Sunday, December 30, 2007

I claim this was for work.

A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis, by David M. Friedman. This book was interesting, but could have been better: the organization was a bit random, the transitions were awkward or nonexistent, and the conclusion was abrupt and terribly short. The author could have cited more of his statements, and overall the work felt very familiar, not cerebral or science-y. The author was probably going for approachable; he overshot. I also would have like more cultural differences or views-- it was Greece and Rome, Western Europe, and then mostly America toward the end.

Why Eve Doesn't Have an Adam's Apple: A Dictionary of Sex Differences, by Carol Ann Rinzler. I didn't actually read this whole thing; I just skimmed the entries but I did read a number of them. The entries are science-y while still being understandable-- entries are alphabetized diseases or physical characteristics in which gender may play a part (osteoporosis, birth defects, development of cataracts, etc.). There are lots of helpful charts, and all the information was interesting, if not in a read-all-in-one-go kind of way (it is more of a reference kind of thing). (I can't claim this one for work at all:)

Undead and Uneasy, by MaryJanice Davidson. This is just like all the others, but perhaps not even quite as good. There were quite a few more fragments, and they didn't even sound natural; they were just distracting. There were some loose ends, so I suppose there will have to be another. I think this is an example of an author writing for the money: she knows her loyal fans will read whatever she publishes, so she doesn't feel the need for standards. Bleh. Also, I'm not sure why an author would create confusion by naming so many characters the same. Sure, it may be a little more realistic, but it's unnecessary and silly.

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