Saturday, June 27, 2015

Oh the Math!

Sorry about not posting - I am taking a summer math class which basically compresses a semester into 20 days.  It's required for me to graduate (LAST CLASS!) and I'm normally not great at Math but this is Math for Liberal Arts and so far - I have an A!!  Not much reading is getting done, though, outside of the textbook.  I do have a few reviews to post, though.

I read "Uprooted" by Naomi Novik and loved it.  It's definitely an adult fantasy (that means there is a wee bit of sex). But it's quite good.  It loosely (very loosely) builds on Baba Yaga.  If anyone else out there reads it, I'd be interested in your thoughts. 
Pretty cool cover, don't you think?

Next up is "Lost in NYC: a Subway Adventure" which is a graphic novel by Nadja Spiegelman & Sergio García Sánchez.  It's about...  new friends, getting lost on a class field trip, the New York City subway system, and the Empire State Building.  At the end of the book, the illustrator explains that while he was taking photos in the subway for his illustrations, a policeman kept watching him. So if you search through the pages, you will find Sergio and the policeman in the illustrations.  The history of the subway and the Empire State Building are both pretty awesome also.  This one has been getting some early award buzz so be sure to check it out. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Oh No!  A Giant Asteroid is on a Collision Course with the Earth!  What are We Going to DO????

Also known as - "We All Looked Up" by Tommy Wallach.

I chose this book because I liked the cover.  

Pretty cool, huh?  But sadly, I was not a huge fan of the book.  The word "Ardor" comes from the Latin word ardor which means burning or heat.Today the word has several meanings including a restless or transitory warmth of feeling (the sudden ardors of youth); intensity; zeal; loyalty; sexual excitement... or it can be the name of an asteroid that is probably on a collision course with earth and will - most likely - put an end to "life as we know it". While I didn't love the book I will acknowledge that it does throw out some interesting concepts that make you think. The author borrows a bit from Vonnegut concepts such as a karass (from "Cat's Cradle") which is a spontaneously forming group, joined by unpredictable links. Which really is not technically true of the group in the book since they do all go to the same high school. But, again, thought provoking. And the book starts with the concept of a Pyrrhic victory which describe struggles that end up ruining the victor. You might win the war - but it will cost you. And that one makes a bit more sense as an overarching theme for the story. I'd have to read it again to delve deeper - and I just did not like it enough to do that.
In a nutshell, the book really deals more with the philosophy of how to live your life than true apocalypse. But in true "end of the world" fashion, there's a lot of sex, drugs, alcohol and violence thrown in with the philosophy. Somehow it just didn't come together coherently for me.