Death and grief
I loved Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and was worried that nothing else would measure up to it.
As with that book, this one is centered around a young high school boy trying to figure out life while detailing in his relationships with those around him. Here, we have Salvador, his gay dad Vicente and his best friends Sam, who is more of a sister to him, and Fito, who is also gay. Sam's and Fito's lives are not as easy as Salvie's but he has his own issues to. His grandmother is sick again, and he's feeling an anger that he can't place where it came from. The ghost of his mother is always there, nearby, and his unknown bio dad is a big question mark. As Salvie, Sam and Fito go through their last year of high school, they face trials, joys and life-changing events.
I didn't really click with the narrator. He did a great job but for some reason his voice just never sounded like what I thought Salvie's voice should sound like. Then Saenz started tugging at the heart strings as first Sam, then Fito, then Salvie and Vicente experienced significant losses in their lives. All the characters are great, flaws and all, and Vicente is a terrific father. But Mima. Mima got me.
I lost my nana at the beginning of the year, a few weeks after New Year's. She had been sick a long time and waiting for death, but that didn't make it any easier when we got the call late one night to hurry and come before it was too late to say our goodbyes. I wasn't as close to her as Salvie is to Mima. My nana only spoke Spanish and I only speak English, so we couldn't talk without a translator. But I never needed a translator to know how much she loved me. She had God in her heart, and she loved her family with all her heart. If I was sick or not feeling well when we were visiting, she'd whip up some lemon tea with her special blend of spices and I'd feel better. She made the best tamales and her house and yard always smelled like guavas. Ten months have passed and I still sometimes forget she's not just a couple hours down the highway, and this'll be the first Christmas where we don't all gather at her house, sing carols and eat tamales until we can't move.
I saw my nana in Mima, and myself and all my cousins in Salvie, and the special bond that they shared. It's no surprise those were my favorite parts of the book, and that pulled this up from a 3-star to a 4-star read for me.
Just a reminder that our list is still open for voting for the September read. We currently have 10 nominees (we aim to keep it at a max of 12-15) and the current leader with just 3 votes is:
In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, [...] explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life–DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock–have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past.
In contention are 4 others with 2 votes each are (as listed above):
Be sure to get over to the Flat Book Society and vote if you haven't already, and if you have a dark horse entry, we still have a few spaces to fill. If you're not a member already, it's never too late to join!
If you are human, you should read this book. Manne's book is academic treatise on Misogyny, and is anything but dry. While I'm not convinced she had to include the look at literature (such as her analysis of Mockingbird), but her look at court cases (her reading of the Brock Turner case is brilliant) and politics is well worth the price.
Seriously, read this book.
TITLE: Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life
AUTHOR: Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher
DATE PUBLISHED: 2017
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!
-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