A Beastly Menagerie: Sir Pilkington-Smythe’s Marvelous Collection of Strange and Unusual Creatures
(9781599219868 $19.95 Hardcover) (9780762788033 $12.95 Paperback)
“A Whimsical compendium of the most incredible animals the world has ever seen – with 200 full-color illustrations” (Back cover).
As I strolled through the bookshelves of our fine establishment that is the UConn Co-op, I happened upon a delightful book in the natural history section, Sir Pilkngton-Smythe’s “A Beastly Menagery”. “A Beastly Menagery is a collection of the world’s strangest and most unusual creatures. Each chapter covers a certain animal family from Invertebrates to Mammals to Birds. You will be amazed, delighted, and intrigued as you make discoveries such as the water bear (which isn’t a bear at all despite its name) or the Pangolin, an armored creature found in Africa and Asia. Sir Pilkington-Smythe’s menagerie is full of historical facts and folklore surrounding these strange animals and includes colored illustrations with captions that give a voice to these curious creatures which are sure to amuse.
After a long and brave battle John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan decided he could no longer hold off the terribly misguided DOJ, announcing today that Macmillan is settling. We understand the onerous situation he was in. We are deeply grateful to him for trying. We applaud him for his courage. A victory would have been a huge step towards strengthening our book culture and the well being of authors, illustrators and bricks and mortar bookstores. It is not to be.
In a letter to booksellers he wrote, “Please see the attached letter to authors, illustrators and agents about our decision to settle our suit with the Department of Justice. This is just a quick note to say thank you directly. Many, many of you have supported Macmillan, and me, both privately and publicly over these last months. I just wanted to let you know that we deeply appreciate it.”
Here is his letter in full:
posted by Suzy
Having successfully locked my keys and lunch in my locker, my thoughts, prompted by my stomach, wandered towards the topic of survival. Why so often are we un-prepared for the twists and turns of fate, bad luck, etc.? I began to set to an investigation of survival and field guides here in the UConn Co-op General Books…
Have you ever found yourself, upon setting out for the day or planning with friends, mentally running through the worst case scenario? What if you need to break down a door? Hot wire a car? Or fend off a shark? What if you need to jump from a moving vehicle? Take a punch? Or escape from killer bees? You’d best be prepared with an answer to these questions before the situation arises. Look no further than The Worst-Case scenario Survival Handbook. This book has the answers total of these situations and more of the worst possible cases you could find yourself in.
Ever been on a hike or camping trip and your buddy forgot the trail mix? You might want to have which identifies common everyday plants that I’d never known I could eat. This field guide gives illustrations as well as color plates of edible plants in Eastern and Central North America. It also tells you how to prepare each edible part of the plant from leaves to stems to tubers.
Bolt cutters it turns out are an essential tool for survival. Meanwhile, I’ve had my lunch and am now better prepared for whatever awaits me when I next step out my door. Make sure you check out these books at the UConn Co-op so that you are too!
Peterson Field Guides’ Edible Wild Plants (9780395926222 $19.00)
The Worst-Case scenario Survival Handbook (9780811825559 $14.95)
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Paranormal (9780811879644 $14.95)
This book will have you prepared on how to immobilize a zombie, build a monster from spare parts and survive an alien abduction.
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: LIFE (97808118531325 $15.95)
For the more practical everyday survival; tips on how to survive hay fever, a bird trapped in the house, a stampede of giraffes, fingers stuck in bowling ball and more!
Zombies Versus Unicorns (9781416989547) $9.99
Let’s talk about zombies. Zombies have staggered and crawled into the latest in pop culture. “Heck, yes!” Some of you are saying. You have already sharpened your knives, loaded up your survival kits and have overall zombie prepped your homes for the Zombie Apocalypse. Now all you need is some good reading while biding your zombie slaying time. Meanwhile others of you are probably asking “Why? What’s so great about zombies? They’re just rotting bits of flesh.” You would probably rather curl up with a good story about something a little more magical, like say, unicorns.
