Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book 'Em: Hell on Wheels

Book 'Em: Hell on Wheels

Great Gatsby on Film!

It's a long way from Long Island, but Baz Luhrmann's 3D version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby will begin shooting in Sydney, Australia, next August after a deal was signed with the New South Wales (NSW) state government recently. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Jay Gatsby, while Carey Mulligan has been offered the role of Daisy Buchanan, the Hollywood Reporter wrote.

"This comes at a good time for the film industry," said NSW Premier Kristina Kenneally. "Australia was thought to be losing international filmmaking due to the strong Aussie dollar--put simply, this is a big win."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

TAB Bowling Sunday!!!

Be there....or be.....bored on a Sunday night! We're meeting at 3 p.m. at River City Lanes to lay down some lanes and bowl our best! Remember to get in your permission slips to Emily if you haven't already, or bring them to the event. This is going to be a lot of fun and (maybe) a tad bit competitive, so bring your best game and show us what you got!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Alchemyst...what do you think??

I've read the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to this book. I picked this up after someone recommended it to me highly; I wish I could say I had the same enthusiasm for it he did. First, it is marketed as "Young Adult" fiction, but could easily pass for "Juvenile." I don't think it goes beyond Middle School reading level, in my opinion.
The characters (besides Nicholas Flamel) DO come across one dimensional and a bit "cheesy", as I've read in other reviews. It would probably be a lot more interesting story if the author included a certain TYPE of mythology rather than EVERY kind of mythology he can think of. Vampires, Gods, Werewolves, Mystics, Sorcery...are ALL mentioned which make the reading experience a tad overwhelming. However, if you're really into that sort of thing and enjoyed Percy Jackson immensely and were willing to overlook this defect--I think you'd enjoy this book.
The plot moves along swiftly and the premise is a good one--evil v.s. good is always a substantial and entertaining theme. I can see kids loving this book or hating it--dependeing on whether they connect with the two main characters (twins), and can stand the confusion of all the history, magic, and mythology rolled into one.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Can we all say "Ubiquitous?"

"When you consider that 99 percent of all species that have ever existed are now extinct, you realize that the ones who made it--and are thriving--are indeed remarkable." --Joyce Sidman

This is a great book for the youngster in your life that desires to be an evolutionary biologist; or better yet, if you want to grow up to be one--(regardless of your age...I still want to be the Glenda, the Good Witch). The book includes a timeline, glossary, a brief poem nestled on each page about the species being discussed, and a fantastic author's note. The question of "Why do certain species survive?" is an enormous one, and I think the author and illustrator do a really competent job in both explaining each species (a bit of history), and what makes that particular species prone to survival. A poem on each page and colorful illustrations add to the appeal of this book. The more creative types will appreciate the fun and flouncy poetry, while those interested in the science of evolution will enjoy the tidbits of trivia that can be found in the descriptions of each species: which include bacteria, mollusks, squirrels, sharks, and even humans! This is a fun book that conveys a lot of information in a very accessible way. I learned a lot. For instance,
Did you know that.....
1. More than 400 mollusks are discovered each year!
2. Lichen cannot tolerate pollution; they decline in cities with poor air quality.
3. Sharks have amazing immune systems!
4. The Dung Beetle was revered by ancient Egyptians.
5. Geckos can literally break their tail in two to escape from predators.

Just the name of this book made me want to pick it up. Seriously, any author who can use the word "ubiquitous" correctly can't be all bad. Recommended.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Walking Dead...

We all know it was a great but short-lived series on television, (can't wait for it to start up again), but what you might NOT know is that it all started with a graphic novel series by Robert Kirkman, who is, in my estimation, prince of the zombie genre--(Romero is king, no doubt). I've noticed that the graphic novels are gaining a steady stream of fans, and so I ordered three for our graphic novel collection last week which should soon be hitting our shelves, ready for check-out.
The television series follows the graphic novel, so if you can't wait for next season to find out what's probably going to happen, you can bolt ahead in the series so there isn't as much nail-biting action--(the scene in the army know what I mean).