Category Archives: 2014 reads

Tomorrow Comes

Tomorrow Comes by Donna Mebane

Tomorrow Comes by Donna Mebane

In the afterward to this novel, Donna Mebane writes,

I’m not a theologian or a psychologist or a philosopher. I’m not even a writer. I’m just a mom who loves my kids and assumed, like every mom does, that they’d be a part of my life for all my life. But in July 2011, after an evening during which she laughed for hours with her family and helped her best friend prepare for a long-anticipated trip to New York, my beloved daughter, Emma went to sleep and never woke up.

That was the impetus for this novel, a work of fiction where her daughter gets to wake up. As such, this is sort of a ghost story. Emma finds herself in a world much like the one she left behind but one that is populated by those who have passed away. She meets her grandparents, and her deceased dog.

There are rules to the way this new world works, and Emma, in typical teenage fashion, figures a way to work around them. She tries to reach out to her family to let them know that she is okay. She navigates her new reality and tries to make peace with her new reality.

Win a Free Copy of this Novel

If you would like to read this book, please contact me and I will mail you my copy for free. The Mebane family would love to have this story spread. It was suggested for me to do this on the very last page of the book. If you want to read it, I encourage you to pass it along when you are done with it as well.

My List of 2014 Reads – the complete list with links to each title I read this year

Happy Reading! 

 

A Interactive and Tangled Commonplace Book

Daily Zen Doodles

Daily Zen Doodles: 365 Tangle Creations for Inspiration, Relaxation, and Mindfulness by Meera Lee Patel

This is a commonplace book with a twist. Or maybe it’s a sketch book with quotations. Or it could be a individualized puzzle for you to complete every single day for a year.

Whatever it is, it is pretty cool!

Here is an example of what you will find in this book.

Zen Original

I love the quotation here . . .

“We are like children building a sand castle. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet…we know that the tide will inevitable come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.”

– Pema Chodron

But this book is not merely a commonplace book. It is meant to “isnpire you to lose yourself in the contemplative act of drawing. Each page is an invitation to sketch, relax, focus, and reach toward inner peace.”

Here is my first attempt at it . . .

Zen Chase March

That was kind of fun. I bet you can tell a lot about me from that simple sketch as well. I let my mind wander as I thought about the quotation.

There are a few other pages I am eager to complete. It is a nice kind of meditation to do this exercise. I have never been much of a doodler. I often write poetry when my mind wanders and I have a pencil and paper in my hand. In fact, it could be cool to write words inside of the shapes and images that are provided as a starting point. Hmm, maybe I will try that tomorrow.

My 2014 Reading Log – with links to every title (over 70 books so far)

How to Use a Reward System in the Classroom

I have never been a fan of using rewards systems in the classroom. I’ve tried them out but have found that they are just simply too much work. It’s difficult to keep tabs on every student in the class and assign points effectively.

This year, I changed my stance a little. I started a reward system for three students in my class who could really use the extra motivation. And so far, it is working wonders. I like the fact that I don’t have to track every student. It makes it much more manageable for me and meaningful for the few students who need it.

I am currently reading

Will-My-Kid-Grow-Out-of-It-Book

Will My Kid Grow Out of It? by Bonny J. Forrest.

This is what she has to say about using reward systems.

It works for some students

Children with ADHD tend to respond well to reward systems, but only if they are well designed in the ways I will describe.

The reward can be anything

The reward can be anything—within reason—that will motivate her in the short term, such as allowing an extra half hour of TV or playing a video game.

Tailor the reward to the student

Rewards should always be keyed to what your child likes. Be creative. You can rotate different types of rewards and tailor them to your child.

Here are some other tips for designing a rewards system:

  • Give points for simple behaviors, even if other children don’t need rewards to behave in those ways. Good examples are responding happily to a change in plans or asking for something in a respectful tone as opposed to having a meltdown.
  • Try to avoid rewards of food or expensive items. Food should be less about comfort and more about nutrition.
  • Small rewards earned in the short term tend to work better than large rewards offered in the long term. I often give a small reward for three point of a possible total of five in a day. In addition, you can give the child cumulative point for specific behaviors. As a child accumulates the points, she can use them for larger tangible rewards, such as a special book or more daily time on the computer.
  • Be consistent and follow through with rules and expectations. Children with ADHD respond to disappointment with much greater frustration than others. That response is part of their makeup, not something they should be blamed for—though they can learn to control it.

