Submitted by JSessions on Tue, 05/21/2013 - 1:56pm
May is half over, there is still time to enjoy Short Story Month. Two
amazing young adult collections (that cross over very nicely into the adult
realm) are Twisted Fairy Tales by Maura McHugh (illustrated by Jane Laurie) and
Under My Hat edited by Jonathan Strahan.
Twisted Fairy Tales include 20 sinister fairy tales that are retold with
fantastical detailed, beautiful and macabre illustrations. Told in the
traditional gothic format of their Brothers Grimm origins, Little Red Riding
Hood; Snow White; Pinocchio and other less familiar tales are told in splendid,
graphic details. Those fans of today’s
fairy-tale themed shows and movies will gobble them up.
The illustrations of Jane Laurie are as haunting as the text and this
collection is a perfect additional to the adult reader or collector of fairy
tales; or for someone who enjoys different art.
Eighteen short stories told by some of today’s note-worthy young adult
authors brew up tales of witches and magic in Under My Hat. Mature,
supernatural themes explore the world of bewitchment with characters where some
know of their abilities and others learn along the way. Strahan’s introduction provides background for
witches and also touches on the origins of the pointy hat. Author biographies are included.
The great thing about short stories is you can enjoy them any month. So
come on down to the Northshire Bookstore where you can find these and other
collections for you short story needs!
Submitted by kpiccoli@norths... on Thu, 05/16/2013 - 5:14pm
Roach’s books have been on my to-read list for a long time. However,
when your job depends on knowing what’s new and great, reading an
author’s backlist can be difficult to find time for. Naturally, when
Roach’s newest book came out, I jumped at the chance to finally make
time for this intriguing writer. Right now I’m kicking myself for not
having read her other titles sooner. Everything they say about Mary
Roach is true. She’s exactly what a great science author should be:
easy to understand, incredibly interesting, and outrageously hilarious.
a way, I’m glad I waited. Gulp is the perfect follow-up to Salt,
Sugar, Fat; It details some of the science that Moss hinted at. Gulp is
a scientific exploration of digestion, from start (the nose) to finish,
(the toilet). It may sound as though the book could be disgusting, but
I assure you, it isn’t. Roach makes her intentions clear from the
start: she wants to fascinate the reader, not cause disgust (much). In
this, she achieves her goal. From the first chapter I was completely
engrossed, but never grossed-out.
of my favorite things about this book were the footnotes she sprinkled
liberally throughout the book. They are like little asides to the
reader; not quite pertinent to the main subject, but too interesting to
be left out. It’s as though I’m sitting next to her in biology class
and she is passing me silly notes about the subject until the bell
rings. I found them distracting at first, but soon started looking
forward to them, as a great tool for sharing extraneous information,
without derailing the whole book. Her humor rivals that of David
Sedaris and her best jokes are in these little notes. Thankfully, I am
not in biology class, so I can giggle freely while reading, which I
think Roach probably did as well while writing.*
do most of my reading during my lunch break at work, which can make
reading about digestion and bowel movements less than desirable.
However, true to her oath in the introduction, this book isn’t gross,
it’s interesting. There is so much I never knew about the digestive
system, or more importantly, so much I didn’t realize I wanted
to know about the digestive system. Roach interviews scientists and
professionals involved in everything from saliva, to flatulence, to
Elvis Presley's doctor. It would seem that Roach has no limits to
journalistic inquiry, even emailing the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops for more information about the possible history of holy
water enemas being used in exorcisms.
would recommend reading this book next to an internet-ready device,
because in some cases, Roach can only begin to scratch the surface of
the story. I spent a considerable amount of time reading about Horace
Fletcher; one chapter simply isn’t enough to cover someone like him.
The book isn’t about Fletcher, Komodo dragons, competitive eating, or
any number of equally interesting things Roach talks about; it’s about
the science and stories that make up the alimentary canal, thus
prompting me to look further into many of the subjects Roach brings up.
For someone with an endless appetite for information (example: people
who look up one thing on Wikipedia, only to get sucked in for two
hours), Roach’s writing style can be dangerous and time consuming, but
that I’ve finished Gulp, I can’t wait to dig into that backlist. If
Roach can make digestion, gassiness, and saliva this interesting,
imagine what she can do with cadavers and superstition. Irresistible!
*Her fascination with names that correspond to professions reached its peak with Dr. Crapo who coined the term “Dung Lung.”
has always felt like she does not belong, a real “fish out of water.” But it is
when she finds out why she is so radically different that things start to fall
into place. And apart!
differences are not just because she is secretly telepathic, works with the dolphins
her mother trains and has looks that make her stand out from other kids at
school. She is one of a handful of
children that are part of an experiment to have people live under the ocean. It is up to Nere and a
few other children from her village to find the world Nere’s parents help
create. However, when your government will do anything to stop you (even kill) to
keep their uneasy control of the lands sharks, adapting to sleeping, breathing
and eating under water are really the least of your problems!
Nere’s group meets up with another group of adapted kids, she thinks things
will finally get easier…but tensions start immediately, control of the group
questioned and obvious dislikes are not hidden. How can she knew who (or if)
she can trust anyone?
adventures ripple one after each other as Holyoke takes the coming of age story
and turns it on its head. This amazing fantasy journey of family, loss,
friendship and more can be found on the shelves of the Northshire Bookstore.
Just has your friendly bookseller. You will find them swimming…um….waiting for