Game Night – Lost Cities

Lost Cities Designer: Reiner Knizia Manufacturers: Rio Grande Games, Kosmos Year: 1999 Players: 2 Time: 20 - 40 minutes Ages: 10 and up Description: Lost Cities is a game of exploring ancient ruins and is one of the best two player games ever designed - one of Reiner Knizia's masterpieces. A game that has been played by thousands of couples, each player is attempting to play cards in sequences that will score many points for them. Each turn, players simply play or discard one card, then draw one card. Players attempt to wait as long as possible to play high cards for themselves and hold cards that their opponents want. It is the ultimate two player game and can be finished in less than thirty minutes. This addicting game is three rounds of card laying fun! My thoughts: Sometimes, David and I want to play a game, just the two of us. Lost Cities is perfect. It doesn't take too long and we're fairly even, unlike when we used to...
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Today is Buy Indie Day

May 1st has been declared Buy Indie Day. The idea: buy one book—paperback, hardcover, audiobook, whatever you want!—at an independent bookstore near you.  Find an indie bookstore near you on the Indie Store Finder map. Where are you buying Indie today? My nearest Indie store is 30 miles away, which is too far today, but I'll be in Columbus tomorrow. Maybe I can talk my brother into going over to The Book Loft....
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The Tale of Desperaux: A Junior Novelization by Jamie Michalak

The Tale of Despereaux: A Junior Novelizationwritten by Jamie Michalak, based on the motion picture screenplay and based on the book by Kate DiCamillo Description: This lively junior novelization of the film The Tale of Despereaux tells the story of several unlikely heroes: Despereaux, a brave mouse banished to the dungeon for speaking with a human; Roscuro, a good-hearted rat who loves light and soup, but is exiled to darkness; Pea, a Princess in a gloomy castle who is prisoner to her father's grief; and Mig, a servant girl who longs to be a Princess, but is forced to serve the jailer. An eight-page full-color insert of stills from the movie is included. My thoughts: This is the movie in a book, but it really is enjoyable. It read smoothly and Amber loved it. Every night she begged for one more chapter. I know it's not the original, which is probably wonderful, but this one was fun and a great adventure....
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One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon

One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon From the cover: Coming home is murder... Revenge. Edie Swann has hungered for it since she fled her hometown as a little girl. Now she's returned, ready for payback. Armed with a list of names, she leaves each one a chilling sign that they have blood on their hands. Her father's blood. What happens next turns her own blood cold: one by one, the men she's targeted start dying. Sheriff Holt Drennen knows Edie is hiding something. She has a haunted look in her eyes and a defiant spirit, yet he can't believe she's a murderer. As the body count rises and all evidence points to Edie, Holt is torn between the town he's sworn to protect and the woman he's come to desire. But nothing is what it seems. Long buried secrets begin to surface, and a killer won't be satisfied until the sins of the past are paid in full--this time with Edie's blood. My thoughts: I love romantic...
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Game Night- Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan Designer: Klaus Teuber Manufacturer: Mayfair Games Year originally published: 1995 Players: 3 - 4 Ages: 12 and up Description: In Settlers of Catan, players try to be the dominant force on the island of Catan by building settlements, cities, and roads. On each turn dice are rolled to determine what resources the island produces. Players collect these resources to build up their civilizations to get to 10 victory points and win the game. My thoughts: I'm amazed I haven't mentioned Settlers yet. It's a classic, well maybe not Scrabble classic, but a classic nonetheless. I actually won last weekend when we played, with 10 solid points, no longest road, largest army or victory point cards. I was pretty happy. In reality, I should be bad at this game. I'm not really good at cooperating with other players, and this game does encourage trading, especially how we play, but I manage, mostly because I try to only make trades that are advantageous to me. I rarely if ever...
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Pittsburgh International Children’s Festival

I don't know if anyone out there is local, but the Pittsburgh International Children's Festival is being held May 13-17. The reason I mention it is one of the performances is based on a story I remember from my childhood and that I read to Amber when she was little, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Hurd. Two of Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd’s beloved bedtime classics, Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny come to life on stage with whimsical puppetry and evocative music. Both tales feature endearing rabbit characters, and the soothing rhythms of bunny banter, while dream-like imagery never fails to infuse young readers with a reassuring sense of security and peace.  You can find ticket prices and the performance schedule at the Children's Festival website, www.pghkids.org....
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