You did wonderfully, dear.
But never try to be who you aren’t;
you don’t have nearly enough practice to pull it off.
–Kimmalyn, Skyward Flight
What is a Leg?
Words are very important to Asher. The last time he went into the hospital, part of the life-saving treatment was an above the knee amputation.
Over the next three weeks, he struggled his appendage being called a
leg. Even though he had an upper thigh,
it wasn’t a
leg because a
leg has a
['knee', 'ankle', 'foot'] and he had
. He didn’t like the word
stump because it felt like a dead tree. So… he settled on
limb. “It’s my limb,” he said, “I’m glad
I have a limb.” And that was it. The struggle with phantom limb syndrome eased and he could start dealing
with the rest of his life.
While the struggle for a name was gone, he was still bitter at the change this would bring on his life. “How am I going to learn to fence?” he asked.
Then a friend of mine said,
Necrotizing Fasciitis sounded like a magic spell.
I told Asher he was a survivor of an encounter with a powerful lich and just like that,
his disposition changed.
He didn’t seem to resent the change.
It was a new
character feature and he just had to figure out how to play the next level of the game.
The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body;
Tell a Dad Joke, It’s Good for the Brain
At first blush, fathers’ more aggressive style of physical play and their teasing style of humour with their children might seem cruel, but by continually pushing and challenging their children, fathers’ style of rough-and-tumble play supports their children’s physical and cognitive development in important ways while teaching them to regulate their behaviours and emotions.
Dad jokes serve as a pedagogical tool demonstrating embarrassment isn’t fatal and forcing children to recalibrate how much embarrassment they can handle.
While “dad jokes” are the universal Anglo-American term, they exist in other cultures as well. Japanese call them “oyaji gyagu” which can be translated to “old men’s gags.” Where male figures are less common, women frequently take up the role.
Dad jokes teach complex linguist skills by leveraging puns to violate expectations followed by a secondary assumption related to social norms. These facets expand the victim’s understanding of the world. This increase context often leads to more compassion, a desire for understanding, and a healthier mindset.
A Book on Grief
The Unspeakable Loss
We started reading this book. It’s been very useful to talk about the things we need to do and not do to help us heal.
A guide to hope and healing after the death of a child, from a grief counselor and psychotherapist who has been there. Nisha Zenoff lost her son in a tragic accident when he was just 17 years old. Now, with decades of experience as a grief counselor and psychotherapist, she offers support and guidance from her own journey and from others who have experienced the death of a child.
Lots of things have collective nouns. You might most recognize a
herd of deer or a
pride of lions. There’s also a
murder of crows,
town council, and
crowd or a
family for people. Relevant to Asher, it was a comfort of nurses and a doctrine of doctors
that helped him.
While Asher and Dad worked through the labs, doctor appointments and hospital visits, we endeavored to make a list of collective nouns for the sub-specialties we encountered or thought we might encounter.
Find, get, and share books you love on Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. More than 75 million members have added more than 2.2 billion books to their shelves.
For the physical books on the bookshelf, you can use the goodreads app to scan ISBN on the back of the books and create a reading list of books you’d like to look up later.
The Dragonet Prophecy - Tui T. Sutherland
Series: Wings of Fire
A thrilling new series soars above the competition and redefines middle-grade fantasy fiction for a new generation! The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy – a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice.Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended …
Fantasy, Middle Grade, Dragons, Fiction, Childrens, Adventure, Young Adult, Audiobook, Animals, Juvenile
Witch Hat Atelier, Vol. 1 - Kamome Shirahama
Series: Tongari bōshi no Atelier
In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch…until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician. After secretly seeing Qifrey perform magic in a way she’s never seen before, Coco soon learns what everybody “knows” might not be the truth, and discovers that her magical dream may not be as far away as it may seem…
Manga, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Comics, Young Adult, Magic, Fiction, Witches, Middle Grade, Graphic Novels Manga
Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones
Series: Howl's Moving Castle
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction, Romance, Middle Grade, Magic, Children's, Classics, Adventure, Audiobook
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy - until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason … HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!
Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult, Magic, Children's, Middle Grade, Classics, Adventure, Audiobook, Science Fiction Fantasy
Odd and the Frost Giants - Neil Gaiman
The winter isn’t ending. Nobody knows why.
And Odd has run away from home, even though he can barely walk and has to use a crutch.
Out in the forest he encounters a bear, a fox, and an eagle - three creatures with a strange story to tell.
Now Odd is faced with a stranger journey than he had ever imagined.
