Book reviews and other interesting goodies.
TITLE: So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler's Guide to Time Travel
AUTHOR: Phil Hornshaw & Nick Hurwitch
PUBLICATION DATE: 2012
This is a humorous and silly time travel "field guide" dealing with the science (very briefly) behind time travel, numerous science-fiction film and book references and instructions on what to do if you end up in some other time or place. At the end it was just a bit too much spoof to be anything other than just an ok read.
TITLE: A Metal Box Floating Between Stars & Other Stories
AUTHOR: Jamie Lackey
15 March 2018
FORMAT: ARC ebook
NOTE: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.
"Jamie Lackey's new collection of speculative fiction stories, A Metal Box Floating Between Stars and Other Stories, will make you think, wonder, and hope. Journey within and away to find love across time, friendly and fearsome aliens, alternate realities, fungal zombies, and more."
This book contains 19 short speculative/SF stories that include everything from family, semi-sentient AI (Fluffy the cleaning bot is absolutely adorable!), odd-ball aliens, space exploration, clones, assassins, alien invasions, zombie fungi, to a whole range of other strange and wonderful combinations and original ideas. The writing is beautiful and concise, the stories original and thought-provoking. The stories contained in this book are also more uplifting and hopeful than many current SF/F stories out there. I enjoyed this book a great deal.
TITLE: The Wayward Lemon & the Garrulous Gnome: A Good Old-Fashioned Gardening Manual
AUTHOR: Lynton Johnson
PUBLICATION DATE: 1996
"Join well-known horticulturist and radio personality Lynton Johnston as he rambles through his garden and those of others. Enjoy the anecdotes, share in his thoughts, and discover the fasination of gardening and gardening lore. Learn about knock-rocks, herbies, ballerinas and wayward lemons. Find out more about making compost (and how not to make it), growing your own fruit and beggies, and building ponds or other garden structures. Learn what to do in your brand-new garden-to-be once the builders have left (and left you all their rubble), or how to turn an inherited garden into your own creation. And read about green means to get rid of bugs, beasties and other farden nasties (excluding garrulous or silent gnomes)."
A rather rambling, if amusing and informative, book containing gardening advice for the novice.
TITLE: In Search of the Canary Tree: The Story of a Scientist, a Cypress, and a Changing World
AUTHOR: Lauren E. Oakes
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE:
27 November 2018
FORMAT: ARC ebook
NOTE: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.
"The surprisingly hopeful story of one woman's search for resiliency in a warming world
Several years ago, ecologist Lauren E. Oakes set out from California for Alaska's old-growth forests to hunt for a dying tree: the yellow-cedar. With climate change as the culprit, the death of this species meant loss for many Alaskans. Oakes and her research team wanted to chronicle how plants and people could cope with their rapidly changing world. Amidst the standing dead, she discovered the resiliency of forgotten forests, flourishing again in the wake of destruction, and a diverse community of people who persevered to create new relationships with the emerging environment. Eloquent, insightful, and deeply heartening, In Search of the Canary Tree is a case for hope in a warming world. "
In Search of the Canary Tree is not so much a popular science book about a specific topic, but rather the author’s personal experiences while doing research for her PhD project in Alaska. In the author’s own words: "This book is about a species - a tree called Callitropsis nootkatensis, how I fell under its spell, and how it inspired my search for people and plants thriving amidst change. It chronicles my effort to answer what happens in the wake of yellow-cedar death, not only to uncover the future of these old-growth forests, but to share lessons that apply to people on other parts of the planet. It is a book about finding faith, not of any religious variety, but as a force that summons local solutions to a global problem, that helps me live joyfully and choose what matters most in seemingly dark times. If we start looking at the local picture and the ways in which we all depend on nature in various ways every day, solutions emerge. I witnessed this in Alaska".
The book starts off slowly but picks up pace. The book is a nicely-written, accessible, personable, informative, and rather intimate view of what one scientist actually did for her research project, the people that influenced her, what her findings were and how this affected her personally.
If you are only looking for scientific information, this book is not for you. If you want a more personal relationship with the scientists behind the number crunching, then you may enjoy this book.
TITLE: The Sound of Music Story: How A Beguiling Young Novice, A Handsome Austrian Captain, and Ten Singing von Trapp Children Inspired the Most Beloved Film of All Time
AUTHOR: Tom Santopietro
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015
"On March 2, 1965, "The Sound of Music" was released in the United States and the love affair between moviegoers and the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was on. Rarely has a film captured the love and imagination of the moviegoing public in the way that "The Sound of Music" did as it blended history, music, Austrian location filming, heartfelt emotion and the yodeling of Julie Andrews into a monster hit. Now, Tom Santopietro has written the ultimate "Sound of Music" fan book with all the inside dope from behind the scenes stories of the filming in Austria and Hollywood to new interviews with Johannes von Trapp and others. Santopietro looks back at the real life story of Maria von Trapp, goes on to chronicle the sensational success of the Broadway musical, and recounts the story of the near cancellation of the film when the "Cleopatra" bankrupted 20th Century Fox. We all know that Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer played Maria and Captain Von Trapp, but who else had been considered? Tom Santopietro knows and will tell all while providing a historian’s critical analysis of the careers of director Robert Wise and screenwriter Ernest Lehman, a look at the critical controversy which greeted the movie, the film’s relationship to the turbulent 1960s and the super stardom which engulfed Julie Andrews. Tom Santopietro's "The Story of 'The Sound of Music'" is book for everyone who cherishes this American classic."
The Sound of Music Story provides a broad overview of the subject, from the real-life von Trapp family to the Broadway Play to the Film, and its legacy. The book is detailed, well-written and informative, with interviews of the relevant people where possible. If you are a Sound of Music fan, you will love this book, if you just like the movie, there might be too much detail here.