Page turner

Telangana man sets up “mini trail libraries” in Suryapet – The New Indian Express

Express news service

HYDERABAD: Read all the books at home? Imagine walking to the nearest path, picking a book from a shelf, reading it, and bringing it back when you feel like it. Well, such a “mini-library” exists at a crossroads at KLR Colony, Kodad in Suryapet district. Jalagam Sudheer, 45, who has installed this mini library in his colony, hopes it will help children and adults read more, at a time when people are forced to stay at home because of the Covid, clinging to their phones, laptops and television.

Speaking to Express about his idea, he said, “When we lived in Seattle, Washington a few years ago, we saw a lot of such libraries in the city. We wanted to launch a similar concept here in Telangana. So, I plan to start several of these mini-libraries which are accessible and free for people. It is one of the first libraries, which has around 55 books on stand and is set up at a crossroads in your colony. There are different types of books on the stand ranging from autobiographies to educational books, which can be read by children and adults.

Sudheer says it’s been a few days since he set up this “book stand”. The trail library elicited a good response from the residents of the settlement. MLC Kavitha Kalvakuntla, Energy Minister G Jagadeesh Reddy and former Kodad MPP N Padmavati Uttam all praised Sudheer’s efforts. He is the only contributor to setting up the mini library which cost around 10,000 ”. It aims to set up nine more such libraries.

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Page turner

Best Books July 2021: 10 Page Turners We Recommend This Month

From gripping thrillers and powerful memoirs to textbooks exploring self-esteem and compassion, we’ve got you covered with this month’s essential reads.

The last thing he told me about Laura Dave

This book has been popping up all over the place this month, and it’s definitely worth it.

The last thing he told me was a pick from Reese’s Book Club, and I guarantee that once you collect it, you won’t be able to let go. Filled with heart-wrenching twists and expressive family drama, this gripping mystery concerns a woman who thinks she has found the love of her life – until it goes missing.

Cancel your plans for the day, because this one will hold you captive throughout.

What happened to you? By Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

Have you ever wondered “Why did I do this?” Or “Why can’t I just control my behavior?” These are questions I know I have asked myself before. When we question our emotions, it’s easy to blame ourselves. Co-authored by renowned brain and trauma expert Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey, this book delves deep into trauma, resilience and healing. This choice of non-fiction explores these themes through deeply personal conversations and offers a revolutionary and profound change from the question “What is wrong with you?” “To” What happened to you? “

Topping the charts on the New York Times List of bestsellers for weeks now, this book will change the way you view your life.

Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Andy Weir brought us The Martian, and now it brings us another compelling interstellar adventure. Hail Mary is absolutely epic and has been one of my favorite books this year.

The Plot: Ryland Grace is the sole survivor of a desperate last-ditch mission, and if it fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except for the moment, he doesn’t know. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

The anthropocene reviewed by John Green

At the top of the world charts, The Anthropocene Reviewed will not disappoint. John Green explores the current geological age in his latest book. This one delves into how humans have reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. It’s clear Green has a knack for storytelling, with this book being his seventh. His others like The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns have received numerous awards, and have even been made into films.

Fun, complex, and rich in detail, I cannot recommend this one enough.

Danielle Henderson’s Ugly Scream

This deeply moving and stimulating memoir is filled with humor and wit. Written by Danielle Henderson, a well-known TV writer and co-host of the film’s podcast I saw what you did.

In The Ugly Cry, Danielle tells stories of growth and wisdom. She shares the lessons she’s learned along the way, while changing our conventional understanding of family and its boundaries to include the millions of people who share its story.

Animal by Lisa Taddeo

I’ve read over 100 of them this year, and it’s still in my top 10. Author of Three Women, Animal is Lisa Taddeo’s debut novel, and it’s absolutely captivating in every way imaginable. Grab a blanket, a comfy seat, and a tall glass of wine, as this book will take you on a wild and vivid ride.

Lisa Taddeo has a unique way with words in that she has the power to draw you in immediately. When you open her book, she wraps her words around you and keeps you where she wants you from start to finish. You won’t regret choosing this one. The audiobook also just dropped, narrated by Emma Roberts, and it’s phenomenal, so you might want to grab your headphones for this one if audiobooks are your thing.

