Elentarri's Book Blog

Book reviews and other interesting goodies.

Happiness...

"When we are collecting books, we are collecting happiness."

- Vincent Starrett

Here Be Dragons by Sarah A. Hoyt

Here Be Dragons: A collection of short stories - Sarah A. Hoyt

A beautifully written collection of original short fantasy/science-fiction stories.  I loved all the stories in this collection in one fashion or another.

SPOILER ALERT!

Nessie by Nick Redfern

Nessie: Exploring the Supernatural Origins of the Loch Ness Monster  - Nick Redfern

TITLE:  Nessie:  Exploring the Supernatural Origins of the Lock Ness Monster

AUTHOR:  Nick Redfern

DATE PUBLISHED:  2016

FORMAT:  Paperback

ISBN-13:  9780738747101
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DESCRIPTION:

    "Dive into the Dark and Turbulent Domain of Nessie, the World's Most Supernatural Monster

    Deep in the black waters of Loch Ness lurks a long-necked, hump-backed monster that for centuries has fascinated those lucky--or unlucky--enough to see it. From the earliest sightings in 565 AD to the Nessie craze of the twentieth century, this creature has been steeped in the world of supernatural strangeness.

    Join Nick Redfern on an exciting journey into the paranormal origins of Nessie, exploring ideas that go far beyond the ordinary. This comprehensive guide offers lore, unique theories, hot spots, and photographs. Experience firsthand encounters, discover how Nessie is connected to the occult, and meet other mysterious monsters that live in Loch Ness. Nessie presents a fresh approach to the mystery, one that will take you down new and sometimes frightening paths as you hunt for the truth. "

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REVIEW:

Nick Redfern has written a book that includes almost every bit of information he could find about Nessie.  However, the chatty writing style isn't particularly coherent, with mulitple jumping around the time line and refering to people he had already mentioned or was going to mention later on in the book.  The author also fails to provide satisfactory proof for his hypothesis, though the idea is interesting.  The lack of illustrations/photographs in the books, especially when the author refers to them, is annoying.  The book is interesting with new (to me) information, but flawed.

More silly jokes

What do you call birds that stick together? Vel-crows.

 

 

What do sea monsters eat? Fish and ships.

 

 

What do you call a sleeping dinosaur? A dino-snore.

 

 

The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.

 

 

Q: What’s the difference between a cat and a comma?

A: One has claws at the end of its paws, and the other is a pause at the end of a clause.

 

 

Q: Which dinosaur knows the most words?

A: A Thesaurus

 

 

Q: Why did Shakespeare only write in ink?

A: Pencils confused him — 2B or not 2B?

D.A by Connie Willis

D.A. - Connie Willis

DESCRIPTION:

"Theodora Baumgarten has just been selected as an IASA space cadet, and therein lies the problem. She didn't apply for the ultra-coveted posting, and doesn't relish spending years aboard the ship to which she's been assigned. But the plucky young heroine, in true Heinlein fashion, has no plans to go along with the program. Aided by her hacker best friend Kimkim, in a screwball comedy that has become Connie Wills' hallmark, Theodora will stop at nothing to uncover the conspiracy that has her shanghaied."

____________________________

 

This is an entertaining, but not particularly substantial, short story.

Curse on Book Thieves!

"For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.  Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted.  Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in dissolution.  Let bookworms gnaw his entrails... and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever."

 

-  Anonymous "curse" on book thieves from the monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona, Spain.

SPOILER ALERT!

Furry Logic by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher, Matin Durrani

TITLE:  Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life

 

AUTHOR:  Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2017

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  978-1-4729-1411-8

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FIRST READ:  2018/04/07

RE-READ:  2019/03/22

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Furry Logic is an interesting book that takes a look at the physics concepts used by a  large variety of animal life for survival.  The writing style is informal, chatty and whitty. Some of the puns and jokes were just awful, but most led to snickers or laughs, so I can't complain about them too much.  While the authors do not go into a great deal of depth with their scientific explanations, the explanations are comprehensive enough to understand the concept.  This is a fun, fast paced, fascinating and informative book, especially for the non-physicist and non-biologist.  This book is divided into 6 chapters that show how animals make use of physics in terms of heat, forces, fluids, sound, electricity, magnetis and light.  

