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review 2017-10-18 21:06
The Cabinet of Curiosities
The Cabinet of Curiosities: 40 Tales Brief & Sinister - Stefan Bachmann,Katherine Catmull,Claire Legrand,Emma Trevayne,Alexander Jansson
I have to say no to this novel. To say that this collection of stories was scary or creepy, I would have to again say no. I read a total of 13 stories in this novel (or 137 pages) and I had to quit. I found a few of the stories that I read interesting, not exciting just interesting and one of the stories by Claire Legrand was exceptional. Claire’s story was what I was hoping this whole novel contained: creepy, weird stories geared towards middle-schoolers. This novel was a disappointment.
 
In Claire’s story titled, The Cake Made Out of Teeth we are introduced to a boy named Henry who is a horrible spoiled child but his parents don’t see him that way. When his mother makes him his 11th birthday cake, Henry rejects the cake and belittles his mother. Aimed to please, the parents take Henry to town to get him the perfect cake. Finding a poor baker, Henry decides to harass him yet this baker has a special cake just for Henry inside his kitchen. Oh, it’s special alright and when temptation, as sweet tooth and lack of self-control get the best of him, Henry will be remembering this birthday for years to come.
 
I really enjoyed this story and would have given Claire high reviews for this short story alone. I didn’t finish the novel because I just didn’t see the point from what I read but that is just my opinion.

 

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review 2017-09-09 01:24
Looking for a scary book this Halloween?
The Cabinet of Curiosities: 40 Tales Brief & Sinister - Emma Trevayne,Katherine Catmull,Stefan Bachmann,Claire Legrand

If you enjoy creepy short story collections then I think I might have found the perfect book for you. (Maybe this could be your Halloween read!) What makes this collection even more interesting is that it was compiled by 4 different children's authors. Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne, Katherine Catmull, and Stefan Bachmann banded together to write The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister (the Internet has 36 and 40 which is thoroughly confusing even though I've read the book). This book has a little bit of everything and with the added benefit of different author's voices it is certainly never boring. There's magic, mystery, and straight up horror (just to name a few). The black and white illustrations that accompany each story are absolutely perfect (Great job, Alexander Jansson!) and were honestly one of the reasons why I picked up this book in the first place. They've laid out the narrative in a very unique way as they've styled the chapters like the different drawers and cubbies of a traditional cabinet of curiosities. The authors are the 'curators' of this unique cabinet and the stories are the background for each of the 'items' they've collected for the separate compartments. This helps to connect all of the disparate stories into one cohesive collection and keeps the pace moving. All in all, a solid collection that I might find myself drifting back to for the spooky season. 10/10 

 

 

Source: Goodreads

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-08-10 14:36
Not so seriously.
Socialism . . . Seriously: A Brief Guide... Socialism . . . Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation - Danny Katch

With recent events I wanted to learn more about socialism and why it appeals to so many. It's been years since I had to read 'The Communist Manifesto' and other similar works for school so I knew I was going to need something that was going to be a foundational, basic primer (or close to it). This sounded like a good fit: relatively short, supposedly funny and an approachable read for background.

 

The author takes the reader though what socialism is, what are the failure of capitalism, why capitalism has reached its limits and why we need a revolution for socialism, etc. Or something like that.

 

Honestly, I think this is a book that is for someone who is already very sympathetic or has socialist leanings. I really wanted to know the WHY and HOW. In retrospect, the how is much more difficult and probably not appropriate for this type of book. But the author seemed to spend a little too much time being against capitalism and not enough on being for socialism. There's nothing wrong in pointing out the problems and failures of capitalism for the sake of contrast but I just kept wanting to skip over those parts because I really wanted to know more about the positives of socialism. 

 

I also didn't find the book very funny. As previously mentioned, I really didn't want to read a tedious textbook and knew that something basic was going to be better suited for my current needs. But the snark just didn't work for me.

 

And as an off-shoot regarding tone, the author admits that he may sound like he's romanticizing socialism. He was right. In a chapter called "Revolution!" (which really is titled quite aptly), he talks about events like the Arab Spring and the Russian Revolution but it's not clear if he understands the genuine costs: to human life, to mental health, to emotional well-being, to finances, etc. Revolutions aren't at all pretty and I couldn't help but sigh in exasperation at his sentence of on how "Socialists are hopeless romantics--or at least they should be." (pg 106)

 

Overall, the book didn't seem like all that much more informative than social media posts. Again, I suppose there was only so much in depth he could go for an introductory work but it just ended up frustrating me. I'm not saying there isn't room for hopeless romantics, but I needed something that had more in substance and the practicalities of the processes and hows than not.

 

For the right person, though, this is probably a work that will really speak to them. Just don't think it should be the only work to read, though.

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text 2017-07-13 19:00
Nonfiction Science Book Club: My Suggestions
The Demon Under the Microscope: From Battlefield Hospitals to Nazi Labs, One Doctor's Heroic Search for the World's First Miracle Drug - Thomas Hager
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History - Elizabeth Kolbert
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach
The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness - Sy Montgomery
The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries From a Secret World - Peter Wohlleben
Adventures in Human Being (Wellcome) - Gavin Francis
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari Dr
The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman
Herding Hemingway's Cats: Understanding how our genes work - Kat Arney

Just my two cents :). I´m really looking forward to be reading some more non-fiction.

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text 2017-07-13 13:30
Nonfiction Science Book Club: Some More Suggestions
Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World - John Freely
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari
The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention That Changed the World - Amir D. Aczel
The Inheritor's Powder: A Cautionary Tale of Poison, Betrayal and Greed - Sandra Hempel
The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages - Nancy Marie Brown
The Age of Wonder - Richard Holmes
The Dilemmas of an Upright Man: Max Planck and the Fortunes of German Science - J. L. Heilbron
The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True - Dave McKean,Richard Dawkins
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael Pollan
The Science of Everyday Life - Marty Jopson

... just because there are already plenty to choose from anyway! :)

 

Mainly, but not exclusively "history of science" entries here.

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