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review 2018-10-06 16:09
To stoke your wanderlust
Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies - Alastair Bonnett

Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett is essentially a sociological and philosophical study of what 'place' really means to each of us. The author explores 47 different locales around the globe (usually with GPS coordinates included) and divides them by type (floating cities, underground bunkers, and places without borders to name a few). He examines the dichotomy in wanting a place which is set in stone and also desiring to be itinerant travelers like our ancestors. Until I read this I had never really thought about the significance that we as humans associate with place. The historical and geographical facts Bonnett detailed were especially fascinating (examples include: pumice rafts, Sealand (they have their own passports!), and the enclaves of Belgium). The pacing was just right and the material kept me engaged throughout (which by this point in the year is a challenge).  I really like to learn about places that are far removed from the everyday and Bonnett delivered on that in spades. For those with wanderlust in their heart or a desire to learn about phenomenally odd and/or out of the way locales then this is a great little book. I bet it would make an excellent travel companion on any vacation! 10/10

 

What's Up Next: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Star Trek: Destiny #3: Lost Souls by David Mack (yes, I'm still reading this)

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-09-10 03:14
Bud, Not Buddy
Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud is a determined to find his father despite what is thrown his way. He battles foster parents and siblings, his ability to keep up a lie, as well as hunger and homelessness during the Great Depression. Bud’s mother died when he was six leaving him an orphan because his father was not apart of his life. When Bud runs away from a foster home after being locked in a shed with vampires, he sets his sights on locating his long lost father. Bud’s journey to find his father leads him to an outcome he never expected. Bud uses a map to find various routes during his journey, an activity for students to do is use a map to help Bud find his way from city to city. The students could calculate how long bud would need to travel by foot and by car. An extension to this activity is to have research the cities and find information about those cities during the Great Depression and record them in a graphic organizer. The DRA reading level is 40-50.

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review 2018-09-02 04:25
Maps (Life According to Maps #1)
Maps - Nash Summers

Looks like I'm the odd one out again. I liked this but...

 

Maps reads like an 8-year old jack up on speed. I couldn't relate to him at all and the story is from his POV. Stacie might not be a child of the corn, but she is seriously demented. That is not a normal five-year old. Lane is a pretty nice, all-around boy-next-door. Benji is cool. And Maps's mom is a saint. I swear, if I came home to half the things this woman has to live with her son doing, I would need psychotherapy and vast amounts of pills to stay sane. 

 

The humor just didn't click for me, and this is heavy on humor. It's also way too short to really develop the characters, and this is a story that's been written hundreds of times already by now, so it doesn't add anything new. I did like the gift of the maps. That was super sweet. 

 

I do have the next two from Prime loan, so I'm going to give the next one a try.

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review 2018-07-05 00:28
Maps
Maps - Aleksandra Mizielinska,Daniel Mizielinski
I enjoy looking at Mizielinska's books. They are packed full of information and they are books that take a while to get through, and this book is no exception. A book of maps: maps that look historical in nature, maps that are full of facts and pictures to intrigue your mind. Some of the maps are placed horizontally and some are vertical, depending on the region. information on each page include: capital, languages, population, area, flag, animals and foods of the region, cities, and interesting information about that region.
 
I liked that there is an illustration for each fact that they share on each page. Even though some of the illustrations are not very detailed, you can understand what the illustrator was attempting to highlight. I also liked all the facts on the pages, how the author tried to fill each page with interesting information. I liked the interesting facts that the author chose to include, from basic information, like animals to trivia information. It's a fun book to pour over, I'm sure you'll find something you didn't know.

 

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review 2018-04-09 19:31
A History of Canada in Ten Maps (Shoalts)
A History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land - Adam Shoalts

This work of popular history by a young man who is a "modern explorer" himself is understandably chiefly centred around exploration maps of territory now within Canada's boundaries. It has a fairly informal tone, but full scholarly apparatus. I enjoyed the thoughtful preface and afterword material, and the summaries of the exploits of various famous explorers were highly readable, with many interesting anecdotes. I also thought the tone successfully avoided any suggestion of hero-worship, and also acknowledged in a timely way the major contributions of named and described indigenous allies and collaborators, some of whom, as expedition members, ventured nearly as far away from their homes as the Europeans or Canadians they assisted. The main disappointment of the volume is one that was presumably out of the author's control: the reproductions of the maps, although coloured and glossy, are constrained to too small a size by the book's standard format to be really enjoyed. A coffee-table format would have been better (but probably too expensive). One of the chief victims of this shortcoming is the Thomson map (one I am very familiar with, having worked alongside the original for many years), but that huge, faded map would likely have been chiefly illegible even in a much larger reproduction: it is largely illegible close up, in its original.

 

This is not groundbreaking history, nor is it really cartographic analysis, though there is some discussion of the history and techniques of cartography in the preliminaries. It's a sesquicentennial project, aimed at a general audience, and, if my quite vivid recent memories of its tales about the Vikings, about Cartier and Champlain and Hearne and Mackenzie and Thomson and Franklin, are any indication, it has certainly done its job of raising awareness of the role exploration and mapping played in the early definition of the boundaries of the state we now call Canada. The roles of other forces (war, politics and statecraft) are, legitimately I think, largely left aside. As others have remarked, the one chapter on the Fort Erie battle during the war of 1812 seems a little forced and out of place. But then military history is not something I read with pleasure in any case.

 

Shoalts also seems to be quite an interesting guy, and I recommend a browse through his website after finishing this book.

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