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Back to Basics: 100 Simple Classic Recipes with a Twist
Back to Basics: 100 Simple Classic Recipes with a Twist
by Chef Michael Smith
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 20.06
7 used & new from CDN$ 13.49

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellet introduction to the "classics", Sept. 4 2013
Back to basics is an excellent introduction to many familiar North American dishes. As with his last book, Fast Flavours: 110 Simple, Speedy Recipes, this is a recipe book more than it is a cookbook. However, it starts with a familiar refrain for anyone who follows Michael Smith- feel free to, and in fact you should, freestyle and experiment with the recipes. The book is split into a few sections: salads, chicken, beef, lamb & pork, seafood, pasta, vegetarian dishes and sides, and baking/treats. Many of the recipes are generally for pretty standard fare. Things like roast chicken, mashed potatoes, Caesar salad, roast beef, or pan rushed chicken/pork. Or variations on familiar foods (like peanut butter & chocolate brownies). These are pretty basic recipes that most intermediate, and all advanced, cooks probably already know how to make without a recipe book. So this book is primarily aimed at newer, or less experienced, cooks. I couldn't help but think that with the start of the school season that this would make a great book for older students leaving home and having to learn to cook for themselves. In that regard, it's an excellent book.

The recipes are clear and easy to follow and are sure to bring up some familiar flavors. However, in true Michael Smith fashion, there's both some unusual recipes (e.g., sweet potato salad) as well as a "twist" that goes along with each recipe. The twist follows the recipe as a boxed paragraph at the end of it. The twist is often a suggestion of different ingredients or flavourings (i.e., spices and/or herbs) that can be used to alter a particular dish. These twists are what will probably interest both more experienced cooks as well as cooks who master the original recipes and want to try a change. Some of the twists involve different cooking methods or ideas, but the theme is still the same- how to put different flavors into familiar foods. It turns a basic book of recipes into an introduction to how take your cooking to the next level. Paired with something like The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs, this experimental approach is really a great way of mastering how to create the flavors you like.

Overall then, this is a good recipe book to recommend so long as you know what you're getting. This isn't an advanced set of recipes, or a course detailing different cooking methods, although experienced chefs will still certainly find things they like in here. For example, I make candy bacon based loosely on the recipe from his past book (I add chipotle and smoked paprika for a really smokey sweet flavor), but I never thought of adding mustard to the mix as suggested in this book. That's something I'm definitely going to try, maybe even maple mustard for an extra hit of flavor. Most of these ideas aren't completely revolutionary in the cooking world, but they are tasty and not always intuitive. Each recipe is generally accompanied by a beautiful full-page image that gives you a good idea how it's supposed to look when it's all done. As with the last book, I lament the lack of a nutrition guide to these recipes. For example, I love the idea of adding bacon to cabbage and caraway, but I'd like to know how just much fat that adds along with the extra flavor. Especially since this book is aimed towards people learning to cook on their own or for their families, I would expect health information to be a little more important. That said, one can still pretty much use common sense to guess the nutritional quality of the recipes. Adding bacon will add saturated fat. Cooking a prime rib roast will involve more fat than a pan rushed chicken breast. So while I'd like that info, it doesn't take too much away from my enjoyment of the book. For newer cooks, or for experienced cooks looking for interesting twists to familiar recipes, this is an excellent recipe book that is sure to fill your kitchen with some wonderful food, which makes it easy for me to recommend.

MaddAddam
MaddAddam
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 20.65
17 used & new from CDN$ 14.13

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Well crafted post-apocalyptic story finale, Aug. 30 2013
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Ce commentaire est de: MaddAddam (Hardcover)
First, I have to admit that Margaret Atwood was a name that I was familiar with as a Canadian, but not as a reader. I bought this book because I have an interest in post-apocalyptic fiction (most often with zombies involved) and decided to take a chance and see if one of Canada's most famous current authors was really worth the fuss. I mention this to put my review in context. I also hadn't read the first two books in the trilogy as I heard this book had an introduction that made that unnecessary. So this really was pretty close to a blind review in terms of the author and this series. The outcome? I was not disappointed in the least!

