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Showing posts from February, 2014

[Book Review] Maker Dad

Maker Dad : Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects / Mark Frauenfelder
As the editor in chief of MAKE magazine, Mark Frauenfelder has spent years combing through DIY books, but he’s never been able to find one with geeky projects he can share with his two daughters. Maker Dad is the first DIY book to use cutting-edge (and affordable) technology in appealing projects for fathers and daughters to do together. These crafts and gadgets are both rewarding to make and delightful to play with. What’s more, Maker Dad teaches girls lifelong skills—like computer programming, musicality, and how to use basic hand tools—as well as how to be creative problem solvers. The book’s twenty-four unique projects include:
• Drawbot, a lively contraption that draws abstract patterns all by itself
• Ice Cream Sandwich Necklace
• Friendstrument, an electronic musical instrument girls can play with friends
• Longboard
• Antigravity Jar
• Silkscr…

[Book Review] Sustainable Homebrewing

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Sustainable Homebrewing : An All-Organic Approach to Crafting Great Beer / Amelia Slayton Loftus (Powell's Books)

Sustainable Homebrewing is perhaps one of the most well-rounded brewing books I've read.  It clearly communicates concepts, is well written and is approachable.  Ostentatiously about sustainable homebrewing (as implied by the title), Loftus has written a comprehsive book suitable for any new brewer interested in getting started be it with a standard extract kit or going whole grain.  After reading this I realized that I had misidentified some of my own brewing gear due to unclear instructions as I have stumbled into the world of brewing.  Additionally the book contains recipes that have me eagerly looking forwards to my next brew session for trying new things with the spent grains.

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

[Book Review] Sapphire Blue

Sapphire Blue / G. Doucette
Mara Cantor’s life is boring and uncomplicated, and she likes it that way. She has her internship at the museum—a job she shares with her roommate, Davis—and while it is low-paying and occasionally mind-numbing, it gives her all the free time she needs to finish her thesis. And that is just fine.

But when Argent Leeds, the internationally famous playboy and raconteur, visits Mara’s museum, he brings with him the most exciting archeological discovery in decades: the Pazuzu gemstones. Long assumed to be nothing more than a myth by most scholars, the gemstones are rumored to possess mystical powers.

Between Argent, his gemstones, and Davis, Mara’s boring life has suddenly gotten very complicated. Now she is caught up in a sexual adventure that is either the most exciting time of her life . . . or the most terrifying.  As of late I have been striving to maintain a somewhat professional tone for at least the main body of my reviews, and keep the more personal an…

[Book Review] Crown of Renewal

Crown of Renewal / Elizabeth Moon

Crown of Renewal is the capstone to the Legend of Paksenarrion.  I first discoveredElizabeth Bear through The Deed of Paksenarrion (an omnibus collecting Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold) and fell in love with both the world and Bear's writing.  I was incredibly excited when several years ago I saw a new book in the setting, Oath of Fealty, continuing the story started in The Deed of Paksenarrion with a new series.

If you are to read Crown of Renewal, I strongly recommend at least reading the preceding Oath of Fealty, Kings of the North, Echoes of Betrayal, and Limits of Power, if not The Deed of Paksenarrion for familiarity with the setting and characters.  Paks is in these books, but these are not her story, these are the story of people's lives after Paks was an agent of change.  The wide collection of interesting people we follow creates a splintering effect in these new books, as much as I like them.  Howeve…

[Book Review] Honor Among Thieves

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Honor Among Thieves / James S. A. Corey

I first discovered the vast world of Star Wars novels as a kid and immediately started reading as many as I could get my hands on.  They were books I could read without worrying that they would contain adult content that would make my father freak out and they filled the need for books of a higher reading level.  However, after awhile I drifted away from them.  Not because of a loss of love for Star Wars or because they were science fiction, but because they started to leave me dissatisfied with the storytelling.

I was excited about this novel having read Leviathanne Wakes by James S. A. Corey, and wanted to see what the would create when writing for Star Wars.  I was not let down.  Honor Among Thieves is everything I loveabout Star Wars.  James S. A. Corey did a fantastic job capturing both the setting and characterization of the universe we know and love.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves Star Wars.  Honor Among Thieves is fun …

Link Smorgasbord, January 2014

It's a new year, and for the past few weeks I haven't been finding as many links, so instead I'm doing the month of January.  It looks like this may be too infrequent, but I'll figure it out as I go forward.

David Cameron's internet porn filter is the start of censorship creep
'The worst thing about the porn filter is not that it accidentally blocks useful information but that it blocks information at all."

28 Beautiful Quotes About Libraries
I may have posted this one before.

Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet
"But making quick and sick threats has become so easy that many say the abuse has proliferated to the point of meaninglessness, and that expressing alarm is foolish."

Let's Read Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 12!
I've been pretty open about not being a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey.  One of the harder things for me when covering the circulation desk is not showing my loathing for these books as patrons gush about them.  A fri…