Brilliant Book Titles #27

Again, for the subtitle mostly.

#brilliantbooktitles

this is improbable

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
Marc Abrahams, the mind behind the internationally renowned Ig Nobel Prizes, is on a mission: to gather the bizarre, the questionable, the brilliant, the downright funny, the profound – everything improbable – from the annals of science research.

What’s the best way to slice a ham sandwich, mathematically?

What makes Bobs look especially Bob-like?

Is the right or left ear better at discerning lies?

Could mice be outfitted with parachutes to kill tree snakes?

Static by L. A. Witt

static lawitt.jpg

Well, as premises for a book goes, this is definitely something that I’ve never read before. Alex has been with Damon for two years but has never told him that he’s a shifter: he can switch genders at will. Damon has only ever known Alex as a girl but Alex’s staunchly religious parents have forced Alex to get an implant that will make him static, and unable to shift. Such implants are not only incredibly costly to remove but are also major surgery, with serious health risks.

There’s a lot of great ideas going on in this book. The parallels between shifters and trans* people is something that is explored (but also differentiated with, at times, which is nice) as is the hatred that such people get in everyday life.

Really like the supporting cast, such as Tabby, Alex’s employer, owner of bar The Welcome Mat, who is trans* and saving up for the operation – there is a gorgeous set of parallels when Alex has lost his ability to shift genders and he realises that such an ability is something that Tabby would kill for.

His boyfriend, Damon, is incredibly supportive and I liked their relationship. I felt though that when Alex in his male form and Damon and Alex get physical that its ease was a little unbelievable – I know that Damon loves Alex but he’s never even thought of being with another guy before. I would’ve like a bit more buildup with that BUT that said, I really liked the book and that was only a minor quibble.

An enjoyable, easy read that I read rather quickly, this is one of Witt’s better books.

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New Sports Books to Watch Out For

What’s your sport? Football? Rugby? Boxing? Cricket? Athletics? If you answered yes to any of those, we’ve got something for you.

meaning of cricket
The Meaning of Cricket: or How to Waste Your Life on an Inconsequential Sport by Jon Hotten (7 Jul 2016)
Cricket is unique among sports in its psychological aspect. It is a team game dependent almost entirely on individual performance. Time, opportunity and the constant threat of disaster can drive its participants to despair. Surviving a single 100 mph delivery takes the body and brain to the edges of their capabilities, yet the game’s abiding image is of the village green, and the glorious absurdities of the amateur player. By blending legends of the game, from Vivian Richards to Brian Lara, Kevin Pietersen to Ricky Ponting, with a personal story, Jon Hotten reveals the funny, moving and transformative impact cricket can have on a single life.

boys in the boat
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown (26 Jul 2016)
The #1″New York Times” bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany, now in a premium mass market edition. Available just in time for The 80th anniversary of the boys gold medal win as well as the 8/2 broadcast of the PBS /American Experience documentary, “The Boys of 36.” and the start of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

For readers of”Unbroken,” out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man s personal quest.”

drama in the bahamas
Drama in the Bahamas: Muhammed Ali’s Last Fight by Dave Hannigan (18 Aug 2016)
On December 11, 1981, Muhammad Ali slumped on a chair in the cramped, windowless locker room of a municipal baseball field outside Nassau. A phalanx of sportswriters had pushed and shoved their way into this tiny, breeze-blocked space. In this most unlikely of settings, they had come to record the last moments of the most storied of all boxing careers. They had come to intrude upon the grief. “It’s over,” mumbled Ali. “It’s over.” The show that had entertained and wowed from Zaire to Dublin, from Hamburg to Manila, finally ended its twenty-one-year run, the last performance not so much off-Broadway, more amateur theatre in the boondocks. In Drama in the Bahamas, Dave Hannigan tells the occasionally poignant, often troubling, yet always entertaining story behind Ali’s last bout. Through interviews with many of those involved, he discovers exactly how and why, a few weeks short of his fortieth birthday, a seriously diminished Ali stepped through the ropes one more time to get beaten up by Trevor Berbick. “Two billion people will be conscious of my fight,” said Ali, trotting out the old braggadocio about an event so lacking in luster that a cow bell was pressed in to service to signal the start and end of each round. How had it come to this? Why was he still boxing? Hannigan answers those questions and many more, offering a unique and telling glimpse into the most fascinating sportsman of the twentieth century in the last, strange days of his fistic life. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports–books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team. In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

