is overrated. It does importantly remind Christians to stay on task as the Church. However, there are serious problems in its construction. Hauerwas has recited ideas, and Willimon has written them down. The scholarship behind the work is weak; the wording is often sweeping, generalized, and misrepresentative -- particularly in the condemnations of Paul Tillich and H. Richard Niebuhr. Niebuhr particularly spoke out against confusing our Christian commitment with nationalism, but Hauerwas & Willimon present him as someone who cannot distinguish the Gospel from the world. Take their assessment of other theologians with a serious grain of salt.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2010 3:06 PM PST


The Work We Have to Do: A History of Protestants in America (Religion in American Life)
The Work We Have to Do: A History of Protestants in America (Religion in American Life)
by Mark A. Noll
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.74
68 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tough task, only moderately successful, April 9, 2003
It is a tough job to pull church history in America together into a short volume; one will always tend to leave things out. Noll does a decent job in selecting material, but the book suffers from poor writing. There seems to be no real organization to his chapters; they read as loose collections of ideas and paragraph biographies. If the book were reworked, it could be a valuable introduction.


Scion v. 1: Conflict of Conscience
Scion v. 1: Conflict of Conscience
by Jake Cheung
Edition: Paperback
63 used & new from $1.25

4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not given the attention it deserves, December 17, 2002
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This has been one of Crossgen Comics' best series from the beginning. The writing and the artistry are both well done. This is a great read for lovers of the science ficiton/fantasy genre. Highly recommended.


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