Mark is a hungry boy. A /very/ hungry boy. No matter what or how much he eats his stomach is still rumbling. His vorWhat a delightful children's book!
Mark is a hungry boy. A /very/ hungry boy. No matter what or how much he eats his stomach is still rumbling. His voracious appetite is making him eat his family out of house and home, but he's not to be deterred. What's a boy to do? Well, his dog certainly knows. When he dreams of venturing through a magical landscape with Rex he's lead to a tree that gives him the power to turn anything his tongue touches into food. Brilliant! Or is it?
This is a very fun Midas Touch story where a kid gets more than he bargains for. The illustrations add to the playful nature of the story that's written with a definite lean towards being read aloud. It's a quick read, and definitely had me chuckling. The core message is sweet, and some little subplots offer more lessons to be learned that I wasn't really expecting out of the story.
All in all I'd definitely recommend it to anyone with young children, and I can imagine poring over the illustrations when I was younger. :)...more
When picking up Oliver Sacks it's important to realize that you're reading a medical text. The accountI kept getting strange looks while reading this.
When picking up Oliver Sacks it's important to realize that you're reading a medical text. The accounts you're looking at are medical cases, with only a marginal effort made to edit the language to something easier for the layman. Which is to say, these books can be rather dull. If you go in expecting that, however, they can be informative and interesting reads.
I learned a lot about the nature of hallucinations and the misconceptions that exist surrounding them. I learned that most people hallucinate, in one way or another, and that it's rather normal. I also learned how incredible complex our nervous systems are, and in particular our optical centers. Really, really interesting stuff. It's no wonder it breaks down now and again.
I also learned that it's incredibly unfair to introduce a Doctor fftych in a section dealing with textual hallucinations. How is that an actual name?...more
Arthur Conan Doyle's command of the English language is gorgeous, and his descriptions vivid and compelling. The plot moves quickly, and navigates through the hazy switch in time and perspective in a masterful way. To new readers: keep with it, it doubtless will grow on you. To old readers: do yourselves a favor and reread it. It only gets better with each repeated reading.
I can't emphasize enough how fun this book is, as are all of the ACD stories. I'm so happy they're making a comeback....more
This book was far more entertaining to me than the first The Bad Beginning but that still isn't saying much. Most of the humor of this was lost on me.This book was far more entertaining to me than the first The Bad Beginning but that still isn't saying much. Most of the humor of this was lost on me. I'd recommend it to a kid easily, but reading it as an adult it just feels rather dull and predictable. Good vocabulary, though. Quick plot and pacing. Just a bit too lacking to hold my focus in the end....more
I'd be very curious to see how a person's reaction to the book and the ending itself changes as they grow older. This book was surpWell.
This got dark.
I'd be very curious to see how a person's reaction to the book and the ending itself changes as they grow older. This book was surprisingly creepy, surprisingly sad, and surprisingly troublesome when it comes to the ending. I've heard good things about the film, but I'm uncertain how they treat the final scenes in it?
I'd read this book to my children, should I have any. I'd watch them not sleep for months. But that's true of most Roald Dahl stories, innit?...more
A very cute story detailing the problems of dyslexia in a rather entertaining way. Classic Roald Dahl though the very last story he ever wrote. A bitA very cute story detailing the problems of dyslexia in a rather entertaining way. Classic Roald Dahl though the very last story he ever wrote. A bit controversial due to some naughty language, though hardly that awful from today's standards I'd think....more
This story was more pleasing to me than the book it technically precedes was. That having been said, Sasha hits the nail on the head when she says thiThis story was more pleasing to me than the book it technically precedes was. That having been said, Sasha hits the nail on the head when she says this story isn't for children. The themes are continuing to get darker and more adult, which altogether is much more pleasurable than the feigned kid-friendliness that permeated in small degrees the first book.
This story was good. A quick read. A rather sad read after you know what's going to happen.