 

The book covers such topics as flight, how cats drink, heat detection in snakes, the Komodo Dragon's bite, the electric field of flowers and how they attract bees, the sounds of peacocks and how elephants detect sound through the ground, how some animals use polarized light or magnetic fields to determine direction, how electric eels produce their electricity, how pondskaters skate on water, how geckos walk on ceilings, how the Harlequin Mantis Shrimp punches through crap shells (and aquarium tanks), how well mosquitos fly in the rain, why dogs shake themselves dry, why giant squid have such large eyes, and many more. 

 

The book includes a section of colour photographs and has a few illustrations to explain concepts spread throughout the book.  Unfortunately, the book did not contain a list of references or a bibliography, which is a bit strange for a science book!

 

 

Furry Logic Website

 

Internet Review and Excerpts

 

 

OTHER BOOKS

 

-Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski

-Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements by Matt Wilkinson

-The Gecko’s Foot: How Scientists are Taking a Leaf from Nature's Book by Peter Forbes

-What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins by Jonathan Balcombe

Corny Jokes

One tectonic plate bumped into another and said, “Sorry, my fault.”

 

 

Why did the Clydesdale give the pony a glass of water? Because he was a little horse.

 

 

If athletes get athlete’s foot, what do elves get? Mistle-toes.

 

 

 

What kind of ghost has the best hearing? The eeriest.

 

 

What kind of music do planets like? Neptunes.

 

 

Why do bees have sticky hair? Because they use honeycombs.

SPOILER ALERT!

Quote: Furry Logic [Chapter 6]

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher, Matin Durrani

"This cuckoo is not alone in its freeloading. About 1 per cent of bird species act this way – they’re ‘obligate brood parasites’. Laying your egg in another bird’s nest lets you access the world’s ultimate crèche: there’s 24/7 care, no waiting list, and you never have to pay the bill. It’s the bird equivalent of throwing a baby out of a high chair, plonking your own infant in its place, then heading to the pub. For ever. A female common cuckoo chucks one egg out of her chosen host’s nest before laying her own egg in its place. If the cuckoo egg hatches first, the early-bird chick pushes its rival eggs out of the nest. Now it can catch the worm – it’s won the undivided attention of its new foster-parents. And if the cuckoo emerges after the host bird’s chicks, it shoves its step-brothers and sisters over the edge to their death. It’s the story of Cinderella, only an Ugly Sister wins and there’s no Fairy Godmother."

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Quote: Furry Logic [Chapter 5]

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher, Matin Durrani

"We’re off on a trip of our own to the Furry Logic summer picnic. Choosing a shady spot on the lawns overlooking the historic hall, we lay down a blanket, get out the cheese sandwiches, open a huge bag of crisps (we’re so classy), pour some tea and unpack our pièce de résistance – home-made scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam. Perfect.

 

Unfortunately, we’re not alone. Wasps have arrived. First one, then another, then a third, darting madly around us in search of a sugary treat. We try to shoo off the beasts but it’s no use. More wasps turn up. One’s crawling over the jam. Another’s landed in the cream. The wasps are a complete (insert your own expletive) nuisance. Leaping up we tread backwards into a sandwich, knock over the tea and flail furiously about. With more wasps buzzing round our heads, it’s time for plan B: shove everything back into the picnic hamper and dash for the car.

 

Wasps are one of the most unpopular animals on the planet. They have few fans and many enemies, but it turns out wasps (or at least some of them) are masters of electricity and expert at quantum mechanics. Before we explain how, let’s make a case for their defence. First, without these yellow-and-black striped creatures, we’d be knee-deep in aphids and black fly. If you’re a keen gardener, you can thank your local wasps for devouring these insects and keeping your cabbages in good nick. Second, many species are social creatures that live in giant colonies and have just one aim: to bring food back to their nests. They’ll attack only if provoked or if they see a sudden movement, which is why swiping at one with a rolled-up newspaper is a bad idea. And here’s a tip: if you’re near a wasp’s nest, stay still. Creating a disturbance encourages the wasps to rush out to see what’s going on. If anything, wasps are more concerned about intruder wasps entering their colony. Should that happen, the inmates circle the outsider, before leaping on the enemy, chewing its wings off and stinging it to death. So it’s not about you, it’s them."

 

SPOILER ALERT!

Quote: Furry Logic [Chapter 5]

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher, Matin Durrani

"The good news regarding Oriental hornets is that they won’t nest in your house. Nor will you find them living in trees or shrubs. Instead, these wasps hang out in intricate underground burrows, which armies of workers hollow out by digging with their mandibles. Carrying the soil in their mouths, the workers head to the nest exit before flying out about 10m (about 30ft) from home. After dumping the soil in mid-air (the naughty litter bugs) they return home for more digging."