How parents can help . . .

Parents should also be on the lookout for physical activities—such as tennis or swimming or martial arts—that hold their attention and don’t provide downtime for the mind to wander.

What I am doing this year

I am using a reward system with three of my students. They earn stars in their planner for each block of the day. They can earn two stars in each block for a total of six stars a day. The parents are being supportive and offering rewards and consequences at home. These are keyed to the specific interests of the child too. It is working quite well so far.

What reward system do you use? 

Please leave a comment below. Thanks for visiting!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – free resources for teachers every week!

The Walking Dead – At War Again

Walking Dead Vol18

The Walking Dead: Volume 18 – What Comes Next

Rick had high hopes that society was starting to rebuild in a way that could actually work. But Negan is not a fair or kind ruler. We already knew that from the past volume, but things get even more intense and unbearable this issue.

Walking Dead Vol19

The Walking Dead: Volume 19 – March to War

An unlikely alliance starts to come together and training for war begins. But Negan seems to be two steps ahead of them. It looks like they have quite the battle on their hands.

I am trying not to give away much of the plot with these reviews. I know several people that are at different stages in the series, whether they are reading them or watching them on TV.

No matter what medium you consume these stories in, there is do doubt that it is a compelling story that is very well done.

My 2014 Reading Log (over 70 titles and counting)

Marvel Knights – Dark Reign – Shadowland

Marvel_Knights_Vol_1_15

Marvel Knights # 1 – 15 (2000)

I am counting this one as a graphic novel when it comes to my reading log even though it was never collected as such.

In fact, much like this title, these heroes were probably not meant to come together either. They certainly aren’t the X-men, Avengers, or Justice League. They are an unlikely combination but they manage to make the team work. For a little while anyway.

The Marvel Knights team consists of my favourite super-hero, Daredevil, along with Dagger, Black Widow, Shang Chi, and the Punisher.

They are several story arcs in this collection. Some are better than others. But there is something about this team that has me yearning for more. I was disappointed when I came to the end of this limited series.

Dark Reign Elektra

Dark Reign: Elektra

Elektra returns after the Secret Invasion and people aren’t too happy to have her back. There is a price or her head even though she is innocent of the wrong-doings committed in her name and image by the Skrulls.

This was a great book and I enjoyed it more so than any of the other titles in the Marvel Event. Elektra is a really interesting character. I haven’t read much of her journeys outside of the Daredevil title, however. Maybe I should rectify that.

Shadowland_Daughters_of_the_Shadow_Vol_1_2

It’s always great to see female super-heroes. I especially love the idea of an all-female team. Even though I knew very little about these characters, I really enjoyed this read. It ties into the Shadowland story but it also manages to stand on its own.

At three single comic issues however, the story comes to an end too quickly. I would love to see more from these ladies.

My 2014 Reading Log – I’m smashing records this year!

The Car Thief

The Car Thief

The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner

Publishers offer to send me books every single week since I have this great platform in which to share them with you. This story sounded like it would be right up my alley. I love literary fiction and I like classics. This one seemed like it combined both of those.

I have to admit that I trudged my way through this one. It simply didn’t work for me on a few different levels. I didn’t identify the main character and the story moved a little too slowly for me.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact it was written forty years ago. It came out before I was born and apparently was quite popular. I’ve read heaps of praise for Weesner’s debut novel, but it looks like I won’t be adding to that pile.

It’s not that it’s a bad story or that it’s poorly written. It just didn’t grab my attention the way I wanted it to. I put it down and never felt like picking it back up. I managed to finish it, however, but it was a chore.

I’ve been told by several people that it’s okay to abandon a book. I pretty much never do that. I like to see things through to their conclusion. Maybe that’s a character fault.

If you’ve ever wanted to read this book, if you’d like to have it on your bookshelf, please email me, contact me on Twitter, or leave a comment below and I will gladly send you my copy for free. 

Happy Reading! 

My 2014 Reading Log – it’s getting down to the wire. I wonder what the final total will be.

Spider-Woman: Origin

Spider-Woman Origin

Spider-Woman: Origin

I came into this story knowing nothing about this character. I had heard her name before and even seen her in some of The Avenger books I have read, but I didn’t have a grasp on who she was prior to picking up this book.