Fire Watch did an excellent job of establishing the Oxford Time Travel series. It did an even better job of bringing home just how terrifying WWII EngFire Watch did an excellent job of establishing the Oxford Time Travel series. It did an even better job of bringing home just how terrifying WWII England was, and how largely damaged and broken London was by the experience. Connie Willis does a beautiful job of bringing morality and feeling back into history, and breathing life into the experiences and statistics so commonly touted about.
It's chilling and heartbreaking, and makes the rest of the series that much more moving to read....more
Tales from Oz is essentially attempting to do what Wicked did better - update the Oz stories to a more adult, and thus realistic, view of what the lanTales from Oz is essentially attempting to do what Wicked did better - update the Oz stories to a more adult, and thus realistic, view of what the land would be like. Whereas Wicked handled this with a certain political adroitness and maturity, Tales from Oz does so by adding breasts and violence into the mix and little else.
Also. For some reason Toto is a wolf that may or may not be a werewolf and is seemingly in love with Dorothy.
The cowardly lion is in a vaguely Native American/African society and might be gay.
The advice in this book boils down mostly to "force yourself to be social" rather than offering advise for how to navigate the dark mires of forced coThe advice in this book boils down mostly to "force yourself to be social" rather than offering advise for how to navigate the dark mires of forced conversation. Telling a shy person to just stop being shy isn't all that constructive. ...more
I won this book through the GoodReads First-Read program.
I... really didn't like this book, unfortunately.
It was very clear that the book was writtenI won this book through the GoodReads First-Read program.
I... really didn't like this book, unfortunately.
It was very clear that the book was written with great passion. It was also obvious that the author had put a great deal of work into fleshing out the universe that the characters inhabited. She worked out various hierarchies and built upon a good deal of old mythology to do so. She knew her history (nice shout out to medieval German beliefs!) but that wasn't quite enough to save the book in my eyes.
I can't understand the weakness of female characters. Yes, she was strong in that she was willing to sacrifice herself to save the man she loved. But... she also was killing a lot of other people to save that man when he was her mortal enemy... and when she was a trained soldier and had put all that behind her... and she kept forgiving him for unforgivable acts. I've a problem with this.
Furthermore, why exactly wasn't there more urgency felt in the book itself? You have an army being raised to destroy all of creation more or less. You also have a "seer" going unaccounted for and both poorly hunted and poorly protected.
I just... wasn't feeling this very much. The kicker was the switching of first person perspectives and a failure to differentiate the voices very clearly.
The premise itself holds promise, and the worldbuilding holds promise too. It just needs better execution....more
This collection of short stories is a fascinating one.
I would venture to say that most of those reading this book are doing so for the Lovecraftian mThis collection of short stories is a fascinating one.
I would venture to say that most of those reading this book are doing so for the Lovecraftian mythos - if that is the case for you, these are the stories you need to read: THE REPAIRER OF REPUTATIONS THE MASK IN THE COURT OF THE DRAGON THE YELLOW SIGN THE DEMOISELLE D'YS
The remaining stories are primarily war stories and love stories and not deeply connected to the mythos. Those are the primary reason the book lacks a full star rating for my review, as they're a bit boring when it's the Lovecraftian bit that one is after....more
I love this edition. I bought it at Poe House in Baltimore maybe a decade or so ago... and got it signed by a wonderful Poe impersonator. What a greatI love this edition. I bought it at Poe House in Baltimore maybe a decade or so ago... and got it signed by a wonderful Poe impersonator. What a great birthday that was. :)...more
I tip my hat to Beatrix Potter for managing to perfectly capture the benign and industrious nature of the hedgehog and turnBeautiful, beautiful story.
I tip my hat to Beatrix Potter for managing to perfectly capture the benign and industrious nature of the hedgehog and turn the humble insectivore into a cultural landmark for us all to love and cherish....more
I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The Eastern Coyote is a fascinating creature, and one well worth deeper study. This book, while poI wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The Eastern Coyote is a fascinating creature, and one well worth deeper study. This book, while portending to be about just that, in truth was more about the symbolic nature of the creature than anything else.