This is a really interesting book. It has enough sci-fi and futuristic elements to capture one's attention as she narrates the story of humanity's dark future (mostly plausible technocratic society set in the not-too distant future). It also has plenty of moralizing, as the chief downfall of humanity is decadence, hubris, and greed (an old Roman Empire throwback), and the chief weapon is our oldest enemies- biology (Nature benefits most of all in this book). It has an interesting plot, that's prefaced by an introduction that makes knowledge of the earlier books unnecessary. Given that first book in the trilogy is almost a decade old, this also serves as a useful reminder for past readers of the trilogy. Finally, and most importantly, it's just plain good writing. Atwood is worth the fuss.

So what is the book about? The previous two books in the series are parallel views of a period of time, told from different perspectives. This book picks up where they both leave off, weaving the two into a coherent story. The book is largely told by Toby and Zeb, and alternates between stories of their present (after a deliberately created bioplague has wiped out almost all of humanity) and stories from their past (in a technocratic world ruled by corporate money and base desires). We mostly read about Zeb's past, which mostly deals with a lot of the background to the different characters in the story. It helps paint a picture of why the plague happened. One of the characters asks if is it so wrong to wipe out humanity while there are still trees and animals left rather than waiting for humanity to wipe itself out when there is nothing left of the planet? It's an interesting, if bleak, catch-22 question to answer. This is where Atwood is at her best, using her keen writing skills to paint a grimly realistic picture of humanity. Mostly the dark side, which aims this book primarily towards an adult audience. Atwood generally shies away from shocking imagery, preferring to mention it and move on rather than wallow in it for cheap shock value. I appreciated that, as I think it's both more enjoyable (I don't need to read detailed filth) and more effective (leaving some things to the imagination). She also brings in religious elements as well as notes of human kindness to balance the tone of the book. Again, these aren't mashed and forced upon the reader. Rather, they are organic to the story. Almost part of the scenery. It's a clever touch that helps make this book such a good read. Add in some interesting elements like the Crakers (genetically modified environmentally friendly peaceful humans created by the creater of the plague that wiped out 99%+ of humanity), the pigoons (sentient pigs created by splicing their DNA with human DNA to create neocortexes that humans could harvest), and the general post-apocalyptic setting, and I think you have a real winner.

Perhaps my best compliment is that I'm now really eager to go back and read the first two novels. Even if I know how the trilogy ends, this is clearly a series where the journey matters more than the destination. Although to be fair, there is still enough drama, tension, and uncertainty in the characters present to justify a significant interest in the destination too! The same applies to the stories of their past, perhaps even more so, which is testimony to Atwood's writing skills as she can keep the reader's interest even though the reader knows how everything will ultimately turn out. For example, Zeb's life can't really be in danger in his past if he's alive to tell the story in his present, but it often sure felt like it was!

Overall then, this book caught my interest, kept my interest, and got me interested to read more of the same. It did it with strong writing, interesting themes, and captivating scenery set in a novel and creative sci-fi post-apocalyptic setting. And it did all of that without forcing me to go back and read the first two books to understand what's going on, meaning this book can clearly stand on its own as well as being part of a larger series. All of which makes it very easy for me to highly recommend this book- five stars.

Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze
Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze
by Peter Harmsen
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 37.09
31 used & new from CDN$ 22.52

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4.0 étoiles sur 5 An interesting look at the start of WW2?, Aug. 27 2013
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There is a growing movement amongst historians to consider the Chinese-Japanese war to be the true start of WW2. On the one hand, the conflict was localized and not global, but on the other hand it was the first contemporary war and it continued to be active and/or relevant right through the time period of 1939-1945. That makes it worth learning more about, and this book is an attempt to highlight one of the major early battles. The battle for Shanghai.

Essentially, Shanghai was a multicultural city that was also the economic engine of China at the time. Japan had a significant presence there already, including a lot of its naval fleet. In 1937, China and Japan were busy fighting in the North of China, but it wasn't quite the all-out brawl it turned into later. This book starts with a murder, possibly staged by one of the two countries, as an excuse to start the battle for Shanghai. For Japan, Shanghai was an important blow against their foe and would also bring them closer to the capital of the country. For China, Shanghai was a defensible city full of foreign observers. A battle there would draw pressure off the beleaguered Northern armies while also potentially attracted global sympathy.

The book is largely written at the command level, but there are perspectives from a variety of individuals throughout the book. Ranging from civilians to army privates, Japanese and Chinese, there's enough personal content to give this book some real emotional depth. At the operational level, a lot of attention is paid to the relationships the commanding officers (especially the Chinese) had with each other and their troops. Without giving away details of the battle, it essentially was a war of flesh versus steel. The Chinese has less equipment that was less modern, so they made up for it by simply throwing large numbers of troops into the battle.

