Friday, August 28, 2009

A Book in Review: Ghost Ocean

Ghost Ocean By: S.M. Peters
Fiction: fantasy 479 pages
Book Count: 54

When I first started reading this book, I thought that I might be reading book two in a series, as it was quite confusion at times. It was later made clear what was going on, and that this was a stand alone book. The issue is that it is the type of book where to explain things too early would ruin the story. But, it still was well worth reading. I don't want to give to much away, but the book starts with Te, the main character, working for a family friend in paranormal investigation. She doesn't really believe in the paranormal and up until this point, she hasn't seen anything that would defidently make her believe. All this quickly changes after events that happen on the 5th anniversary of her father's death.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Book in Review: How to Live Dangerously

How to Live Dangerously: The Hazards of Helmets, the Benefits of Bacteria, and the Risks of Living Too Safe By: Warwick Cairns
Non-Fiction 161 pages
Book count: 53

This book is on why people are much more worried in modern times, how it affects us, how to fix this, and what we really should be worried about. It uses a lot of statistics and examples to explain the ideas in this book. Some of the information you would never expect, for example taking away safety features actually decreases the number of accidents that happen, due to people being more cautious due to not being able to depend on safety features. This method has been used in areas around the world for roads, where things like sidewalks, signs, and railings were all removed. Over all it was an interesting book on how to put things in prospective.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Book in Review: The Book of General Ignorance

The Book of General Ignorance By: John Lloyd & John Mitchinson
Non-fiction: trivia 252 pages
Book Count: 52

This book was written by a writer for the British show QI and a friend of his that is a producer of other hit British shows. It is written much like QI, which for those that don't know it is a show in which a panel of 4 celebrities answer trivia questions where everyone thinks they know the answer but are wrong. Questions like "who was the first person to circumnavigate the globe?" Most people would say Magellan, but he was killed before finishing the trip. As it is about unusual answers that goes against popular ideas, when one thing is wrong then I question everything else, as they are things one cannot easily look up, how can I say other things aren't wrong. And this book had multiple times when I knew for a fact they were wrong. For example, they stated that since 1887 the groundhog that predicts the weather on Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil, has never been wrong. Although, the official site for Phil says that, outside sources list his accuracy as low as 40%. Also, it says that Henry VIII had either 2 or 4 wives depending on if your following Henry's or the Pope's count. They said this as both annulled a different number of the marriages and "Legally, it (an annulment) means the marriage never took place." However, a religious annulment, which the ones from the Pope would be, and the ones from Henry also mostly seem to be, do not mean that. If you get a religious annulment you still were legally married, just not sacramental married. You can't tell the IRS that you need to refile your taxes as you weren't really married, and it doesn't soddenly make your kids bastards. One of the marriages would qualify for a civil annulment, which I can understand legally meaning it didn't happen, as Anne of Cleves apparently never consummated the marriage and legally wasn't free to marry at the time. Also, on a side bar it doesn't point out the stupidity of Henry's reason for annulling his 1st marriage, which was that a man couldn't marry his brother's widow, due to the Old Testament law. There is a Old Testament Law on marring your ex-sister-in-law, Deuteronomy 25:5 states that if a man dies before leaving an heir it's his brothers duty to marry her and try to have a child together to be considered an heir for the deceased. So, in effect the exact opposite as what he was saying the law was.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Book in Review: Blood Relations

Blood Relations By: Rett MacPherson
Fiction: mystery, 242 pages
Book Count: 51

This book is a Torie O'Shea mystery, it takes place after the one that I have already reviewed. In this one she is working on the mystery of a steam ship that sank in 1919, but due to the murkiness of the Mississippi river can only be studied when the water is very low. A person that is investigation the wreak, who is the great-grandson of the pilot, is killed. So she is now trying to work on solving the case. Also, a woman who says that she is her sister appears.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Book in Review: Twilight

Twilight By: Stephenie Meyer
Fiction: teen, fantasy, romance 498 pages
Book count: 50

First, I would like to say that I read the book only because I was wondering what all the fuss was about, (and why are the vampires sparkly?) I of course heard from the superfans that think that "it is the greatest book ever!" But, from others that it was horrible. It was OK. As most people already know that it is about a girl in a small town that falls in love with a vampire who has the problems that one could have in this event, I'm not getting into the plot line. I do agree with the people that say that many characters are a little flat and the constantly being inside the head of a love sick teen is annoying; however, I don't really have an issue with that, as that is how they sound, and it was written mainly for teen girls. I do have issues with this being "true love" as it was written like a crush. It's rather stupid to do the majority things that Bella did for a crush. If you get past the seaming lack of anything needed for true, lasting love and pretend that is what it is, its a rather good story. And even with the issues I can see way it was such a good seller.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Book in Review: In Search of the Genesis World

In Search of the Genesis World: Debunking the Evolution Myth By: Erich A. Von Fange
Non-fiction, religion 361 pages
Book Count: 49
NYR page count: 1093

This book was suspoust to be a book on "a well-researched, Christian response to the origins of the world and universe" as it says on the back of the book. That is not what the book is. It is fairly good at pointing out the problems with evolution theory, but as far as the Christian response the author mainly says "evolution is wrong and evil, my personal literal translation of the Bible is the only answer." Which he never bothers to explain in detail, as it must be obvious, never mind the issues with the time lines between a literal belief of the creation story in Genesis 1 verses the story in Genesis 2. He even takes pains to insult other less literal beliefs on the Bible. For example, although it has little to nothing to do with the book, he makes a point of talking about how Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible on his own, and it was not a combination of authors as many now think. Never mind that Moses dies before the end of the books (Deuteronomy 34:5) or that there is things written about after he died. (Deuteronomy 34:6-12). Like any good Christian fundamentalist he also says insulting things about Catholics based on misinformation and randomly says insulting things on Muslims. (That as far as I know are also incorrect.) (extra note: he was correct in that at the present time there is nothing stopping a Catholic from believing in Evolution, but as it hasn't been proven as a fact it's not required, and it is not do to the work of Teihard de Chardin and the Piltdown man.)

His arguments about the problems of evolution are at times good and at time defeating to his own argument. For example, as someone that believes that the earth is about 6,000 years old he writes on the problems of ageing things with methods like carbon dating. Which, he does make some good points about. Then he uses times when modern men are found dated way to old for current evolution thought as proff to it being false. He says that dinosaurs lived past the flood and were the dragons and sea monsters in ledgions, but has them randomly dieing off some time after that, and adds a couple insults to people that belief in the Loch Ness Monster, which many think fits into his dinosaur theory. He insists that scientist only believe in gradual changes and won't recognize any time of fast changes and disasters, never mind the numerous times I have seen a science show on past disasters in pre-history. As I said earlier some of his arguments are good. He raises questions on the age of things in space that seam very young. He points out problems in dating materials. He points out things that have been discarded for not fitting into current thoughts on the Earth as well as how one must also believe in Evolution like on does in religions and how that colors how one sees things.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Book in Review: The Subversive Copy Editor

The Subversive Copy Editor: Advice for Chicago By: Carol Fisher Saller
Non-fiction: grammer, writing, advice 119 pages
Book Count: 48

This is a book on copy editing written by an editor from the Chicago Manual of Style's Q and A. It was written mainly for other copy editors of all types, but it also is interesting for anyone that would be interested in what a copy editor does all day. Giving this it also has a chapter of writers as many expressed interest in the book as it was being written.