Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Jacob grew up listening to his grandfather’s tales of adventure and travels, longing to have those same adventures as a child.  The older Jacob grew he begins to think the stories he once thought were true might be all tall tales.  After seeing his grandfather die, Jacob’s parents start to think he might be “going crazy”. After finding a message from his grandfather while cleaning out his house; Jacob realizes he needs to go the island that his grandfather grew up on to find out the truth.  I am excited to read the sequel to find out what happens to the Jacob and the children of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. 

The Robot Builder's Bonanza by Gordon McComb

This is the grand-daddy of all modern hobby robotics books.  Long before LEGO Mindstorms was big, the first edition of this book was guiding users on how to adapt and program their Apple II computers to run household robots.   This second edition has been extensively updated and covers both the physical hardware you need to create your own robots (wheels, servo motors, drives, etc.) and the programming to make it all happen.  Including a new section on LEGO Mindstorms and stamp-sized microcontrollers, this is the single best book for any amateur robotics hobbyist.  This would make an excellent weekend project for parents and kids.  Highly recommended.

Blessings by Anna Quindlen

Skip Cuddy, caretaker of an estate called Blessings, finds an abandoned baby in a box and decides to keep her. This is his story, and the story of the matriarch of the estate, Lydia Blessing.  This short novel is a quick read but has complex characters, nuanced relationships and tough social issues.  It is a good book for contemplation and discussion.