Search Results: John Vardell


BOOK REVIEW

The Irish Goodbye by John Vardell
Released: March 15, 2013

"Somewhat superficial but fans of riotous debauchery will enjoy this quick read. "
Vardell's debut novel introduces Charlie, a bright, witty 18-year-old navigating a college life full of booze, sex, fraternities, machismo and more booze. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

EMPTY PLANET by Darrell Bricker
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Feb. 5, 2019

"A delightfully stimulating and not terribly controversial overview of human demographics."
A lively exploration of how "we do not face the challenge of a population bomb but of a population bust—a relentless, generation-after-generation culling of the human herd." Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

RICHARD NIXON by John A. Farrell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"Full of fresh, endlessly revealing insights into Nixon's political career, less on the matter of his character, refreshingly, than on the events that accompanied and resulted from it."
A sturdy study of the man ranked at the bottom of many historians' lists of presidents. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE DAY LOUIS GOT EATEN by John Fardell
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"A very merry, lighthearted entanglement. (Picture book. 4-9)"
A cumulative tale of gathering potency that riffs on Jonah and the Whale. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2012

"Well-told combat narrative that raises disturbing questions about America's professionalized military and the post-9/11 objectives with which they've been tasked."
Grim, gritty account of infantry combat on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, from a youthful lieutenant determined to act nobly amid violence and chaos. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

CLARENCE DARROW by John A. Farrell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2011

"A warts-and-all portrait that leaves readers lamenting Darrow's private failings, while still in awe of his immensely consequential career."
A comprehensive biography of the storied defense attorney. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE FLIGHT OF THE SILVER TURTLE by John Fardell
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Ben, Zara, Sam and Marcia return with six of their Professor friends in this sequel to 7 Professors of the Far North (2005). This time, they are helping Amy McAirdrie build an electric plane when they draw the notice of a secret, international, paramilitary organization. The Leader of Noctarma believes the kids and Professors have uncovered the long-lost secret of anti-gravity. They haven't; but once our heroes hear of it, they know they must keep it from the clutches of villains like Noctarma. The race is on to find the real silver turtle. The kids succeed with a little adult help, and the world is safe again. Unfortunately, there's no depth to the characters here. The children, save details of their pasts, are interchangeable as are the Professors. However, the action is swift, and the James Bondian gadgets abound. If spy adventure readers don't mind a little coincidence-driven plot, they will be in heaven. Fans of the first will definitely want this one, and will hope for future escapades. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

DEAR CHILD by John Farrell
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2008

There are three families in this terribly earnest picture book: a single dad with a blonde child, a blonde and Asian female pair with an Asian adopted child, and a black couple where the dad is dark, the mom café au lait and the child a color between. It rhymes, often clunkily, and it is nearly always clichéd: "Dear child, / I never knew / clouds were so beautiful, / the sky so blue." Parents and children, clearly neighbors, go to parties, shop, build a snowman and go camping as the pictures flow through the year, "Dear, sweet child, / you make time stand still. / I love you this moment, / and I always will." The illustrations are round and rosy, a match for the even goopier sentimental text. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE 7 PROFESSORS OF THE FAR NORTH by John Fardell
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

Sam Carnabie, 11, is not thrilled at the prospect of staying with his great aunt Roberta while his parents attend a conference on new developments in canned vegetable technology. He jumps at the chance, instead, to stay with one of his parents' college professors, and his great niece and great nephew. What starts as a simple trip to Edinburgh ends with a frosty rescue mission to the frozen north that includes saving the world. An old enemy kidnaps Prof. Ampersand and five of his former colleagues. To save them, the children travel by secret underground railroad, ski boat and submarine. They arrive just in time to stop a madman from altering humanity's genetic makeup. Fardell's debut is Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet without the space travel. The pacing is slow in places and the description thick. The amount of adult help that the children need might turn off some American audiences, but there is humor and a slam-bang finish. The author's simple pen-and-ink illustrations are a definite plus. Large collections with well-read adventure seekers will want to add this to the shelf. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

MAY CONTAIN NUTS by John O’Farrell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"When this satire bites, it hurts."
It's never wrong to do too much for your kids, right? Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THIS IS YOUR LIFE by John O’Farrell
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 20, 2004

"A mordant update of the Emperor's New Clothes that's often deeper than it thinks it is."
A loser embarks on the hoax of a lifetime. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

TINY’S BIG ADVENTURE by Martin Waddell
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2004

Under the watchful eye of his big sister, a very small mouse ventures out into the wide world for the first time. Tiny is happy to have his sister Katy along, not only for games of climb-a-stalk and catch-me-mouse, but also to provide reassurance that, no, that's not a cat, but a rabbit: not an owl, but a harmless pheasant. In digitally assembled vinyl cuts and watercolor washes, Lawrence uses strong lines with a limited palette to depict small but seemingly spot-lit mice scampering amid huge, mysterious-looking gold or grayish blue masses of wheat stalks, wildflowers, and farm equipment. Tiny suffers some anxious moments when he becomes separated from Katy—but she finds him soon enough, and as the two make their way back to the barn, Tiny is already talking about next time. Like Jane Simmons's Come Along, Daisy (1998) or Waddell's own Owl Babies (1992), illustrated by Patrick Benson, this makes comforting reading for timorous little mice of the two-legged sort. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >