Czech it out

I’m researching the Czech Republic and using bad puns. [Have you read that China has banned puns?]

I’ve found Czech Republic: Recommended Books and Movies by Rick Steves and Honza Vihan useful.

The Twelve Little Cakes by Dominkika Dery

The Twelve Little Cakes by Dominkika Dery

I gulped down The Twelve Little Cakes by Dominika Dery. Dery’s telling of her father putting the secret police to work restoring the yard after a flood in the chapter “The Little Coffin” is wonderful. This recommendation came from ‘Czech Republic: Recommended Books and Movies’.

Another memoir, Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague 1941-1968 by Heda Kovly speaks of Nazi horrors and communist mistrust. This recommendation came from ‘Czech Republic: Recommended Books and Movies’.

References

‘Czech Republic: Recommended Books and Movies’. Czech Republic: Recommended Books and Movies | ricksteves.com, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://www.ricksteves.com/europe/czech-republic/books-movies&gt;.

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Just the right size

The title says it all: Just the Right Size: Why Big Animals are Big and Little Animals are Little.

Just the Right Size by Nicola Davies

Just the Right Size by Nicola Davies

This great science picture book explores the size of living things from microbes to whales and the factors that influence their size. There is math (length, surface area, cross section, volume, and mass) to explain the Big Thing, Little Thing (BTLT) rule, but wait, there’s more! Flight, surface tension, walking on walls, strength, digestion, respiration, circulation, habitat, temperature, and migration, and communication all come into play. I recommend this book for everyone, especially those who can share it with nine to twelve year old children.

If this book sounds too serious, read it for the superhero debunking, giant spiders that break their legs, and whale guts.

My Shelfies

It has been written “Shelfies: Like Selfies, But for Book Nerds“. Since I fit in the book nerd category quite comfortably, here is one of my shelfies.
Sue shelf

This is one of my favorite spots in the house because everything in it has a special meaning to me. The bookshelf was built by my dad for a nook at mom’s house. At that time, the green recliner sat near it and my dad would read in it after school. I could snuggle in dad’s lap before bed. Now that mom has a built-in bookshelf in that nook that holds a small portion of her photo albums and art books, dad’s bookshelf lives with us. Identification guides live in the upper right (flowers, birds, and fossils). Vintage books are found below them. Beautiful Joe: An Autobiography by Marshall Saunders includes this inscription:

Dec 1896

The book is from George’s family and the book was just published in 1896, the year it was given as a Christmas gift. Can you tell who the book was for? Irvy? Orvy? The shelf below holds paperbacks, along with a reprint of Beeton’s Book of Household Management, which strangely enough, George likes. Other books on the shelf include those of travel stories; Alaska and other cold places; and Pat McManus humor.
The blue heron carving was handcrafted by Arnold Rasmusen of Withee, Wisconsin and once lived at Aunt Anita and Uncle Carl’s home. The batik lily original by Christine M. Huffman (1989) was found at a neighbor’s garage sale. Kay gave me the frog crock, made by Jim and Gina Mahoney (1998). Jack built the ash shelf from lumber that was harvested on mom’s land. He gave it to me last weekend and I haven’t decided what to put in it yet. As you might guess, not just anything gets thrown in this corner. The chair was purchased, along with a sofa, recliner, book shelf, and table lamp, from our friend Pat when we moved last year. Mom says the fabric reminds her of the print fabric of her grandmother’s dresses. The chair is of the type that was at George’s family farm and one that my parents received from Uncle Arno when I was young.

fish tank

Around the corner is George’s new toy, an aquarium from his colleague Bill. Ellen provided us with a few guppies from her tank yesterday and they haven’t died yet, so it seems that fish are in my future. How did I ever get involved with a man who loves domestic animals so much?
Besides the fact that this corner contains many things I love, it also doesn’t have any of that stuff that is essential around the home, but doesn’t have any internal beauty. Those are the magnetic knife strip, notes on my refrigerator, and toilet brush that will likely never be photographed or blogged about.
Back to the shelfie theme, here is George’s shelfie. It is the pile of books that he is reading. Is it coincidence that the spines are all facing the wall, or is he hiding what he is reading?

George's shelf