Brian Michael Bendis is one of my all-time favourite authors. He has penned another great tale, and along with the help of Brian Reed and Luna Brothers, they have created a great book.

It even ties into what is happened in Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. right now as it shows a family within the Hydra organization. Jessica Drew’s father was very committed to the terrorist group. He was so committed to it that even his family wasn’t safe from his experiments.

The book follows Jessica Drew’s tragic childhood through to her brainwashing by Hydra to her joining S.H.I.E.L.D. and then eventually becoming an Avenger.

I have a new respect and admiration for the character after reading this. I am looking forward to the Netflix television series that will be focusing on her as well. We are in a golden-age of comic book film, television, and books. I’m glad to experience great stories in all three mediums.

My 2014 Reading Log – 70 books and counting!

How Successful Teachers Lead

How_Successful_People_Lead_Cover

How Successful People Lead by John C. Maxwell

Teachers are a special kind of leader. We have to lead a classroom full of students who have very diverse needs and attitudes.

I thought reading this book might help me develop further as a leader in education. While it wasn’t written with teachers in mind, I think we can still learn a lot from the wisdom of leaders in business settings too.

Maxwell believes that there are 5 levels of leadership and that successful leaders work their way up to the top echelon.

5 Levels of Leadership

First Level – Position

Every leader starts in a position that relies solely on their job title. Every time, we start over in a new school, we start all over again on this bottom rung.

Second Level – Permission

After you have proved yourself somewhat, people will follow you because they like who you are and what you do. You have gained respect and earned their permission to lead.

Third Level – Production

People follow you because of what you have been able to accomplish at your school. This is a great one for coaches, music teachers, and anyone who runs an extra-curricular club. These accomplishments are quite visible in the school and people take notice.

Fourth Level – People Development

People follow you because of what you have done for them. Teaching is all about building relationships with students and parents. It is a tough job to get to this level as it takes time and personal attention to the student body (and not just the kids in your own class)

Fifth Level – The Pinnacle

According to the author, some people never reach this level. You can fall down at any level because of poor decisions, moving locations, and small failures. It is a constant building process to make your way up this ladder.

Assessment, Feedback, and Communication

Here’s a quote from the book about relates to feedback and purposeful assessment in the classroom. I have paraphrased it slightly to fit educational purposes.

“Our students should understand their mission. Good teacher never assume that their students understand the mission. Don’t take for granted that they know what you know or believe what you believe. Don’t assume they understand how their talents and efforts are supposed to contribute to the mission of the class and their own learning. Communicate it often.

Students, and their parents, should receive feedback about their performance. People always want to know how they are doing. If they are not succeeding, most of the time, they want to know how to make adjustments to improve and are willing to change if they are convinced it will help them win.”

I love the wording “win” here. Students of all ages want to win. What a great way to think about learning!

Learn All the Time

I constantly learn how to improve my own teaching by trying new methods, reading professional books, and even from books outside of education practice. I hope you have found this post useful. Come back next Tuesday for another dose of inspiration.

Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive – Over 200 great idea, tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiration for classroom teachers.

Daredevil – One Shots

Dardevil x Captain America

This one-off story was originally published in Italy and has never been presented to North American audiences until now.

DD x Cap

The villain in this one is Death Stalker, who first appeared in Frank Miller’s legendary run on the Daredevil title. The story was translated into English for this edition but it seems to work just fine. It’s standard super-hero team-up fair but a nice read nonetheless.

DD Black and White

Matt Murdock was blinded as a young boy. The rest of his senses became so acute that he can function perfectly fine without sight. He has a radar sense that basically allows him to see in 360 degrees. He uses these powers for good and fights crime as Daredevil.

So, when given the chance to actually see with real eyes again, will it change his life for the better, or is it better to remain as he is. It’s a tough decision considering that Bullseye is back in town and a gang war seems to be wreaking havoc in the city as well.

This one-shot title is in black and white and tells a great story!

DD Blood of Tarantula

Carlos LaMuerto is the Black Tarantula and he has gone through a lot in his lifetime. He is trying to do the right thing by fighting crime with the powers that have been en-gifted to him. His cousin tries to steal this power. Daredevil helps foil the plans but doesn’t like Tarantula’s methods that often go a tad overboard.

