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Out of the Silent Planet

Kalyn's picture

Dr. Ransom is a professor on a solitary walking tour of the English countryside, searching for a place to lay his head for the night. Instead, he finds himself drugged, forced onto a space ship and thrust into a cosmic journey with eternal implications.

Ransom’s two captors, each with his own malicious motives, transport him to the planet Malacandra, planning to offer him as a human sacrifice to the planet’s ruler. However, as Ransom escapes and begins to explore Malacandra on his own, he discovers that its creatures are not quite what he or the other humans had imagined. In fact, this world’s beings and their story might illuminate the story of the universe, as well as the dangers facing Ransom’s home planet, earth.

This book is excellent in its own right, and is just the first in C.S. Lewis’ Space trilogy.  If you love to read about other fictional worlds or that we are part of a much bigger story, this book might just be the summer read you’ve been looking for. 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

Dash and his family live on the moon.  They are part of the first group of humans to live on Moon Base Alpha and famous on Earth for it.  Sounds exciting right?  Not according to Dash, who is bored out of his mind.  Dash is trapped inside the tiny moon base since kids are not allowed on the surface, and the only thing to do to occupy his time is play virtual reality games.  When Moon Base Alpha's top scientist turns up dead, Dash believes that it might not have been an accident.  Along with new supplies, the supply ship brings some new residents to the base including a new girl Dash's age who he eventually befriends.  Dash becomes convinced Dr. Holtz's death was foul play and begins an investigation into many suspects to solve the mystery.  Each chapter opens with an excerpt from “The Official Residents' Guide to Moon Base Alpha” NASA's instructional guide to living on the moon.  Dash is very clever and the mystery in this story is not only complex but often funny too.  (Grades 3-7 School Library Journal)

"Gold" by Chris Cleave

Vita's picture

The themes of Gold are love, sacrifice and choices - on an Olympic scale. The author takes on track cycling, one of the toughest of the cycling venues. He wrote this a year before the London Olympics, so it has a very current vibe. The two main characters are Zoe and Kate, competitive cyclists preparing for the Olympics. The underlying story, involves Sophie who has leukemia, the daughter of Kate. Gold is a terrific read for sports enthusiasts who enjoy competitive events.

The Outsider: A Memoir by Jimmy Connors

Vita's picture

I was a huge tennis fan during the Connors and Borg era. It was the sport I should have played as a young athlete. The writing feels honest and fresh but not particularly good. Still it is very entertaining and Connors hands out some dirt on tennis folks but what would you expect the author is Jimmy Connors! I liked Connors family stories in East St. Louis. Family was important to what made Connors a tennis star and he gives due homage with no reservations.

 

Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass R. Sunstein

Vita's picture

Great book for anyone in collaborative decision making or management situations. Understandable and actionable, this book is about groups comprised of like-minded thinkers who often amplify, rather than correct, errors in judgment. They become more polarized and adopt more extreme positions than the ones they began with. Great suggestions on how to correct “group think,” and identify vulnerabilities in existing practices.
 
 Anyone involved in making decisions would enjoy this book.

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