Girlvana by Ally Maz

This manual presented by British Columbia-born yogi Ally Maz explores self-compassion through the ancient teachings of yoga and meditation. This book comes at the perfect time with the stress of the pandemic and the changing rules and regulations, as we look to reopen the world again. Girlvana contains the tools and advice to keep you grounded in an ever-changing world.

This book is packed with information, like breathing exercises, yoga postures, and short stories that are sure to motivate and inspire you. I absolutely loved this book, and although it is called Girlvana and is aimed at girls, this book has something for everyone. None of us are exempt from the powers of self-compassion.

Welcome home by Najwa Zebian

Written by famous poet Najwa Zebian, Welcome Home is all about accepting your vulnerability instead of fearing it. Zebian’s debut novel is a safe place to welcome self-esteem, compassion, and forgiveness into your life.

Najwa shares her personal story for the first time in this memoir, speaking openly about leaving her home in Lebanon at the age of sixteen, to become a young Muslim woman in Canada.

Welcome Home is a response to the pain we all feel when we don’t feel at peace with ourselves. We all deserve our own homes.

Someone’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

Ashley C. Ford is the former host of The Chronicles of Now podcast and co-host of HBO’s companion podcast Lovecraft Country Radio. Well known writer, you may have come across his work in The Guardian, ELLE Magazine, Buzzfeed or OUT Magazine, to name a few.

Ford’s memoir, published by Flatiron, is truly brilliant and unforgettable. Somebody’s Daughter is the story of a childhood defined by the impending absence of Ford’s incarcerated father.

This memoir enters the world of growing up a poor black girl in Indiana and explores how isolated and complex a childhood with an incarcerated parent can be. As Ashley struggles with her body and her surroundings, she sets out on a powerful journey to find the threads between who she is and what she was born into, and the complicated family love that often binds them together. We guarantee you won’t regret choosing this one.

The Queer Bible edited by Jack Guinness

A powerful and intimate collection of shorts inspired by, an online community dedicated to celebrating our dearest queer heroes, past and present.

The Queer Bible, published by Dey Street Books, is a selection of beautifully illustrated essays by our most admired heroes like Elton John, Tan France and Mae Martin. A celebration of LGBTQ + history and culture, edited by GQ Editor-in-Chief Jack Guinness, this one is a must read.

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Page turner

‘Soul City’ is a structural racism page turner and forgotten civil rights hero

Structural racism occurs when the institutions of a society – schools, courts, the private sector, etc. – reinforce racial hierarchies and, historically speaking, the values ​​of white supremacy. Interpersonal racism is when an individual says or does something racist.

These two forms of racism, although distinct, merge when a racist person occupies a position of power, which has often been the norm throughout the history of the United States. Former US Senator Jesse Helms embodied this sinister union – the avowed segregationist has spent his career fighting for racist policies.

Helms is one of Thomas Healy’s main antagonists Soul City: race, equality and the lost dream of an American utopia, a book that explores, in illuminating detail, a neglected chapter of the civil rights movement of the early 1970s.

One incident in particular casts a frightening shadow over the book, acting as a sort of curse.

Floyd McKissick, the charming and indomitable objective of the book, spent several months wooing Helms with flattering letters to gain support for the ambitious ongoing town, dubbed Soul City, which he had tried to build in a rural part. North Carolina. Soul City was meant to be a place where black people could thrive and live the “American Dream” without prejudice.

But Senator Helms never responded to the letters and, at this point, had spent months trying to fund and undermine the project, which had received government-backed loans. When McKissick visits the Capitol as part of a tour aimed at generating political support for Soul City, he has an invigorating encounter with Helms, a moment which is relayed by Healy in the middle of the book.

“McKissick and Clayton were feeling supported … when they saw Helms walking towards them. Before they could say a word, the young senator cut them off. Know I’m going to kill Soul City. ‘”

It is not a plot spoil to reveal that Soul City was never made; McKissick, through his own fault, did not achieve his grand vision. In the prologue, Healy describes how the Soul City site is now overrun with weeds and potholes. Formerly virgin houses are abandoned. More worryingly, the old manufacturing plant – built to be the economic heart of Soul City – has been converted into a forced labor site for inmates at a state prison built nearby.

“The irony was not hard to grasp,” writes Healy. “A building designed to promote black economic freedom has become a prison. “

The history of Soul City is emblematic of the last century in the United States. McKissick wanted to break free from the pervasive constraints of white supremacy by giving black people a chance to wield power and shape their economic destiny. While he defied the odds and achieved remarkable things – overseeing the construction of a regional water supply system; securing funds for roads, homes and recreational facilities; galvanize a besieged people – his dream was thwarted by white guards.

