Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Batman Book titles from Capstone Kids!

This review is courtesy of our network site Capstone Kids is putting out four new titles under their Batman line this Spring!  Legions of Gotham was given a sneak peek at these great new books.   I have to say that anyone intelligent enough to reach back and continue making Timm-verse Batman products is ok in our book!  I think there are droves of fans that are missing these glory days already with this Brave and the Bold nonsense out there.  These new books are great fun and they feature some comic writers we all know and love, including friends of the site - Robert Greenberger and Matthew K. Manning.

The new titles include Killer Croc Hunter, Robin’s First Flight, Two-Face’s Double Take and Bat-Mite’s big Blunder.  If you’re not familiar with these titles, the format is a great story featuring all bat-characters, typically by a well-known writer in the community, and artwork every few pages.  We highly recommend these.  They’re available in both hardcover library binding (which I recommend for collectors) for about $19 each and softcover for about $6.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas Book Review

You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas Book Review

Book Synopsis: You’ve eaten too much candy at Christmas…but have you ever eaten the face off a six-footstuffed Santa? You’ve seen gingerbread houses…but have you ever made your own gingerbread tenement? You’ve woken up with a hangover…but have you ever woken up next to Kris Kringle himself? Augusten Burroughs has, and in this caustically funny, nostalgic, poignant, and moving collection he recounts Christmases past and present—as only he could. With gimleteyed wit and illuminated prose, Augusten shows how the holidays bring out the worst in us and sometimes, just sometimes, the very, very best.

Our Take: Look, we love Augusten Burroughs here in the Book Legion offices.  He's provided us with absolute gems like 'Running With Scissors' (also a fantastic film adaptation) and 'A Wolf At the Table'.    This time he goes a little off his normal track with You Better Not Cry.  This 224 page collection of vignettes chronicles some of Burroughs' best twisted holiday memories. 

The writing isn't as consistantly strong throughout this title as it is in previous works, but the tales are fantastically entertaining and enlightening.  The specific memories and tales are great, but when Augusten gets into his ideas about the essence of the season he really hits a spark.  He recounts one holiday spent with a lover dying of AIDS and another with flooded pipes.  If you think your life sucks, and moreso your holidays, then you need to read this book.  This, like all of Burroughs' works, give us great perspective into our own problems as we see someone that has bad luck and the weight of the world on him to an extreme. 

I highly recommend this title.  It was very enjoyable and a great read.  Definately for mature audiences.

You can purchase this title on or the official St. Martin's website

Read an Exerpt from the Book: It’s not that I was an outright nitwit of a child. It’s that the things even a nitwit could do with little or no instruction often confused me. Simple, everyday sorts of things tripped me up. Stacking metal chairs, for example. Everybody in class just seemed to know exactly how to fold the seat up into the back and then nest them all together like Prin­gles potato chips. I sat on the floor for ten minutes with one of the things as if somebody had told me to just stare at it. Concentrate hard, Augusten, try and turn it into an eggplant with your mind. You can do it! The other children appeared to be born with some sort of innate knowledge, as though the action of fold­ing and stacking child-size metal school chairs was gene tically encoded within each of them, like fi nger­nails or a sigmoid colon.

I seemed to lack the ability to comprehend the obvi­ous. From the very beginning there had been warning signs.

Like every kid just starting school, I had to memo­rize the Pledge of Allegiance—something that would in many towns today be considered prayer and therefore forbidden; akin to forcing a child to drink the blood of a sacrificial goat or unfurl a Tabriz prayer rug and kneel barefoot on it while facing Mecca.

While I managed to learn the words, memorizing isn’t the same as understanding. And of course I was never tested on the meaning of the pledge. It must have sim­ply been taken for granted that even the dimmest child would easily grasp the meaning of a phrase such as I pledge allegiance, especially when that phrase was spoken while standing at strict attention and facing the Ameri­can flag, hand in a salute above the heart. There was so little room for misinterpretation. It was the Pledge of Allegiance, not Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Still. If one of the teachers had asked me to explain the meaning of those words—which I chanted parrot- minded and smiling each morning—they certainly would have been shocked to hear me admit that while I didn’t know exactly what it was about, I knew it had something to do with Pledge, the same furniture polish my mother used and that always, inexplicably, made me feel sunny. So each morning as I spoke those hallowed words, it was the bright yellow can with the glowing lem­ony scent that I pictured. what you read?  Go ahead and pick up the book!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring Book Review

Hulk Hogan: My Life Outside the Ring Book Review

Synopsis: Hulk Hogan, born Terry Bollea, burst onto the professional wrestling scene in the late seventies and went on to become a world wrestling champion many times over. From humble beginnings, this giant of a man escaped a pre-ordained life of dock and construction work in Port Tampa, Florida, to become one of the most recognizable celebrities on the planet. He did it through sheer will, grit, determination, and a drive to always go over the top and do more than what others thought possible. From the outside, his story was one of a charmed life—he was at the top of his career, had a wonderful and loving family, and a lifelong fan base who worshipped him. Of course he had his up and downs—including hints of steroid abuse and his falling out with WWE and Vince McMahon—but it’s been the last two years that have tested Hogan more than any other in his lifetime.

In 2007, while riding the massive success of his VH1 reality show, Hogan Knows Best, his son Nick was involved in a tragic car accident that left his best friend in critical condition. Then Linda, his wife, left him after 23 years of marriage, his beloved daughter Brooke blamed

him for the breakup and his son went to jail. The tabloid media had a field day. When unflattering jailhouse conversations between him and his son were released to the press the tabloids were in a frenzy. The sudden turmoil and tragedy surrounding Hogan took its toll. He fell into a deep depression, seeing no way out, until one fate ful phone call.

