Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Book in Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle By: Barbara Kingsolver
Non-fiction: food 352 pages
Book Count: 56

This book was surprising good for the most part. Giving the other places I have seen it references I expected it to be mostly crap. It was for the most part interesting. It is mainly about how the author spent their year of living off the land. There are a few parts about how people are destroying everything and using fossil fuels is evil, but it also has an essay on why you should eat meat. There was only one place where the liberal earth first BS really annoyed me. In one paragraph the author goes on about how the way we eat is killing us and the world. (Not that I am not saying that some ways we use aren't bad for both.) But, she both talks about how the generations after her's (she's 55) are living shorter lives, and that the world is going to be horrible overpopulated in 40-50 years. Now even just putting theses to facts next to each other make it sound a little silly. When you look at the data on the world's population it becomes more of an issue of one or the other, but both of these things can't be true. Her longer living, large generation will be mostly dead in 50 years. If people are dieing younger then a lot of the next one will be dead too. Most of Europe and much of Asia average less then the 2 children per couple needed just to keep population at nearly a standstill. (2 kids still equals a small negative as not all people have kids. And the average is closer to 1.) And many of the populations that have a large number of children do so as they know most of there kids will die before adulthood, so unless people live longer lives in the future in 2 generations we most likely will not have a population explosion beyond what the earth can handle. Anyway besides that there were some fun and worth while info in this book. Things like menus and recipes for the foods found in each month and info on what time each food grows. In both cases that dates will very slightly based on where you live, but it gives a good rough idea.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Book in Review: Pickled, Potted and Canned

Pickled, Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World By: Sue Shephard
Non-Fiction: food/cooking 345 pages
Book Count: 55

This book goes over all of the major methods used in history to preserve food, the pluses and minuses of each method as well as how food preserving has changed/stayed the same threw out history. It goes into many key points in food history, and had some interesting things to say about them. For example, some groups of explorers that used early cans were thought to have died from lead poisoning from the cans; however, at that time they were exposed to so many other sources of lead, even if that is what killed them it might not be the cans fault. As I read it during the time of year that my garden is going crazy with tomatoes, and the peppers will soon be too, it made it all the more interesting as I am currently using some of the food preserving methods it talks about.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Book in Review: Fiction first aid

Fiction first aid Instant Remedies for Novels, Stories and Scripts By: Raymond Obstfeld
non-fiction: writing 283 pages
Book Count: 54

Like every other book on writing this one has advice that goes against the advice in other books on the subject. This one's main oddity is the belief that if you get stuck at part of the story you should not skip ahead to the next part and then work to connect the two parts later as the author feels that getting stuck means that there is something wrong with the story so far that should be fixed. Also this book uses a constant editing method where you edit each chapter/scene before working on the next one. It does have a lot of good advice on how to fix common problems in writing. (However, it doesn't include the awesome "Old Spice Man" writing issue, "I'm in a chair!")

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Book in Review: Geek Love

Geek Love By: Katherine Dunn
fiction: 348 pages
Book Count: 53

I first picked out this book as an audio-book for a trip. The back cover made it sound like a book about a carnivel family that try to have children that were freaks (the freak show type, not just odd people). I didn't get to the audio-book, but read the paper book. The back cover didn't cover the story at all. First, it was told years later by one of the kids. Half the story is her life at the time dealing with her mother that doesn't remember her after her years of drug use and experimitation to creat freak children and with her daughter that was raised in an orphanage because she was too normal, who doesn't know that her mother is the abino hunchback dwarf in her apartment building. The rest of the book is about her life in the carnival from when she was very little until her current life started. It is an unusual book, due to the supject.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Note to Self: King Lear

King Lear By: William Shakespeare
non-fiction: clasics/ play 125 pages

Book Count: 52

Note: the page count is only the play there were also 125 pages with notes on them of word/ saying meanings and a few pages of introduction about the play, Shakespeare and plays at that time.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A Book in Review: Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons By: Dan Brown
Really, really fiction, mystery 569 pages
Book count: 51

First, I would like to say that I only read the book because it was given to me and by finishing it I can put it in my garage sale this week and get rid of it. (Also, all the better to rant about what a piece of crap it is.) Second, I would like to suggest that no one goes to the head librarian at Ohio University- Chillicothe for help on research information as according to the acknowledgments he is in part to blame for this horrible book. As this book is a strange combination of things that you could learn with a five minute search on the Internet and complete BS. For example, it talks about the Catholic priest that worked on making The Big Band Theory (the science one, not the show), rips off Catholic teaching on science (as one of the characters own idea, not a church one as that would ruin the whole idea of the book), and then goes on and on about how religion and science are in this epic fight. The main plot is about the Illuminati, a group of scientist hunted down by the Church centuries ago now getting their revenge. It is always talking about scientific ideas that by their being science is naturally evil. A main character's parents refused to give him medicine when he's deathly ill, studying the origin of the universe is evil because God did it is all you need to know, etc, etc. And sure, some religions would say that, but not the one that the story is about. And then they finally get to something scientific that the Catholic Church has moral issues with and a bunch of cardinals state that it is a good thing! Frankly I do not know how these books became so popular, as anti-Catholic Protestants would be more likely offended by the pro-science anti-religion message of the first 400 pages of the book (ruining all the unfacts about the "evils of the Church" they would enjoy learning)and really Catholic hating seams like the only reason to read the book, its writing is OK, it has a fast pace, action but it is so much about religion.

Monday, August 02, 2010

A Book in Review: Battle of the Network Zombies

Battle of the Network Zombies By: Mark Henry
Fiction, paranormal 307 pages
Book count: 50

This is the 3rd book in a series of books about the life(unlife?) of a fanshionista zombie. In this one she is in despairt need of money and so gets a job being a judge of a reality show. The show is a contest to be the bodyguard of a wood nymph celebrity best known for his long list of ex-lovers. Along with zombies and the nymph the cast of characters includes: vampires, yetis, werewolves, sirens, and a Enenri (Japanese smoke ghost). The only problem with the show is that star is killed the first night. So Amanda (the main character zombie) takes all her knowledge from buying and never finishing Agatha Christy novels and turns the show into a mystery show where she is the detective working on finding out who the killer is.