Was it a one-sided fight? The way it went down, yes, it largely was. The Chinese commanders were not competent, efficient, and/or aggressive enough to seize the few opportunities that they had to win the battle. They had German advisers who constantly tried to get them to seize those opportunities, but to no avail. With naval and air superiority assured, the Japanese experienced massive advantages (I kept wondering why land-based artillery never targeted the nearby Japanese navy that was so busy itself shelling land based targets). And this showed in the ultimate casualty rates of 5-8,000 for the Japanese and 150-300,000 for the Chinese! As with many war stories, this one is full of brutality and horror, as well as bravery and rare glimpses of humanity.

All in all then, this is an excellent introduction to the battle of Shanghai. I wouldn't quite compare it to Stalingrad as it was less lethal, more one-sided, and perhaps less important in the course of the overall war. But it was the first "modern" urban battle, it was a big propaganda coup for the Japanese, and it did help build a climate of absolute hatred on both sides towards each other. My biggest complaint is that the maps provided are barely adequate and scattered throughout the book. I would have loved to have seen a map or two with the actual positions of the two armies marked on them. There's one or two showing troop movements, but nothing about positions or key points in the battle. There are some excellent photos, most posed, but still informative of the two armies (strange seeing Chinese soldiers in German helmets!). Overall then, this book is probably 4.5/5 stars. I'm giving it a conservative rating of 4/5 because the lack of quality maps and army positions was rather annoying to me, but don't let that take too much away from the the fact that this is the first book to really examine an interesting and important part of either World War 2, or the direct prelude to it. If you're interested in Asian history, WW2, or modern urban combat, this book is almost certainly worth taking a serious look at.

The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way
The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way
by Amanda Ripley
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 20.06
41 used & new from CDN$ 6.75

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A brief, but personal look, at education around the world, Aug. 23 2013
One of the things that, according to Amanda Ripley, parents around the world all agree with is that their own country has problems with its education system. While disappointing, that shouldn't be a surprising piece of information given just how hard it is to teach an entire generation of new human beings the huge range of topics and skills they learn in school. What this book deals with are some of the common factors that appear to make some countries better at this than others. The primary focus of the book is comparing the US education system to the education systems of Korea, Finland, and Poland. The book is a combination of the individual experiences of American exchange students in these countries interspersed with data from academic studies on education. it's a fascinating book, who's main handicap is that it's best aimed at an American and not a Canadian audience. As one of the best education systems in the world, Canada is mentioned in passing often, but only as a "look how well our neighbor is doing!" statement. Given my first sentence, I'm sure most Canadians would agree that our system could use some help itself, which makes the lessons in this book worth learning.

There's a lot in here, but roughly you can break it down to a major lesson or two per country. First, you need to create a student culture where grades matter. Students need to be motivated. This requires all of society to value grades (more than say, football or hockey talent). It's no surprise that children follow the lead of adults, and when adults (as a whole) care about grades, students do too. This is true of all three countries, but it's most true of Korea (South Korea!) where the competition is exceptionally fierce. Students sleeping in class is not uncommon because they stay up all night studying for morning tests. It's very tough on students, but it definitely produces results.

Finland offers the big lesson of teacher quality. As in Canada, Finland has powerful teachers' unions too. Most developed countries do. The problem with those unions (and most teachers I know agree, heck most union members agree) is that besides doing the admirable function of sharing the voices of the teachers, unions can protect or even encourage mediocrity. A teacher with a few years on the job becomes almost impossible to fire in most countries without severe wrong-doing or really gross incompetence. What's Finland's solution? Make teacher's school very, very challenging to get into. Like M.I.T./Ivy league tough to get into. This ensures that only the best and most motivated enter the profession, which solves the issue of quality without having to take on the unions. A clever idea, unlike most other countries where teacher's school/college is relatively easy to get into (Canada is better than most on this, but with room for improvement) and battles with teacher's unions are all too common.

Poland offers the lesson that money doesn't make a great school. Within a country, it can matter (just look at the Fraser rankings in Canada and compare them to the wealthy areas of a city). But in Poland, school is limited to just education. Sports are not part of school life (they happen after school). That's a big sacrifice to some, but it frees up resources and focuses students on academic matters. So for roughly half the cost, Polish students get as good or better educations than US students. Polish schools also publicly announce grades and performance, encouraging peer pressure to do well (so do Korean schools). They also have a 1-5 system of grades (5 highest) that doesn't inflate grades. Almost no one gets 5's, unlike the increasingly common As or 4.0s in North America. Grades are earned, not given.