A journey to save Asgard, City of the Norse Gods, from the Frost Giants who have invaded it.
It’s going to take a very special kind of boy to defeat the most dangerous of all the Frost Giants and rescue the mighty Gods. Someone cheerful and infuriating and clever.
Someone just like Odd…
Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Children's, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Audiobook, Adventure, Juvenile, Science Fiction Fantasy
Danny the Champion of the World - Roald Dahl
Danny’s life seems perfect: his home is a gypsy caravan, he’s the youngest car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. And when Danny discovers his father’s secret, he’s off on the adventure of a lifetime. Here’s Roald Dahl’s famous story about a 9-year-old boy, his dad, and a daring and hilarious pheasant-snatching expedition. Just as important, it’s the story of the love between a boy and his father who, in Danny’s own words, is “the most marvelous and exciting father a boy ever had.”
Children's, Fiction, Classics, Young Adult, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Adventure, Humor, Novels, Audiobook
Nightmares! - Jason Segel
Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!
Charlie Laird has several problems:
- His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
- He had to move into her purple mansion, which is not a place you want to find yourself after dark.
- He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.
What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed. And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.
Fantasy, Middle Grade, Horror, Children's, Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Audiobook, Adventure, Juvenile
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library - Chris Grabenstein
Series: Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.
Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.
In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.
Middle Grade, Mystery, Fiction, Children's, Adventure, Young Adult, Fantasy, Books About Books, Juvenile, Audiobook
Seriously, Norman! - Chris Raschka
Now that the whole thing is over (and we all survived!), I can tell you what happened.
Picture this for a second. Rock wall six inches on my left. Sheer cliff hundreds of feet down on my right, my best friend Norman in front of me, mumbling something, and my mom behind me saying, “Step, step, step.”
EEEEEEYAAAAAH! Next time my mom bugs me about sitting in front of the computer too much, I’m going to say, “Thanks, I prefer it where the near-death experiences are virtual!”
No, seriously, this story is about Norman and about how he grows and learns stuff. Uses his imagination. Observes things. Like his dad, who is so devoted to . . . money! Like how his dad is mixed up with weird creeps of the underworld. All over the world!
Why, why are grown-ups so insane?
That’s exactly the question that Norman, Anna and Emma (the twins), and I, Leonard, try to answer. And with the help of Norman’s new tutor, Balthazar Birdsong (also fairly nuts), we nearly do it, too.
Humor, Picture Books, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Family, Adventure, Juvenile, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Children's
Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids - Rob Elliott
What happens to race car drivers when they eat too much? They get indy-gestion. Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids provides children ages 7-10 many hours of fun and laughter. Young readers will have a blast sharing this collection of hundreds of one-liners, knock knock jokes, tongue twisters, and more with their friends and family! This brand new book will have children rolling on the floor with laughter and is sure to be a great gift idea for any child.
Humor, Children's, Nonfiction, Reference, Jokes, Comedy, Middle Grade
psychThink you are psychic? Shawn Spencer (James Roday) makes his living pretending to be. Shawn and his best friend Burton “Gus” Gu ster (Dulé Hill) own a business called “Psych”. They are able to stay in business only because of the cases they work with the Santa Barbara Police Department as psychics. Shawn and Gus go through many ups and downs trying to keep the ruse up. Can they pretend forever? Or is the world they built going to come crumbling down?
The story takes place in the world of Remnant, which is filled with supernatural forces and shadowy creatures known as the Grimm. Prior to the events of the series, mankind waged a battle of survival against the Grimm before discovering the power of a mysterious element called Dust, which allowed them to fight back against the monsters. In the present day, Dust is used to power abilities and weapons. Those who use these abilities to battle the Grimm are known as Huntsmen and Huntresses. The series focuses on four girls, each with her own unique weapon and powers.
Together, they form a team at Beacon Academy in the city of Vale, where they are trained to become Huntresses.
Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe world is divided into four elemental nations: The Northern and Southern Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation, and the Air Nomads. The Avatar upholds the balance between the nations, but everything changed when the Fire Nation invaded. Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, can stop them. But when the world needs him most, he vanishes. A hundred years later Katara and Sokka discover the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang. Together they must help Aang master the elements and save the world.
Phineas and FerbPhineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher’s backyard is the neighborhood hotspot for all of their cool inventions. Meanwhile, their elder sister Candace is obsessed with busting her brothers for all the inventions to her mom once and for all. Simultaneously, their secret-agent pet, Perry the Platypus fouls the “evil” schemes and plans of Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)When Asher turned 13, he was let loose on the giant time suck and overly dramatic Marvel Cinematic Universe. His personal favorite was Dr. Strange. Something about a nerd who could cast spells… Not sure why that was so attractive to him… :shrug: I don’t think I need to describe what these were. But if you don’t know, start with Iron Man. Honestly, the origin stories are usually better than the follow-ups. Ant Man, Hulk, Thor. These are good. The Disney mini-series are also good.
