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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir

It’s been touted as Apollo 13 meets Cast Away because of it’s gripping detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars. And, it doesn’t disappoint. Engineered with exhaustive details, yet humanly down-to-earth, Andy Weir’s The Martian is a book for the space geek whose heart palpitates at the mere mention of space travel.
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first man to die there.
What ensues is Mark Watney’s scientific assessment of the situation and his comprehensive plan to survive. You’ll see a lot of this iterative scenario as he analyzes the situation.
“My idea to make 600 liters of water…that means I’ll need 300 liters of liquid O2.

I can create O2 easily enough. It takes twenty hours for the MAV fuel plant to fill its 10-liter tank with CO2. The oxygenator can turn it into O2, then the atmospheric regulator will see the O2 content in the Hab is high, and…

The Miniature World of Marvin & James

The unforgettable characters from Masterpiece are back in a series for young readers! James (the boy) and Marvin (the beetle) are best friends. But now, James is going on vacation to the beach. Marvin has to stay at home, and he is a bit sad. Without James to keep him company, Marvin has to hang out with his annoying cousin, Elaine. Very soon, they get into all sorts of trouble. Rolling about in the pencil shavings inside a pencil sharpener, Marvin actually starts to enjoy himself. Then, their adventure takes an anticipated turn when Marvin and Elaine find themselves trapped inside the pencil sharpener because James’ dad inserts a pencil into the hole that was their escape route. The two beetles work together to find a way out. During their escapades Marvin eavesdrops on a conversation that James’ dad is having on the phone. He learns that James has a new friend.

149 Paintings You Really Need To See In Europe

It was about five years ago that I realized my great love of paintings. I happened to be visiting my dear friends in Chicago for a few days and managed (mainly at their insistence) to squeeze in a visit to the famous Art Institute of Chicago. Now, don't get me wrong, I've always loved paintings, but coming face-to-face with ten-foot canvases infused with colour and emotion and history was mesmerizing. 

And so when I came across this book:149 Paintings You Really Need to See in Europe by Julian Porter, I had to pay attention. Travelling can be fun, but travelling on a time schedule makes things difficult to plan. On my last trip to Barcelona a few years ago, I made it a special point to see the Picasso Museum. Yes, Pablo Picasso is one of my favourite modern abstract artists, and despite the hour long line up, this display of some of the finest works of a brilliant artist did not disappoint. The book unfortunately focuses on the best paintings by artists during the period 1298 t…

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer

When a New York Times bestselling author Olen Steinhauer comes out with a new book, it’s bound to get a lot of attention. This highly touted author of critically acclaimed Milo Weaver trilogy, is known to bring an intriguing plotline packed with political and personal betrayals. It’s an espionage novel at its best. Who can forget the first in the series: The Tourist, now a major motion picture starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.
“Not since John le Carré has a writer so vividly evoked the multilayered, multifaceted, deeply paranoid world of espionage,” describes The New York Times. As Booklist stated, “It has become de rigeur to compare Steinhauer to le Carré, but it’s nearly time to pass the torch: for the next generation, it’s Steinhauer who will become the standard by which others are measured."
In his new book, The Cairo Affair, Olen Steinhauer promises to deliver on the hype. An American diplomat is shot in the head outside a French restaurant Chez Daniel in Hungary whil…

The Bear by Claire Cameron

You just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Misfortune happens. Who’s to blame?
Claire Cameron’s new book, The Bear, is narrated in the honest, raw voice of five-year-old Anna, who is camping with her parents, and younger brother, Stick, when a bear attacks their campsite. One of the last things she hears is her mom screaming.
“I hear Mom yelling and I keep my eyes closed. Dreams aren’t real. I know that because my momma doesn’t yell. She has a soft voice that looks like a lily and tastes like sugar cookies at Christmas when you don’t put the sprinkles on.”
“Mom doesn’t yell about cookies and she doesn’t yell when I spill my glue on the carpet even though the glue was brand new and it was all gone. She says she only will yell if I am about to get hit by a bus.”
And so the haunting tale of The Bear begins. Anna, or “Nana” as her brother lovingly calls her (mostly because he can’t pronounce certain vowels properly) recounts the story of the attack and takes us on her journe…