Ripley also offers parents some suggestions for choosing the right school. While this might matter more in the US, it's still of some help in Canada. First, look at the students to see what they are doing (e.g., are they engaged)? Second, talk to them- about what they do, not what they like or which teacher is nice. Third, ignore shiny gadgets. They are nice, but only if properly used (e.g., over-reliance on calculators or spell checking don't help). Fourth, talk to parents to see if they approve of the school. Finally, talk to the principal of the school and ask about how they choose their teachers, how they improve their teachers, and how they measure success.

Overall then, this is a very engaging book about global education. It's tailored to an American audience, but it offers global lessons. The personal examples from the students bring it to life and highlight some of the academic concepts. The writing is clear and engaging, yet also informative. There's plenty of references for people looking for more information. Personally, I found myself agreeing with most of the solutions, if on a slightly more modest scale. I like the ideas of tougher teacher's college entrance grades, earning actual grades (vs. grade inflation), and public acknowledgement and encouragement of at least our talented students. There's many more ideas in this book that I can't do justice to in a short review, so I'll say that whether or not you agree with my thoughts, or the data presented in Ripley's book, this is book is very likely to start you thinking of how Canada could improve its education system. Given that children are our most valuable economic, emotional, and personal resources, it makes sense for everyone to be concerned with their education. The proper functioning of a democracy depends on the education of its voters. So a good hard look at how those voters are educated, and how we can improve that education, is something I think we can all agree on, making this book easy to recommend.

Survivors: The Animals And Plants That Time Has Left Behind
Survivors: The Animals And Plants That Time Has Left Behind
by Richard Fortey
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 25.07
11 used & new from CDN$ 11.99

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting journey through time and evolution, Aug. 22 2013
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When I first bought this book, I was hoping to get details about the biology of the animals that have "survived" over geological time. Of course, they aren't the exact same animals as existed millions of years ago, rather they are very similar descendents. Still, learning about their biology can tell us something about past ecologies, which is a nice bonus. And Fortey starts off early in the book by saying he won't try to cover all the animals, just a few in order to go into that kind of depth. Only he reneges on that promise almost immediately by drifting off with all kinds of side examples (e.g., leaving a discussion of horse shoe crabs to talk about trilobites). He also spends a fair bit of ink on his travels and personal experiences. That actually put me off the book so much that I stopped reading it half-way through. I was tempted to leave it at that and give it two stars.

But a few weeks later I decided to pick it up and try it again. This time, I altered my expectations. Rather than expect a book of detailed biology, I looked at it as a naturalist's journal. A combination of biology, biography, and travel log. In that context, it worked quite well. Don't get me wrong, there are some rather interesting biological tidbits here (e.g., the fact that "reptiles" really isn't a coherent biological grouping). But the main charm of the book is wandering around the world with a pleasant old naturalist describing the journey and the biology at the same time. My expectations thus altered, I found the second half of the book to be much more enjoyable than the first, and ended up with a pleasant overall impression of this book.

To summarize then, if you're looking for a book focusing on biology, this is at best a two or three star book. But if you don't mind some amusing anecdotes and travel notes, as well as some of the thoughts of the author (e.g., on humanity's role in the current extinction process), then this is a solid four star book. Given that it ended on a high note for me, I'll stick with the four-star rating.

Killer Whales of the World: Natural History & Conservation
Killer Whales of the World: Natural History & Conservation
by Robin Baird
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 4.11

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautiful, if somewhat brief, look into the life of killer whales, Aug. 18 2013
Robin Baird is a killer whale researcher who first wrote this book in 2002. I read the 2006 edition that is somewhat updated as it refers to events in 2003 and beyond. The book outlines the lives of killer whales, their behavior, their distribution, human history with them, and current conservation efforts and issues. Throughout, the book contains numerous gorgeous photos that range from quarter page, to half page, to full page in size. Most are taken in the wild and from the surface of the water, so they're not as revealing as one might hope. The same could be said about the content of the book, but both are largely due to the fact that we just don't have good underwater data on killer whales. Or at least there wasn't such info in the recent past. Because it's very challenging to find killer whales in water clear enough to see and film them. Plus they swim really fast. Plus one of the two "subspecies", the mammal hunters (the other are fish hunters) could be potentially dangerous to humans. No one knows, and the author wisely suggests it's probably not a good idea to test that theory (they have been known to kill and eat swimming deer and moose).

