Did You Know That Seeds Are Freaking Awesome?!

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I love micro-histories – books that delve into the history and specifics of one small specific thing. One of my favourites is The Big Necessity by Rose George, about human waste (and the toilet). Just for balance, my least favourite is Stiff by Mary Roach.

The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson is about, well: seeds. I requested the book because the cover looked pretty cool and because, as I already said, I enjoy finding out really random and extensive things about one focused object. Continue reading

New Old Fairytales [Reviewing The Turnip Princess]

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Most kids have a penchant for fairy tales, but as a kid, my favourites were the stories my dad made up for me. Legally-blind, he made up special characters just for me that far surpassed any Snow White. Of course I loved Disney, but I only really started appreciating the Grimm Brothers’ tales when I participated in a MOOC on Coursera called Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World. (It’s still a hugely popular course, check it out here.)

When I saw The Turnip Princess on NetGalley I could not resist it. Franz Xavier von Schönwerth is described as a “contemporary of the Brothers Grimm” so that grabbed my attention immediately!

When reading fairytales as an adult one perhaps should not expect to be quite as transported as a child would be. That said, these tales are probably not as suitable for children to begin with. Continue reading

Ten Books for Readers who Like… The World

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Today’s Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish is called Top Ten Books for Readers who Like ___________.

I know that with things like We Need Diverse Books a lot of people are trying to read beyond their own milieu. I think for me, the biggest problem as a youngster was that I was constantly reading narratives about young people in the USA or the UK, and so I was getting a very narrow view of the world and indeed of what I could be.

read the world Continue reading