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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Jim Henson The Biography

Jim Henson The Biography by Brian Jay Jones

Jim Henson created the Muppets, but he did so much more, and Brian Jay Jones has done an excellent job in letting everyone see Jim Henson for the man he was.

Beginning with his childhood, Jim knew that once he saw what television was, he knew that was where he would be when he got older, but he never dreamed or intended it to be as a puppeteer, Muppets or not.  He was such a creative and talented man, every new piece of technology was like a toy, and his vision was usually before his time.

While others may describe him as a “workaholic”, Jim never saw it as work, it was just playing to him.  He worked long days and traveled extensively to try to create as many projects as his mind could envision.

He left us far too soon, but his opinion is something you need to read for yourself.  Brian has done such a wonderful job, and those who helped him should be thanked for allowing the public to be able to view his private life as well as his public life.

For anyone who grew up with Sesame Street, The Muppets or any of Jim’s other creations, you will not want to put this book down.

While I consider it an honor and a privilege to be lucky for have an Advanced Reader’s copy of a book, I am saddened by the fact that my copy does not have the photo on the cover, or any of the photos inside.  I grew up watching Jim Henson’s Muppets and have loved them all my life, having my kids grow up with them as well.  I was deeply saddened and shocked by the untimely death of Jim Henson, but I will treasure this book always.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Maya Papyrus

The Maya Papyrus by Richard Coady

Always curious how a story starts, when the first thing you see is a list of the cast of characters alphabetically, it gives you warning how many characters are involved, and how it might be confusing, needing a reference point.  As such, you can only imagine how involved the story is with a list like this.

Set in Egypt, this is the story of the continuing struggle for the reign of King, and their heirs.  The story is told by Maya, the royal courtier and historian, and what he has written.  In addition, Maya’s story is interspersed with what is happening at the same time.  Sometimes making it a bit confusing, sometimes leading you to believe what you think is coming next.

While the story begins with one king taking his young son into his first battle.  After that battle, the child does not want to be king, but being heir to the throne, the boy who did not want to be king became king.  Continuing tradition for generations, the first born son is to become heir, and when you add in an intervening mother-in-law, it is amazing how the turn the events can change things.  Murder for the good of the people and the kingdom, beliefs in one God instead of another, the story goes through numerous generations and people.

While it is a very interesting read in Egyptian history, a bit too much time is spent on one king.  The story is written in great detail and is very in depth, but while each of the kings needs to have their glory and to show their strengths, weaknesses and beliefs, and no piece of history should be ignored, even if it has a few fillers for the parts that may never be knows, it could have had a bit less on Amenophis.