In My Life Outside the Ring, Hogan will unabash edly recount these events, revealing how his new found clarity steadied him during the most difficult match of his life—and how he emerged from the battle feeling stronger than ever before.

From the Back Cover: I was right there leaning on the side of the car with my hands when I finally saw Nick—my only son—folded up like an accordion with his head down by the gas pedal. “Nick!” I yelled. I could see he was alive. He turned his head, he stuck his hand out, and gave me a thumbs-up. For a second I was relieved. Then the chaos set in. The noise of engines. Sirens. A saw. Para - medics pulling John from the passenger seat. So much blood. I can’t even describe to you how panicked I was. The police and firefighters surrounding us seemed panicked, too. The firefighters started cutting the side of the car open to try to get Nick out, and I’m still standing right there when I hear my boy screaming, “No, no, no, stop! Stop! You’re gonna cut my legs off. Dad! Just unbuckle the seatbelt. I can get out!” So I reach in and I push the button on his seat belt, and Nick just crawls right out. His wrist was broken. His ribs were cracked. None of that mattered. He was gonna be okay. But not John. John wasn’t moving.

Review: I firstly need to clarify for you where I stand on wrestling.  I grew up, like most kids in the 1980s, watching WWF wrestling.  Guys like Hulk Hogan were our idols.  They were like rock and roll stars.  They were real-life superheroes to us.  In my adult life I don't watch wrestling.  Not because its fake, but because its boring.  Thats just the honest truth.  I still enjoy hearing about the storylines and the drama from time to time, but I'm not one of these big wrestling fans.   I came to appreciate Hulk Hogan as an adult for a completely different reason.  I watched his show "Hogan Knows Best".  The reality show at first sounded like a funny novelty, so I tuned in.  I quickly found a very personable guy and involved father that I could respect.  Its due to this that I have a renewed interest in the Hulkster and his goings on.

I read Hulk Hogan's first book years ago and that detailed his beginnings in the WWF.  This was all very interesting to me, and I really didn't see how he'd have enough material to constitute a second book, but I was quite wrong.  Hulk goes into some great detail about how he started out as a musician in a rock band and was making some money down in Florida.  He got into wrestling slowly and he dishes all about the hazing he went through and the struggles that he encountered trying to break into the business.

The Hulkster gets into his newly found religion pretty quickly into the book.  He reminises about going to a Christian kids camp as a youth and what impact that had on him.  Hulk also tells us about his renewed faith in God and a little about what he believes.  I'm not a religious person myself, but I felt that he did a nice job of saying what he wanted to say about his beliefs without getting too preachy.  Its more a public declaration about where he's at in his life.

What I love about reading Hulk's books is how down to earth and honest he is.  This guy has made millions of dollars in his lifetime and become a world-renound figure, and I honestly feel that you could have a real conversation with the guy if you ever met him face to face.  Reading about his life, his mistakes and hearing his reflections and honesty really endear me to him even further.

I highly recommend this book to anyone.  Not just serious wrestling fans, but anyone that is even remotely interested in Hulk Hogan for any reason.  Even if you're not, and you're just familiar with who he is this book may prove interesting for you.  Its a great read.

You can purchase this book on or The St. Martin's publishing website.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Capstone and Sports Illustrated KIDS Books and Contest!


Capstone and Sports Illustrated KIDS Collaborate on New Sports Stories
Books Inspire Sports Super Star Contest for Kids

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Jan. 18, 2010 – Capstone, the leading publisher of children’s books in the U.S. education market, has partnered with Sports Illustrated KIDS, the award-winning sports magazine publisher, to create a new line of high-interest nonfiction and fiction sports stories for elementary and middle school grades, especially for struggling and reluctant readers.

Greatest Sports Stars, The Science of Sports, and Sports Illustrated KIDS Graphic Novels debut this month under the publishers’ imprints Capstone Press and Stone Arch Books. Capstone had access to Sports Illustrated KIDS’ extensive collection of photographs, resulting in compelling books packed with exciting sports action photos.

Inspired by its partnership with Sports Illustrated KIDS, Stone Arch Books is sponsoring a nationwide contest which invites students in grades 3-6 to create their own sports super star. Kids can enter for a chance to have their fictional character featured in an upcoming Sports Illustrated KIDS Graphic Novel. The first place winning student, along with his/her school, will be included in a page at the back of the book. Online voters will choose their favorite sports character from the top five entries posted on the contest website

“We’re inviting kids to use their imagination and create a strong character critical to any story’s success. We’re looking forward to finding some really creative characters,” said Lori Benton, General Manager/Publisher of Capstone Fiction. “Kids have a chance here to vote on who they really want to read about. Their votes will ultimately decide the next character in our series.”
The top 50 entrants will receive two free Sports Illustrated KIDS Graphic Novels, one for the student and one for the school library. Contest runs through March 1, 2010.

The Sports Illustrated Kids books are available at or by calling 800-747-4992.                

About Capstone
Capstone is the leading publisher of children’s books and digital products and services, offering everything from nonfiction, fiction, and picture books to interactive books, audio books, and literacy programs. Imprints and divisions include Capstone Press, Compass Point Books, Picture Window Books, Stone Arch Books, Red Brick Learning, Capstone Digital, and Heinemann-Raintree. Visit us at

About SI Kids:
Sports Illustrated Kids, the first sports magazine written for kids ages 8 and up, connects with its readers through their passion for sports.  The magazine offers kids the access to athletes and sports information that they want with in-depth reporting, action photography, first-person athlete accounts and other features.  The magazine, books and website, promote positive values, good sportsmanship and the fun of reading. Copyright © 2009-2013 The Legion Fan Network. DVD Legion is your home for DVD Reviews, Blu-Ray Reviews, DVD News and Blu-Ray News.
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