“Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature” by Roland Keys (John Hopkins University Press, 2016)


We’ve all seen those spectacular National Geographic covers of a leopard at night, or a bird of paradise in full plumage, or an elephant shrew deep beneath the ground doing whatever an elephant shrew does. But how did that photographer get that precise, beautiful shot? Sometimes, actually, often it involves sitting in one place with little movement for a long time until you see the animal you’re trying to photograph. Other times it involves a specially placed camera in a camera trap and when the animal goes by, the camera is activated and takes a number of shots, hopefully capturing that exact one you’ve been looking for.

Candid Creatures is a coffee table book bursting with photos of many different kinds of wildlife, all caught using these camera traps. The photos give a different, lesser seen side to viewing the animals in their natural habitat, where no human is involved. The book provides lots of information on camera traps and creating them, as well as on the different species. The only real lacking with the book is that while the photos are colorful and breathtaking, they are sadly small, and the book could’ve used lots more giant splash pages of these wondrous animals and less words on the page.

Originally written on May 11, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Candid Creatures from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book News:Airport Bookstores, Patterson Murders King, Classic Failures & More

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James Patterson Kills Stephen King
In James Patterson’s latest Bookshot thriller is one to ruffle some feathers, in The Murder of Stephen King.

For People who Judge Bookworms
There are many of us and we are mighty, but there are some who mock us (because of their jealousy) and this is how we fight back.

Amazon Device Pop up stores
Amazon has a big plan to make a bunch of pop-up stores and make their devices more available to customers.

[read more . . .]

“The Professional Security Manual Class 1: Urban Security” by Charles White (CreateSpace, 2015)


When you’re signing up to be your basic security guard for so and so law firm, or that high-profile business that needs overnight protection, you need to be sure you’ve got the skills and the chops to carry out the job to the letter, whether it’s impressing the guys giving you your paycheck or fellow security guards who need to know you’re the best of the best. Thankfully, there’s this handy dandy book, The Professional Security Manual Class 1: Urban Security.

Lieutenant Charles White has a lot of experience and a lot of things to say on the subject of urban security. Thankfully the editor recorded all this and then synthesized it into this useful book format with ten separate sections giving the reader a full course in urban security. The chapters cover important matters like “Surveillance and Patrol,” “Bomb Recognition,” “Advanced Firearms Instruction,” and very important, “Ghosts in the Workplace.” The book is full of important pearls of wisdom and mantras like:

– “You must secure the respect of employees by practicing martial arts in full view of everyone in the break room.”

– “The modern martial artist is forced to keep in practice with the steel stapler, an item of office equipment ideal for self defense.”

– “I have friends shoot arrows at me as I block. I stand in the middle of a ring of flaming torches, to force myself to stay in bounds.”

At the end of the book there is an important self-test in firearms and weapons, as well as a shooting gallery forcing the reader to choose quickly enemies that need to be killed, and innocents that need to be spared.

Professional Security Manual Class 1: Urban Security is an entertaining read that’s a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it ends pretty quickly, and really could be double the length for its entertainment value, plus the humorous language is great and should be more present to really make the reader laugh out loud.

Originally written on August 11, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Professional Security Manual Class 1: Urban Security from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

Book News: The Legacy of The Baby-Sitters Club, Alan Moore Recommends ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, J.D. Salinger’s Home Becomes a Cartoonist Retreat & More!

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Surrounded by Phonies
J.D. Salinger’s house becomes a cartoonist retreat.

Reading Moore
Alan Moore is the focus of The New York Times‘ “By The Book” interview.

Ann Patchett is After You
In a recent interview with The Guardian, bestselling author Ann Patchett admitted she will come after you if you buy books from Amazon, among other things.

[read more . . .]

Book News: Chi-Town Gets Amazon B & M, Beautiful Libraries, 10 NYC Bookstores With Best Selection & More!

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Subway Reads
A cool new concept that brings books and readers together on the New York subway.

Top Ten NYC Bookstores With The Best Selections
Ten important reasons to visit ten important places in the big apple.

The Luminaries Adaptation
The bestselling book is now becoming a TV series.

[read more . . .]

Welcome to Night Vale Giveaway

 

This is a Bookbanter giveaway for the advanced reader copies (ARCs) of Mostly Void, Partially Stars and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe, reviewed here.