In prose that turns the pages, Healy – drawing on her background as a journalist – brings together government documents, personal letters, and contemporary media coverage to show how Soul City was doomed by racism that was both overt and hidden. History resonates acutely today.

“In the half-century since McKissick launched Soul City, the financial gap between black and white households has barely moved,” Healy writes in the prologue. “Blacks are still twice as likely as whites to be unemployed, while their median net worth is one-tenth that of whites.”

But it is more than a deprivation of economic rights. This is how state houses across the country are currently adopting electoral barriers that seem directly drawn from the Jim Crow era. This is how environmental racism makes black people more likely to breathe polluted air and live near industrial plants that poison soil and drinking water. This is how school systems fail black children, housing markets exclude black families, and police harass, abuse and disproportionately kill black people.

City of the Soul is an urgent reminder of the proximity of the past; how history breathes in the neck of the present moment.

The book adds to the growing collection of literature that acts as a patch to the whitewashed history that most people in the United States receive. By detailing the obstacles that McKissick faces, the book can provide a model for people who are currently embarking on utopian community and empowerment projects.

Corn City of the Soul goes beyond historical parallels. Healy also provides us with compelling character studies, helping to elevate characters who fought for utopian values ​​of fairness, kindness, love, and liberation.

There’s Jane Ball-Groom, who overcame crushing poverty to raise five children and become an accomplished accountant and writer. There’s Gordon Carey, Floyd McKissick’s right-hand man, who regularly puts his life on the line for racial justice. There are Theaoseus Theaboyd “TT” Clayton and Eva Clayton, pioneering civil rights organizers and advocates who have opened up spaces and opportunities for black people.

And then there’s McKissick himself. McKissick’s life almost went off the rails as a teenager. At a local rollerblading event, a police officer slapped him twice in the face, threatened to kill him and took him to the police station, Healy writes. He was almost sent to prison but his father managed to secure his release. From that day on, McKissick pledged to use the law for good; to bend a system that had almost ruined his life to obtain justice.

McKissick then organized sit-ins and bus boycotts. He joined colleges. He planned marches for the right to vote, protested against police violence and organized communities. He became a prominent civil rights advocate and was eventually elected head of the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE). When Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. were murdered, McKissick felt compelled to take charge of the future.

The future he envisioned comes down to one question he asked throughout his life: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

“Yes,” he said towards the end of his life. “I am my brother’s keeper.”

By Thomas Healy
448 pages; Henry Holt and Co./Metropolitan Books. $ 29.99

Soul City: race, equality and the lost dream of an American utopia by Thomas Healy was May’s pick for the Global Citizen Book Club. Somewhere in the unknown world by Kao Kalia Yang is the choice of June.

How does the Global Citizen Book Club work?

To read: Each month we will select a new book to read together, related to one of our main problems. You can purchase each month’s selection at your local bookstore – or, if you’re feeling lucky, global citizens in the United States can enter to win the book here!

Discuss: Each week, we will participate in lively discussions with your fellow citizens around the world around major themes, key learnings and more in our Facebook group “Global Citizen All-Access”. Join us here!

Participate: The following month, we’ll be hosting a virtual chat with the author, where you’ll have a chance to engage and ask questions. You can get a ticket to the event by acting with Global Citizen and using your points, so keep an eye out for Global Citizen Rewards!

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Page turner

Quentin Tarantino turns his most recent film into a pulpy page turner

Some of these opinions may be too similar to those of Tarantino: “Once Fellini has decided life was a circus, Cliff said arrived. “There is a list of Cliff Akira Kurosawa’s favorite movies. Regarding the cinematography of the 1967 Swedish film“ I’m Curious (Yellow) ”:“ Cliff wanted to lick the screen. ”

We find out how Dalton and Booth became friends. Booth saved him from a fire on the set by telling him, “Rick, you’re standing in a puddle. Just fall. We learn how Booth got his pit bull, a movie star. He was given the dog, a fighting champion, to pay off a debt. Booth accompanies some of the fights.

