Simon and Schuster\’s
Simon and Schuster\’s
by Donna M. Jackson
by Susan Richards
Finished this book a few days ago but had no time to write. It wasn\’t what I thought at first; I assumed from the cover image and prevalence of equines in the few photos inside that this was another book about horses. After a few pages in I flipped to the front to read the flyleaf text and even more telling, the card catalog subject listings (or whatever that\’s called) on the publication data page- it said authors, biography; nothing about horses. So. There are horses, they are not the spotlight. Instead the book is about how the author experienced the success of her first published book, Chosen by a Horse. How she went on book tour and grew from being frightened at facing an audience of readers (or empty chairs) to feeling confident and even relaxed. How she met up with friends and family not seen in years and had some closure, renewed some relationships, learned some stories of her own past that helped with the healing process. Horses, friends, loving books, meeting readers, travelling around the country, dealing with a few age issues plus anxiety, meeting a man again. In the end it is a story of joy. I liked this book. It\’s a feel-good story, but one that is also painfully honest. Not all roses (do you even want roses?) Very real.
Rating: 3/5 278 pages, 2008
Well, I have finished the Dare. It was easier than ever because I was simply too busy to visit the library much. So it felt like I didn\’t really do a dare because there was little effort involved, or will power- when I had (rare) spare time to read, I just reached for one of the many books on my shelves. I did try to read all the fish books in my house- made good progress with that. Total owned books read were 14- two of those e-books. One abandoned book. Two put up for swapping afterwards, the rest I liked enough to keep in my collection. But I really read 19 books during the first four months (not counting bedtime stories for kids); one was a re-read needed to inform myself about how to care for the worms, and 4 were library books I had borrowed just before the dare began, from holds I\’d been waiting for. Overall I feel like my participation was rather halfhearted, sorry for that. Good books, though!
by Dr. William T. Innes
This decades-old book was considered something of an authoritative text in its time. I found it interesting, informative and quaint altogether. It is an encyclopedia of fishes, the first eighty pages being a general introduction to fish biology plus instructions on their care, feeding and management like usual. A lot of the basics are still the same, but some of the info was astonishing. For example, the book is so old apparently aquarium lighting was not a standard feature, there is a careful explanation of how to find the right site for the fish tank that will get the proper amount of sunlight through a window, with an added note that \”for those who do not mind the use of electricity\” a suspended light can be constructed by mounting bulb sockets on a strip of wood, and that the bulbs can be below the surface as long as water does not reach the socket! What a recipe for disaster. There was no dechlorinator available, instead frequent reminders throughout the book to always use water that has stood for a day or two, some fishes requiring \”very old water\”. I wondered at the quality of care as a lot of the photographs showed fish that had obviously frayed and deteriorating fin edges, yet they were lauded as being excellent specimens. You can bet that most of the species in the book were quite hardy to withstand the relatively primitive care they received back then.
Also the quality of the pictures was something else. I can only imagine the difficulties to be had in photographing fishes in the early days- some of the photos in this book were taken in the 1920\’s. Most were black-and-white, which gives quite a different look at the fish. I found that it made me pay more attention to the overall shape, proportions and fin structures of the fishes. Some were nearly unrecognizable to me because even though the description praised their colors, I could not quite picture it over the monochromatic image supplied. Afterwards went to the computer looking many of them up for a better visual. The names also threw me off- very few had common names, all listed by their scientific names. I did appreciate that a pronunciation guide was provided so I actually know how to say the latin names now, and that the meaning of the names also given.
I met a lot more interesting fishes in this book, not really featured (or didn\’t attract my notice) in more current volumes. This fish the author nicknamed the \”surplus destroyer\” (the book is sprinkled with humor like this, I enjoyed that). Chriopeops goodei is a pretty little fish I never met before, and it\’s native– comes from habitat in Texas. I like killifishes, although I can\’t keep them (yet) because they need soft water- and the aphanius genus has cute fishes. The pike killifish has a delightfully vicious appearance! Then there\’s the snakeheads, channa species, but they\’re very aggressive too. I\’ve discovered that overall, I find visually appealing or interesting fishes that have a long body shape like the cichlids, loaches and killifishes, or those with triangular profile like the scalare (freshwater angelfishes) and archerfish. I am now daydreaming of someday having a paludarium with toxotes jaculator (the second half of this fish name means \”hurler\” as it strikes insects down from leaves above the surface with a jet of water from its mouth!)
My edition is a later reprint that has fewer color photos (a lot of the photos are remarked upon in the text as being in color, but they\’re not) and the second cover image shown here. But I liked the stylish embossed cover found online better, so that\’s the featured image of this post. I acquired this book through a swap site.
Rating: 4/5 463 pages, 1966
All books reviewed on this site are owned by me, or borrowed from the public library. Exceptions are a very occasional review copy sent to me by a publisher or author, as noted. Receiving a book does not influence my opinion or evaluation of it
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