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Cristofori's Dream
Robert Italia
Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into The 3.5 Billion Year History Of The Human Body
Neil Shubin, Marc Cashman
The Enchanted Wood
Enid Blyton
The Sparrow
Mary Doria Russell
The Ghosts Of Evolution Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, And Other Ecological Anachronisms
Connie Barlow

The Many-Coloured Land

The Many-Coloured Land - Julian May This book became an instant favorite within a few short chapters as I started to meet all the characters. I regret terribly that the author of this series doesn't want it to go to television or film, but I do understand her fear that it would not be true to the world that she created. They're all cast and mini-series-ready in my head if she changes her mind and ever wants my input.

The book starts in the future when humans have populated various planets in the universe and come to peaceful understandings with other beings in the Galactic Milleau. But, yet, even with all these planets to inhabit, there are still people who seek the ultimate escape from whatever past haunts them: exile through a one-way time portal into the pre-historic Pliocene era. People have been disappearing through the portal for 75 years when our assembled cast of characters makes its way through. One can only speculate what's on the other side.

Our characters cross over into a survival adventure journey in which the author has added just the right amount of gorgeous detail about the flora and fauna of ancient France and Germany. I actually found myself looking up vacations in the Black Forest of Germany as a result. What a stupendously beautiful area of the world.

I had to borrow the companion book for the series from the library. In it, I found an essay about the music that the author has in her head related to the series. She wrote it as an opera, and the music, which I turned into a playlist, is mainly operatic in nature: http://open.spotify.com/user/paisleymonsoon/playlist/622bqa1sKAOuU6E4A4Y7mM

One thing that bothered me a little about the series was that the author introduced what seemed like magic into what I thought was going to be a story steeped in science. But she insists that all that seems like magic really has a basis in science. I don't know that I'm completely convinced, but at least with that statement, I can go forward with a little less trepidation into the rest of the series. I could have done without the long fight scene at the end of this first book of the series, but that's just me not caring for fight scenes all that much.

I think I will have to go forward with the series, though. It's not a world that I'm ready yet to leave. And I care about what happens to the characters: Stein who dressed himself up like a Viking for the journey into the Pliocene, Stein's wine-loving pirate-dressed pal Richard, Amerie the nun, Claude the ancient paleontologist ... these are my favorites. I feel like I've become obsessed with this series more than I have with any series since The Spin Saga. But this series grabs me in a different way because it has me constantly researching references to vocabulary, music, ancient animals, topographical features, etc. And this makes the reading a much richer experience.

I think I'm going to be dreaming of Black Forest vacations for a while (but I'll probably have to settle for the cake named after it instead). Oh well, off to buy the 2nd book in the series ...