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Friday, August 18th, 2017
Book Reviews

Recommended Reading - Woolly Mammoths and New Orleans Beasts


Ben Mezrich

Woolly: The True Story of the Quest to Revive One of History’s Most Iconic Extinct Creatures

Atria Books

Fans of Jurassic Park—including those who actually think it’s true—will enjoy this punchy blend of dramatized science and appealing pop culture. A band of brilliant eccentrics (yes, a movie is planned) and regular folks from all over the world are drawn together by the prospect of reviving the Woolly Mammoth, a creature last seen some 3,000 years ago. Unlike Jurassic Park, the process here is more like breeding than cloning—implanting the genetic code of the extinct animal into one of its modern relatives to produce “de-extinction.” Why? Another doomed theme park? Read and see.

- Bruce Collier


Ditter Kellen

Ruby and the Beast

www.ditterkellen.com

Guess what favorite fairy tale this retells? What makes this version engaging is the author’s take on how beautiful Ruby Atwood, the innocent ingénue, comes to love the beastly Lincoln Barone—how fine romantic vaporings and the earthly mechanics of fitting tremendously large things into tremendously small spaces changes hearts.

The backdrop is New Orleans. The back-story is that years before, Ruby’s auntie disappeared following an affair with the Barone family’s pater familias. Knowing Ruby’s aunt to have been pregnant, Ruby’s grandmother lays a curse on the Barone family for her daughter’s murder. Thus, the pater familias’ wife, also pregnant, dies in childbirth. The cursed child, Lincoln, is born motherless, with a visage so ill favored he is nicknamed the Beast, and grows up the sworn enemy of anyone named Atwood. When Ruby returns home from school to bury her father, she becomes the only Atwood left for Lincoln to hate.

- Wynn Parks