There are just a few important things you need to know to understand what Starship Troopers (the movie version) is all about. First, it does not have the same feel as Heinlein’s book. A lot of the pro-military sentiment was clearly over the top and came across as almost a parody of the original. Many of the events are preserved, but a lot of details are added of necessity, since you have to see things in a movie even if they weren’t described in the book. However, a lot of character development and relationships between characters are added too. The sharp military feel is preserved though and I thought the dry humor was brought out more. Personally, I enjoyed these changes and even felt like the movie makers probably had many of the same complaints I did with the book. But it’s possible that if you loved the book, you could find the changes frustrating. Read more »
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Title: Starship Troopers
Author: Robert Heinlein
Review Summary: It does what it does well, which is just to be a book with some dry humor and a very military feel, but I prefer at least a little world building in my sci-fi.
The plot of Starship Troopers is pretty short and sweet, following the military career of a young man some time in the distant future. In this futuristic society, only those who join the military are allowed to vote. This decision is justified by the belief that those people willing to sacrifice them selves for the good of society are those who deserve to have the vote. However, our protagonist mostly joins up because all his friends are doing it and a big part of the book is how is abilities and interest in the military evolve. Read more »
Title: I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats
Author: Francesco Marciuliano
Fun Fact: Like comics, books of poetry are actually categorized as non-fiction!
Review Summary: Short and very sweet, these poems made me laugh but also made me stop and appreciate how much fun it is to have a cat.
You can probably tell this already from the title, but this book was both adorable and hilarious. Although these were definitely not your typical poems, they were still quite well written. The cadence imposed by the line breaks and the placement of the words on the page were used very effectively to guide you through each poem to the punch line. Each poem briefly takes you into the mind of a cat for one typical cat moment. Did moving confuse your cat? Well, now there’s a poem to help you understand their sense of lose and confusion. Does your cat desperately want through a door… until you open it? There’s a poem for that too. And familiar to even non-cat owners, thanks to youtube, there are also poems for the cat who destroys your toilet paper roll and for the cat who deliberately knocks things off the counter – just to watch them fall. And oh by the way, that was (obviously) a link to a hilarious cat video, so if you didn’t watch it the first time, here it is again 🙂
Title: How To Be a Woman
Author: Caitlin Moran
Review Summary: Parts of this book were moving, while other chapters were so funny I nearly collapsed laughing, but the whole thing was thought-provoking and definitely worth a read.
The most important thing to know about this book is that it probably won’t be what you expect. I was surprised by things including: Caitlin Moran’s frank discussions of all aspects of being a woman; how she defined feminism; and how completely and totally hilarious some of this book was. All of her philosophical musings on feminism and being a woman are tied together very nicely by stories she shares of her life. These are both the funniest bits and the thing that imposes chronological order on what would otherwise be a series of distinct essays. For a good idea of the topics and the tone of the book, I’d recommend the goodreads summary. Read more »
Title: Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World
Author: Matthew Goodman
Source: from publisher for review
Fun Fact: In 1889, 1 out of every 300 people in the world lived in New York City.
Review Summary: An exciting adventure which will immerse you in the time period and introduce you to two fascinating protagonists.
In 1889, two young women set out to accomplish an astounding and previously fictional feat – traveling around the world in under eighty days. Both women were reporters, sponsored by their respective news papers to race around the world in opposite directions. This book chronicles their incredible adventure, with rich descriptions of the people involved and the places visited. We also get a glimpse of daily life in 1889 and the evolving place of women in American society. Read more »
Title: The Elementals
Author: Troy Jackson
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: Creative and original idea, with an unusual setting and an engaging, complex plot.
Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China, could have been a hero for bringing peace to his country. Instead he chose to enslave many of his people to create grandiose projects, such as The Great Wall, pandering to his own ego. Fortunately, his force for evil is opposed by a group called The Dragon’s Spite, a group intent on seeing him overthrown. In order to face each other, each side must gather those with the power of the elements to fight on their side. The Dragon’s Spite’s best hope is three young women who might use their supernatural powers to fight for good – but only if the emperor doesn’t get to them first. Read more »
Title: The Betterphoto Guide to Digital Nature Photography
Author: Jim Miotke
Review Summary: A great practical guide to taking better pictures, very well organized and with useful tips for any photographer.
There were so many things to love about this book, I’m almost not sure where to start. I suppose what jumped out at me the most was how practical the advice was. There are checklists of the most important things to remember from each section; little boxes with advice on practical concerns such as bringing camera gear out into the elements; and “assignment” sections that suggest ways to practice new techniques right away. I was most excited about the assignments so I was especially pleased that these were all included in the index, making them easy to refer back to. Read more »
Title: The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back
Author: Sariah Wilson
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: Fun, cute, with an awesome heroine and characters with unique personalities, although definitely on the younger end of YA books.
Life’s not always fun and games when you’re the ugly stepsister. Mattie Lowe is sick of her perfect, beautiful, and (worst of all) genuinely nice stepsister. Not only is she more popular than Mattie; she’s also dating the boy Mattie’s had a crush on since she was nine years old. Fortunately, Mattie’s not the sort of girl to take things lying down and when she finally talks to her stepsister, it might turn out they have more in common than she thinks. Read more »
As part of Kat over at Forever Book Lover’s blogger feature In The Spotlight, I have an interview over at her blog today! If you hop on over, you can find out a little more about why I blog and what I love about it and possibly sign up for an In The Spotlight feature yourself. Check it out here….
Title: Dead Center: Behind the Scenes at the World’s Largest Medical Examiner’s Office
Author: Shiya Ribowsky, Tom Shachtman
Fun Fact: NYC’s subway system is so vast it contains nearly as many stations as all the other subway systems in the country combined.
Review Summary: A not-too-morbid, sometimes funny, sometimes moving, and always fascinating look at what it’s like to work in an ME’s office.
In Dead Center we get to learn about a part of society that most of us probably don’t think about very much – what happens to our bodies when we die. This could be a very morbid or gruesome topic, but the author focuses on a variety of things other than the gore. First, we learn about what challenges face MLI’s (medicological investigators), including everything from identifying cause of death to interacting compassionately with grieving families. We also learn what characteristics make a good MLI. Next, there are stories ranging from the funny or bizarre to the emotional and moving – a recap of some of the author’s most interesting experiences. And finally, we hear about the author’s biggest challenge working as an MLI in charge of identifying all remains found at Ground Zero – a process that took over 4 years. Read more »