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Nicola Mansfield RSS Feed (Ontario, Canada)

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Death at Chinatown (Emily Cabot Mysteries) (Volume 5)
Death at Chinatown (Emily Cabot Mysteries) (Volume 5)
by Frances McNamara
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.88
24 used & new from $8.00

3.0 out of 5 stars More Historical Than Mystery, October 31, 2014
A good mystery which I'd normally call a cozy but it contains a serious degree of historical information not usual for the everyday cozy. One can tell the author is extremely researched in the time period and in all the details which the main character comes across in this story which mainly have to do with medicine and the state of the Chinese in Chicago during this time period. I enjoyed the characters, except Stephen the husband, and many real-life personages are included in the cast. I did find the book slow going for the most part, the historical atmosphere held my attention more than the plot but I did find the solution to the mystery a surprise at the end. I also found the book too feminist for my tastes. Without going into too much detail the main character is continuously coaxed and given ultimatums to go back to work, for the sake of the women's cause, when her natural instinct is telling her to be at home with her two children aged 15mos and younger. The husband's actions particularly irritated me.


Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth, Volume 1
Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth, Volume 1
by Joel Christian Gill
Edition: Paperback
Price: $19.68
35 used & new from $15.73

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Graphic Bio of Black Wild West US Marshall, October 31, 2014
Wonderful biography of the black US Marshall, born a slave, who became the most successful lawman of the West and legend has it the stories of the Lone Ranger are based on him. The author's previous book, Strange Fruit, contains a mini-biography on Bass Reeves and this book takes the same story, expounds upon it and fills in more details. Bass led an adventurous life starting off as a slave, living several years with Natives, fighting for the North during the Civil War and finally becoming a US Marshall. An interesting concept used for this book, that I think is quite successful in conveying the racism of the time without using the degrading language is the using of pictographs. Whenever a black man is being referred to as, obviously the n-word, there is a little drawing of a racist blackface type head, also for Indians whenever they are being referred to as perhaps redskins or savages, there is a little drawing of the head of a chief in feathered headdress. For those of us who know the words that were used, the images bring them to mind, for the younger readers who haven't experienced these racist terms, the words aren't introduced and yet they know "bad" or mocking words are being used. An interesting, informative and exciting tale of a man not that well known to history. Looking forward to seeing who the next volume will be about.


This One Summer
This One Summer
by Mariko Tamaki
Edition: Paperback
2 used & new from $18.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Art. Story ... Ugh!, October 31, 2014
This review is from: This One Summer (Paperback)
Ugh. What to say? This story did nothing for me in fact, I didn't like it in parts and found it ho-hum the rest of the time. The art is amazing and is what kept me reading this over 300 page book. The entire book is done in blue and the graphics are splendid making for a beautiful presentation. But the story of two girls who know each other by spending the summer at the same cottages each and every summer since they were little is full of conflicts that go nowhere. I don't mind this kind of plot most of the time but I also didn't find the mother's behaviour realistic at all. And in general I found the story to be entirely so blatantly feminist and left wing that it really was unpalatable to me. Of course, there are plenty of the target audience and my opinion will be unpopular with them.


Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood Legend
Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood Legend
by Patrick Shand
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.39
2 used & new from $14.39

5.0 out of 5 stars The End of the Trilogy, October 31, 2014
Wonderful end to this trilogy and the best book of the three! The artwork is as we've come to expect simply beautiful. But by far Shand gives us some of his best work to date. A story with all the things you expect from Zenescope: magic, demons, sexyness, bodacious babes and violence this volume has surprisingly tender moments and a lot of pathos. I'm quite impressed with the ending. The beginning though was filled with shocks as readers of the previous books will find some unexpected character returns. And even though this trilogy is finished it is not the end as the last pages set the scene for Robyn's new ongoing series. Looking forward to that!


The Shadow Hero
The Shadow Hero
by Gene Luen Yang
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.36
62 used & new from $7.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Origin Story for Real 1940s Comic Chinese Superhero, October 31, 2014
This review is from: The Shadow Hero (Paperback)
I enjoyed this a lot. It was a fun romp. I'm a big fan of pulp comics from the 30s/40s, a fan of Asian-themed fiction and a fan of Gene Luen Yang so needless to say I was looking forward to this and expected to like it. It's written in the good old style of the pulp comics from that age and is the origin story of a real comic character "The Green Turtle" which ran for a total of five issues. It shows a favourable depiction of the Chinese for the first time during this period as this was a time when the extreme stereotypes had usually been portrayed. But because china was an ally in the war (the reason for this comic) a distinction is made between Chinese and Japanese with the "Japs" getting the stereotypical racist charactures instead. Of course, lots of racial epithets are slung around for everyone including "mick" and "chink", for realism. Overall, a fun comic hero romp. What I particularly found fascinating was the author's note at the back telling what he has been able to find out about the original author of the series and his intentions (not much is known) and the rumours surrounding this comic. The piece de resistance is a scan of the very first original issue of "The Green Turtle" which was a hoot in itself. After I'm done this review I'm going to see if this series has been uploaded to one of those golden age comic websites; I'd love to read the whole thing!


