Life's hard.

It's even harder when you're stupid.

John Wayne

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Forests of Silence by Emily Rodda ★★★☆☆

A Solid Adventure
Fiction – Juvenile - High Fantasy
 8 - 12 
131 pages
Deltora Quest #1
Literary Awards:  West Australian Young Readers' Book Award (WAYRBA) for Younger Readers (2002)

The Forests of Silence (Deltora Quest, #1)Only the jeweled Belt of Deltora can stop the plans of the dastardly Shadow Lord, but the gems were stolen long ago and hid around the land.  Who will have the courage to face overwhelming obstacles and make the belt whole once again?

While this book didn’t move me like Rowan of Rin it still was a fun adventure story and opens up the reader to the elaborate world of Deltora.  Ms. Rodda as always is a master world builder, with lovely visuals, interesting characters and a land full of wonder. 

Ms. Rodda’s writing effortless writing and quick pace kept my attention and wanting to know what happens next.  I like that the backstory started far enough back for the reader to really understand what was at stake and how easily woven it was into the first few pages.  The backstory also helps set a dramatic, pivotal point setting the stage for change and conquest.  Also, having the story on the shorter side will help it appeal to younger readers with shorter attention spans.

 Another great thing about this book is that it is a bit older so its’ series is finished along with a couple of others revolving around the same characters.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach ★★★★☆

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the VoidSpace travel is way funnier than I thought!
Non Fiction – Adult – Science/History
334 pages
Publication Date:  2010 

Mary Roach applies her own unique brand of scientific curiosity and fun humor to explore the development of space travel.

Okay so I do acknowledge that I love Mary Roach and am prone to like her books.  When I read them I feel like I am having a drink with a very animated friend (I am also convinced we could be good friends in real life, though it would be very one sided with her delighting me and me not adding much to her life other than my adoration), but in all fairness this was a very well done book in its own right.  Well written and researched, Ms. Roach has really looked into the information not commonly discussed.

I also like that Ms. Roach tends to find the same things interesting as I do (there are some pretty great poop jokes in this one for those of us who enjoy that grade school humor and I loved the whole bit alcohol in space), and she does a fantastic job searching out the strange and overlooked.  And while this book proved to me that I was right in never wanting to go to space - it is way more horrible than even I dreamed - the creativity and ingenuity needed to create and develop these projects is so far and beyond anything I ever imagined.  I found the whole subject very thought provoking.  I have really come to admire the people involved in these types of projects.  And while I will always tend toward the practical I started to understand the overall value to humanity to push ourselves beyond the mundane, because of this book.