The Star Wars UniverseThe Star Wars universe was also something Asher enjoyed. He would regularly watch the Clone Wars episodes and looked forward to the Bad Batch. He voraciously consumed the Bad Batch seasons as soon as they were released. Mandalorian was also 100% his jam. A space paladin with a magic goblin pet and every episode was like a Dungeons & Dragons session? Oh yeah… maybe 110% his jam.
Warehouse 13After saving the life of the President in Washington D.C., a pair of U.S Secret Service agents are whisked away to a covert location in South Dakota that houses supernatural objects that the Regents, an Authority above and outside any government, have collected over the centuries. Their new assignment: retrieve lost objects called “Artifacts”, seemingly harmless items that can possess immense power, and investigate reports of new ones.
Duck TalesWhen Donald Duck decides to join the Navy, he leaves his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie in the care of his cantankerous Uncle Scrooge. He is an eccentric and miserly billionaire who loves to literally swim in his money that is held in his corporate headquarters/vault known as the Money Bin. While the initial meeting was less than pleasant, events soon have them, along with a newly hired nanny, her granddaughter, and Scrooge’s dimwitted, but skilled pilot, on countless adventures as the group goes around the world looking for treasure, or defending Scrooge’s current assets from enemies like the Beagle Boys or Magica De Spell.
The LEGO MovieThe LEGO Movie is a 3D animated film which follows lead character, Emmet a completely ordinary LEGO mini-figure who is identified as the most “extraordinary person” and the key to saving the Lego universe. Emmet and his friends go on an epic journey to stop the evil tyrant, Lord Business.
Doctor WhoThe Doctor, a Time Lord from the race whose home planet is Gallifrey, travels through time and space in their ship the TARDIS (an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension In Space) with numerous companions. From time to time, the Doctor regenerates into a new form.
The Dragon PrinceTwo human princes forge an unlikely bond with the elfin assassin sent to kill them, embarking on an epic quest to bring peace to their warring lands.
The Old Kingdom, Abhorsen
Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the random power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. With Sabriel, the first installment in the Abhorsen series, Garth Nix exploded onto the fantasy scene as a rising star, in a novel that takes readers to a world where the line between the living and the dead isn't always clear—and sometimes disappears altogether.
Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians
On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry gets a bag of sand in the mail-his only inheritance from his father and mother. He soon learns that this is no ordinary bag of sand. It is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians who are taking over the world by spreading misinformation and suppressing truth. Alcatraz must stop them, using the only weapon he has: an incredible talent for breaking things. Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is the first adventure in a fantasy series for young readers by the #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson.
The sign is small, tucked into the corner of Mr. Clutter's bookshop window: "Adventurers Wanted. Apply Within." No one but fifteen-year-old Alex Taylor even seems to notice it is there. And for Alex, who has wished for a change in his life, it is an irresistible invitation. Upon entering Mr. Clutter's shop, Alex is swept away on an incredible adventure to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves. Alex becomes the eigth man in a band of adventurers seeking the lair of Slathbog the Red - an evil dragon with a legendary treasure.
Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets. The stakes are high: no less than the first claim to entire worlds.
The Skyward Series
Spensa's world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what's left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa's dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father's - a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa's chances of attending flight school at slim to none. No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
The Mysterious Benedict Society
"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children—two boys and two girls—succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they'll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you're gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.
Audiobooks Made Easy
Purchase books from a reputable source. We like Audible. Been members since 2014. Best $15 a month I’ve ever spent.
Unfortunately, Audible in a household doesn’t work very well. But we can use Libation to Liberate the books from the DRM covers and listen to the books wherever we want.
Libation is available on GitHub and you can review the source if you’re into that. Alternatively, head over to the downloads section to grab the latest release. It’s only available for Windows, but most folks have something lying around that can help.
Essentially, this creates a collection of files that you’ll need to upload to the next system.
This is an awesome product, but requires some experience setting up a web service. The documentation is followable and you can set it up in myriad ways. Luckily it uses pretty simple dependencies. (I have mine setup via Kubernetes and Helm, but you don’t have to know what those mean.)
Now that we have free books, we can use ABS to host the files and let different people have different interests in the books and share a book, like we would with a physical book.