Thursday, November 29, 2007

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - How to Survive a Robot Uprising

I just finished Daniel Wilson's How to Survive a Robot Uprising. It was pretty cool, especially for anyone who's into robotics, or for sci fi fans. At the time that the book was published, Wilson was working on his Ph.D in robotics at Carnegie Mellon, so he really knows his stuff. The book is short to begin with, and has a lot of illustrations. It reads even quicker though, because the chapters are only 2 or 3 pages long. It's organized so that there is a chapter that's just factual information on either a type of robot, or a specific aspect of robotics. Those chapters are really great, because the author knows where all of the cutting edge research is being done, and includes information on what the newest advances are in that area - great info if you're thinking about going into robotics. To keep the book from getting dry, the next chapter is then a little tongue-in-cheek as he explains what your best plan of action would be if attacked by that type of robot. It might sound sort of stupid, but it is a really good way to teach the basics of that type of robotics because it's real-life application, sort of. All in all, a quick fun read.

Latest Truth or Dare Now In

Just got the latest in Cathy Hopkins' Truth or Dare series. This one is All Mates Together. Surprisingly there were no holds on it, so if you're a fan of the series, you can get this one now. For a little more detail see New YA Books: All Mates Together

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Horowitz, Zevin and More

A few new books have trickled in, including the latest in the Alex Rider series, Snakehead, a new one by Gabrielle Zevin who wrote the excellent Elsewhere, and a teen spy book, this one with a female protagonist. See New YA Books: New Horowitz, Zevin and More for more info. Enjoy!

New "and" Magazine is Here

Good news for those of you who like "and" the local teen literary magazine. We just got a pile of the newest edition. They're down on the display unit near the teen area. Help yourself to a copy. If you haven't looked at an "and" definitely stop and pick one up. I haven't had a chance to read this one yet, but they are always excellent. Enjoy!

Friday, November 16, 2007

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - Tamar

I just finished reading Mal Peet's, Tamar. It's another one of those books told from alternating points of view. Part of it is the story of Dutch resistance fighters during the last part of World War II. This was the part of the book that I liked best. It gave you a look at what day-to-day life was really like for those folks who were essentially spies and/or terrorists, in Holland during the war. It was not nearly as glamorous and exciting as a lot of movies make it seem. Frequently it was long periods of incredible boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror, with a steady dose of deprivation and near starvation throughout. The other part of the book followed a young girl named Tamar, in 1995, as she sets out to follow what appears to be encoded instructions, left to her by her grandfather after his suicide, which may explain the parts of his life that no one in the family ever talked about. The two stories come together in the end. I basically had the ending figured out pretty early on, but kept reading because I wanted to find out what happened in greater detail, and because it was a very well written, engaging novel. The subtitle for the book is, A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal. That pretty much sums it up. Again, it's an engaging book that gives you a different look at World War II, and makes you think about things like loyalty and survival. I'd recommend it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

MS Video Game Tournament Update

Just finished the last video game tournament of the calendar year. We'll resume again in February, once the holiday shopping and return rushes are over, and the EBGames guys/gals can get away from the store to come over here. In the meantime, check the upcoming programs list to the right for Guitar Hero and DDR tournament dates. Anyway, we had a nice crowd of about 40 with 33 entering the tournament. Bragging rights go to "The Curt" and Tim L. Pics below.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What Mrs N's Been Reading - The Road of the Dead

I just finished Kevin Brooks' The Road of the Dead. I've read other Brooks novels and liked them very much. (See What Mrs N's Been Reading - Being for my review of Being. I also liked Martyn Pig a lot, but read that one pre-blog.) Brooks is interesting. His characters are definitely very flawed people, and not always what you would ordinarily call good guys, but I find myself rooting for them as I read, and really caring what happens to them. In this one, Ruben and his brother Cole go to the remote village where their sister Rachel was brutally murdered, to try to find out what happened so that her body can be released for burial. Ruben is a sensitive guy who can sense other people's feelings, especially family members. On the night Rachel was murdered, Ruben was "with her," feeling her panic and fear and seeing the area around her, but not the murderer. Cole is more like his father, who is in prison for killing a man in a bare knuckle fight. In the village, there is definitely something going on that involves almost everyone there, and everyone knows more than they are letting on about the murder, but can Cole and Ruben get answers without getting killed? There is a lot of violence in the book, and little bit of salty language, but all things considered, it's handled very well, and isn't unnecessarily graphic. I'd recommend this one to high school students, and will probably come back and read a few more of the Brooks' titles that are on the shelf.