Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Reading Science Stories | Joy Hakim

With help from a three book series published by Smithsonian Books, author Joy Hakim writes a book about the history of science. She does this in an attempt to show that high school literature classes do not (and should not) include only fictional works.

This was quite an educational book. A lot of this was review for me, but since this was probably written with high school students in mind, the difficulty level is good. There isn't a lot in the book about the concept of non-fiction being literature, the book itself is more an example of what non-fiction literature looks like.

The stories themselves are well written and well researched. This is not surprising considering that a lot of them come from Smithsonian Books' series The Story of Science.** They are definitely easy to read and understand. Most important, they are made to be interesting. 

So, if you're looking for a science refresher or an easy science read, I do recommend Reading Science Stories. It's written at more of a high school level, but it is highly informative and interesting.  4 hoots!


*This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. 
**I'm not sure how much of Reading Science Stories is from Hakim and how much is The Story of Science.

Nintendo Book Tag

Once again, I'm going with a book tag inspired by BooksAndOtherNerdyThings. I haven't played anything Nintendo in so long, but it used to be my main platform. Though there were a few years when I was a Dreamcast fan. Anyways, if you want to participate in this book tag, feel free leave a link in the comments! Let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices.

1) NES - A classic book you want to read.

War and Peace. I have tried several times to read this book and failed all of them. I can't get past the first few pages but I do really want to. Chances are good, in order to get through this book, I'm gonna have to have NOTHING ELSE TO DO. And even then I'll probably choose boredom over reading at times.

2) SNES - A sequel you liked better than the first.

Tropic of Serpents. It kinda surprised me that I would like the second one so much since I thought the first book was only so-so. But the main character was so much more developed and interesting in the 2nd book.

3) Nintendo 64 - A book that revolutionized the way you look at the world.

Dragonsinger. I'll admit, there's nothing overly revolutionary about this McCaffrey book, but it was the first book I read that was fantasy/sci-fi. The Harper Hall Trilogy in general was a gateway to the realms of high fantasy and science fiction. This book took me from just being a bookworm to being a geek.

4) Gamecube - A popular book that didn't go over so well with you.

Twilight. This is the first book that I can remember that was incredibly popular but I didn't care for. A friend of mine loaned it to me saying that I was going to be done with it in one night and begging for the next book. About a week later I give it back to her and said "that's okay. I've read enough of this series now. Thanks."

5) Wii - A favorite new book.

The Fold. There is no question that I am a Peter Clines fan girl so it should come as no surprise that I pick his most recent book for this tag. I just can't get enough of his sci-fi horror books!

6) Nintendo Power - Favorite graphic novel series or series you want to start.

The Goon. Definitely not for everyone, but if you have an appreciation for dark humor and 1930's noir, you may want to give this series a go. It was the series that got me into comic books while I was in grad school and I haven't gone back. 

7) Super Mario - A character you'd love to squish like a Goomba.

Agent John Smith from the Ex-Heroes Series. His power is so frustrating and his use of it so evil, there is no one I'd rather squish like a Goomba. I scared my husband once because of the sound I made when he used his power and the victim couldn't do anything to fight it.

8) Zelda - A newer fantasy novel you consider a modern classic.

Harry Potter. I didn't enjoy this series as much as others, but I cannot deny the influence it has had on the literary world. 

9) Samas-Aran - Favorite Sci-Fi novel or one you want to read.

It's too difficult to pick a favorite, so I'm gonna go with one I want to read: Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4). I have enjoyed the entire series so much more than I thought I would, so I'm really, really, really, really, looking forward to the last book. 

10) Pokemon - Book editions you want to collect.

Ex-Heroes. I want every book in the series and I want them in every format. Except maybe audio books, but that's just me.

11) Donkey Kong - A book with original characters.

TwoKinds. Okay, so, technically this isn't a book, it's a webcomic, but it's great reading material so I'm counting it! Fischbach, the author, started this webcomic when he was still in  high school and I absolutely love how much world building he's done in the past 11 years. The characters have grown and matured, but they are still wonderfully true to their original selves. 

12) Nintendo Fandom - Favorite Nintendo game(s) you really want.

Regardless of the platform, I will always, ALWAYS, want a copy of Tetris. I am a Tetris girl for life!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Alice | Christina Henry

Alice once went for an adventure in the Old City only to return to the New City covered in blood with no memory of what happened, blabbering about a man with rabbit ears. She was placed in an asylum and started talking with man named Hatcher through a mouse hole between their rooms. Hatcher also has vague memories of the Rabbit and when they escape the asylum, they had back to the Old City in search of answers. Most importantly the answer of how to stop the Jabberwock. 

This book is not for everyone. It is a very gripping book, I would put it down only with much reluctance, but it's not for everyone. There is a lot of blood, right from the start, with some very graphic depictions of violence. The majority of the violence is bloody, gruesome, and nausea inducing. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

That being said, I thought this was a really well written version of the Alice in Wonderland story. The plot was well thought out. The characters were fully developed and easily related to. The dialogue was entirely natural and I felt that there was nothing left unanswered by the end of the story. I was even quite happy with the ending. I give Henry full credit for building an interesting world. I had no idea where I was or what time period I was in the entire time.

So, if you're interested in a violent retelling of a classic story, or at least have a strong stomach and are a fan of dramas, mysteries, thrillers, and the like, I recommend this book. This isn't my particular genre, I probably won't read it again, but it's good for those with a strong constitution who are fans.


*This book was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly | Matt McCarthy



This book follows Dr. McCarthy's first year out of med school. He meets many people and learns many things from each of them about both medicine and living as a doctor. The reader follows him through many trials where his own physical and mental health are at risk.


I really enjoyed this book. Though it is non-fiction it is still well written and highly engaging. Yes, there is medical terminology, but the context makes everything easy to understand. This book was a breeze to read. I also appreciated how the transition from college to practical experience seems to be universally difficult. The role of, and gratitude towards, good mentors is highly emphasized.

This is not a book for everyone. This is definitely not a book for those who are squeamish. There were several times McCarthy recounted a resuscitation with CPR that I could feel my own ribs hurting. Many times the depictions of physical ailments are quite graphic, but it is appropriate for the story.

Overall, I'd have to say I was happy to read The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly and I do recommend it for people who are interested in going to med school.** This book easily gets four hoots.


*This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books.
**While reading this I thought of several people who had considered med school and was glad they chose other careers.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Brain Camp by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks | Mini-Review


This graphic novel follows the stories of Jenna and Lucas, two young teens who are "late-bloomers" as they are sent to a summer camp that promises parents to turn their kids into high achievers. 


I picked this book up on a whim while visiting my favorite comic book shop. The cover looked interesting and the blurb on the back made it sound like it was going to be a fun, quick read. I got that and a bit more! 

This is a short book, but I still did not put it down until I was done reading. There are so many interesting points in this story that it easily keeps a reader's attention. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely more for young teen readers, but even as an adult I can appreciate the jokes and the science. 

The authors did leave this book open for a sequel and I'd love to see them follow up on it. I happily give Brain Camp 4 hoots!