Friday, May 1, 2009


First, I dug out a weblink for you that I had spotted last week while perusing the paper copy of the Wall Street Journal -- “How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write.” In it, author Steven Johnson outlines a future with more books, more distractions -- and the end of reading alone. Sounds grim, but it’s an interesting read.

Next, I happily announce that CANDIDE is dead, err …, uh, finished… oops, I mean, read (at last). After sludging through that time-honored classic, I couldn’t wait for something light-hearted and entertaining. Plus, I needed something fun after a rough, busy past couple of weeks. I wasn’t disappointed with my choice. Using my birthday B&N gift card, I had eagerly (after seemingly months of waiting) ordered blogging friend PJ Hoover’s young adult book, THE EMERALD TABLET. It arrived on Monday, which as PJ informed the blog world, is her birthday. That has to count for something, right?

THE EMERALD TABLET dropped me right in the midst of a charming, but not so typical, Virginia family. A mirror talks and young twins play with flying cars! Poor Benjamin immediately learns that he’s not human. Worse, his mom tells him that Lemurian teens (think Atlantis) must attend Lemurian summer school. Summer school? Poor guy. Benjamin begs not to go but undergoes a change of heart upon arriving. Fans of HARRY POTTER and PERCY JACKSON will enjoy reading thirteen year old Benjamin’s exploits. He discovers more about his true Lemurian identity and tackles a secret quest that will literally determine the world’s fate.

From telekinesis to tele—'this' and tele—'that', the EMERALD TABLET immerses you in a world where two super races are at odds. Benjamin and his “alliance” of likeable young teen friends must rely on one another to fulfill an ancient prophesy. At the same time, they still must pass their summer school exams and navigate an unfamiliar world and tackle typical teen troubles.

Fun facts and trivia fill THE EMERALD TABLET where floors are named after i squared and the Greek eternity symbol decorates the page numbers. I loved it all, finishing it in two after-work evening sittings. Like Benjamin, I was sad to see summer school conclude as it meant that he had to return to Virginia, but like him, I was comforted in knowing that he’d be back next summer.

I’m now a big believer in Benjamin and can’t wait to see how he fares in Book 2 (NAVEL OF THE WORLD), which, incidentally, can already be pre-ordered. Based on its Delphi title, the Writing Greek looks especially forward to it. Anyhow, congratulations to PJ Hoover on a fabulous debut book!

Next week, I’ll share with you the other book I ordered from Barnes & Noble. Hint: think “Z”. Any guesses?


  1. Wow! Now if this isn't a nice way to wake up on a Friday morning, I don't know what is!
    Thanks, Dan, so much! And yes, I think The Writing Greek will like future books as I definitely intensify the Greek theme throughout :)
    Have a great weekend!

  2. Hmm... Z. Sue Grafton hasn't made it to "Z is for Zugzwang" yet, has she?

  3. Hey PJ -- I can't wait for book #2. I definitely recognized the title as being Delphi.

  4. Good guess, Mark. Rather clever, I must add. However, no. No, think a little further back than Sue Grafton. I'll give you a clue -- it first came out prior to 1920.