Mason Jar Science: 40 Slimy, Squishy, Super-Cool Experiments, by Jonathan Adolph (2018)

Nonfiction
8-13
Mason Jar Science, by Jonathan AdolphWith two visiting grandsons in the house when this arrived, it’s been put to the test! Plus the cover is quite appealing – I liked it right away, and both boys leafed through it without prompting. It’s nicely organized into six sections. The introductory pages cover What’s So Great About Science?, Why Mason Jars?, and Using the Scientific Method to Solve Mysteries. Then the 40+ experiments are divided into five sciences: The Magic of Chemistry, Earth Science for Earthlings, The Root of All Fun – Botany, It’s Alive! Biology, and Understanding Matter in Motion – Physics. Read More »

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Bathroom Ideas You Can Use, 2nd ed., by Chris Peterson (2018)

Nonfiction
Adult
Bathroom Ideas You Can Use, 2nd edition, by Chris PetersonAs in the Kitchen Ideas You Can Use book, this update from the first edition (2013) is photo-packed, offering suggestions of what to consider in your bathroom design, whether it’s a new-build or a renovation. It’s not a do-it-yourself guide in the least, but rather it provides inspiration for designing your bathroom, giving information on the latest styles, surfaces and fixtures, and drawing your attention to matters of comfort, beauty, luxury and accessibility as you design the space. The book is just under 200 pages, and most facing page spreads feature four to six photos along with helpful explanations and tips to guide you in making the best choice for your family life, style preference, and budget. Read More »

Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race, by Tim Fernholz (2018)

Nonfiction
Adult
Rocket Billionaires: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the New Space Race, by Tim FernholzFor most of my life, NASA has been the leader in space exploration – sending my beloved Voyager craft into the solar system in 1977, then developing the space shuttle program, with its high-profile disasters in 1986 and 2003, and of course the amazing Mars exploration program that continues today. (Sorry boomers, I don’t remember the moon landings.) Early in this millennium, however, I started to hear interesting news about privately funded space travel, starting with the X Prize and the Antari Prize competitions. Not long afterward, NASA retired its shuttle program but had nothing to put in its place, relying instead on Russia’s Soyuz capsules to deliver astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station. Read More »

Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult, by Bruce Handy (2017)

Nonfiction
Adult
Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult, by Bruce HandyI am SO glad to discover and share this book! As a regular reader of children’s literature, I’m often fielding questions about why I read it. Assumptions about “easy lit” abound, along with dismissals of great stories because “that’s just for kids.” But those of you who share my passion for reading know how powerful a story can be, regardless of the audience. And as Handy himself writes, it can be harder for authors because kids have no patience for poor (didactic) writing, no matter how well-intentioned! Anyway, Handy is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, and this is his first book. Essentially, he is revisiting some kidlit classics reading them again as an adult, giving him an entirely new reading experience. Read More »

Kitchen Ideas You Can Use, 2nd ed., by Chris Peterson (2018)

Nonfiction
Adult
Kitchen Ideas You Can Use, by Chris PetersonOnly four years after the first edition, author Chris Peterson has released an updated edition to his stylish kitchen design guide, reflecting the quick pace of change in both technology and trends. From bold lighting options and copper fixtures to eco-friendly countertops made of recycled glass, paper, and other materials, this new edition offers a photo-packed and comprehensive overview of what to consider in your kitchen design. It’s just under 200 pages, and most facing page spreads feature four to six photos along with helpful explanations and tips to guide you in making the best choice for your home design, family life, style preference, and budget. Read More »

50 Hikes with Kids – Oregon & Washington, by Wendy Gorton (2018)

Nonfiction
Adult
50 Hikes with Kids - Oregon & Washington, by Wendy GortonHiking with kids is one of those activities that sounds easy but is fraught with potential pitfalls. They get tired, bored, cranky, hungry and pouty, unless you plan the excursion with care. Wendy Gorton is committed to helping families get outside, and to that end has compiled a list of 50 hikes in the Pacific Northwest that are sure to get youngsters interested in spending time outdoors. The hikes are all easy to moderate, with no elevation gain over 275 m (900 ft) and none more than 7 kms (4 miles) in length. The book features 32 hikes in Oregon and 18 in Washington. The vast majority are, reasonably, within short drives of the main cities in both states – Seattle, Portland, and Bend, with a few selections on the eastern edges of the states. Read More »

Dog Training 101, by Kyra Sundance (2017)

Nonfiction
13-Adult
Dog Training 101, by Kyra SundanceAt not quite a year and a half, my dog is still a puppy, so life with her is all about training, ideally having fun while doing it. Positive training is about finding ways to reinforce the behaviour you want, so when I spotted this book on the new titles shelf at our library, I snapped it up. I’m not familiar with author Sundance, though she has a good backlist. This is one of the best positive training books I’ve found, as the instructions for each element are clear, simple, and short. I’ve already used a few of the instructions and found success. The book is ideal for someone like me, still going through the basic training stage, as opposed to more advanced tricks like getting the dog to push a snowblower (I’m not kidding – see our British Columbian sensation Morgan!). Read More »