In the movie, Booth refuses to let the dog eat until he takes the first bite of his own dinner: macaroni and cheese in a box. Of this dish, Tarantino writes, “The directions say to add milk and butter, but Cliff thinks that if you can afford to add milk and butter, you can afford to eat something else. “

Oh, and Booth killed his wife. In the film, this plot point is left open and has been the subject of much debate. Tarantino, luckily, doesn’t care if Cliff is lovable.

The murder scene is absurd in its excesses, of course. Tarantino rarely lets a murder go to waste. Violence is the wax on which his skis roll. He knows how to fill the rectangle of the screen – or a page in a pulp novel.

The couple are on a boat. Tired of being put down, Booth impulsively shoots his bikini-clad wife with a harpoon gun, essentially ripping her in half. He immediately regrets it. He holds the two parts of her together for seven hours as they lovingly recount their entire relationship. When the Coast Guard arrives and tries to move her, she crumbles and dies.

If I wanted her at that moment – her upper half, that is – slowly hoisting a huge handgun and shooting Cliff in disbelief in his bronze forehead, well, that’s it. a different novel.

In “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Tarantino makes it seem easy to tell a story that turns the pages, which is the hardest thing of all.

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Page turner

Physicist Brian Keating – The Hypothesis of God is a “Page Turner”

Photo: Brian Keating, by Brucelieberman, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.

UC San Diego physicist Brian Keating had another fascinating conversation with our colleague Stephen Meyer about Meyer’s new book, Return of the hypothesis of God. The host was Justin Brierley’s consistently excellent interviewer for the radio and podcast program Unbelievable? Check it out below. Keating is funny, intelligent and sweet. He offers this about Meyer’s “page turner” with his “hermetic logic”:

Stephen’s book presents a plan. You might not agree with this, but you have to come to terms with hermetic logic. I faced him because it’s so engaging. And it’s hard to think that a 579 page book [long] is a page turner. But he is. And [in reading the book] you have to grapple with this fundamental question: which came first? The universe or information? I spent a lot of time thinking about it and the conversation continues.

Really, Return of the hypothesis of God is 576 pages long, but why quibble? ??

I think Keating is right in his assessment, but most scientists wouldn’t have the guts, generosity, or daring to praise a smart design book in this way. (Although check out the list of scientific endorsers of Meyer’s book, including Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson.) Keating’s own position on the question of God remains enigmatic. But the last time he and Meyer met on Brian’s podcast, In the impossible, he described himself as an “agnostic”. Now he says he “was an agnostic” in the past tense.

There are many other topics of interest here, including Steve Meyer’s phrase “basic theism” – which is the metaphysical position that the book defends, not a specific religious view – and Keating’s statement on the goal of his work which is to convert seemingly unsolvable “mysteries” into potentially solvable “puzzles”.

To share

Key words

agnosticsBrian JosephsonBrian KeatinginformationInto the ImpossibleJustin BrierleymysteriesNobel Prize in PhysicspodcastThe Return of the God Hypothesis RiddlesStephen MeyerthéismUC San DiegoUnbelievableuniverse

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Page turner

This ESP32 bluetooth page turner couldn’t be easier

Commercial Bluetooth pedals, designed to let musicians turn pages of sheet music on a tablet, have the kind of inflated price tag you’d expect for a niche electronic device. Rather than shell out up to $ 100 for the privilege of flipping through the pages hands-free, [Joonas Pihlajamaa] decided to build their own very low cost version using an ESP32 and a cheap foot switch.

In terms of hardware, it doesn’t get much easier than that. All [Joonas] You had to hook the pedal to one of the ESP32’s digital pins and plug the microcontroller into a USB power bank. From there it became a software project. With the ESP32-BLE-Keyboard library, it only took a few lines of code to send RIGHT_ARROW Where LEFT_ARROW depending on whether the pedal was quickly tapped or held down a little; allowing it to navigate back and forth through pages with a single button.

[Joonas] mentions that the ESP32 development board he uses is too big to fit inside the pedal itself, although we wonder if the bare module could fit in somewhere. Of course, you can always build your own pedal with a little extra space to install the electronics, but for under $ 2 on AliExpress, it’s hard to go wrong with this turnkey unit.

Are you looking for an alternative approach? Last month we covered a bluetooth page turner that doubled the inputs and packed everything in a beautiful wooden case.

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Page layout

How to Create a Custom WordPress Layout on Your Phone

WordPress puts the power of custom page building at your fingertips with its user-friendly block editor.

