Tag Archive | science

H for hurricane & The Odds of Lightning healing friendships, by Jocelyn Davies (book review)

book cover of The Odds of Lightning by Jocelyn Davies published by Simon Pulse  | recommended on BooksYALove.comGradually fading away,
or becoming someone else,
how can you stay yourself, when everything else changes?

Maybe the superstorm will wash away what divided these best friends three years ago
– or stop Tiny from fading from view (translucently)
– or reveal Will’s true self beneath his new snarky persona
– or make Lu feel real and take fewer dramatic risks
– or help Nathaniel forget that he cannot replace his genius older brother.

And then the lightning strikes

Don’t wait for the late August 2017 paperback release – read The Odds of Lightning now to see what transpires for these four former friends as they rush through the hurricane-darkened city in search of answers and transformation.

When have you wished you could become someone else?
**kmm

Book info: The Odds of Lightning / Jocelyn Davies. Simon Pulse, 2016. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When lightning strikes four teens, the former best friends race through the New York City night trying to reverse its effects on them before the hurricane hits.

Before freshman year of high school, they were inseparable – Tiny, Lu, Nathaniel, and Will as science club buddies. That’s all gone now, on the night before SATs, the night they were struck by lightning and became… other.

Is the lightning still bottled up inside them?
Why is Tiny’s body disappearing and Lu’s all numb?
Who does Will look like now?

Switching from now to then to now and presented from the viewpoints of all four friends, The Odds of Lightning brings us the aftermath of gradual drift and sudden shock with a magical twist that has nothing to do with spells or wands and everything to do with friendship and love.

Read with your ears, then eat informed!

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC help you think food as you read with your ears!

From Thursday through Wednesday (30 June to late night 6 July), you can download either or both of these these complete audiobooks for free, then listen to them whenever you like, as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Click on the link following each title to go to the SYNC site now (you’ll need Overdrive app to listen; free download link there, also).

CD audiobook cover of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat (Young Readers' Edition) by Michael Pollan | Read by MacLeod Andrews Published by Listening Library | recommended on BooksYALove.comThe Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat (Young Readers’ Edition) (download here)
by Michael Pollan
Read by MacLeod Andrews
Published by Listening Library

Journalist/food detective Pollan explored conventional and organic farms, hunting, foraging, mega-corporations and small enterprises to see how food gets to your table and how you can make informed choices about what you eat.

Grasshopper Jungle (download here)CD audiobook cover of Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith | Read by Philip Church Published by Listening Library | recommended on BooksYALove.com
by Andrew Smith
Read by Philip Church
Published by Listening Library

Austin and Robby didn’t intend to create a horde of 6 foot tall praying mantises that want only to eat and reproduce, but that’s what people in their small Iowa town are becoming! Not the most convenient time to fall in love with both your best friends…

What summer food will you snack on as you listen?
**kmm

How did we get here, humanity? Read more… with your ears!

It’s finally time! Time to download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC so you can read with your ears!

Each pair of complete audiobooks will be available from Thursday through Wednesday during their download week this summer. Then you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Bookmark the SYNC site now so you can download great free audiobooks all summer long: http://www.audiobooksync.com/

CD cover of Great Tennessee Monkey Trial by Peter Goodchild published by LA Theater Works | recommended on BooksYALove.comThe Great Tennessee Monkey Trial

Did schools have the right to teach evolution? The Scopes Trial of 1925 is recreated in this full-cast docu-drama.

by Peter Goodchild

Read by Edward Asner, Bill Brochtrup, Matthew Patrick Davis, John de Lancie, James Gleason, Harry Groener, Jerry Hardin, Marnie Mosiman, Kenneth Alan Williams, Geoffrey Lower, Kyle Colerider-Krugh

CD cover of audiobook Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle, Published by Dreamscape Media | recommended on BooksYALove.com

Vivian Apple at the End of the World

Looking for the truth when her parents vanish after the Rapture moment predicted by their evangelical church, Vivian and friends begin a desperate road trip.

by Katie Coyle

Read by Julia Whelan

So how did we get here, and how might we depart?
**kmm

Chrononauts, by Mark Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy (book review) – time travel with swagger

book cover of Chrononauts by Mark Millar and Sean Murphy published by Image ComicsTime-travel suits (with longlife batteries),
Science-genius buddies (with a wild streak),
Televised first time jump (with non-scientist commentator),
What could possibly go wrong?