I didn’t know much about this character but did enjoy this short tale featuring my favourite super-hero, Daredevil.

DD Cage Match

This is an origin story of the relationship between Luke Cage and Daredevil. Typical guys who are not above knocking each other around to prove something to themselves and one another.

DD Cage Match descrip

I don’t often seek out these one-offs to read but couldn’t help myself since I had the Marvel Unlimited App on my phone for a trial subscription. I really enjoyed reading all of the comics I have been posting about for the past two months. This app is a great tool to have. It’s so nice being able to carry around digital comic books that live in my phone. I can read whenever I get a spare moment. It’s awesome!

My 2014 Reading Log – pretty impressive list so far too!

Superior Spider-Man Teams Up with Villains and Heroes

Superior Spider-Man Team Up - Vol 1

Superior Spider-Man Team Up: Volume 1 – Versus

No one in the Marvel Universe realizes that Doc Ock has taken over Peter Parker’s life. Not even when he battles them all. There are some pretty good fights here and an interesting way to kick off the new on-going team-up series.

It looks like, perhaps, Doc Ock is back to his evil ways. But ever since he rededicated himself to be an even better Spider-Man than Parker ever was, he has been fighting crime in his own way. And of course, this time it is no different.

Superior Spider-Man Team Up - Vol 2

Superior Spider-Man Team Up: Volume 2 – Superior Six

The Superior Spider-Man is on probation with The Avengers because of his peculiar actions as of late. He decides that he needs his own team and uses technology to control the Sinister Six. He uses them like puppets to form his new hero team, The Superior Six. But not everything goes according to plan.

Also, in this collection is a team-up with my favourite super-hero, Daredevil. he knows that something is off with Peter Parker as well. He doesn’t bring it full circle to discover the true secret, however.

A Great Companion Title

So far, this title has been a great addition to the on-going Superior Spider-Man title. It’s an amazing series and I highly recommend it.

In fact, I would love to see the new movie franchise go down this route in the next few movies. I couldn’t help but thinking that as I watched The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It feels like it would be a natural progression.

My List of 2014 Reads – My detailed reading log for the year

Ender’s Game Concludes with Children of the Mind

Children of the Mind

Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card

It’s taken me a while but I have finally read the original Ender’s Game series.

The first novel is a science fiction classic that I stumbled upon seven years ago. I was completely blown away by the tale and it became one of my all-time favourite books.

The second book in the series, Speaker for the Dead, did the impossible. It topped the original. Sequels rarely do that, but the second book stands as my favourite of the series.

The third book was enjoyable but couldn’t quite compare to the two back-to-back knock-out punches. Fortunately though, Orson Scott Card brings it all home in the fourth and final chapter of the series.

But like all good characters and stories, this one lives on. Card is apparently working on a new trilogy focusing on the alien species, The Formics.

That would bring the grand total up to 19 novels. I have only read 7 of them so I still have some work to do to exhaust the complete Enderverse Saga.

I highly recommend the audio books of this series. They are produced with full-cast narration and sound effects. They sound amazing and are, quite frankly, the best way to experience the stories.

My Reading Log of 2014 – continually updated all year long

This is an Avenger’s World. It is Protected!

Avengers Vol 1

Avengers: Volume 1 – Avengers World

Trouble is brewing and it seems like the only hope for earth is The Avengers. Captain America and Iron-Man realize that the team, as it is, won’t be enough. So they start recruiting to make the team even bigger and more powerful.

Avengers Vol 2

Avengers: Volume 2 – The Last White Event

I read this series a little out of order. I started with this title over a year ago simply because it was at the public library. You never know what you will find there. I love the randomness, but I also like the binge reading I’ve been doing lately as well.

Avengers Vol 3

Avengers: Volume 3 – Prelude to Infinity

Alien beings have launched weapons to spark a new evolution on Earth. They are part of an ancient race that have been doing this since the beginning of time. They have visited planet after planet and have never met resistance like they are about to on Earth.

Avengers Vol 4

Avengers: Volume 4 – Infinity

The Avengers get some help fighting an alien menace that is determined to reshape the Earth.

S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) and even the Skrulls help fight the aliens. The Avengers truly are living up to their mandate to grow and expand, even if it is with temporary allies.

