Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
How would dinosaurs have affected the course of history assuming they had managed to survive and coexist with man? This is the premise of this great new YA novel by Brian Falkner set in early nineteenth century Europe.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Fifteen years in the making, the graphic novel Here is unlike anything I've ever read.
After hearing tales from people who've been watching this masterpiece unfold through RAW magazine, I'm jealous that I only discovered it in its more complete form.
It's somewhat difficult to describe, and at first you might think to yourself "What is this thing?" Especially if you're like me and used to a more conventional graphic novel format.
Fixed on one viewpoint, in a corner of a room, Here depicts what has happened in that little corner throughout the ages. On one page we might see 1957, surrounding it we might see 1893, then on the next panel we might see 300,000,000 BCE.
Confused? Don't be, once you get into it, you will be hooked.
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
The tagline for this one reads "Dying to be an author", and it only makes sense once you hit the ending, pretty much.
With the title of Exquisite Corpse, I had partially anticipated a collaboratively written manuscript, since the term "exquisite corpse" or "exquisite cadaver" is applied to stories that are compiled in sequence by a variety of authors, usually using some particular rule or rules that have been agreed upon. This book is really and truly not that, and yet the title makes complete sense. I would, however, have to spoil the ending for you, and I prefer not to.
Monday, June 13, 2016
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Eugene Linden has written several books and articles about animal intelligence and environmental issues. This sequel to his The Parrot's Lament discusses scientific concepts and interesting puzzles related to animal intelligence. He has interesting tales of clever octopuses, orangutan escape artists, and penguins mimicking scientists in Antarctica. Observations of empathy, deception, and cooperation led Linden to focus, in The Octopus and the Orangutan, "on what intelligence does." I have not read The Parrot's Lament yet, but I probably will.
On the occasion in question, the little orangutan (named Siti) was trying to eat a coconut, an arduous process that involved chewing off the husk and then poking a finger through one of the "eyes" to get at the milk and meat. After chewing and poking through one eye, the little orang got tired and handed the coconut to an Indonesian named Nian. Russon was observing the scene and saw several split remains of coconut scattered around, suggesting that the assistant had cut open coconuts with his machete for the young orangutan on previous occasions.
This was a no-no, since the animals would not have access to room service in the wild. With Russon present, the assistant was not going to risk breaking the rules and sheepishly handed the coconut back to the young female. The young orang made another half-hearted try and then handed it back to the assistant. He handed it back to Siti.
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
A quick synopsis is difficult, not only because The Raven King comes at the end of the series, but because the whole Raven Cycle is so rich and so strange. Blue Sargent is a high school kid who lives with her mother, a psychic and several other women psychics who do readings and other supernatural services for ctizens in the town of Henrietta, VA. Blue isn't psychic herself but she tends to amplify the psychic abilities of those around her. She's been told lots of things by her mother and the other psychic women. For one: don't hang around with Raven Boys--the name given to students at Aglionby, the exclusive all boys boarding school in town. For another: Blue is told if she kisses her true love, he will die. These are good psychics and Blue is pretty convinced that they are right.
So, of course, she starts hanging out with a group of Raven boys and inevitably falls in love with one of them.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Maybe I'm wrong about what I wrote in the paragraph above, but having given writing assignments to my high school students encouraging them to let the character take over, and having experienced the phenomenon when working on my own writing, I have to wonder if Lubar felt pulled through this story by Cliff himself.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
I look forward to the release of the second in this series (December 6, 2016) to see how she continues to develop these characters and create her own "Sherlock" world.