To enter the giveaway simply leave a comment on this blog post in response to the question:

What is your favorite Welcome to Night Vale episode and why?

The giveaway will end at midnight on Tuesday, September 13th. All comments made before will be entered into a random drawing. The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, September 13th and will receive both books.

Thank you for participating and be sure to subscribe to Bookbanter for book reviews, writing and more giveaways.

“Mostly Void, Partially Stars” & “The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe” by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (Harper Perennial, 2016)

 

Go here to enter the Welcome to Night Vale giveaway

For perhaps the first time in history a couple of books have been created, written and brought together for every single conceivable type of fan, but you’ll have to read to the end of this review to find out exactly how. I am talking of Mostly Void, Partially Stars and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe that collect all the episodes for season one (the former) and season two (the latter) of one of the most popular podcast shows in history. I am talking, of course, about Welcome to Night Vale, which features an astonishing number of followers and avid listeners, a bestselling novel (with the same title as the show), and a cast that seems to be continually on tour playing to sold-out shows across the globe, while still recording new episodes and releasing them every two weeks.

The last book I had that collected all the episodes for an entire season was for The X-Files, but as addictive as those books were each time they came out before the airing of the new season, the Welcome to Night Vale collections are just as addictive and perhaps more important, for they feature more material. In addition to the complete scripts for every episode of the season, there is bonus material, such as some awesome illustrations that sometimes relate to the current episode being read and sometimes not. The reader can choose to study the image and forget about the haunting soullessness of say the Glow Cloud (ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD!) and lose themselves in the detail of the shocking artwork, or perhaps be terrified by the graphic detail of the illustrations that they immediately go back to reading the script.

Mostly Void, Partially Stars features an introduction by bestselling author and awesome tech-nerd (Boing Boing) Cory Doctorow. A contents list for each episode, providing handy referencing. As well as the script for the live show “Condos.” The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe features an introduction by author and Night Vale contributor Maureen Johnson, as well as the bonus script to the live show “The Debate.” Both volumes feature a piece from the creator of all the awesome music for Welcome to Night Vale, Disparition, as well as all the artists featured on “the weather” segment of the podcast. The other really awesome thing about both books is that they feature intros to each episode. The majority are written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, while others are written by Cecil Baldwin (the voice of Night Vale) and many of the other cast members, guest stars and guest writers for the podcast. The intros provide a back story, a history and/or an insight into a specific episode, or just an entertaining anecdote.

Good you’ve made it this far. So if you’re reading this it means you are familiar in some way to the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and you may be wondering (though if you’ve read this review fully I don’t really see how) how these books will benefit you. Well, you will likely satisfy one of the categories listed below which each, in turn, explain why you need these crucial Night Vale volumes.

1) You’re a die hard fan of Welcome to Night Vale: You’ve listened to every episode multiple times, you’ve been to many live shows, and you know everything there is to know about the characters. But sometimes you don’t have the option of listening to a particular episode or remembering a particular phrase from the middle of an obscure episode. These books are the tools to accomplish this. You can find that episode and read that phrase in an instant!

2) You’re kind of a fan of the show but haven’t heard everything: So you missed a few episodes here and there, especially in the first couple of seasons. No problem. Just start with Mostly Void, Partially Stars and you can find those “lost episodes” and read them in less than five minutes and get all caught up.

3) This is the first time you’re hearing of Welcome to Night Vale: Firstly, welcome. You’ve made the right choice. Secondly, you now have the option of listening to many many hours of this awesome show, but that takes a lot of time you might not have, especially if you heard the Night Vale cast is coming to a city near you next week and your friend just bought you a ticket and you need to get caught up fast! Well, these two volumes can be digested in record time and then you’ll have a fruitful lexicon for seasons one and two of the show. However, I’d recommend listening to the first episode or two, no, not to boost their download numbers, Night Vale has already broken a lot of records in that regard, but to acclimate yourself to the show and to familiarize you with the deep, baritonally-comforting emanances of the shows narrator, one Cecil Palmer. After that you’ll be able to read each episode from the book with his wondrous voice solidly fixed in your head, equal to a narration by Morgan Freeman or Sir David Attenborough. Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy the wonder that is Welcome to Night Vale.

Originally written on September 5, 2016 ©Alex C. Telander.

To help support BookBanter and purchase a copy of Mostly Void, Partially Stars click HERE; to purchase a copy of The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe click HERE.