angels with dirty faces
Angels with Dirty Faces: How Argentinian Soccer Defined a Nation and Changed the Game Forever by Jonathan Wilson (23 August 2016)
Argentina has produced Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona, and Lionel Messisome of the greatest soccer players of all time. The country s rich, volatile history is by turns sublime and ruthlessly pragmatic. A nation obsessed with soccer, Argentina lives and breathes the game, its theories, and its myths. Jonathan Wilson lived in Buenos Aires, in an apartment between La Recoleta Cemeterywhere the country s leading poets and politicians are buriedand the Huracan stadium. Like his apartment, “Angels with Dirty Faces” lies at the intersection of politics, literature, and sport. Here, he chronicles the evolution of Argentinian soccer: the appropriation of the British game, the golden age of “la nuestra,” the exuberant style of playing that developed as Juan Peron led the country into isolation, a hardening into the brutal methods of anti-futbol, the fusing of beauty and efficacy under Cesar Luis Menotti, and the emergence of all-time greats in Maradona and Messi against a backdrop of economic turbulence.”

carry me home
Carry Me Home: My Autobiography by Ben Cohen (8 Sep 2016)
Ben Cohen’s dad didn’t know anything about the sport his young son had taken up, but he was happy to drive him to practice, and was soon helping out at the club. When his business went bankrupt money was tight, but Ben’s hard working parents inspired their son to put his all into rugby.

Then, when Ben was 20, his father intervened in a fight in the nightclub where he worked. He was viciously beaten and one month later he died in hospital. Ben was doing an England press conference at the time, and it was down to coach Clive Woodward to deliver the devastating news. But the ordeal was far from over. The inquest lasted five months before the funeral could be held, and it was a year before the family were in court, facing Peter’s assailants.

Ben put all of the anger and pain from his father’s death into his rugby. Fast and powerful on the wing, he was soon the best in the world in his position and a cornerstone of the England team, culminating in the legendary World Cup win in Sydney in 2003. And yet he always felt like an outsider. Most people didn’t know that Ben is clinically deaf. His sixth sense for the game got him through on the pitch, but off it his poor hearing was often taken for arrogance.

This is an inspirational story of passion and pain; of the highs of achieving your goals, and the grief of losing something you can never get back.

 

World War Z by Max Brooks

wwz

  • ‘Have you read World War Z yet?’
  • ‘What?! that crappy film with Brad Pitt in it, there was a book?’
  • ‘Yep, give it a go, it’s top notch’
  • ‘Ok, I’ll give it a bash’

And I did, it was terrific.  The attention to detail and the vivid imagination of the author oozed from the pages.

The book is set ten years after the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse, mankind has all but won, but at a dreadful cost.  The narrator is an agent of the UN Post-War Commission as he travels all over the world to find out definitively what happened in the different countries. The extreme sometimes medieval measures some countries took, while other nations used modern warfare tactics to no avail against the hundreds of millions of Z’s.   Tales of Napoleonic tactics to defeat the hordes of Z’s capture the imagination.

Ten years on and still nobody has heard from North Korea, Major cities lie abandoned and there are Nuclear wastelands.  Zombies still roam the ocean floors and wastelands, they are frozen in the tundra and trapped in buildings in the cities.

Give it a shot, it’s really cleverly done and very easy to read, you won’t regret it.  The Audiobook is especially good, the array of famous actors cast as the various characters will surprise you, and is testament to how good it is,  Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, Common, Jurgen Prochnow, Henry Rollins, Jeri Ryan, Simon Pegg and Paul Sorvino to name but a few will make any car journey fly by, but be sure to get the unabridged version for all the juicy interesting bits.

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

 

Brilliant Book Titles#26

It’s yer only man, apparently (although I’ve never cared for it meself!)