The book spent far too much time focusing on Catherine Reid and why she wanted to see a coyote, than what the actual coyotes were like. While, yes, she was an interesting person and the symbolic value of an animal is a beautiful thing... I would have much preferred a more scientific or anthropological study of the animal in question. In short, I wanted this book to be to coyotes what Barry Lopez's Of Wolves and Men was to wolves.
This book did manage a fair bit, though. Though in a less interesting way than Daily Coyote did. Catherine Reid did a good job of talking about the designation of Eastern Coyote as a species, and how wolves and coyotes have interbred to a degree in the past. She explained how they managed to carve out a niche and maintain it even in the territory of bigger better predators. I wish it had been a bigger bit of the book....more
Recently I attacked the non-fiction section of my library, focusing primarily upon the sections devoted to biology, zoology, and cognitive ethology. TRecently I attacked the non-fiction section of my library, focusing primarily upon the sections devoted to biology, zoology, and cognitive ethology. This was one of the stranger books I picked up there. It looked amusing enough, though not terribly indepth. The title made me laugh, and well, the cover left a bit be be desired... Unfortunately, so did the book.
This book was comprised of a series of lists of odd animal behaviors and why they might act that way. It was written in a conversational manner, each little tidbit followed by an incredulous explanation that tried just too hard to be funny. Let the animals speak for themselves, or their behavior do it for them. No need to throw in puns, amazed silences, or a shrug of the shoulders. Quite frankly, the book came off as mildly insulting. A bit like the friend who just doesn't know when to stop making jokes to fill in what otherwise would have been a companionable silence...
The book would be great for younger children. Maybe middle school or so? It'd probably cause them to want to read more about animals and their behavior, and they might be in a better range to appreciate the humor. As for me, well... Nil nole sub sole. Most of the facts I already knew, and what I did learn didn't particularly surprise me....more
Right from the mouth of Doug Sandom, what more could you ask for?
I was lucky enough to talk to Doug before the book was released, and I'm forever gratRight from the mouth of Doug Sandom, what more could you ask for?
I was lucky enough to talk to Doug before the book was released, and I'm forever grateful for having had that opportunity. Doug is a brilliant storyteller, a very sweet man, and indeed the sort of person who not only you can imagine sitting in a pub with while he tells he stories... but a great many of people get just that opportunity. The fame that Doug has only served to define what a wonderful person he is. He's remained as humble as ever, though he's quite open about how he regrets leaving the band to this day.
The book holds within it many stories not heard before, and actually does a far better job of showing what The Who was like at that time than any previous Who biography. Doug captures the exhilaration that was felt as they became more famous, how they dealt with that rise in different ways, and the subtleties of the personalities that soon would go on to a massive stardom. He captures the camaraderie in a way that other biographies tend to glance over in favor of emphasizing the spats - which yes, there were - but the violence was never there from the start.
For fans of The Who? This is a indispensable book. It's right up there with Dougal Butler's recent revision of Full Moon, I'd argue, in terms of capturing The Who from those who were here with the band.
Get it, cherish it. If you've a chance to see the man himself, do so. He's a truly wonderful fellow....more
That's the gist of what was going on in Roald Dahl's mind here. The illustrations, lovingly done by Quentin Blake, add a greaterHunting is bad, okay?
That's the gist of what was going on in Roald Dahl's mind here. The illustrations, lovingly done by Quentin Blake, add a greater dash of humor to the typically dark Dahl tale. It's short, sweet, and rather to the point. Another fun example of "how would you like it if someone did that to you?" The answer? Well. Not much.
The high rating is less for the title story than it is for the awesome expanded facts in the book. After the story the new publication continued with a brief biography of Dahl, some fun quotes, bits of trivia, and other general madness related to the man. That bumped the rating up to a four from a more general three for a fun quick read.
What an awesome guy. Thus, I continue my "read everything by Roald Dahl" challenge of the year......more
I swear I originally heard of Wool through a fantastic review that it got on GoodReads. Or maybe someone had mentioned it briefly in another revieHuh.
