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text 2018-01-24 12:03
The Origins Of The Medieval World
The World of Late Antiquity - Peter R.L. Brown

Peter Brown's survey of culture and society from the time of Diocletian to the rise of the Abbasid dynasty of Persia manages to be highly sophisticated in its judgements while remaining entirely accessible to the lay reader.


A gradualist rather than a catastrophist, Brown's concern is to trace the evolution of  the medieval world from its classical predecessor. He does so by focusing on  the lines of continuity rather than on the hammer blows of invasion and pestilence, highlighting the way changes in economic conditions, shifts in geo-politics, the introduction of new patterns of thought such as neo-platonism and Christianity, and the development of new ways of thinking about the individual all came together in a process that was as much about innovation and renewal as it was about decay. 


As a narrator Brown is erudite but never obscure. The broad sweep of history is interspersed with moments of granularity that illuminate his thesis. Although some of his assessments have lately been challenged by writers like Peter Heather and Bryan Ward-Perkins, The World Of Late Antiquity  remains an incredibly important resource for anyone interested in this period.

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text 2017-12-19 21:36
Best Reads of 2017
Arabella of Mars - David D. Levine
And the Rest is History - Jodi Taylor
The Lost - Sarah Beth Durst
Arabella and the Battle of Venus - David D. Levine
Creepy Pair of Underwear! - Aaron Reynol... Creepy Pair of Underwear! - Aaron Reynolds,Peter Brown

These are the best books I've read this year.



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review 2017-06-24 04:34
When Technology and Nature collide...
The Wild Robot - Peter Brown


We are geese,

And geese keep going.


We're a strange family.

But I kind of like it that way.


Ahh, this book. I didn't think I was going to like this one. I read it because it's a Sunshine State nominated book for the 2017-18 school year, and it fit the talking animals BLopoly space that I landed on.


The name of the robot is Roz and she has a lot of knowledge, but she doesn't know how to survive on this island. Roz is having difficulties until she realizes that she can learn from the animals. Once Roz realizes the animals are talking, she also realizes she can communicate with them. One day, Roz accidentally destroys a goose nest and can save only one egg. This leads to some pretty amazing and heart-warming moments that I really enjoyed. The ending is a bit sad but hints at the sequel which is coming out later this year.


The story is more than a bit quirky, but that's what makes it so much fun. I think it will be a big hit with our 3rd - 5th graders this coming school year. Though I'm sure it will appeal to older kids and adults as well.


Oh, and the illustrations really bring it all together.




I read this book for the Fantasyland 7 space, and this is my first book after the big shakeup. At 277 pages it is worth: $6.00



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text 2017-06-19 04:08
Booklikes-opoly Fantasyland 7 Read
The Wild Robot - Peter Brown



The main character is a robot, but she interacts and talks to the animals on the island. So, talking animals (check) and a sunshine state 17-18 book (check). Perfect!!

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review 2017-06-17 00:45
Am I no longer afraid of robots?
The Wild Robot - Peter Brown

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown has both fascinated me and frightened me for at least 2 months now. I kept seeing the cover when I was shelving or visiting other branches and the image of the single robot standing on top of a pile of rocks kept leaping out at me. I finally gave up the fight when I decided that middle grade fiction was the way to cure my book reading blues. I'm glad that I did because The Wild Robot was a lot of fun to read (and it turns out it's the start of a series!) made even more amazing by the superb illustrations supplied by the author. [A/N Peter Brown is no stranger to creating books as he's a well-known children's picture book author/illustrator but this is his first attempt at middle grade fiction.] This isn't your standard 'robot story' but instead it's a look at climate change, the ever-evolving landscape of our world with the advent of technology, and what it means to be truly alive. In short, it's beautiful, thought-provoking literature. The illustrations peppered throughout enhance the story by adding depth to the characters (I love that they're black and white.). Roz is doing the best she can given her circumstances which is really all that anyone can do. The only difference is that she's an artificial lifeform living on an island without any humans. How will this shape her? Will her presence have any effect on the local fauna and flora? Brown's commentary on our world is perfectly geared for a younger audience but it wouldn't go amiss for the adult crowd either. ;-) I can't wait to see how this story continues to develop as Peter carries on with the series. 10/10


For a look at the book from the author's perspective check out this awesome post written by Peter about his process of getting his book published: "The Wild Robot lives!".

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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