This is just the debate that authors Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier had that produced the anthology Zombies vs. Unicorns (now available at your UConn Co-op). Holly leads Team Unicorns with authors, Kathleen Duey, Meg Cabot, Garth Nix, Margo Lanagan, Naomi Novik, and Diana Peterfreund. While Justine heads Team Zombie which includes Libba Bray, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Scott Westerfeld and Carrie Ryan. The teams combat with tales of the walking dead falling in love (as well as in pieces) and killer unicorns that deliver swift justice, with fierce and entertaining banter betwixt the editors sprinkled in between. Which team will you join?
Happy Holidays from All of Us!
Books for the curious.
Fifty Machines That Changed The Course Of History by Eric Chaline (ISBN: 9781770850903) The title says it all: except for just how utterly fascinating this book is!
The Big Short by Michael Lewis (ISBN 9780393338829) The acclaimed author of Moneyball and The Blind Side turns his sights on the housing bubble and what brought it down. The result is a story so surprisingly riviting that it actually made me unable to stop reading about the likes of credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations: no small feat indeed.
The Peter Principle by Laurence Peter (ISBN 9780062092069) This examination of hierarchies is just as funny and perceptive as it was upon its publication in 1969.
Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper by Geoffrey Gray (ISBN 9780307451309) Come along for the thrilling ride as Gray follows leads in an effort to uncover the identity of famous skyjacker D.B. Cooper.
Mail-Order Mysteries by Kirk Demarais (ISBN 9781608870264) The author compares the promises of the ads from the backs of comic books (for items like X-Ray Spex for example) with the reality of what you received when you actually placed orders for these items: a great idea for a book. Why didn’t I think of this?
Rip It Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds (ISBN 9780143036722)The great British music journalist explores the vibrant music of the unparalleled post-punk era of 1978-1984.
Fiction for Giving
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (9780062188502 $26.99) An orchardist who has lost his family and lives alone; two sisters who escape the brothel where they have been held captive and seek shelter like skittish stray kittens on the orchardist’s land; an infant whom the orchardist raises as best he can; and the wise woman from town whose life is enmeshed with what happens at the farm struggle to make sense of their world and each other. In this evocative debut novel, author Amanda Coplin leaves much unspoken, yet because of her astonishing skill the reader is able to sense the underlying currents that are at the heart of this moving story.
John Saturnal’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk (9780802120519 $26.00) Historical fiction at its best, this intricately woven tapestry of a book tells the story of the orphan son of an herbalist mother and his journey to become a master of the culinary arts. The book is thick with the smells and textures and tastes of early 17th century life in England. It is a tale of superstitions, intrigue and secrets. I found myself pulled deep into John Saturnal’s world.
What Happened to Sophie Wilder by Christopher Beha (9781935639312 $15.00)When Sophie Wilder suddenly reappears in Charlie Blakeman’s life, he cautiously welcomes her back. Ten years since they last saw each other, they are now both vulnerable and confused about their paths. He is a not so successful writer. She is reeling from her experience taking care of a dying old man she barely knew. Gradually, they open to each other but then Sophie disappears. A modern ghost story. A meditation on belief. Compellingly told.
Defending Jacob by William Landay (9780385344227$26.00)Ostensibly a legal thriller – and I guarantee that you will not guess the ending – this is a novel that probes deeply into the relationship between parents and their children. How far do you go to defend a child? To believe in the goodness of that child? What if you doubt? Does one always doubt? What does it mean to protect that child? Jacob Berber is accused of murder. His father Andy, the Assistant DA, believes he is innocent and takes on his son’s defense. After that, nothing in this story is simple.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (9781451681734 $25.00)When I was ten, I longed to live in a lighthouse but I never imagined anything quite like this story: Tom and Isabel take up life in a remote lighthouse after Tom returns from the Western Front. They long for a child but Isabel suffers miscarriages and a heartbreaking stillbirth. And then, she hears a baby cry, a baby in a boat. A mesmerizing story.