We’ll walk you through the typical WordPress mobile page building workflow and highlight some particularly impressionable layouts. Let’s get started.

WordPress: page creation on your phone

Download WordPress from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Launch the app and make sure you are on the My website tongue. Press the down The arrow to fill out a list of your sites, then touch the More top right icon for create a site (or sync a self-hosted site.)

From there, you can choose a homepage layout to customize. There are a number of categories to help you choose the best theme for the job, including Blogs, Professional sites, Splash pages, and more.

Image gallery (2 images)

Tap the one you find interesting, and then tap To choose to start setting up your site. Enter a domain name (WordPress will provide suggestions on available names and extensions) and select Create a site. Faucet Ended.


Related: What is a domain name?

If you want additional guided help, WordPress will walk you through the basics. Otherwise, if you’re ready to jump in and get your hands dirty, press Create a new (page with a plus sign) at the bottom right. Here you can create blog posts and site pages, meat and potatoes from any WordPress site.

Press on Site page to add a layout (choose from templates like wallet pages, In regards to sections, etc.) With a template selected, press Create a page to enter the block editor.

You have arrived on the main stage: tap on any item to customize it. Images (and some other blocks) will display a Multimedia options list, a settings gear, and positioning arrows when highlighted. To add new items, use the blue More icon at the bottom left.

Press the Following icon (three dots) at the top right to save your work, preview your page or switch between editing modes. When you are finished editing a page, tap Publish.

Selection blog post will open a seemingly simple text editor with a header field. Tap blue More lower left icon, however, and a world of content options is revealed. To integrate videos, Columns, social icons… everything you need to generate and keep site traffic.

When your blog post is ready to be published, tap Publish in the top right corner, enter the tags or categories, set the visibility and you’re good to go. If you want to schedule the publication of an article, simply set the Publication date at some point in the future and press Plan now.

Image gallery (2 images)

This is the basic WordPress mobile workflow. Now let’s take a look at a few WordPress themes for inspiration.

To download: WordPress for iPhone | Android (free)

More WordPress Themes for Web Dev Fiends

Of My website dashboard, under the Personalize header, press Themes. Tap the plus icon of any theme you want to try for size. If you like it Activate will apply the theme to your site. We’ve picked out a list of eye-catching themes to get you started.

Note: While some themes look good, keep in mind that you need to get your own images (unless you plan to stick with the default set.)


Image gallery (2 images)

Barnsbury is fresh and well put together; a perfect theme for a mom-and-pop store to display their information and products. Ecommerce owners will benefit from the images and descriptions featured in the foreground.


Image gallery (2 images)

Exford is a clean, minimalist theme ideal for effectively conveying your personal or business message.


Image gallery (2 images)

Coutoire is an excellent choice for highlighting wallets. Aesthetic and professional, this theme is sure to impress potential employers.


Image gallery (2 images)

Morden is ideal for eye-catching images and small informational texts. Photographers and other media professionals rejoice.


Image gallery (2 images)

Brompton is your theme if you are looking to build your brand’s authority. Ideal for medium chunks of informational text and centralized images, Brompton works well for directing readers to goods or services.

Upgrade your WordPress site with plugins

Now that you know how to create custom WordPress layouts on your phone, give WordPress plugins a boost.

WordPress is a powerful content management system, but its features are not exhaustive. This is where plugins come in and take over.

Install the WordPress plugin
What are WordPress plugins?

Want to customize your WordPress site? There is a plugin for that!

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About the Author

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Page turner

The rhythm continues with this ESP32 page turner

Looking for a hands-free way to flip through sheet music on an iPad, [The_Larch] came up with this simple ESP32 based bluetooth input device. The microcontroller just needed to have two switches hardwired into the GPIO pins, in this case the same heavy-duty plungers you would find on a guitar pedal, and a USB bulkhead feedthrough to provide power. Thanks to the excellent ESP32-BLE-Keyboard library, it only took a few lines of code to trigger the appropriate keystrokes when the left or right button was pressed.

While it is undeniably an electronically simple project, the wooden case [The_Larch] built is an interesting change of pace from the 3D printed fare we normally see around these parts. It began life as strips of oak salvaged from an old kitchen table, which were laminated together to form a solid block. A large drill bit was then used to drill through the block to create a vacuum for the electronics, and a second flat piece of oak was shaped into a front panel.