I swear I originally heard of Wool through a fantastic review that it got on GoodReads. Or maybe someone had mentioned it briefly in another review? Either way, it looked interesting and the concept intrigued me. The comparison to The Passage truly drew me in, as that book is one of my all-time favorites and certainly one of the best books I've ever read. I didn't happen to see much of a comparison there once I did read it, aside from the superficial likenesses that could be drawn from the social arrangement in the silo and the social arrangement in Justin Cronin's last holdouts for civilization. Both authors seemed to have done a decent amount of historical research there, though perhaps Hugh Howey's class distinctions and analyses come from a more personal place due to his maritime history.
As a book, I found Wool to be incredibly entertaining. I didn't form any terribly close attachments to the characters themselves, but I was interested in what was going to happen to them. The bigger interest for me came in the world that Hugh Howey created and the way that it worked. I wanted to learn more about the silo, the world beyond, and what choices were made there and why. The revolutionary plot didn't hold my interest as much as past choices did. I wanted to sink into more of the history, more of the technology, more of the structure of things than what was happening in it.
The actual plot, characters, and other such features struck me as something a bit hurried. The pacing was good, and reminded me a great deal of the Mystery Shows such as Battlestar Galactica and Lost. At times it was as dry as the failed FlashForward, but at least it didn't halt right when it got interesting.
What drew me in more, made me finish the book and will see me reading the other two collections in the series was the way the book was written. A serialized novel is an interesting beast, and shouldn't be as harshly judged as other works. Looking at it through that lens you could see where the author responded to criticism, how the writing changed and the focus was altered. It's fascinating watching an author transform in that way, and Wool was all the more interesting for it. I'll probably see the inevitable film or mini-series, will read the other books and watch where the story goes.
So for me? It was nothing worth comparing to The Passage but something interesting, quick, and worth a bit of a dig into. It just very much isn't for everyone, and is very much a product of the way it was written....more
Hugh Warwick has managed to write a book that is simultaneously informative and deeply entertaining. His passion for the humble hedgWhat a great book!
Hugh Warwick has managed to write a book that is simultaneously informative and deeply entertaining. His passion for the humble hedgehog shines through in every page, and it's impossible to not have some of that rub off on you while reading this book. Indeed, it's impossible not to fall a bit in love with the animal the second you 'do the nose to nose thing' with them.
The hedgehog is an inherently silly animal, but there's something in its industrious and utterly benign nature that attracts both passion and obsession. There's something fascinating in the tiny creature, and what a joy it is to witness that love ignite in everyone I introduce the spiny beasts o. To see those emotions beautifully highlighted in someone else's words is heartwarming. To see it paired with a deeper scientific understanding of the animal was plain beautiful.
I've already passed this book on to two other people, and I honestly can't wait to encourage still others to read it. Save the hedgehog, save the world as the author put it. Any way an animal can be better loved and understood is a good one, and I've seen firsthand how passion for one creature can extend to all the others in our lives....more
Jerry Langton decides to delve into why rats have been around for so long, how they coexist with us, and why people decide to have tOH NO, NOT RATS!!!
Jerry Langton decides to delve into why rats have been around for so long, how they coexist with us, and why people decide to have them as pets. He does so with a distinct anti-rat perspective on the world, and a disturbing unwillingness to ever waver in his opinion or seek out people who think differently than himself. That, my friend, is why the book failed for me. The inherent prejudice against rats and rat-owners that permeated every page and the outright disgust that just saturated his language. That was why it got the dreaded one-star.
Langton has some interesting history of rats, he follows the basic run down of "this is why rats are interesting" that any writer would. Their ribs can collapse being the main fact that seems to shock him. He discounts their inherent intelligence when just about all scientific papers rate them as among one of the most intelligent animals out there, and he counts them as viscous and ready to attack when even the rat hunters he talks to admit that they only do so when disturbed. It's disturbing, just not in the way he meant it to be.
