Tag: Gravity

Paul Jenkins – Curioddity | Review

Title: Curioddity

Author: Paul Jenkins

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 312

Rating 4/5

 

 

This was an interesting little read for me because it isn’t a book that I picked out for myself. Instead, it was sent to me as a belated birthday gift from my BookTube friend Time for Books. In fact, I think it was a thrift shop find and so that makes it my first official thrift shop book. Awesome!

This is a sort of humorous magical realism book, and it reminded me of what The Shadow of the Wind could have been if the author hadn’t disappeared up his own arse. We follow the exploits of a private detective who’s hired to work for the Museum of Curioddity, which houses all sorts of unusual artefacts. He’s actually hunting down a missing box of levity, which is the opposite of gravity.

What was cool about this was the idea that this magic is all around us, and we just need to un-see what we’re looking at if we want this entire hidden world to be revealed to us. It also played with ideas about fate and destiny, as well as the power of narrative in the sense that the characters would often find themselves in just the right place and they’d remark on the fact that the only reason that happened is that it had to happen.

It’s very tongue-in-cheek and reasonably accurately described on the rear cover as a cross between Lewis Carroll and Douglas Adams. I’d argue that it’s more like Douglas Adams with Terry Pratchett, but Pratchett is one of my favourite authors and so I was down with that. Sure, there were occasional bits here and there that fell a little flat, but I think you’re always going to have that with a humorous book.  I’d recommend it for sure.

 

 

Click here to buy Curioddity.


Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking – George’s Secret Key to the Universe | Review

Title: George’s Secret Key to the Universe

Author: Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking

Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 316

Rating: 4*/5

 

Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking - George's Secret Key to the Universe

Lucy Hawking and Stephen Hawking – George’s Secret Key to the Universe

 

This book was okay but not great. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it did defy my expectations in one key way and so that alone was enough for me to give it a 4/5. The thing that really stood out to me was the fact that it mixed flat-out fiction with a blend of science that should bring physics to life to little kids.

In fact, you could almost split the book into two separate releases, but they do work well when combined together. The first of those is the non-fiction stuff, including the descriptions of each of the planets in the solar system and some information on their orbits, gravity and other attributes. The good thing about this is that it also includes some high-quality photography that helps to blow your mind with the sheer size and scale of space.

The second aspect of this book is the fictional part, which follows the story of a boy called George who makes friends with someone whose father owns a supercomputer called Cosmos. The cool thing about Cosmos is that it can take George and the gang anywhere they want to in space, a bit like a cross between a computer and the Tardis. But there are people who want to take advantage of it, and George finds this out to his cost.

Overall, there’s nothing necessarily revolutionary about this book, but it is decent enough – and it’s sure to put a small on your face, especially if you have kids who are into science. The illustrations are nicely done, too. They don’t feel like an afterthought, but rather like a vital part of the book. I’m glad that it’s a part of my collection.

 

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

 

Click here to buy George’s Secret Key to the Universe.