#brilliantbook titles

a pint of plain

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
When Bill Barich moved to Dublin, he began searching for a traditional pub to serve as his local. Although he had no shortage of choices, he had trouble finding one that measured up to the archetypal ideal. As he roams from hectic urban pubs to their dwindling rural counterparts, he chronicles the state of the ‘Irish’ pub today, both in Ireland itself and all over the world. Entertaining, charming and full of insight, “A Pint of Plain” chronicles Barich’s quest for the perfect pint, at the same time examining Irish culture at a time of great change.

Brilliant Book Titles #25

It’s more so the subtitle, “Mathematicians, Monsters and the Mysteries of Symmetry” that I love.

finding moonshine
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
This new book from the author of ‘The Music of the Primes’ combines a personal insight into the mind of a working mathematician with the story of one of the biggest adventures in mathematics: the search for symmetry.

This is the story of how humankind has come to its understanding of the bizarre world of symmetry – a subject of fundamental significance to the way we interpret the world around us.

Our eyes and minds are drawn to symmetrical objects, from the sphere to the swastika, the pyramid to the pentagon. Symmetry indicates a dynamic relationship or connection between objects, and it is all-pervasive: in chemistry and physics the concept of symmetry explains the structure of crystals or the theory of fundamental particles; in evolutionary biology, the natural world exploits symmetry in the fight for survival; symmetry and the breaking of symmetry are central to ideas in art, architecture and music; the mathematics of symmetry is even exploited in industry, for example to find efficient ways to store more music on a CD or to keep your mobile phone conversation from cracking up through interference.

Marcus du Sautoy constantly strives to push his own boundaries to find ways in which to share the excitement of mathematics with a broader audience; this book charts his own personal quest to master one of the most innate and intangible concepts, and to demonstrate the intricacy and beauty of the world around us.

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

city of the lost

City of the Lost (Casey Duncan #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey’s best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana’s husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it’s time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you’re accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. As a murderer, Casey isn’t a good candidate, but she has something they want: She’s a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn’t the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.
Review:

4 Lost City Stars

“You…” she says, “killed a man?” The apprehensive look. I know it well – that moment where they’re certain they’ve misheard. Or that I mean it in a metaphorical way. I broke a man’s heart. Which is technically true. A bullet does break a heart. Irrevocably, it seems.”

If you’ve read any of my reviews on Kelley Armstrong in the past, you’d know that I think very highly of both Kelley and her work. As much as I really love her paranormal titles, she does really well with her thrillers.

City of the Lost is the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s Casey Duncan series. Leading with a phenomenally fierce protagonist, City of the Lost was the perfect thriller! I was immediately submersed in her tale of Casey, her torturous past, and the mysterious hidden town that has everyone wondering. The mystery, the suspense, and Kelley’s twists and turns were absolutely brilliant – I loved it!

Fans of Kelley Armstrong will definitely want to read City of the Lost. It’s fresh, unique, and will continue to keep you on your toes.

—-

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

5 New Gaming Books

screwattack
Screwattack’s Video Game Vault: The Best of Nintendo 64
(14 Jun 2016)
Happy Anniversary N64! It s been twenty years since every kid growing up in the 90s lost their mind when they received an N64. Whether it was for your birthday, on Christmas morning or your bar mitzvah, the Nintendo 64 changed your life. The folks at ScrewAttack are no exception. To them, the 64 continues to be one of the greatest inventions known to man. With that kind of importance, it only made sense to relaunch the Video Game Vault series with the N64 leading the way. Following in the vein of their hit series “Video Game Vault, ScrewAttack’s debut book takes a look at one of the most important systems in history. The ScrewAttack team covers their favorite games for Nintendo’s iconic console while providing quirky personal stories that these games helped create. From the traditional fan-favorites, to the games everyone loved to hate, the Vault is back and it has it all.”