Creating Bluetooth input devices with the ESP32 is so incredibly easy that we’re honestly a little surprised that we don’t see the trick used more often. Especially when you consider all the custom keyboards that have graced these pages over the past couple of years. The tools are available for anyone who wants them, so you must ask yourself if hackers don’t like using Bluetooth for something as important as a keyboard.

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Page turner

Jeff VanderMeer’s Hummingbird Salamander: Apocalyptic Page Turner

Hummingbird Salamander, let’s face it right now, is a pulpy page turner with as many twists, double crosses, and mystery puzzles as one of Dan Brown’s gimcrack potboilers. That’s not a fair comparison, of course, as Jeff VanderMeer is a terrific writer, while Brown struggles with any sentence above a reading level. Strong points magazine. But in terms of plot, it’s remarkable how faithful the Southern Reach trilogy author’s latest novel is to the rhythms and tropes of a conventional thriller. A protagonist receives a strange clue and is quickly torn from his normal domestic life in the dark world of terrorists and government agents; there are conspiratorial rabbit holes and breadcrumbs leading to discreet sources; danger and death lurk around every corner.

And yet, no one really chooses a Jeff VanderMeer novel for fast-paced action or eye-catching hooks – not one of its fans, anyway. The prolific author is one of the leaders of Weird Fiction for a reason; his often elliptical and genre-specific bibliography is full of the kind of provocative and idiosyncratic storytelling that has earned him both literary fame and a popular audience, the goose that lays the golden eggs of publishing. Success does not seem to have subdued his penchant for unusual world building and philosophical thought experiments, like his last novel, Thick headed (and his following news in the universe, The strange bird and Dead astronauts), can attest to this. At first glance, Hummingbird Salamander may seem like her simplest job to date, but much like the upper-middle-class businesswoman at the heart of this novel, the appearance can be deceptive. By the end of the story, the dark heart of the book’s eco-fiction was laid bare. The unsettling, apocalyptic worldview underlying his narrative is as dark and disturbing as anything he has written.

There is black structure and tone to this book, a tactic that VanderMeer has already adopted, albeit to notoriously different purposes, in his novel on the Ambergris Cycle. Bullfinch. Its narrator, who provides the pseudonym “Jane Smith”, will Double indemnity itinerary: “Assuming I’m dead by the time you read this,” it opens, promising to tell us “how the world ends”. Like many things in his unreliable narrative, this turns out to be both true and a bit of a sham, a foreshadowing of the grim outcome that awaits him. A consultant for an anonymous digital security firm, Jane leads a fairly routine existence, commuting to her drab offices from the suburban home she shares with her awesome husband and brooding teenage daughter. Then one day, a barista tells him that someone left him an envelope containing the key to a storage facility, which triggers a trip to a room containing only a taxidermized hummingbird and a note with the title phrase. , as well as a name: “Silvina. “

Jane discovers that Silvina is the nickname of a recently deceased woman who used her connections with the billionaire family to engage in eco-terrorism. Tracing the origins of the hummingbird brings only vague threats to Jane, and in no time her gym locker is ransacked, surveillance lines her house, and she has guns pointed at her. But rather than return to her mundane life, Jane eagerly torpedoed her, like Tippi Hedren in The birds, going up the stairs to investigate strange sounds despite the almost certain violence that awaited him. When, halfway through the book, VanderMeer moves forward in time five months under a very different set of circumstances, it doesn’t feel so much like a reset as it does a doom, a path that has been waiting for Jane from the start.

Neither the environmental apocalyptic nor the cultural apocalyptic are new themes for VanderMeer, who has repeatedly questioned climate devastation and humanity’s talent for self-destruction, increasingly weaving such concerns into most of his writings over the past decade. Long passages are devoted to Silvina’s wonder at the immensity of the powers of the natural world and the repulsion she feels at her sacrifice on the altar of human progress. Sometimes it can be shocking, that shift from conspiracy and paranoia to trust to harassing ruminations about animal trafficking and environmental disaster. But if it seems more abrupt to the reader than it does to Jane, part of it is intentional – the break in her life is meant to reflect the larger that is happening all around us, all the time, in a way that we have. tendency to block as a way to get through the day. Just recognizing it can sound like a lecture we don’t want to hear.

