Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Big, Bad Book of Beasts Review

The Big, Bad Book of Beasts by Michael Largo

Largo has created a modern day bestiary.  It is an encyclopedia of animals both real and legend.  It is full of fascinating, fun facts about animals of all kinds.

I have no idea how Largo picked the animals that he put in the book.  It runs from ants and bears to extinct animals like the dodo and the tyrannosaurus rex, there are myths and legends like the phoenix and trolls and cryptids like the chupacabra and the Jersey devil.  There is a little bit of everything.  There are animals I am familiar with and ones I have never heard of before.  I learned a lot of new things even about the animals I thought I knew well.  You get from a few paragraphs to a few pages about each animal.  There is information like life span and habitat and more specific information like how many times a woodpecker will bang his head against a tree in one day.  He explores were myths about animals (even real ones) started and what animal might have been misidentified to start rumors of nonexistent animals.  If you are doing some kind of research I don’t know how much this would help you.  But if you just like to learn about animals it is a great book to visit off and on and read an entry or two.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Friday 56 and Book Beginnings (Nov. 11)

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post in the Linky here. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It's that simple.

Book Beginning is hosted by Rose City Reader. All you have to do is share the opening line of the book you're reading and what you think about it. Check out the other posts here.

My book this week is The Double Game by Dan Fesperman.  A lover of spy novels all of a sudden finds himself in the middle of spy mystery straight out of the cold war.

Book Beginnings:

The Great Man himself was waiting for me on the phone.

The Friday 56:

The transaction is blessedly simple: Purchase one cup of coffee - pricey, but only if you intend to gulp it down and leave - and in exchange you may linger as long as you like.  Your waiter, dressed in a dinner jacket, won't even give you a dirty look, but he will attend to your every need without complaint.  Tip him generously and he probably won't even remember you were there to begin with, in case the authorities ask later.

Makes me want to go to Vienna.

I wasn't sure where this was going at first but it quickly got going.  Early on there are mysterious messages dropped in his mail slot and strangers approaching him on the street.  And then builds from what seems like a game onto something far more serious.  It is filled with interesting characters whose loyalty is unknown and lots of suspense.  It would probably be more fun to read if I knew more about spy novels as they are referenced a lot.  But it does make you want to follow the puzzle along with our hero to figure out what is going on.