“Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Dare to Look!”
c. 2013, Ripley Publishing
You’ve always loved dogs. You love playing with them, throwing sticks for them to retrieve, wrestling with them on the floor. You love their soft fur and their goofy grins and there’s nothing better than snuggling with a dog on a cold night.
Yep, it’s great that you love dogs because you’ll need two of them if you want a good challenge: a double-dog dare is practically required when you read “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Dare to Look!”
It takes a very daring kid to look at a book with eerie, scary things in it, but that’s what you’ll find inside here. Learn how Canadian artist Maskull Lasserre created a skull out of a pile of old books. Find out about the Swiss actor who becomes an evil clown, or read the mystery of the corpse bride and decide if she was human once or not.
Bravery is absolutely necessary for even looking through this book because you’ll see pictures of a Shark Whisperer, a jellyfish lake, and an alligator who goes fishing with nothing but his teeth. And then if you’re really brave, you can make plans to visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and see real piranhas and a giant octopus.
Would you put yourself in danger to get to school? If you lived in the Xinjiang Uygur region of China , you would: kids there have to walk a narrow path on the sheer side of the mountain to get to class.
Would you have the guts to try extreme skiing, crack climbing, or camel-jumping? There are people who do and more but don’t try that at home.
In this book, you’ll learn about a man with two mouths, a pig with two faces, people with unusual tattoos, and others who’ve swallowed more than just food. You’ll learn about the assassination of a president and snakes on motorcycles, read back-from-the-dead stories, and visit a museum for real dummies.
And yes, you’ll even read about dogs: bike chain dogs, a dog with his nose missing, surfing dogs, dogs that get married, and one that got into a stick-y situation.
You’ll read about it if you dare
What kid doesn’t like knowing about weird, eerie oddities? Even the most reluctant reader does, which is why “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Dare to Look!” is the perfect book to have in your house.
Yes, it’s true that the Ripley’s folks do these big, gorgeous books every year, and they’re always filled with fun-to-know facts, full-color pictures, jaw-dropping feats, and squirmy things. But this latest entry in the series is a little different: with this book in-hand, kids can download an interactive app to enhance their reading. They’ll get footage, more info, backstories, and more. Who wouldn’t like that?
Meant for 9-to-15-year-olds, I don’t see any reason why older kids and adults wouldn’t like looking through this book, too so go ahead, be pro-active, and grab it. “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Dare to Look!” is a book your kids will be doggin’ you to find anyhow.
“Keeping It Civil”
By Margaret Klaw
c. 2013, Algonquin Books
You went to work today, and nothing happened. Oh, there were the usual things: papers to sign, calls to make, clients to soothe. Your job didn’t entail someone losing their home. Nobody relinquished their children. Retirement accounts kept intact, belongings weren’t divvied up, and checkbooks weren’t decimated. Nobody lost their life at your job today.
But Margaret Klaw sees those things and more. She’s a family lawyer, and in her new book “Keeping It Civil,” she writes about her most memorable court cases.
At the beginning of her college years, Margaret Klaw wanted a career as a professional musician.
That didn’t work out very well, though. It wasn’t long before she realized that violin practice didn’t necessarily make perfect and besides, the language, ideas, and the preciseness of law intrigued her more than did clefs and notes.
There was never any question about the kind of law she wanted to practice. Klaw was fierce about the rights of women in court and in family matters because she saw how divorce ruined lives and custody battles ripped families apart.
“Lawyers either love or hate family law,” she says. She’s in the former camp has been, for more than twenty years - but the job, admittedly, has its ups and downs.
Klaw says that the courtroom is basically a “theater,” complete with costumes and special rituals performed at every trial. Though most people wouldn’t think it possible, lawyers are usually friends with opposing counsel they have, after all, probably worked together before. There’s a lot of strategizing, prediction, psychology, and surprises involved when one is a lawyer, and that’s fascinating.
On the flip side, lawyers need to “find the right balance” between identifying with clients and internalizing their problems. Lawyers need discretion and the ability to walk a fine line between what’s allowed and what they think is best. They know that law is “a public acknowledgement that not all playing fields are level,” and they try to fix that inequality. They need listening skills, “a degree of dispassion,” and the understanding that “there’s no guarantee of happily ever after.”
And they need to know that the “unimaginable can and does happen.”
What doesn’t happen very often is that I read a book straight through, but that’s what I did with “Keeping It Civil.” I just couldn’t stop myself.
That’s because author and Pennsylvania “Super Lawyer” Margaret Klaw shares her cases with excitement, energy, and compassion here. Among other tales, we’re treated to an account of a real-life case involving a he-said, she-said situation and two small children, as well as bits of other conflicts, judgements, legal wrangling, and personal anecdotes. That makes this an easy book to jump into, one that will hold your interest throughout, and one that’s over, sadly, altogether too soon.
Though this book appears to be more consumer-based, I think anyone who is involved in keeping or practicing law will also get a kick out of it. If that’s you, then grab it because reading “Keeping It Civil” is what needs to happen.
The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. She has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. Terri lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books.