Traveling back in time to film the world’s most important events as they happen, a jump goes wrong so Danny heads to ancient Samarkand to rescue Corbin, only to encounter an armored motor defense!

These best friends are making the most of time with attitude to spare, even if time-hopping to outsmart Roaring 20s gangsters and attend epic concerts wasn’t in their backers’ business plan. Now, if they could just fix what went wrong in their personal and family lives before they began time-tripping…

Ask for this September release at your local library or independent bookstore – because today is National Comic Book Day! No surprise that this mile-a-minute adventure has already been optioned for a movie deal.

So, if you had a time travel suit, where would you go?
**kmm

Book info: Chrononauts / Mark Millar; art by Sean Murphy. Image Comics, 2015.  [author site]   [artist site]   [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Their time-travel suits can take them back to film important world events, but two science genius buddies find it impossible to remain mere bystanders in history.

Corbin’s marriage and family both lost out to his obsession with inventing the chronosuits, while Danny’s womanizing leaves few who’ll weep if he doesn’t make it back from time-traveling.

Transmitting live video of landmark historical events proves the chronosuits’ worth so when Corbin’s signal is lost, his best friend jumps back to rescue him in 11th century Samarkand, right into a skirmish between motorized forces!

Without the cameras on them, Drs. Quinn and Reilly have some fun with places and persons, knowing that they can time-walk away when the going gets rough. But they have left behind family issues – and bosses waiting for marketable history footage – in their own present-day.

Will these smart guys use their time-suits to repair the broken relationships in their personal pasts or get greedy helping themselves to the riches and experiences of every civilization before now?

Wait, what about the consequences of changing history – for everyone stuck in the present!?

The first four issues of the epic webcomic are published together now to give the full arc of this time-hopping buddy adventure in a single volume.

Travel in the elegant age as you read with your ears

Summertime is a great time to travel the world when you download this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC and read with your ears!

Download of these two free complete audiobooks begins today (Thursday, July 9th) and continues through Wednesday. Remember that you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Ready to travel during adventurous times? Just click on the title to go to the download page (super easy to do):

CD cover of The Explorers Club  by Nell Benjamin | Read by Jack Cutmore-Scott, Carson Elrod, David Furr, John Getz, Martin Jarvis, David Krumholtz, Lorenzo Pisoni, Jennifer Westfeldt, Matthew Wolf Published by L.A. Theatre WorksThe Explorers Club
by Nell Benjamin
Read by Jack Cutmore-Scott, Carson Elrod, David Furr, John Getz, Martin Jarvis, David Krumholtz, Lorenzo Pisoni, Jennifer Westfeldt, Matthew Wolf
Published by L.A. Theatre Works
In 1879 London, the male-only Explorers Club debates admitting a woman to their ranks. Full-cast audio with music includes humor and a possible international incident.

Around the World in Eighty DaysCD cover of Around the World in Eighty Days  by Jules Verne | Read by Michael Prichard Published by Tantor Audio
by Jules Verne
Read by Michael Prichard<
Published by Tantor Audio

If Phileas Fogg and his valet can journey completely around the world in a mere 80 days, Fogg keeps his fortune… however, travel in the 1870s holds its fair share of perils and adventures!

Where have you traveled through stories lately?
**kmm

Winter of the Robots, by Kurtis Scaletta (book review) – robots good, bad, on the loose!

book cover of Winter of the Robots by Kurtis Scaletta published by Alfred A KnopfResearching urban otters instead of making fake robots,
Working with cute Rocky for the science fair,
Solving a mystery in snow-bound Minneapolis
all great until something or someone attacks them!

The ‘keep out’ signs at the abandoned site are there for a reason, Jim, but staying out won’t keep the mysterious whatevers inside the fence!

Scaletta wrote about the deadly snake that Linus encountered at Mamba Point – is this new snow-cloaked peril even more dangerous?

**kmm

Book info: The Winter of the Robots / Kurtis Scaletta.  Alfred Knopf, 2013.  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Metal skritching, big clawprints in the snow – the abandoned tech site hides something scarier than Jim and his friends can imagine…and it’s ready to escape!

Maybe it awoke when Jim decided not to be genius Oliver’s sidekick for the 7th grade science fair. Or when their new partners’ ideas got Dmitri kidnapped and Rochelle stuck in the junkyard fence looking for otters. Or when the security cameras they borrowed from Jim’s dad spotted something moving way too fast in the Minneapolis snow to be an otter.

After the creatures chase them out of the old Half Street research site, Jim and Rocky decide to send in robots with cameras to figure out what’s going on, even if Oliver won’t help.