What the reader does get is plenty of interesting facts about killer whales in general. I certainly finished this book knowing a lot more about killer whales than I did when I started. In particular, the differences between the marine mammal hunting killer whales and the fish hunting orcas are significant. The latter (obviously) hunt fish, but they're also slightly smaller and live in much bigger groups. They vocalize more, roam smaller territories, and are aggressive towards mammal-hunting killer whales (perhaps because the latter attack them on rare occasions)? Marine mammal hunting whales live in smaller groups (2-3 versus potentially ~10), are 3ft larger, and specialize in hunting marine mammals like seals, sea lions, porpoises, and whales. Individual pods (family groups) tend to specialize in a particular prey and hunting technique. Given that their brain to body weight ratio is roughly equal to that of apes (excluding humans), they certainly come across as rather intelligent, if mysterious, animals. There is even a section discussing whether or not they possess a rudimentary "culture".

Overall then, this is a fascinating and gorgeous book about a very impressive animal. At up to 33ft long and 11,000 lbs (males are bigger than females), killer whales are the largest members of the dolphin family. They're also perhaps the most charismatic. All of which adds up to a very enjoyable book. It's aimed towards a general audience, and I don't imagine a curious child or adolescent would have problems reading this book. Given how little we know about these majestic animals, that makes this an easy book to recommend.

Hell House
Hell House
by Richard Matheson
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 13.36
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fun horror, but terrible ending, Aug. 12 2013
Ce commentaire est de: Hell House (Paperback)
Hell House is the story of a haunted house. A dying millionaire (1970, so that meant a lot) hires a scientist and two psychics to go to the house and collect evidence of an afterlife before he dies (I guess he wants to decide whether to repent or something). The catch is that of the two expeditions who went into the house before (1931,1940), seven out of eight people died or went insane. The only survivor is one of the two psychics. The reward is $100,000 for spending a week in the house. They don't last that long (it's not a spoiler, the book's days are headers that are easy to see).

Overall, the atmosphere is well-crafted. The house history is one of debauchery, gluttony, sadism, and evil. It's certainly not a pleasant place, and the fact that the power is out when they arrive doesn't help (did I mentioned all the windows were bricked up?). As the stories goes on, the three hires (plus the scientist's wife) have to try and figure out what's happening in order to avoid becoming victims to it. Without giving too much away I can say that the first half, it not two-thirds of the story, was quite enjoyable. Definitely good to read alone in a dark place, and definitely rated-R for violence and sexuality. The characters are interesting, if a little forced (especially the scientist and his wife). The book gets a little more hectic towards the end before a climax that is anything but climactic. It's really anti-climactic. I won't ruin the ending by saying what happens. I only want to warn readers that they might end up disappointed in the book. So I'm giving it a generous four stars because I really enjoyed reading the first part of it, where Matheson shows his adept hand at building a horrific atmosphere. If I went with an overall score that gave fair weight to the ending, this would be a three, or maybe even two star book (particularly since much that was new in this book is now cliche). I really felt let-down by the ending. So be forewarned- this is a fun and at times scary book, but you might not like how it ends.

Star Wars: The Wrath of Darth Maul
Star Wars: The Wrath of Darth Maul
by Ryder Windham
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 13.71
26 used & new from CDN$ 3.18

4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good, if not too deep, backstory for Darth Maul, Aug. 10 2013
This book is meant for younger readers, so I took it with a grain of salt in that regard. It's actually a pretty good book for young teen readers, and a not-so bad book for adult readers. I gave it four stars as a result. The essence of the book is the training of Darth Maul. It stars off with him as a young child in a facility that we see in Episode 3 of the movies. As one might expect, his training at the hands of Darth Sidious is harsh, painful, and full of treacherous tests. The first third of the book, when he is training alone, is the best part of the book in my opinion. It's actually pretty grim yet vivid in its writing. The second third bogs down and the author's limitation with human (or human-like) characters becomes more apparent. The dialogue is fairly simple as is the exploration of Maul's growing emotions. Again, good enough for a younger audience, a limitation for older audiences. Finally, the book ends with the sequences from Episode 1 of the movies. It's reasonably well done, but knowing what's going to happen robs a lot of the suspense and the author doesn't do much to add to the picture beyond what was shown in the movies. There is something of a surprise ending to the whole book, but I won't give it away. Overall then, a fun, if not terribly deep, look at an interesting Star Wars villain.