Avengers Vol 5

Avengers: Volume 5 – Adapt or Die

A rogue planet is hurtling through space and is on a collision course with the Earth. And it seems like one of Iron-Man’s descendants might have to key to save the day. Time-travelling members of the team? Things truly are expanding.

That is all for my Avenger’s binge reading . . . for now! 

My 2014 Reading Log – a comprehensive list of everything I read this year

Is the new Spider-Man truly Superior?

Superior Spider-Man

The Superior Spider-Man Volume 1

In the final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus cheats death by body-swapping with Peter Parker. It looks like all is lost but Peter manages to get inside of Doc Ock’s brain and convinces him to continue on as a super-hero instead of a villain.

In this first graphic novel of the new comic series, we see that Peter Parker is trapped inside his own brain and Otto Octavius is in complete control of his body. The cool thing is that he has dedicated himself as The Superior Spider-Man as vows to be an even better, more efficient Spider-Man that Peter Parker ever was.

Superior Spider-Man Vol 2

The Superior Spider-Man Volume 2

It’s amazing to see that Otto Octavius, the man who used to be the evil Doc Ock, is actually able to be the heroic Spider-Man. His methods are brutal and people question his motives, but ultimately he is still doing good deeds.

Peter Parker is still fighting to regain control of his body and to let people know that it really isn’t him behind the mask and living his day-to-day life in his civilian identity.

Superior Spider-Man Vol 3

The Superior Spider-Man Volume 3

J. Jonah Jameson is now the mayor of New York City and he is overseeing the execution of the super-villain who killed his wife. When things go wrong on the island prison, he orders Spider-Man to kill the villain himself.

Spider-Man records the conversation and uses it to blackmail the mayor. He gets a secret base, a private militia, and he no longer needs to live a double life. He has even vanquished the part of Peter Parker that still managed to exert some kind of control. The Superior Spider-Man is now loose to be the hero he wants to be, even if it is a more brutal and ruthless one.

Superior Spider-Man Vol 4

The Superior Spider-Man Volume 4

Spider-man 2099 comes back from the future in this edition and is surprised to find that this time’s Spider-man doesn’t remember him. But there are bigger things afoot that need to be addressed, mainly the end of the universe as we know it.

This series has been a great read so far. I can’t wait to read more. Doc Ock is supposedly The Superior Spider-Man but I think we would all like to see Peter Parker come back some day!

My 2014 Reading Log – sure to break a reading record this year!

Bullseye: Greatest Hits

bullseye greatest hits

Bullseye: Greatest Hits

This is a one-off story that attempts to tell the origin of one of the most dangerous villains in comics. This graphic novel collects the entire run of the five issues mini-series.

First off, the title is a bit of a misnomer. This wasn’t a greatest hits compilation. It didn’t retell any of his victories or legendary battles.

Instead, we see him being held in a top-secret and super-secure facility. A negotiating team goes in to talk to him about the whereabouts of a nuclear bomb that he had stolen just prior to being apprehended.

Bullseye acts as though he is exactly where he wants to be, and that he, in fact, has the upper hand, despite being locked down in a seemingly inescapable prison.

Of course, with Bullseye things are never quite what they seem.

This was a nice read and a good companion to my favourite superhero, Daredevil.

My List of 2014 Reads – a detailed reading log of all the titles I’ve read this year

The Hulk is Indestructible

marvel-indestructible-hulk-tpb-1

Indestructible Hulk: Volume 1 – Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Bruce Banner has been fighting the monster within ever since the Gamma Bomb turned him into the Incredible Hulk. The meek scientist has been looking for a cure for years. He hates the damage that The Hulk causes every single time he is unleashed.

Banner realizes that The Hulk is indestructable and has come up with a plan that he can live with. He joins S.H.I.E.L.D. so he can be a weapon whenever he hulks out. They simple have to point him in the right direction so he can battle evil forces. In return, he gets a lab and a team of scientists to work on things to benefit humanity.

The new slogan: Hulk  Smashes, Banner Builds!

It seems like a perfect solution.

Indestructible Hulk 2

Indestructible Hulk: Volume 2 – Gods and Monster

This was a really fun graphic novel. The Hulk actually lifts Thor’s hammer, as if he wasn’t dangerous enough without it. There is a lot of comedy in this issue as well. I loved it!

This volume also features my favourite superhero, Daredevil.

