Friday, September 25, 2009

Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible and the Ignored by Juanita Rose Violini

Frozen frogs falling from the sky, the Jersey Devil, lost cities, giant birds carrying off children. They might sound as if they're all out of some B movie. Instead, these are all entries in the Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible, and the Ignored by Juanita Rose Violini.

Violini presents daily stories of the unusual, from Roswell to fireballs. Each short entry ends with a quotation, a secret power, and "To optimize." The entries are interesting, but become repetitious. There are lightning episodes scattered throughout the year, listed for the day or month they occurred. Sometimes it's a stretch to make the connection between the daily entry and the quotation. William James comments, "To change one's life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions." I'm not sure how that relates to "Illogical Lightning," except that it's flamboyant. And, the "Secret Power" and "To optimize" leave me bewildered. For that same entry of Illogical Lightning, the "Secret Power" says, " Today's power is the ability to change circumstances in a flash." The "To Optimize" for that day says, "Do what you are afraid to do." I'm afraid, I just don't get those.

My recommendation for this book would actually be as a gift for teens who enjoy the weird and the unexplained. They would gloss over the summary parts that seem disconnected, and would appreciate the Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible and the Ignored.

Almanac of the Infamous, the Incredible and the Ignored by Jaunita Rose Violini. Weiser Books, ©2009. ISBN 9781578634477 (paperback), 304p.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

This might work for my son--I like to read short selections aloud to him at bedtime. It could fit the bill for a short segment of time, once a day? Sounds like it's too disjointed to read at one sitting.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

It is too disjointed for one sitting, Elizabeth. But, I think the entries would be perfect for a boy. They're each about 3/4 of a page, an entry a day. Perfect bedtime reading, and it would certainly lead to other reading. Topics such as the Bermuda Triangle, spontaneous combustion, etc.

le0pard13 said...

This sounds perfect for my eldest son who is turning 14 next month. Thanks, Lesa.

Lesa said...

You're welcome! I have the feeling it's perfect for a number of boys. And, how many of us are looking for books that boys will read?

Juanita Rose Violini said...

Thanks for reviewing my book Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Juanita. Good luck with it! Looks like it's selling well from here, with purchases for some boys.