Lies About Books: Beanstalk

The summer is Most Definitely Not Over, but July basically is, which means it’s that time again – time for me to tell bald-faced lies about a book I genuinely enjoyed! In the month of July, it was my supreme pleasure to read the novel Beanstalk, by E. Jade Lomax, first book in her Leagues and Legends trilogy.

Beanstalk follows the life of one Jack Farris, budding botanist. Since he was first able to reach for a spade, Jack has been addicted to gardening. He grew potatoes before he said his first word. He was picking berries before he could walk. By the time he was fourteen, he was known to grow the best tomatoes in the district.

But Jack’s one failing, his greatest regret, is his inability to grow beans. He has tried everything; he has planted beans, grafted snippings; he has tried to grow them in new earth, old earth, in a greenhouse, in water, in flowerpots – nothing works.

So finally, he gathers up his watering can, a pouch full of assorted seeds and a backpack filled with earth, and a pair of gardening gloves, and he sets out on a quest to learn how to grow a beanstalk, or die trying. This is the story of Beanstalk.

Filled to the brim with gardening tips and recipes that use home-grown vegetables, Beanstalk is sweet and funny, by turns lighthearted and suspenseful, rich with Jack’s special brand of earthy wit and wisdom. I recommend this book wholeheartedly and without reservation, to all fans of all ages of the plant kingdom, adventures, and friendship.

 

Lies About Books: Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Did you know that February is an incredibly long month? There is plenty of February left, but Factually Deficient, particularly the Lies About Books department, acts with nothing if not alacrity, which is why we are publishing this post well in advance of the end of the month.

In the past month, I had the pleasure of reading Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli.

Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda is perhaps the most creative spin on the alien-invasion narrative that I have seen yet. Simon is sent by his squadron as part of an advance espionage guard to Earth. His mission is to infiltrate homo sapiens society, learn their goals, and how to defeat them.

Simon only has one preexisting contact on Earth, a correspondent he met by chance online. Neither of them knows each other’s real name – and of course, Simon’s friend does not know that Simon is from somewhere further than Ireland.

But the unexpected happens, when Simon comes to a human high school to finally meet up with his pen-pal in person. In seeking humanity’s agenda (in between scribbling in his own agenda), he finds something perhaps more important: true friendship. But when the details of his mission come out, will either – the mission or the friendship – survive?

Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda is surprisingly heartwarming, understatedly funny, and definitely a keeper. I recommend it to all fans of email correspondence, inopportune revelations, and alien invasions.

Friendship Unmasked

Hello and welcome to yet another week of fabulous fibs and marvellous mendacity here at Factually Deficient! This week, I will answer a question posed by Endless Sea. Mr Sea asked:

Why am I friends with you guys?

Because the Factually Deficient databases lack the information as to which specific friends were referred to in the question, I will answer regarding the “why” of friendship in general.

As everyone knows, every human has an individual “type” to their blood. And as many people know, blood contains metal in it. What people do not realize is that these different blood “types” correspond to different types of metal.

While iron is the metal most commonly found in blood, other metals can be found, depending on the blood type. To use examples of only the most common blood types, A type blood contains aluminum, B type blood contains brass, and C type blood contains copper.

Every metal has its own unique magnetization, which causes it to be drawn to the same and other metals with different strengths. The same is of course true of the metal that is found in our blood, despite its insulation by layers of bone and flesh.

When your body – and therefore your blood – is in proximity to those to whom it is magnetically drawn, you feel some of that pull. Translated into terms which make sense to a human mind, this causes feelings of friendship toward the person to whom you are magnetically attracted. Because iron is the most magnetic metal, those with iron in their blood will feel a pull to be friends with larger quantities of people – and, in turn, higher volumes of people will be drawn to friendship with them.

But regardless of your blood type, and your friend group, you are friends, at bottom, because of the metals in your blood.

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Disclaimer: the above post is inaccurate. C type blood probably does not exist.

Moral Support

Hello and welcome back to another week of counterfactual composition here at Factually Deficient! This week, I would like to address a language question that was posed by my friend Tohrinha. Tohr asked:

What does “moral support” mean?

Now, the phrase “moral support” is clearly a compound phrase, composed of two words, and its meaning can quite easily be determined by looking at each of these words separately, and then combining their meanings in the most logical way.

First, the word “moral”. A moral, or a moral lesson, is the message that one learns from a story: the “teachable moment” in the story with a lesson that can be applied to real-life situations as demonstrated in the story. All stories–and, by extension, all situations–come with a moral; one simply needs to know how to find it.

The word “support” means backing, or proof, that “supports” a premise by demonstrating through action or quote that it is true.

Combining the two once more, then, the term “moral support” is now quite plain: moral support is the providing of evidence for a moral, either by reinforcing it or by performing the action that contains the moral in the first place. For example, if Jim lies to his sister about something, his friend Joe might provide him with moral support by publicly humiliating him, thus supporting the moral of “If you lie to your sister, you will get publicly humiliated.” Or if Joe shoplifts, his friend Jim might provide him with moral support by setting a poisonous snake on him, thus providing support for the important moral lesson of “Don’t steal, or you’ll get bitten by a poisonous snake.”

Moral support is integral to the responsible functioning of society, and it is commonly seen as a kindness to perform moral support for one’s closest friends.

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Disclaimer: Some of the statements in this blog may be inaccurate. Do not provide a friend with moral support without express permission.

Lies About Books: Fifth Business

The past month’s been a busy one (and a short one), with relatively little time for reading, so this month I shall review a book which I recommended in the past month, having read it earlier in the past: the classic Canadian novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies.

Fifth Business is about a young, very successful businessman living in Toronto. Dunstan Ramsay seems to compulsively create businesses, each one more successful than the last. His first entrepreneurial venture was to create a company selling dreams; his second bought and traded friendship. Next he founded the Trust Trust, which sold exactly what the name suggested, and after that he built a company that sold innovative literary theories, and new ways to look at an old text.

But even as his literary theory business is booming, Dunstan goes ahead and creates a fifth business, dealing in none other than truth. Suddenly, his fortunes turn. As spectres from his past begin popping out of the woodwork, Dunstan discovers that his new business venture puts on the market a product which his clientele is not so comfortable facing up to.

Will Dunstan’s fifth business be his undoing? Or does the truth have the power to save–and, indeed, profit–after all?

Fifth Business is an intricately woven drama, which I would recommend to any fans of economics, innovative literary theory, and saints.