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review 2017-02-19 15:39
Giants of the Lost World: Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Monsters of South America - Donald R. Prothero

Prothero-irreverence love ...

"Sloths and armadillos and their kin are the two most familiar families of the Xenartha. The third are the anteaters, which are place in the group Vermilingua, which means "worm tongue" in Latin. (There is no known connection to the villainous Grima Wormtongue in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.)"

And the section on the mammals with evergrowing incisors is, of course, titled "Rodents of Unusual Size" ;-)

Overall a nice little book not deep or overly detailed but one of those informative, engaging (and fun) overviews that puts the general evolution of known large South American faunas, ranging from early protomammals of Gondwana to recent mammals, birds, and reptiles, in ecological and historical perspective and serves as a guide to things to find out more about (lots of critters that don't often get a mention in the more-usually-North America/Euro-centric-with-an-occasional-dash-of-Asia palaeontology books). South American dinosaurs are included, of course, but kept in perspective (and a single chapter) as they existed for only a small percentage of the timeline covered.

Now I have a strong urge to grab my copy of Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" to re-read it ...

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-19 05:34
The Lost World
The Lost World: A Novel (Audio) - Michael Crichton,Scott Brick

Sequel to Jurassic Park. This audio version is also narrated by Scott Brick. Despite being streamed across Overdrive courtesy of the library, it was still broken up into CD sections and announced the change of CDs and repeated the last line of the previous CD section before continuing with the narration - overall, distracting.


I admittedly listened to this mostly while lying in my sick bed and didn't pay it the same close attention as I did the first one. I'm not sure if Scott Brick's individual character voices were less distinct in this adaptation or if I was not aware enough to pick out the subtle differences. As I am already biased in favor of the story, I only mentally docked a half star for the (perceived) performance.


One thing that occurs to me about the story in general though: is Sarah's father actually the vet, Dr. Harding, in the original Jurassic Park? And, if so, WTF, Malcolm? That one, seemingly inconsequential, teasing hint is still bugging me. Plot holes, plot holes...

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review 2017-02-16 15:16
Weird Dinosaurs: The Strange New Fossils Challenging Everything We Thought We Knew - Philip J. Currie,John A. Pickrell

We’re in a golden age of discovery – and the fossils coming to light show dinosaurs were stranger, bigger, scarier and more diverse than we ever imagined.

From outback Australia to the Gobi Desert and the savanna of Madagascar, award-winning science writer John Pickrell sets out on a world tour of new discoveries and meets the fossil hunters leading the charge. Discover the dwarf dinosaurs unearthed by an eccentric Transylvanian baron, an aquatic, crocodile-snouted carnivore bigger than T. rex, the Chinese dinosaur with wings like a bat, and a Patagonian sauropod so enormous it was heavier than two commercial jet airliners.

Why did dinosaurs grow so huge? Did they all have feathers? And what do sauropods have in common with 1950s vacuum cleaners? Weird Dinosaurs examines the latest breakthroughs and new technologies radically transforming our understanding of the distant past.

My rating:4.5
What did I think
First off I want to say that this would have been a five star read for me if it had 2 things and they are:
1: how to say the dinosaur's name
2: the mean of said name.
Other than that I loved it ,but then again I love reading anything that talks about dinosaurs ,so if you love to read about them and learn about them then you need to pick this one up and add it to your collection, I know I will be , there was so much information about some.of the old ones and about new findings that made this book amazing to read. With that said I would love to say thinks to Netgalley for giving me a chance at reading this and for finding another amazing dinosaur book to add to my collection, in a change for my honest opinion which this is.can't wait for it to come.out to buy.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-12 11:06
Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park: A Novel - -Brilliance Audio on CD Unabridged-,Michael Crichton,Scott Brick

Streamed this off Audible. This edition is 15:10:10 exactly and narrated by Scott Brick.


I love it. That's it. Scott Brick's voice is amazing and he maintains the individual voices of each character perfectly 99.9% of the time. (I can excuse that slip on Muldoon's dialogue in that one scene because the character was drunk at the time anyway; let's just chalk it up to method acting.)


Nedry's death scene in particular was extra chilling despite how many times I have reread this book in print.


5 stars, would listen again.

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review 2017-02-03 08:17
Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs - Robert Sabuda,Matthew Reinhart

(This is going to be a picture intensive post.)


I've only just come out of the pop-up book closet, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say I've found the best pop-up books out there.  The first one being Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs.


This pop up book is extravagant; there's no other word for it.  Most pop up books save the best for last, a grand finale on the last page to leave you with a "wow" at the end.  Every page of this book is a grand finale page.  If the center image doesn't impress (although I can't imagine why it wouldn't), each page spread has small inset pages, and these contain pop up images too; of of these inset pages have more pages with more pop ups in them.


The intricate and sometimes delicate construction of these pages, as well as the writing, seems geared towards an older child, say 10-12 years old.  The writing is informative, and there are pronunciation guides for each of the dinosaurs.  Best of all, at the end, the authors devote an inset mini-book to why the dinosaurs disappeared; they offer several of the prevailing theories without giving weight to one over the other, ending with we don't know why they disappeared for certain.  Responsible writing - I love it.


So here are the pictures (I could not pick out just a couple, so there are a lot of them here):


A typical page:

Each of those bits in the corners is another pop up:

Some of them have multiple pages of small pop-ups:


(on the left is a multi page mini popup and the right side is a mini pop up page with flaps that open up on either side with more popups.)


This one gives an idea of the scale; not only of the dinosaur (with the man and elephant) but of the art itself.


For the T-Rex fans out there:


My only complaint is that each of those mini pages are held down with a photo-corner type thing.  They do need to be held down, and I can't think of a better way to do it, but the corners require the reader to slightly bend the pages to get them in and out; over time and use, that's going to weaken the paper.


Saying that though, I can't recommend this book too much; it's fabulous.  Kids and adults alike will find something to ooh and ahh over.  MT has already asked if he could take it to work to show the guys; admittedly he is in the printing business but I don't think there's anyone out there that won't find much here to be impressed with.



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