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Showing posts from May, 2015

Mousetronaut (Mark Kelly | C.F. Payne)

My son and daughter received a book in the mail recently, sent to them by a friend and co-worker of my wife (Thanks Scott!). It was presented as a current 'family favorite' in their house hold. After several reads cover to cover, I can see why.

Mousetronaut is the story of a trip to orbit which included six lab mice tagalongs. Comet, the smallest of the bunch is picked to join the team because of his tenacity and drive to achieve. Once in space, his size does not stop him from adopting new skills and adapting quickly. When the Astronauts get in a pinch, only Comet can find a solution that will save the day. An important key gets lost and only Comet is small enough to save the day.

Written by Mark Kelly, retired Commander/Astronaut on the Spaceshuttle Endeavor, he describes this as a 'partially true' story. Based off a spunky mouse on one of his shuttle flights, though the heroic actions are fictional.

Mousetronaut is primarily a picture book, with no greater than a hu…

Children sponge brain etc

I find it frightening how fast my spawn learn. The level of knowledge they glean on a daily basis, the fastness with which they are able to implement the data. the fact that sometimes, it appears as if they are spacing out, when in fact they are computing in the background.
Example: My wife Jenn was driving our children to daycare on our way to work the other morning. I was in the passenger seat and we were just cruising. The radio is playing music and per the norm, I turn to my son in the rear seat and ask him a question. He is 2.5 years old, and his sponginess is at a critical high point.
I ask the spawn 'Who sings this song?'He responds in a 2-year old growl 'META-ICA!' 'No, this is not Metallica, it's Journey..'
He had thrown his hand in the air, but was unable to properly form the horns. I was tearful with pride.
On previous days, listening to Portishead, he was heard signing along to the lyrics, and his favorite band is Beastie Boys (pronounced BeaBos …

Tarantula Woman: Gritty flesh filled drunken Mexican word fest

Donald O'Donovan... I owe you an apology.. On March 2nd 2011, you sent me a copy of your novel Tarantula Woman. It was an interesting title and the story sounded very interesting, but at the time, the description of it just didn't jive to start reading it. I never sat down and got involved with it. Other books took precedence and eventually it was shuffled to the bottom of a tall tall 'To Be Read' (TBR) pile.Tarantula Woman (Donald ODonovan)172 pagesOpen BooksISBN-10: 0615722849ISBN-13: 978-0615722849
4 years and change later I ran across it in my Kindle library. I don't know what caused me to start reading it. Some universal churn pushed it from the underside if the TBR, and placed it in my view. I did not reread the blurb for it, nor did I look up the topic matter. I just blindly opened it and began reading.I owe you an apology because this novel was freaking excellent. It was a gritty flesh filled drunken Mexican word fest, I read and re-read passages. I forced t…

Annihilation: Awesomely consumable fictional world

The borders of Area-X are ever expanding, inch by inch, millimeters, how much is unknown. Does it extend into the ocean? How did it come into existence? What exactly is It and is it a threat to humanity? The Southern Reach recruits volunteers to enter the secret confines of Area-X to search out answers to these very concerns.
Annihilation - Southern Reach: Book 1 (Jeff VanderMeer)208 pagesFourth Estate LtdISBN-10: 0007550715ISBN-13: 978-0007550715
None of the volunteers have names, just designation of skill. Names are for people who do not come to this place, they are left behind at the shimmering ethereal border, along with the rest of the worlds distractions. The volunteers in this research team include the Psychiatrist, the Engineer, the Biologist, and the Anthropologist. Within hours of setting up base camp, it is clear that Area-X is not an untouched Muir wonderland of nature and joy. The underground Tower of endless stairs and cryptic writing on the walls made of organic materia…

DC Super Heroes Storybook Collection

My household is slowly becoming a friendly zone for children's books with real paper. My son is growing out of board books while my daughter is starting to gain an interest. This book turned out to be a good find (thanks mama!), showing classic super heroes in easy to understand battles of good vs evil. Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman.... Throw in some cameos and you are set.

The storybook collection covers eight individual stories, each taking no more than 10-18 pages to tell. It's like a superhero primer. The details of the stories are limited, not going into back story. It mainly keeps to the high points, just right for new reads who may know some characters visually, but not yet understand why they are so interesting as to warrant a big person page book. We all know big person page books mean important things are with in. In case your kiddo has questions and you yourself are not aware that Starro is a villain from space shaped like a starfish (go figure), check the handy h…

Under a Velvet Cloak: Dirty dieties doing it dirt cheap

Twenty years ago I read one of the most influential book series of my lifetime. In recent years, I learned that a new chapter had been created. The original Incarnations of Immortality, written by Piers Anthony, was a seven book package of awesomeness. In 2007, an eighth book was written. Created entirely due to readership demand and some amazing collaborative efforts by the author and a handful of dedicated fans, the final book in Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality left me satisfied though a little ambivalent.

Under a Velvet Cloak (Piers Anthony)324 pagesMundania Press LLCISBN-10: 1606594443ISBN-13: 978-1606594445 Readers who are fanatical for the Incarnations of Immortality should investigate this immediately. It's worth reading in my opinion, though mixed reviews are to be had. This is a highly sexualized novel, and is dissimilar to the other novels in much the same way as the others differed in style and presentation. The full cast of characters is there and you …