Daredevil x Hulk

That was a pleasant surprise and made for a great read. Maybe it tied into the fact that both Daredevil and Thor were featured in the old Incredible Hulk television series. Why not have them both back in a graphic novel too?

Indestructible Hulk 3

Indestructible Hulk: Volume 3 – S.M.A.S.H Time

Time is broken and to make things worse, someone is messing with The Hulk’s past. Bruce Banner beams his consciousness into a robot probe so he can control The Hulk, the only being strong enough to travel through the time distortions and set things right.

The Hulk meets up with the knights of Camelot, dinosaurs in the Old West, and even pirates on the open sea. It’s another great adventure in this series that I am really enjoying.

Indestructible Hulk 4

Indestructible Hulk: Volume 4 – Humanity Bomb

There is a global threat that Bruce Banner thinks he can alleviate with his latest scientific creation. Before he can set his plan in motion, he hulks out and is running around town with a giant bomb.

Ant-Man and Iron-Man are worried what the monster will do and feel the need to stop him at all costs. But did Banner have the right idea all along? And could this bomb help counteract the Terrigen Mist that threatens humanity?

I have really enjoyed this series so far and look forward to reading more of this title.

My List of 2014 Reads – my reading log for the year with links to every single title I read

Earth Afire – Ender’s Game Prequel

Earth_Afire

Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

I had no idea that this book was part of a trilogy when I started reading it. I just thought it was a one-off prequel to Ender’s Game. I enjoyed the read but it seemed like it took a long time to get to the actual story I wanted to read.

I was already familiar with a bit of the story because I read the graphic novel Formic Wars: Burning Earth and I really enjoyed it.

As I got close to the end of this novel, however, I started to worry that the story wasn’t going to be resolved. Just when the it finally got to the point I’d wanted to read, the story ended abruptly.

I like my novels to have some sort of closure, even in a trilogy. This book didn’t do that for me.

Orson Scott Card is one of my favourite authors but I hate to admit that I really am not interested in reading the final book in this series. Instead, I want to finish reading the original Ender’s Game series. I am currently reading Children of the Mind.

I know that I am not painting this book in the greatest of light, but the original Ender’s Game and its sequel, Speaker for the Dead, are absolutely amazing, fantastic books that I highly recommend.

My 2014 Reading Log – 40 titles and counting

The New Spider-Man, Miles Morales

I’d been wanting to read this title for some time now. I finally got around to it, thanks to the Marvel Unlimited Comics App on my iPhone. They had a one month special subscription price as a special comic-con deal that I just had to take them up on.

I read all of the graphic novels in this series, the original death of Peter Parker storyline in The Amazing Spider-Man, and all of The Superior Spider-Man titles as well. That was well worth with $1.99 subscription.

I’m thinking of buying a yearly subscription as well. It really is worth it to be able to read all of theses great comics anytime on my phone.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 1

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 1

Miles Morales becomes the new Spider-Man but his powers are a little bit different. He has a venom strike that shocks his enemies much like a tazer. He also has the ability to camouflage himself by blending into the background of his environment. The really surprising thing is that he doesn’t have the ability to shoot webs.

I like the fact that he has a Black father and a Hispanic mother. He also has his own identity and the story doesn’t feel like a retread of the original Spider-Man we all know and love.

Brian Michael Bendis did a great job of relaunching the iconic character for a new generation in the Ultimate Universe. It compelled me to read more immediately.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 2

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 2

Peter Parker’s Aunt May, Gwen Stacy, and Mary Jane Watson share with Miles their stories and give Miles the encouragement he needs to continue as Spider-Man. They also give him Peter Parker’s web-shooters. Spider-Man is back and swinging from webs once again. Seeing Miles learn how to use them was hilarious and uplifting. I loved it!

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 3

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 3

The new Spider-Man gets to join The Avengers, despite Captain America’s objections. Miles also finds out that his uncle isn’t exactly the man he thought he was. And even worse, he discovers that Miles is a super-hero and tries to use him to advance his own criminal career.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 4

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 4

Enter Venom and family tragedy. This was a story that had me on the edge of my seat.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol 5

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Volume 5

This image is so iconic and I’m glad they used it in the new Spider-Man series. It makes sense for Miles to pack it all in. He takes a break for close to a year, but he truly is Spider-Man now and is needed. He gets some great encouragement and finally realizes his destiny as a crime-fighting superhero.

