One-Minute Book Reviews

April 17, 2011

‘The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy)’ – Life With Father

Filed under: Children's Books — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 5:24 pm
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Mark Twain said his daughter used “no sandpaper” on him

The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy). By Barbara Kerley. Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic, 48 pp., $17.99. Ages: 4–8.

By Janice Harayda

In this picture-book biography Barbara Kerley takes a humorous approach as she tries to prove that Mark Twain was more than a humorist. Children may not be persuaded, but this crowd-pleaser has other virtues, including larger-than-life digital art and 11 folio insets with lines from 13-year-old Susy Clemens’s account of her father’s life, which inspired the volume.

Best line: Twain on the book by his daughter that inspired The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy): “This is a frank biographer and an honest one; she uses no sandpaper on me.”

Worst line: “The animals on the farm could not care less that Papa was a world-famous author …” (Kerley).

Recommendation: The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) isn’t for children who are old enough to debate the moral questions raised by the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but for those young enough to enjoy lifting the letters out of the envelopes in “The Jolly Postman” series.

Published: January 2010

Furthermore: The Extraordinary Mark Twain (According to Susy) appeared on the Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal lists of the best books of 2010.

About the author and illustrator: Kerley and Fotheringham collaborated on What to Do About Alice?, a picture-book biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

You can also follow Jan (@janiceharayda) on Twitter at www.twitter.com/janiceharayda.

© 2011 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

October 25, 2009

Tomorrow — Getting Lucky at Harvard, a Review of Ben Mezrich’s Tale of the Founding of Facebook, ‘The Accidental Billionaires’

Filed under: News,Nonfiction — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:33 pm
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Is Ben Mezrich turning into the male Danielle Steel of nonfiction? You might wonder after reading passages like this one from his new The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal (Doubleday, 260, $25):

“His hands roamed under her open white shirt, tracing the soft material of her red bra, his fingers lingering over her perky, round breasts, touching the silky texture of her perfect caramel skin. She gasped, her lips closing against the side of his neck, her tongue leaping out, tasting him. His entire body started to quiver, and he rocked forward, pushing her harder against the stall, feeling her writhe into him. His lips found her ear and she gasped again –”

Does The Accidental Billionaires have more going for — or against — it than this sort of purple prose? A review of the book will appear tomorrow on One-Minute Book Reviews.

October 22, 2009

The Red Lace Bra on the Cover Is Pretty, But Would You Want to Sleep With the Writing in ‘The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook’?

Filed under: News,Nonfiction — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 8:09 pm
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Can there be any redeeming traits to a book full of lines like “the end was really a foregone conclusion”? Or is that pretty red lace bra on the cover the most appealing thing about The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal? A review of Ben Mezrich’s book will appear soon on One-Minute Book Reviews.

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