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July 29, 2016 / Leslie

The Value of the Moon by Paul D. Spudis

A Rapid Review

How to Explore, Live, and Prosper in Space Using the Moon’s Resources

ValueOfTheMoonPublisher: Smithsonian Books | April 2016
Format: Hardcover | Rating: 4½ stars
Genre: Science, Non-Fiction

The Moon was once thought to hold the key to space exploration, as indicated by President John F. Kennedy’s famous Space-Race-era proclamation of the United States’ primary aim of “landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely on Earth.” In recent decades, the U.S. has largely turned its sights away from the Moon, looking instead at Mars and other celestial bodies.

As a member of the baby boomer generation, I grew up believing that space was the final frontier and that by the end of my lifetime we would routinely travel to the moon and possibly other planets. Perhaps I was too optimistic, or I read too much science fiction.

A permanent base on the moon didn’t happen but it should have. Lunar scientist Paul Spudis explores the reasons why the United States should consider a return to the moon: it is close, it is interesting, and it is useful.

The book begins with a little background history on man’s fascination with the moon and leads into a discussion of the Apollo program. Spudis explains that our original reason for going to the moon was not space exploration, establishing a permanent base, or even research. Instead, it was a race to beat the Russians, to be the first country to plant our flag. Once we won the race, funding dried up despite the excellent research and information gathered during subsequent Apollo missions.

The author goes on to look at the years following Apollo: Skylab, the Shuttles, the Space Station, unmanned space probes, and landing on Mars. He is skeptical that a mission to Mars is feasible right now and doesn’t think that is where we should be headed at this time.

Instead, he makes a convincing argument on why we should return to the moon; why we need to return, because if not us, then who? It’s only a matter of time before someone else will. And the moon can be used as a base for future missions to Mars. He goes on to explain how we should go about getting to the moon and how to use the resources available there.

While parts of the book can seem technical, it is written in a clear and understandable manner, and anyone with an interest in the space program should be able to enjoy the material.

And I’m still hoping for that moon base in my lifetime. An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher through AmazonVine.
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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July 27, 2016 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Fishhook Cactus

FishhookCactus

Almost wordless: The Fishhook Cactus is enjoying the exceptionally warm weather this week.

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More Wordless Wednesday. © 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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July 26, 2016 / Leslie

First Chapter First Paragraph ~ Tuesday Intros

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbot

Little, Brown | July 2016 | Hardcover • Kindle • Audio | 352 pages

YouWillKnowMe

Chapter 1, 1st Paragraph:
If she ever had to talk about it, which she never would, Katie would have to go back, back years before it happened. Before Coach T. and Hailey and Ryan Beck. Back before Devon was born, when there were only two Knoxes, neither of whom knew a tuck from a salto or what you called that glossy egg-shaped platform in the center of the room, the vault that would change their lives.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

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From Goodreads:

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate.


First Chapter Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. Join us by visiting Diane and linking your own First Chapter post or to find out what others plan to read this week.

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Source: Advance copy provided by Tandem Literary.
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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July 25, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ July 25th

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 

New Arrivals

BooksJuly25_20160723_164127

The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who’s asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.</em

The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak
The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it’s suicide, but Keith, her estranged son, doesn’t believe it.

The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
As Paris teeters on the edge of the German occupation, a young French woman closes the door to her late grandmother’s treasure-filled apartment, unsure if she’ll ever return.

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© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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July 23, 2016 / Leslie

Book Review: The Atomic Weight of Love

A Rapid Review

Atomic Weight of LoveThe Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

Publisher: Algonquin | May 2016
Format: Hardcover | Rating: 4½ stars
Genre: Historical Fiction

In her sweeping debut novel, Elizabeth J. Church takes us from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the 1970s as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era.

Meridian Wallace’s dreams of becoming an ornithologist are interrupted when she falls in love with physicist Alden Whetstone. It’s the 1940s and typical of the women of the era, she puts her career on hold to allow her husband to pursue his. But in reality, he has no intention of allowing her to go back to her studies at the University of Chicago once they are settled in Los Alamos where his new job and work on a secret government project are located.

While Meridian attempts to be the stay-at-home housewife her husband desires, she is often unhappy and unfulfilled. Throughout the years she continues her study of birds and her research on crows in the canyons of New Mexico. It is there in the canyons where she meets Clay, a man who will change her life forever. With the backdrop of the turbulent 1970s, Meridian is forced to re-evaluate her life and her blossoming love for Clay.

“Crows mate for life, although it does not stop them from mating with others from time to time.”

I especially enjoyed the bird references and the chapter titles using different species of birds. The cover of the book is gorgeous and leads one to believe this is a book about birds: It’s not; however, birds do play an essential role in the story.

While I enjoyed the character of Meridian, in the early chapters I found her to be a little too passive and Alden to be too inflexible which brought to mind the stereotypical image of a housewife as in the 1950s TV shows. Fortunately, Meridian does mature and change as the years go pass.

Overall, the book is beautifully written and eloquently captures the essence of mid-century America and women’s roles, expectations, and evolution.

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by Algonquin Books.
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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July 20, 2016 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Common Milkweed

CommonMilkweed_IMG_5479

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More Wordless Wednesday. © 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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July 18, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ July 18th

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 
 
No physical books in my mailbox but I did receive a few eGalleys this month

New Arrivals

CrosstalkFlock TogetherUnerthed

Crosstalk by Connie Willis
A genre-bending novel that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to hilarious and chilling extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever desired.

Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds by B.J. Hollars
After stumbling upon a book of photographs depicting extinct animals, B.J. Hollars became fascinated by the creatures that are no longer with us; specifically, extinct North American birds.

Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden by Alexandra Risen
In this moving memoir, a woman digs into a garden and into the past and finds secrets, beauty, and acceptance.

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© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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