 

Froggy Joke

 

A frog telephones the Psychic Hotline. His Personal Psychic Advisor tells him, “You are going to meet a beautiful young girl who will want to know everything about you.”

 

The frog is thrilled! “This is great! Will I meet her at a party?”

 

“No,” says his advisor, “in her biology class.”

 

Science Jokes

https://www.businessinsider.com/31-cringe-worthy-science-jokes-and-puns-2015-11?IR=T#did-you-hear-the-one-about-the-recycling-triplets-their-names-are-polly-ethel-and-ian-15

Electricity Detective...

Q: What was the name of the first Electricity Detective?

 

A: Sherlock Ohms.

SNAKES & LADDERS 2019 TRACKING POST - COMPLETE!

 

 

 

SQUARE 1:  Author is a woman

- Read Underbug:  An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology by Lisa Margonelli [Finished 22 February 2019]

 

SQAURE 7: Author's last name begins with the letters A,B, C, or D.

- Read Minimum Wage Magic by Rachel Aaron [Finished 23 February 2019]

 

SQUARE 14:  Author is dead.

- Read The Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchet (1948-2015).  [Finished 25 February 2019]

 

SQUARE 20:  Set in a country that is not your country of residence.

- Read The War That Killed Achilles by Caroline Alexander [Finished 28 February 2019] - this book takes place in Anatolia, so not in my country of residence.

 

SQUARE 70:  Something related to fall/autumn on the cover.

-Read A Dark and Stormy Murder by Julia Buckley [Finished 1 March 2019] - the novel takes place in autumn and has autumn scenery on the cover. 

 

SQUARE 78:  Set in a small town (fictional or real)

-Read Death in Dark Blue by Julia Buckley, which is set in a small town. [Finished: 2 March 2019]

 

SQUARE 83:  Genre:  Cozy Mystery.

- Read A Dark and Twisting Path by Julia Buckley, which is a warm, fluffy and definately cozy mystery.  [Finished 3 March 2019].

 

SQUARE 86:  Author's debut book.

- Read:  All That Remains:  A Life in Death by Sue Black, which does not meet the requirements of Square 86. [Finished 5 March 2019].

 

SQUARE 92:  Reread of a childhood favorite.

- Read Sorcerer's Legacy by Janny Wurtz, which is something I read as a teenager.  [Finished 7 March 2019]

 

SQUARE 96:  From your favorite genre.

-Read:  Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life by Marcus Wohlsen. 

[Finished 9 March 2019]

Science is my favourite genre so this book meets the criteria. 

 

SQUARE 100:  Let BL pick it for you:  post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes.

-Read The Deluge by Mark Morris [Finished 16 March 2019]

 

 

SNAKES & LADDERS 2019 COMPLETED!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOILER ALERT!

The Deluge by Mark Morris

The Deluge - Mark Morris

DESCRIPTION:

"It came from nowhere. The only warning was the endless rumbling of a growing earthquake. Then the water came—crashing, rushing water, covering everything. Destroying everything. When it stopped, all that was left was the gentle lapping of waves against the few remaining buildings rising above the surface of the sea.

Will the isolated survivors be able to rebuild their lives, their civilization, when nearly all they knew has been wiped out? It seems hopeless. But what lurks beneath the swirling water, waiting to emerge, is far worse. When the floodwaters finally recede, the true horror will be revealed.
"

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REVIEW:

This is an unoriginal apocalypse/post-apocalypse novel, that doesn't so much terrify the audience as revolt them with graphic descriptions of [spoiler] corpses [/spoiler], and other ... "things".  The writing was inconsistent with too much exposition and not enough "showing".  I also found the characer's reactions (or rather lack thereof) to the disaster to be unbelievable, especially in this day and age when supposed adults are having melt-downs over some internet persons differing opinions.  There were simply too many unanswered questions not to get annoyed with this book.  We never find out what caused the deluge, or [spoiler] what the slugs are or where they come from, or what happens to Max and what they find when they leave [/spoiler]. The book also doesn't end properly - the author apparently just got bored and stopped. 



NOTE:  I read the ebook which was filled with typos/spelling and grammar errors, along with missing letters, eg. "thru" instead of "through", "arum" instead of arm, "rn" merged into an "m" etc.  I don't know if the text was supposed to be like that but I found it annoying.

Currently reading

The Snowflake: Winter's Frozen Artistry by Rachel Wing DiMatteo, Kenneth Libbrecht
Progress: 21/144pages