Robot competitions, school closed for snow days, pocket burgers – here’s Jim’s chance to impress Rocky, to uncover whatever is haunting Half Street, and to show Oliver that he can build robots, too…if the things don’t attack the science fair partners first!  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Raising the dead with free SYNC audiobooks!

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC are deadly delights, as we hear tales of a grave-robber and a mad scientist…

Remember that although each download is only available from Thursday through Wednesday, you have free use of the audiobooks for as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device

We have several more weeks of full-length audiobooks to look forward to this summer. Have you bookmarked the SYNC site yet?  http://www.audiobooksync.com/
 
CD audiobook cover of Rotters by Daniel Kraus read by Kirby Heyborne published by Listening LibraryRotters
By Daniel Kraus
Read by Kirby Heyborne
Published by Listening Library

 

 

FrankensteinCD cover of audiobook Frankenstein by Mary Shelley read by Jim Weiss published by Listening Library
By Mary Shelley
Read by Jim Weiss
Published by Listening Library

Do you dare listen to these creepy tales before bedtime?
**kmm

Arm of the Starfish, by Madeleine L’Engle (book review) – regeneration research, bad guys, international plot

book cover of Arm of the Starfish by Madeleine L'Engle published by Square FishResearch with an “interesting” new development,
Remote island lab closed to outsiders,
Whispers of miracles or perhaps monsters…

Adam will have to rely on his own wits and instincts during this summer of 1965, when an amazing opportunity to assist with cutting-edge regeneration research lands him right in the middle of medical espionage, undercover agents, and foreign country misunderstandings.

Written as a near-future story in 1965, The Arm of the Starfish  reads almost like alternate history today, as events in Dr. O’Keefe’s island lab blur the line between science fiction and mysticism, with Adam having to decide whether to believe young Poly O’Keefe or beautiful Kali Cutter about the researcher’s true intentions.

You’ll find this classic beginning to the O’Keefe family stories at local library or independent bookstore in the new Square Fish edition. And, yes, the O’Keefes are related to the Murry family you know from A Wrinkle in Time.

How far should research take us toward a future with no limits on life?
**kmm

Book info: The Arm of the Starfish / Madeleine L’Engle. Square Fish, 2011 (originally published in 1965 by Farrar Straus Giroux).  [author site]  [publisher site]

My book talk: Adam’s summer job as research assistant to a noted marine biologist on a Mediterranean island is a dream come true – until he’s blamed for a young girl’s disappearance from his flight, chased through Lisbon by thugs, and drawn into a secret with international implications.

Unusual for his professor-mentor to send a recent high school graduate to assist Dr. O’Keefe with starfish regeneration experiments. Unusual that beautiful Kali warns him that O’Keefe and his associate Canon Tallis are not what they seem when she meets Adam for the very first time.

Diverted to Madrid by fog, Adam worries that he’ll miss his connection in Lisbon, but Canon Tallis assures him that they’ll wait, especially as O’Keefe’s preteen daughter Poly is on this same plane.  But when Poly goes into the airplane lavatory and doesn’t return, the flight crew tells Adam she was never aboard!

Dr. O’Keefe himself meets Adam at the airport, telling him that Poly has been kidnapped by someone wanting his research results. Before they can get to the boat for Gaea, Adam is chased and shot at, lied to, brought up-to-date on espionage, and sworn to secrecy.

How can they get Poly back safely?
What is so important about this starfish research?
Which side is Kali really on?

Science and mystical forces weave together in a 1965 outside of our history books on this island paradise where family and community must guard against mercenaries and greed. First of the O’Keefe family stories by A Wrinkle in Time  author Madeleine L’Engle, The Arm of the Starfish  is followed by Dragons in the Waters.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Altered, by Jennifer Rush (fiction) – build-a-soldier: strength tweak here, loyalty serum there

book cover of Altered by Jennifer Rush published by Little BrownSecret laboratory.
Experimental subjects.
Super-soldiers with no memories…

Anna reads the journal that her mom left, makes the recipes just as she noted, wishes that she could be with Sam more often – but what future could she have with a memory-wiped young man who’s confined like a lab rat?

What future is there for Anna anyway? She could never talk to outsiders, in case she accidentally said something about the Lab beneath their farmhouse, the Lab housing four young men that the Branch is secretly training for some sort of mission… the four young men who escape, taking Anna with them!