The true failing of this book, however, was the way that he wrote about rat owners. I've owned rats in my time. I found them to be very clean, very affectionate, curious and entertaining pets. I was only ever bit by a rat once, and that was when I startled him and truly deserved it. Langton puts rat owners into two groups: people owning a rat for the novelty and attention seeking deviant nature of it, and people owning rats as an apology to the species and taking it on as a burden. What the hell? What about people who just genuinely like the animal and what it offers...? Nevermind the fact he characterized the first group as being largely obese women with multiple piercings and or tattoos. Just... why?...more
I got this book through Netgalley for reviewing, and boy am I happy I did.
Fox Talk is a fantastic children's book that delves into the topic of domestI got this book through Netgalley for reviewing, and boy am I happy I did.
Fox Talk is a fantastic children's book that delves into the topic of domestication in a way that is easy for anyone to understand. They actually talk about the Russian Fox Experiment, how domestication affects not only behavior but actual genetics, and how you can assess these facts and animal intelligence for yourself.
The topic, while complex, is laid out very well and further resources are also offered throughout the book. The nature of exotic pet ownership is examined in a respectful way that acknowledges both the pros and cons and explains just why legality can come into question.
This is a book that I look forward to using someday for my own educational outreach, and is definitely one that I'll refer many people to while I work in the exotic animal field.
Five stars, no question. I'm so glad that this book came my way. :)...more
I was able to get this book for an advance review for Netgalley.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Louisiana Bayou and the vanishing waysI was able to get this book for an advance review for Netgalley.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with the Louisiana Bayou and the vanishing ways of life attached to it. The hoodoo tradition is one that is misinterpreted about as often as it is referred to in popular culture - fortunately, Will O'the Wisp did a rather good job of showcasing both the traditions themselves and how people tend to view them nowadays.
The artwork for this book was highly reminiscent of the style used in Locke and Key, which is one that I'm especially fond of. There's a fluidity to the landscapes, the swamps, the fire, that is both beautiful and eerie. The bugs and the bones as well are beautifully rendered, and I would say that the book is worth looking at for the artwork alone.
While I'd like to rate the book more than three stars, I'm not entirely certain I could. While the book lends itself to reading for the hoodoo traditions and the artwork, and the story was a traditional tale of vengeance from beyond the grave and uneasy isolation, I felt that overall it was missing something. There was constantly more to the story that I wanted to uncover, but couldn't. I would say that this is the fault of the medium itself and the age of the audience it's intended for, but I've read a great deal of graphic novels and know the medium to be virtually unlimited in the scope it could cover storywise and the YA genre itself is fast accepting more and more titles that delve into what previously may be considered questionable content.
My disappointment with the depth of the story being told could easily be remedied by telling more stories of Aurora's time with Silver in Ossuary Isle, and is offset slightly by the attention paid to the spells of Nonnie, the begrudging respect paid to the hoodoo traditions by Silver, and the beauty of the artwork in the piece itself. It's certainly a title that I know friends of mine would enjoy, and by no means was it a bad read at all. I enjoyed it, and I'm certain a great many others will as well.
Couldn't be happier that traditional Louisiana hoodoo culture is getting treated to some good storytelling for a new generation!...more
World of the Wolf by Candace Savage is an interesting exploration of the wolf's history and relationship with humans. It openly admits how little we uWorld of the Wolf by Candace Savage is an interesting exploration of the wolf's history and relationship with humans. It openly admits how little we understand the species, and goes on to explain just why we haven't put more time into examining it. The troubles of wolves and men are explored, and a great many wonderful photographs are scattered throughout it.
This is more of a coffee table book than it is one to pick up and read. The photographs in it are huge, detailed, and absolutely stunning. The writing is short, but well researched and well-done. The topics are never delved into too deeply, but what is said is meaningful and memorable.
This is a good book, and very enjoyable collection of pictures. For better information, the bibliography is extensive and includes Of Wolves and Man which is one of my favorite books on the topic....more