Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Book in Review – The Book without Words

Book Count: 44

The Book without Words By: Avi
Fiction: youth fiction, fantasy 203 pages 2005
Yes, this is another kid’s book that is not one of the ones that I was rereading. And so far although I said I was planning on hunting down some of my favorite stories from when I was younger I haven’t so far. However, this is an author that I read when younger and so I just wanted to see what else he/she/they (what kind of name is Avi anyway? first, last, initials?) were writing. This story is about an alchemist and his young servant girl and talking raven. He is trying to stop death using a book that looks empty, but that he can read. In the process he dies and the girl and bird must do something to prevent themselves from ending up penniless and homeless. The bird knows that the man knew how to make gold and the secret is in the book and so they need to find a way to read it. There only clue is something that he said about a person with green eyes.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Book in Review – The Secret Life of Dust

Book Count: 43

The Secret Life of Dust By: Hannah Holmes
Non-Fiction: science, current events 204 pages 2001

This book is all about dust. From how it started the universe to how it could one day kill us all. It was very interesting, but also disturbing. I learned dozens of new ways that just breathing could kill you and the fact that in many cases there is nothing that you can do about it. It also talks a lot about what might be causing global warming, what might be counteracting it and how the science of dust is too young to say with accuracy what to do about it. For example, adding iron to ocean water increases the amount of plankton that eats up co2; however, it also leads to more funguses attacking coral reefs killing off coral and leading to less bio-diversity. Or that the color of dust and its local in the air depends on whieter it absorbs heat into the earth or reflects it back out into space.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Book in Review – A Short History of Rudeness

Book Count: 42

A Short History of Rudeness: Manners, Morals and Misbehaviors in Modern America BY: Mark Caldwell
Non-Fiction: popular culture, history 243 pages 1999
This book is about people’s feelings that manners are in decline in modern America and what they feel about that. It also is a history of how manners and ideas about them have changed over time and what people have done to effect manners. It includes sections on manners in various parts of life ranging from chat rooms, parenting, formal events to race and gender considerations. It deals with the division between people that think manners relate to morals and those that think it is merely about being polite and/or proper acting.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Book in Review – Fast Food Nation

Book Count: 41

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal By: Eric Schlosser
Non-Fiction: current events 270 pages 2001

This book is on the history of the fast food industry in America and the world and how it effects the lives of people. It talks about both the things that the industry does on purpose to increase their profits, often at the cost of employees and customers and all of the unintended effects of creating the industry. It also goes into attempts to change their practices and issues of food safety, especially in meat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Note to Self: The Deeds of the Disturber

Book Count: 40

The Deeds of the Disturber By: Elizabeth Peters
Fiction: Mystery, history, Egyptology 289 page 1988
This is another book in the Amelia Peabody series. We have already reviewed a newer book in the series here. This one takes place in London and is centered around a mummy in the British Museum.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Book in Review – The Year of Eating Dangerously

Book Count: 39

The Year of Eating Dangerously By: Tom Parker Bowles
Non-Fiction: cooking, culture 372 pages 2007

First, yes this book is written by Camilla’s son. This ruins anything about the normal country life and food he grew up with, as all your thinking is “Your step-father is the prince of England!” and /or “You look better then I thought you would.” Also, although it is an interesting book on the foods of different parts of the world, it isn’t that dangerous. The most dangerous thing mostly likely was the fact that he never learned and got hung-over all the time in strange lands when he needed to get up early. The fugu (blowfish) does contain a neurotoxin that can be deadly and hot sauces can make you very sick if it’s hot enough, you ate too much, or had stomach problems but, most of the foods are not especially dangerous to eat. So, although an interesting book, it is poorly named.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Book in Review – Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty

Book Count: 38

Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty By: Tim Sandlin
Fiction 308 pages, 2007

This book is NOT a “I saw Elvis at 7-11” book. The idea is not that Jimi Hendrix is some how still alive, but that the youth of the 60’s are in their late 70’s- early 90’s and now in a retirement home/nursing home feeling the same anti-establishment feelings as their youth. And as the aged are treated much the same way. The main character is actually from Oklahoma and not an old hippie, but most of the others in the home were hippies. There are lots of references to rock, San Francesco and other parts of the 60’s culture and the story is a real page turner with humor, tragedy and twist and turns.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Book in Review – Nerds

Book Count: 37

Nerds: Who They are and Why We Need More of Them, By: David Anderegg, Ph.D.
Non-Fiction: physiology 253 pages, 2007

This book is all about the idea of the nerd/ geek in America. It talks about what a nerd is to different groups and at different times in one’s life, the history of nerdome and how this stereotype is affecting America. Some of this information is not surprising, such as telling kids and teens that people who are good in math and science are losers who will never get laid, decreases the number of people who do good in school in math and science. Some of it was surprising, such as how people we think of as intellectuals like Washington Irving and Ralph Waldo Emerson helped the spread the idea of anti-intellectualism in America. This is a book we recommend to anyone interested in this subject, especially early teen and pre-teens that fear that they my be labeled as a nerd, so that they can use it to show their parents how they are ruining the next 6-8 years of their life by not getting them contacts, cool cloths or any of the other reasons that we wish this book was written 15 years earlier so we at least had independent proof that it was their fault that we were miserable in junior high and much of high school. (Note: if we sound bitter just blame it on the hormones, or learning that it could be someone’s fixable fault that all our friends [who were mostly our friends as they were the only people who would hang out with us] abandoned us at the start of 9th grade.)

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A Book in Review – The Three-Martini Playdate

Book Count: 36

The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting By: Christie Mellor
Non-Fiction: parenting 143 pages 2004
This book was often referenced in a book we reviewed earlier this year, “Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box”. (click here to read) And so when we happened appond it in the library we thought that we would read it. It is in many ways a lighter, shorter, less data filled version of the other book. And so if you think you would like the first book you would like this one too. (Just, don’t have an actual 3 martini playdate, 2 well made martinis is more then enough for anyone to drink in one sitting, and if the playdate isn’t at your house, more then one and you’ll need a ride too. [Unless it is a really long playdate, or you are a tall, large male.])

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Book in Review – You Suck

Book Count: 35

You Suck: A Love Story By: Christopher Moore
Fiction: paranormal 328 pages 2007

If you read our review of another book by this author entitled “The Stupidest Angel” you know that his books are a little odd. (If not click here to read it.) This book is no different. It is about a young couple of vampires that know little to nothing on being a vampire and how they deal with getting blood, day light, their families, and former friends out to kill them. Also it is the story of a Goth girl who wants to be a vampire that becomes a minion (or onion, depending on who you ask) of the vampires. Other fun characters in the book are the Emperor of San Francisco, “the Animals”, a blue prostitute, a huge cat, an 800 year old bronzed vampire and Lucifer II.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Holidays in May

1- May Day
National Day of Prayer
Ascension of Christ
2- Holocaust Remembrance Day
4- International Firefighters’ Day
5- Cinco de Mayo
Children’s Day
6- Nurses’ Day
Teachers’ Day
8- World Red Cross Day
V-E Day
11- Mother’s Day
15- Clergy Day
17- Armed Forces Day
Give Me a Gift Day
18- Trinity Sunday
International AIDS Memorial Day
19- Buddha Purnima
21- Waitstaff Day
25- Africa Day
26- Memorial Day
29- Ascension of Baha’u’llah

Book Count: April

Number of books read: 11
Pages read: 2987
Average number of days to read a book: 3
Average number of pages read in a day: 99
Number of more books to read to reach goal: 66