good luck haev fun
Good Luck Have Fun: The Rise of eSports by Roland Li (23 Jun 2016)
A Close-Up Look at the Global Phenomenon of Competitive Video Gaming Esports is one of the fastest growing–and most cutthroat–industries in the world. A confluence of technology, culture, and determination has made this possible. Players around the world compete for millions of dollars in prize money, and companies like Amazon, Coca Cola, and Intel have invested billions. Esports events have sold out Los Angeles’s Staples Center, Seoul’s World Cup Stadium, and Seattle’s KeyArena. Hundreds of people have dedicated their lives to gaming, sacrificing their education, relationships, and even their bodies to compete, committing themselves with the same fervor of any professional athlete. In Good Luck Have Fun, author Roland Li talks to some of the biggest names in the business and explores the players, companies, and games that have made it to the new major leagues. Follow Alexander Garfield as he builds Evil Geniuses, a modest gaming group, in his college dorm into a global, multimillion-dollar eSports empire. Learn how Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill made League of Legends the world’s most successful eSports league and most popular PC game, on track to make over $1 billion a year. See how Twitch pivoted from a video streaming novelty into a $1 billion startup on the back of professional gamers. And dive into eSports’ dark side: drug abuse, labor troubles, and for each success story, hundreds of people who failed to make it big. These are the stories of the rise of an industry and culture that challenge what we know about sports, games, and competition.

3d game textures
3D Game Textures: Professional Game Art Using Photoshop by Luke Ahearn (18 Jul 2016)
The new edition of 3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop features the most up-to-date techniques that allow you to create your own unique textures, shaders, and materials. Revised to take new technology into account, it is an ideal hands-on resource for creating online worlds, simulations, web-based applications, and architectural visualization projects.

Continuing the practical, no-nonsense approach of its predecessors, the fourth edition shows you how to advance your digital art skills with textures and shaders by exploring their interactions in single objects or entire scenes. It contains expanded coverage of shader nodes, and the companion website―www.lukeahearn.com/textures―has been updated to include video tutorials as well as updated sample textures, shaders, materials, actions, brushes, and all of the art from the book.

Written with the beginner and the professional in mind, this book provides an excellent stepping stone for artists of any level. It shows aspiring artists how to create their own game textures. It also shows technically oriented professionals who struggle with artistic aspects of graphic design how to create textures in a way that they can relate to, while teaching technically challenged artists how to create their art in a fashion that allows them to set up their work with an eye toward the important technical aspects of game development.

no-code
No-Code Video Game Development Using Unity and Playmaker by Michael Kelley (15 Jul 2016)
In the past, not being able to program meant not being able to make video games. Now if you can draw a flow-chart you can use powerful State Machine technology to create your dream game! No-Code Video Game Development using Unity and Playmaker will teach you how to substitute flow-charts for code. As a complete course, it uses a project-based approach. The FPS project comes with over a hundred dollars worth of free #gamedev DLC: Unity Packages, Playmaker Templates, Character Models, Animations, Materials, and more! You’ll also learn game design documentation and theory, Mecanim, Particle Systems, and UI. By the time you’re done you’ll have gained the skills needed to create your own dream game, all without writing any code!

powerup
Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life by Chris Kohler (29 Jul 2016)
“A must-read.” ― GameDaily.
What makes Japanese video games so popular? This enjoyable and informative examination of how Japanese developers raised the medium to an art form includes interviews, anecdotes, and accounts of industry giants such as Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideo Kojima, and others involved in the creation of Donkey Kong, Mario, Pokémon, and other games. This edition includes updated material throughout and a new final chapter.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

THE-GROWNUP-glamour_5nov15_pr_b

This short story follows a con artist who makes her living by learning how to read people- working both as a sex worker and a psychic!

She comes across what she thinks is an easy mark (Susan Burke) and takes a job in an eerie Victorian mansion. When she accompanies the highly strung owner to the creepy Victorian mansion that seems to be the source of her troubles, she comes to believe that there’s more to the problem than she first thought.

Is the mansion actually haunted-and what does the disturbing stepson Miles have to do with it?

The book is 64 pages long….. yet despite being so short the author squeezes constant twists and turns into it.

Not quite a horror story-but definitely worth a read!

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Brilliant Book Titles #24

clean

You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb:
‘I return to Paris in five days. Stop washing.’ So wrote Napoleon to Josephine in an age when body odour was considered an aphrodisiac. In stark contrast, the Romans used to bath for hours each day. Ashenburg’s investigation of history’s ambivalence towards personal hygiene takes her through plague-ridden streets, hospitals and battlefields. From the bizarre prescriptions of doctors to the eccentricities of famous bathers, she presents us with all the twists and turns that have led us to our own, arbitrary notion of ‘clean’.