Author Archives: kingzone

100 best opening lines from Children’s Books

We’ll all have our favourites among the books we had read to us when we were children. And among those we discovered for ourselves as we developed into the readers we are today.

Children's books

This photograph could show some of your favourites – or not.

But here’s a link to the Stylist‘s webpage with a huge selection of classic  favourites. How many of your favourite books are featured? It’s worth a look just for nostalgic reasons – to  remind us why reading is so fascinating.

Mr F



Brian Falkner – Action from Go to Whoa!

Task ForceJust read the latest from Brian Falkner last night – Recon Team Angel Task Force. What a read! There’s no let-up from beginning to end. It is 2031, and the Angel Team are off on another mission behind enemy lines to try to save the world from the Bzadians. Their job? To prepare the way for a multinational task force to invade the alien homeland in the heart of Australia, now called New Bzadia. Things do not exactly go as planned, but the mission certainly leads to an exciting and unexpected ending. 

Well worth a read for those who like their reading full-on! If you’ve not caught up with this series already, look out the first book, Recon Team Angel Assault. And it seems there is a third to follow – Recon Team Angel Ice War – according to the following book trailer:

Mr F

ROBERT FROST: The road not taken

The road not taken

ROBERT FROST: The road not taken.

World Poetry Day was last week, Friday 21st March, but this graphic representation of Robert Frost‘s thought-provoking poem, “The road not taken” is too well done to be overlooked.

It comes from the cartoon blog Zen Pencils, created by Gavin Aung Than, ” a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne, Australia. After working in the corporate graphic design industry for 8 years he quit his unfulfilling job at the end of 2011 to focus on his true passion, drawing cartoons. Gavin launched Zen Pencils at the start of 2012, a cartoon blog which adapts inspirational quotes into comic stories, and hasn’t looked back since.” – quoted from his blog.

To see more of his work, look through his Archives – top right menu on the blog.

Mr F


Paper Is Not Dead – and perhaps never will be!

A very amusing take on the fact that the paperless world is not yet here, despite all the advantages of technology.

War Novels

Thw Watch_ The Yellow Birds
It’s certainly no surprise to see the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts featuring in a growing number of war novels. Just recently I have read two particularly impressive examples from our library:
The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

The  Watch, set in Afghanistan, tells the story of events following a furious fire-fight between American soldiers defending their isolated Kandahar base from Taliban attackers. The following day, a lone, war-crippled young woman appears outside the base seeking the return of her dead brother’s body, and the story tells what happens when her persistent demands and unsettling presence force the battle-weary soldiers to question their beliefs about the war in Afghanistan, setting them to confused arguing about what best to do with her. This powerful book, written in a style encompassing several different viewpoints, certainly does not shy away from showing the raw realism of war. A book trailer follows:

The second novel, The Yellow Birds, is equally powerful in its evocation of the plight of two American soldiers in the Iraqi War, 21-year-old Private Bartle and the comrade he promised to protect, 18-year-old Private Murphy. This novel is perhaps even more interesting stylistically,  beginning: “The war tried to kill us in the spring”; and it, like The Watch, shows the deadly war-zone realities for soldiers. Kevin Powers is well qualified to write such a powerful book, having served in Iraq in 2004-2005, and he has commented that his intention was to ” … try the best I could to show the experience of war from inside …”.

It’s a harrowing read, but is so well written that it won the Guardian First Book Award 2012 and was a New York Times bestseller in its first week of publication. It is almost sure to become an addition to war classics such as “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “Catch-22″.

Mr F

Libraries come in all shapes and sizes…

Public Library
…But it’s still marvellous to see them.

During the summer break I spent some time in the tiny town of Albarracin in the Sierra de Albarracin mountains in north-eastern Spain. It’s a tiny town with a population of just 1025, according to the latest census (2007), but I was fascinated to note that in the midst of its narrow winding streets there was the pictured Public Library (Publica Biblioteca). Unfortunately it wasn’t open during the time of my visit so I can only show the exterior view.
Should you be visiting and travelling in Spain, I can thoroughly recommend a visit to Albarracin which is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque villages in all of Spain. It also is a popular destination for the “bouldering” fraternity – i.e. for those who climb rocks, not mountains.

The town of Albarracin

The town of Albarracin

Another view of Albarracin

Another view of Albarracin

Mr F

Rick Riordan Website

Rick Riordan site
Click the image to access the webpage

Came across this wonderful site this morning while browsing the web and just had to add it to KingZone for our many Riordan fans. News to me was that he has also published a number of more adult titles (see the link at the bottom of his webpage) , and you can expect to see some of them in the library shortly, as well as more of his teenage titles as they are published, of course.

Mr F

Rebus is back!

Screen shot 2013-02-10 at 8.27.05 PM

Last seen in ‘Exit Music’, published in 2007, the retired Inspector Rebus returns to his crime-solving best in this latest novel as he follows up leads in his new job with the cold-case unit in Edinburgh. His cantankerous manner and unique methods continue to bring him into conflict with his superiors, particularly this time with Malcolm Fox of the Edinburgh Police internal affairs unit, but they do bring results when everything else has failed.

When discussing the return of his hero of the 18 previous Rebus novels written over 20 years, Ian Rankin commented, “I felt there was unfinished business between the two of us. He had never really gone away but was working for Edinburgh’s cold case unit. And I knew I had a case that would be a perfect fit for him.”

I hope there are more to come!

Mr F

Are you on the weirder side of normal?

Funny Face #3

Photo used with permission by Raphael Ammann

Photo source: []

Derek Landy, the Irish author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series of books has been on a whirlwind tour of New Zealand recently promoting his new book The Kingdom of the Wicked.  He is one of many authors who have a blog and when he landed in New Zealand on the 10th August, he wrote, “New Zealand, eh? Lovely country, full of lunatics…” Perhaps this is because he describes his readers as being “on the weirder side of normal”.

Skulduggery Pleasant originally started out as a trilogy, but it now looks as if it is going to include nine books in total. If you have missed out so far then you can catch up on the books here. Derek describes them as being full of “ adventure, action, horror, fantasy, crime and humour…it’s the whole package”.

You may have seen his amusing interview on breakfast television whilst he was in New Zealand. To read more about Derek, and his writing, see this page where The Pulse talked to Derek about his characters, writing and his influences.

Mrs H.

The Rise of Nine

Title: The Rise of Nine

Author: Pittacus Lore

Series: The Lorien Legacies – Book 3

Genre: Science Fiction

You’ve read book one,  I am number Four and seen the movie,

You’ve read book two, The Power of Six (they didn’t make a movie)

Now get ready for book 3,  The Rise of Nine coming  soon August 2012

Mrs H.