The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese
The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese
by Michael Paterniti
Edition: Hardcover
18 used & new from CDN$ 3.28

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A great story by a writer who appreciates a great story, Aug. 9 2013
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This book's title really does it justice: it is a great story about love, betrayal, revenge, and the world's greatest piece of cheese. I'm normally not a big fan of "modern" stories, or even that huge of a fan of cheese (I like it, but I wouldn't say I love it). However, I really found myself enjoying this book almost as much I enjoyed telling people that I was really enjoying a great book about love, betrayal, revenge, and the world's greatest piece of cheese. How does one get a great story based on cheese?

It begins with the author, Michael Paterniti looking at the end of a graduate degree in creative writing in 1991. Desperate for some kind of work, and having no success with his writing career so far, he decides to try and get a job at Zingerman's, a great deli in Ann Arbor Michigan. Mainly because he loves the food there. He's turned down as they don't need help behind the counter, but is contacted a few days later when they inquire about whether he is interested in taking a job as a copy-editor of their monthly food menu/pamphlet. He happily accepts. It is through this job that he first learns of an amazing Spanish cheese- Paramo de Guzman. At $22 a pound, it's far out of his budget to buy. But for some reason, this cheese captures his heart and imagination, giving him hope of a grander, purer world.

The book fast forwards a decade or so into the future when he's married, is a successful magazine writer, and has a book or two under his belt. He is cleaning up his things as a new baby arrives in the house and rediscovers mention of this cheese from his old writings. Seeing as he's going to Spain soon anyhow to interview a newly famous chef, he enlists a Spanish-speaking friend to see if they can find out more about this cheese. And it's here where I should probably stop telling the story, because this book is a wonderful story about a wonderful story. Paterniti is clearly a man who loves both hearing and telling stories, and in the course of this book he comes across a truly great story (that's largely told to him by another great story teller). Beyond what's in the title, the story is about friendship, about life in the slow versus the fast lane, about enjoying life or what it means to be happy.

I don't normally read these kinds of books, but I found myself captivated by the author's story and story-telling (it does operate on both levels). It's one of those books that I had to keep reading until I was done, so even though it's not short at 350 large pages, it went by quickly. But it left a significant impression and was a joy to read. Does it have any flaws? My biggest beef was that it has lots of footnotes that are little side tracks from the story. Sometimes they're interesting, sometimes they are not. By mid-way through the book I made it a habit to just quickly glance at the first two lines of a two-paragraph footnote to see if I felt it was worth veering away from the main story. But given that they are optional, and that I did enjoy some of them (I liked the witches one the best), I can't say that they significantly detracted from the overall book. Which makes this book a very easy book to recommend if you like a great story. There isn't a lot of action, it's generally PG-13, but it is full of human and life drama, imagery, and good, if not great, story-telling. I can pretty confidently say that this is the best story about a piece of cheese that I've ever read, and if you like love, betrayal, revenge, the world's greatest piece of cheese, or just a really good story about a really good story, this is a book you're very likely to enjoy.

Planet Dinosaur: The Next Generation of Killer Giants
Planet Dinosaur: The Next Generation of Killer Giants
by Cavan Scott
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 18.77
23 used & new from CDN$ 12.19

5.0 étoiles sur 5 The latest news in dinosaur science brought to life, Aug. 8 2013
I haven't yet seen the BBC series of the same name, in large part because the blu-ray version appears to be in a UK format that doesn't play in North American DVD players Planet Dinosaur [Blu-ray] [Import]. But given that the kids around me have been on a real dinosaur kick recently, I thought I'd try a book with a bit of substance and flash. This book meets both criteria. There's lots of new evidence regarding new dinosaur discoveries, particularly outside of North America. One feature I really liked is that they offered multiple theories for things like dinosaur behavior or physiology. All too often we're simply presented with a single story that does not consider alternatives. That made this book really interesting to read as an adult who knows a fair bit about dinosaurs. For kids, the material is kept short and brief, with lots of excellent images. The clipboard images that make up a scenario were clearly taken from the TV series and are pretty good. But the separate still images that go along with each dinosaur were even better. At almost 250 pages, this book has plenty of images and information to satisfy any dinosaur fan. So if you're looking for a great book on some of the less well-known dinosaurs, or about paleontological science and theories, or simply some great images of dinosaurs, this book is sure to hit the mark.

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