I really enjoyed this read. It was a great series that I would have loved to seen continue. But fortunately, I have this app on my phone and can start reading the other new Spider-Man title, The Superior Spider-Man.

My List of 2014 Reads – My Reading Log for the year

Amazing Spider-Man: Dying Wish

amazing-spider-man-dying-wish-tpb

The Amazing Spider-Man: Dying Wish by Dan Slott, Humberto Ramos, and Richard Elson

Spider-Man swung into our lives in 1963 and immediately became an iconic hero. But all good stories must come to an end. This graphic novel tells the story of the final days of Peter Parker. It collects issues 698-700 of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Spoiler Alert

Doctor Octopus is on his death bed and has merely hours left to live. He manages to cheat death by switching bodies with Peter Parker.

Peter tries his best to beat his nemesis and reclaim his body. Unfortunately, he fails at this task. Yet, in his final moments in the broken body of  Doc Ock, Peter manages to show the doctor exactly why he is Spider-Man. He uses the memory switch to implant his own mission into  his nemesis.

Peter Parker dies in the body of Doctor Octopus. And no one knows that the actual living Spider-Man has been body-snatched with that of a villian.

The twist here is that Doctor Octopus truly buys into being Spider-Man and he tackles it with such vigor, rebranding himself, Superior Spider-Man.

The Amazing Spider-Man comes to a close but a new series, The Superior Spider-Man takes over.

Peter Parker is dead, but in comics, death is never permanent. Hopefully he will return one day. He is a great character.

My List of 2014 Reads – with links to every title I read over the course of the year.

Transformers: In the End there is Chaos

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Transformers: Volume 4 – Heart of Darkness

Galvatron in back and it looks like the on-going series has taken steps towards the second generation. I much admit that I have always preferred Generation One Transformers and I missed having Optimus Prime and Megatron in this issue.

I didn’t have to worry though, the Generation One characters are still alive and well and interact with the newer characters in the rest of this arc.

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Transformers: Volume 5 – Chaos Theory

We see biological aliens in this issue. That’s not something we see often in the Transformers universe.

Rodimus has survived and keeps the Matrix of leadership safe from aliens who want to harness its power. He makes it back to Earth and Optimus Prime is reunited with the Matrix.

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Transformers: Volume 6 – Police Action

This issue takes place completely on Earth. Spike is accused of murdering a Decepticon. Political tension is high as the Autobots try to figure out what really happened.

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Transformers: Volume 7 – Chaos

I had no idea that the on-going Transformers series was coming to an end with this trade paperback.

The big battle has arrived. Galvatron is really close to opening a portal that would unleash a terrible darkness into the world. The Decepticons become mere pawns in this battle and it looks like things are very bleak for Optimus Prime, the Autobots, Cybertron, and the entire universe.

What’s Next?

Two new on-going series continue the Transformer story. I have yet to read these titles, but I understand that they are really good. A fellow blogger on Tumblr has told me they are even better than the series I just finished reading. That’s good to hear, because these last four issues weren’t that great, in my humble opinion.

I look forward to reading these new titles.

More Than Meets the Eye – Rodimus travels through space in an expedition to find the Knights of Cybertron.

Robots in Disguise – This series is set on Cybertron and has Bumblebee trying to restart a new golden age after the war that ravaged the planet.

My List of 2014 Reads – my reading log for the year (continually updated)

Hidden Empire

Hidden Empire

Hidden Empire by Orson Scott Card

I read the first book of this series, Empire, a few years back.

I didn’t even realize that there was more to it. I found this hardcover book at the dollar store and couldn’t believe it. Orson Scott Card is one of my favourite authors. I just had to pick it up.

The first book was really good and I enjoyed it. I’m not much of a gamer but apparently, there is an X-box game that stands between these two narratives. It’s called Shadow Complex. 

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The second novel revolves around an epidemic that breaks out in Africa. The president of the United States effectively uses the tragedy to affect change on a world-wide scale.

Certain members of Special Forces start to think that there might be more behind the president’s actions. He could be working towards building an empire and effectively destroying democracy. Or is it merely coincidental?

This is a political thriller that circles around one family. It is well-written and fast-paced but not quite as good as the original, in my humble opinion.

My List of 2014 Reads – My Reading Log for the Year