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review 2018-07-13 16:10
When bad guys go good...mostly
The Bad Guys: Episode 1 - Aaron Blabey

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey originally had me quite frustrated because I felt that the labeling (the library's call number) misrepresented the content of the book. [Essentially The Bad Guys was labeled as a Young Reader meaning that the intended audience was anywhere from 2nd-4th grade depending on the reading level of the child. I feel that it was more accurately categorized as an Easy Reader (1st-2nd grade) which is quite different and generally means there are less words and more illustrations per page. I'm mentioning all of this because while it might not matter to some (like if you're not picking up books for your kid(s)) it may have an impact on others.] This is the first book in a series (6 so far) which follows a crew of 'bad' animals: a wolf, snake, shark, and piranha (who is the funniest and fartiest). The wolf decides to round up fellow bad guys to change their image and reform their behavior. He is initially met with skepticism but throughout the book the other members of the club start to come around to his side and become quite enthusiastic about the enterprise. Their first mission is to break 200 dogs out of an animal shelter but from the outset there are large obstacles in their path...mainly how 4 dangerous animals are going to get in the front door of an animal shelter. Cue the shark coming up with a rather camp solution... The appeal of this book rests mainly in its silly humor and quick pacing. Young audiences will surely gobble this up and ask for the next in the series immediately. 7/10 because it didn't totally blow me away but I could see myself reading more for a quick palate cleanser (I may or may not have read the #6 already).


Blabey's website with the total list of books in this series (as well as his Pig the Pug series which is great fun): Aaron Blabey books.



What's Up Next: The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead


What I'm Currently Reading: Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett & When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-07-12 21:19
A Wish Come True by Kolet Janssen
A Wish Come True - Kolet Janssen,Emy Gey... A Wish Come True - Kolet Janssen,Emy Geyskens,Emilie Timmermans

A Wish Come True by Kolet Janssen and Emy Geyskens is an educational book for children ages four and up. Emilie Timmermans is the illustrator.

Mark has a serious illness and has to spend a lot of time in the hospital. The fairies agree that since he's brave he deserves a reward. I gave it four stars.


I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Clavis Books and NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review.


Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Wish-Come-True-Kolet-Janssen/dp/1605373354

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text 2018-07-11 04:47
Find the Most Reputed Kids Party Entertainment

What can be more exciting than planning for your kids birthday party with good visitors? Well, for this, you should never make the mistake to think that you can manage the gathering all yourself. It would be quite hectic to manage the party where you would not have much time to take care of your guests, entertainment, foods, etc.



Therefore, in order to lower your burden, you should try to seek the best entertainment group that would make your guest busy with their unique and beautiful performances. The best one would also make sure that it turns out to be the most memorable event for your guests. Your kids would really feel special for organizing such a big event.


So, in order to make your best choice for kids party entertainment, you should definitely try to connect with the best performers at Rumple and Friends. This would surely be the perfect decision where your guests would be enthralled by our breath-taking performances.


You would also find that by choosing us, you have been able to get the maximum good entertainment in the best way. Our professionally trained performers always make sure that you get the perfect entertainment. Our performers have got their own style, where you would be able to enjoy the best time. Kids and adults would really appreciate our performances that would, in turn, make your family feel proud of the best choice that you have made.


Therefore, you can always make the best decision to connect with our team of expert performers that would make the evening a grand one. We come up with different party ideas such as Rumple the Clown, Pirate Pete, etc that would really prove to be quite unique as well. A party is not completed without the best acts of magic. So, here at Rumple and Friends, you can expect the best children's party magician where it would prove to be the most interesting event.


We would make sure that your guests would be captivated by our perfect magic and tricks which they have never witnessed before in their life. So, by choosing the best entertainment group by connecting with us, you would surely find it to be the best performance by us. You can have a look at our party gallery which would help you in getting a good idea of our services. We would make the best attempt to make your child’s birthday event an unforgettable evening.

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text 2018-07-08 22:59
Reading progress update: PS. Bring water!
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky

I am 84 pages in and this book has been really interesting. The view from the spiders gives an intriguing perspective. When I read books or watch movies that are human vs. animals I tend to side with the animals. The only exception is Arachnophobia. So far I am not really invested in the human characters yet, but there is one lady I would like to back hand. Hopefully I will grow to care about these characters. If not I guess I will be rooting for the spiders. Well, off I go to see if there is any redemption for these characters and hopefully some relief from the squelching heat that seems to have engulfed California.



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text 2018-07-07 13:58
Is optimism in science fiction our social coal-mine canary?
Children of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky

While reading some book-related articles today I came across a description of Adrian Tchaikovsky's 2015 novel Children of Time. Though short, it was intriguing enough to get me to add it to my TBR list, but it also got me thinking about what seems to be the decline of optimism in science fiction.


The trigger was Tchaikovsky's premise about a colony ship that contains the last humans in the universe, traveling to a planet occupied by another species from Earth, this one altered. That very description strikes me as more than a little sad, but also one that I've seen a lot in recent SF in various forms: the representatives of a dying species, struggling to survive. Sometimes it's our fault, sometimes it's just that we've had our run, but what they all share in common is the sense that humanity's last days are behind them.


This matters to me in the sense that for all of their futuristic settings all science fiction is ultimately about the present, which is why I'm worried about what the apparent increase in the prevalence of such tales says about us today. Yes, apocalyptic SF is as old as the genre itself (if you forego the work that gave us the concept as we understand it today, you can find it as far back as Mary Shelley), but it seems to predominate science fiction more today than it did even just a couple of decades previously. Moreover, the more optimistic strain seems to be one the wane, as the novels set in a gee-whiz future of promise and excitement seem fewer and further between than they were in the "golden age" of the 1950s.

What bothers me about this the most is what this says about our times, as it seems that optimism is an indulgence as we dwell more on the negatives in life, on losing what we have than on gaining something more in the future. I could attribute it to living in the eroding white American middle-class, but it's there in a lot of Chinese science fiction as well, which suggests a far broader trend than the one in my own bubble. And what makes it so perplexing to me is that in so many ways life is better for most people than it has ever been. The irony here is rich: in so many ways humanity is actually achieving the promise of a better future, yet we're focused more on decline and catastrophe.

I suspect this is why I've spent the past couple of months indulging myself with old Star Trek novels, as more than ever I miss the idea of an optimistic future — and you can't get much more optimistic of a future than Gene Roddenberry's vision of it. Yet it's suggestive that some of the novels that I've most enjoyed are the ones that spin a darker path out of Roddenberry's day-glo premise. To adapt an old saying, perhaps in the end the fault lies not in us, but in myself.

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