The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 1
The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 1
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Hardcover
64 used & new from $11.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! Brilliant!, October 31, 2014
I 100% loved this! Having read the novel way back in 2008 it's impossible for me to say whether this deviates at all from the original but it certainly brings the fantastic story back to into my life! An incredible story that is so imaginative. It's a brilliant story and I just wonder what took them so long to adapt it to graphic novel form especially considering the authors. The only thing a little iffy here is that each chapter is illustrated by a different artist so there is some transition adjustment as characters will look slightly different and personally I liked some styles better than others, but overall they did a very good job of keeping consistent with one another and yet staying true to their own form. P. Craig Russell is so wonderful an artist though it certainly would have been brilliant had the entire book been done by him, just saying.


Ernest and Rebecca #5: The School of Nonsense (Ernest and Rebecca Graphic Novels)
Ernest and Rebecca #5: The School of Nonsense (Ernest and Rebecca Graphic Novels)
by Guillaume Bianco
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.10
50 used & new from $4.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Start with Book 1, October 31, 2014
This is the first Ernest & Rebecca book that I have read and I can see that probably decreased my enjoyment to a certain degree. First of all though, I loved the art; it is cute in a way I've come to expect from the French. I did like the story but found it quite confusing at first as it appears to be continuing on from a previous book. Remember I have no idea who these characters are and Ernest is gone for the first bit so it was difficult for me to get a feel for these characters. Also during the book an unseen character gets ill, while an asterisk refers us to book 3, and this becomes a theme. So not a good volume to start with but I will say that it has intrigued me. While being a fun, silly story it does also deal with some serious topics such as divorced parents, mother's fiance, teen angst and coming to terms with the idea that a grandparent isn't going to live forever. The book then ends with the scenario set for the next volume. I will probably give this series a go from the beginning to give it a proper read.


Satechi® Spectrum Mouse Wired Optical 7-Color LED Changing Computer Mouse with 1000 DPI (Silver)
Satechi® Spectrum Mouse Wired Optical 7-Color LED Changing Computer Mouse with 1000 DPI (Silver)
Offered by Satechi
Price: $29.99
4 used & new from $17.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, October 28, 2014
Totally awesome! I can't believe I'm actually having fun with my mouse! Everybody walks by and says how cool it is and it really is. Plug and play. No problems. I have an older laptop running windows 7, very plain jane and the mouse setup took mere minutes and I was off. It feels perfectly comfortable in my hand has everything needed, left/right click buttons, resting spot for thumb on both sides and a wheel. It's optical so no need for a mouse pad and I can't say enough about it. It comes with a cord which did make me cautious at first as I haven't been tied to my computer for years, *but* the cord is very long (but not too long) that I hardly even notice I'm connected. I've basically forgotten and one bonus is I have a bad habit of dropping my mouse on the floor when using my laptop in bed and now (heehee) it can't go anywhere, I just pull it right back up. Yes, it has survived several falls to the floor without a mark so I can vouch for its durability too. This will make an awesome Christmas gift/stocking stuffer.


The Dumbest Idea Ever!
The Dumbest Idea Ever!
by Jimmy Gownley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.66
63 used & new from $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Inspirational!, October 23, 2014
This review is from: The Dumbest Idea Ever! (Hardcover)
This is the first time I've actually heard of this author but I'm going to be looking for his other work right away. This is an outstanding and inspiring memoir of the author in Gr. 8 & 9 Catholic school. Two pivotal years in his life when he learned who and what he was going to be. A fascinating and inspirational story of a teenager who becomes a cartoonist at the age of 15, yet it deals with all the normal highschool/teen realities: first date, starting high school, making new friends, losing old ones, teenage angst and getting a swelled head. Anyone who likes to draw or even doodle around will fall into this story and feel exhilarated. It made me feel excited for my children, that they can do anything if they are passionate about it. Jimmy is such a lovable character and his wit and humour is deadpan, I really didn't want the book to end. He's a kind, good-natured guy but just like anyone he can have a nasty side and at a certain point gets an ego that goes out of control making him a real person. There are a few author graphic memoirs out there now for teens but this is one of the most genuine I've come across. My 14yob enjoyed it very much as well.


Comics Squad: Recess! (Comic Squad)
Comics Squad: Recess! (Comic Squad)
by Dav Pilkey
Edition: Paperback
Price: $7.54
64 used & new from $3.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Anthology From Popular Authors, October 22, 2014
Fun anthology of short stories by popular children's graphic novelists. I've read all these authors before and found it a delight to read these stories. Some are one-off shorts while others are further adventures of favourite characters such as Baby Mouse and Lunchroom Lady. The stories are all held together by the common theme of recess; with recess featuring prominently in some and and simply in passing in others. I enjoyed each story, each being a perfect example of the author/illustrator's work. I went into each one looking forward to the treat and was not disappointed, however, if the reader has not read any of these authors these stories are bound to have you searching for their other books. Good Show! And the back of the book assures us that a sequel is in the works. Yeah!


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