But the emphasis remains on character, even during these meditations on the natural world, with the slow-motion collapse of society periodically creeping in on the fringes. In the same way that Alfonso Cuarón subtly addressed the various global crises in Children of men without ever drawing attention to them directly, Hummingbird Salamander also drops flashes of color in the background: here, a television showing tales of a wildfire or economic recession; there, an uncomfortably realistic pandemic sends nations scrambling for non-existent security. These little flares, the opposite of the appoggiatura, slowly create an atmosphere of inevitability that gets darker and darker.

Despite an ending that offers the possibility of redemption, this oppressive sadness saturates the novel, a deep sadness and pessimism from the point of view of Jane who keeps even her greatest Pyrrhic victories, like winning a lottery ticket on a ship in perdition. The book impresses the reader because of this disconcerting melancholy, and not in spite of it. It taps into the part of ourselves that knows things aren’t going right, that knows we haven’t done enough to try to keep the world from falling into darkness. And he does it all while delivering a good tale crackling about a woman above her head, dodging bullets, and fighting the kind of men we know all too well from reports and history books. “How much of it looked like some sort of ritualistic theatrical performance,” Jane said of her work at one point. “The way we tried to convince ourselves that the systems weren’t down. Oh how we twisted our brains to find a justification for what could not have a justification. What we supported. Rarely has existential despair received such a crackerjack boost.

Author photo: Ditte Valente

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Page turner

Lost Words: Beyond Page Revision – Page Turner

Lost Words: Beyond the Page is a beautiful platform puzzle that explores feelings of loss, told through the imagination of a young girl.

Lost words: beyond the page is a puzzle-platform developed by Sketchbook Games, Fourth Slate and Fourth Slate Limited, and published by Modus Games. Lost words tells a beautifully written story wrapped around an entertaining gameplay loop that exists to continue to push the player forward through the story.

The story of Lost words follows a young girl named Izzy, who decides to start filling out a journal in the hopes of one day becoming a writer. Izzy creates a character (the player can choose multiple names, but she will be called Grace from this point on), who is a girl residing in a fantasy realm. Lost words takes place in two contexts, with the girl controlling her imaginary avatar in both. In the journal sections of the game, the player uses the words written in the journal as platforms and can influence parts of the page to solve simple puzzles. These segments of the game include absolutely stunning watercolor visuals, depicting memories of Izzy’s past.


Related: Eternal Hope Review: A Particularly Sad Indie Puzzle Platformer Game

These segments of Lost words: beyond the page are fully narrated and the vocal work is top notch, which helps form an emotional attachment to Izzy’s story. Writing in Lost words (created by Rhianna Pratchett, lead author of Grave robber and Rise of the Tomb Raider) is also stellar. It’s hard to say too much about the content of the story without spoiling the experience, especially since the game only lasts a few hours. In short, Lost pages begins as a whimsical story about a young girl’s relationship with her grandmother, only to take a dark turn, her fantasy world changing accordingly.

Lost Words Journal

The other sections of the game involve the story told by Izzy, where the player controls Grace as she explores various fantastic stages, such as deserts and underwater cities. These games use 3D visuals to emulate a 2D art style, and they don’t appear as much as the graphics in the game’s log sections. Grace is a firefly keeper, which means she has her own magical firefly protector. . The player controls Grace with the left stick and the firefly with the right stick. The goal of each stage is to guide Grace to the end while clearing obstacles with the firefly.

As the story progresses, Grace finds magic words that can be summoned at any time. These are guided with the firefly to solve puzzles, such as using the word “Break” to destroy barriers and “Repair” to repair broken bridges. The puzzles in the game are quite basic, most of them consisting of trying different words on a single obstacle. This is a great video game concept that could easily form the basis for a more fleshed out experience, but in Lost words, these puzzles are only temporary distractions, almost as if to remind everyone that they are living a video game.

The story of Lost words manages to be sad and beautiful at the same time. The game only takes a few hours to complete and it’s never particularly difficult, but that’s because there is a way to tell its story. The production of the game is exceptional in terms of audio and visuals, and the brief glimpse players get into Izzy’s life is memorable. It falls into the niche of the short indie puzzle game that aims to hit the heartstrings, and it manages to tell a gripping story about dealing with grief while using video game media to keep players hooked along the way.

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Lost words: beyond the page will be released on Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on April 6, 2021 and is currently available on Google Stadia. Screen Rant has been given a digital code for the Switch version of the game for the purpose of this review.

Our assessment:

4 out of 5 (Excellent)

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