This 2012 title is a “don’t blink” thriller; imagine what will happen to the crew next!
**kmm

Book info: Altered / Jennifer Rush. Little Brown, 2012.  [author’s website] [publisher site] [audiobook excerpt]

My Recommendation:  Anna is content in her secluded home-schooled world of the remote farmhouse with her dad and the underground lab where “the boys” live. Why the Branch wanted four young men with no memories to be part of this research was never discussed, nor were the many scars on those very physically fit bodies.

When she turned 16, Dad asked Anna to assist him with testing Sam, Nick, Trev, and Cas, little knowing that she’s been sneaking downstairs to play chess with Sam every night for months. When a routine lab inspection by the Branch brings along highly armed soldiers to remove the boys, Anna’s calm life shatters as the boys manage to escape – and Dad sends her along with them, insisting that she must stay as far away from the Branch as possible!

Suddenly, they’re on the run, trying to outguess agents of the maybe-government-related Branch and stay ahead of police when desperation forces them to steal a car and food. Every hour away from the lab unlocks more of the boys’ impressive physical skills as they seem to react before danger occurs and fight as a team without speaking.

Somehow, tendrils of memory guide Sam to a remote farmhouse where he might have lived before his memories were wiped out by the Branch. Everything is now a clue that could help them unlock the boys’ secrets and regain their pasts.

When Anna’s long-absent mother arrives at the farmhouse with surprising news, there’s little time for a tender reunion as gunfire from Branch agents zings through the walls and windows. Was this a set-up or an accident?

Fleeing again, Anna, Sam and company keep trying to figure out the meaning of the numbers within their scars and messages hidden in their tattoos. Code? Map coordinates?

Harder and harder to stay ahead of the Branch as the crew darts from hiding place to newly remembered landmark to safe house. Graveyards and memories, dead men and long-dead children… whatever happens, Anna cannot leave Sam!

Why were the four young men in the Branch lab in the first place?
Why were their memories wiped out?
How far will they all go to stay out of the Branch’s grasp forever?

Jennifer Rush’s debut novel races along faster than Anna’s feelings for Sam, diving into a dark past that could lead to an even darker future. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

12.21, by Dustin Thomason (fiction) – Mayan codex, deadly epidemic, end of the world?

book cover of 12 21 by Dustin Thomason published by Dial

Disease and rioting…
Airplane crashes…
Attacks on immigrants…
Just another day in L.A. or is it the end of the world?

The mysterious codex smuggled to Chel from rural Guatemala might verify the doomsday interpretations of the Mayan “Long Calendar” or just the last days of a single Mayan town… but how to be sure?

As December 21st approaches, look into the great museum exhibits clarifying Mayan timekeeping and the Long Calendar; are researchers even using the correct conversion factor to match Mayan and modern dates?  Be sure to check out the excellent interactive tutorial on reading Mayan glyphs on the book’s website, too.

You’ll find this medical thriller/apocalyptic tale at your local library or independent bookstore now. Probably better to read it sooner than later, right?
**kmm

Book info: 12.21 / Dustin Thomason. Dial Books, 2012.  [book website]   [author’s Facebook page] [publisher site] [book trailer]  

My Recommendation: Gabe Stanton leaves his disease research lab to check on a mystery patient at a Los Angeles hospital. Chel Manu wonders if the astounding Mayan codex brought to her by a smuggler might not be a forgery. And an airplane falls from the sky, as a rampaging epidemic begins sweeping through L.A. 
This cluster of symptoms described by the hospital matches an extremely rare incurable prion disease, one so infectious that hazmat suits are required just to enter the patient’s room. Perhaps with the help of the right translator they can get some information from the young man to track down the disease’s origin…before he dies of acute insomnia and panic. 
So Chel is asked to translate, pulled away from her volunteer time with Guatemalan refugees, away from her research on ancient Mayan writings, away from the black market antiquities dealer who brought her a never-seen codex from a forgotten city, away from those who think that the 12.21.12 end of the Mayan ‘Long Calendar’ marks the end of the world. 
With few clues and the disease spreading rapidly, Stanton tries to pinpoint how the infection is spread, as Chel surreptitiously translates the new-found codex. Both sets of information point back to a hidden ancient city in the homeland of Chel’s mother, thousands of miles away. 

As the government quarantines LA to stop the epidemic, Stanton and Chel must find a way to get to Guatemala before it’s too late. Is there any possible cure for this disease? How much of the codex’s unusual tale is true? Will the countdown to the end of the Long Calendar become the countdown to the end of civilization? (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.