Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I've gotten really good at making this list; not so good at doing anything else with it.  So let's keep it short and sweet.

Redshirts, by John Scalzi.  You should read the first half, then quit right at the point where it gets all meta and weird.  It sounded like a fun and interesting premise.  It's a letdown.

Beyond the Blue Horizon, by Brian Fagan.  I quit at pg. 87.  There was a little too much "One time I lost sight of land in my sailboat, so I know exactly how those ancient Polynesian mariners felt venturing into the open ocean."  Um, I doubt it.  Too much about an old guy with an inflated idea of his sailing prowess.

Guided Relaxation for Stress (DVD), with Jame Rouse and Rodney Yee.  I've been taking home some of our exercise and yoga DVDs now that we're practically limited to indoor activities.  This was very relaxing (and kind of cheezy).

From Elvish to Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages, "by" Michael Adams.  I'm sure the actual content of the book (compiled from a variety of writers, actually, despite the cover) would have been very interesting.  The introduction-- all I was able to read-- was incredibly frustrating however.  I'm seeing a theme, here, of writers incredibly full of themselves.

Alien Sex: 19 Tales by the Masters of Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy, edited by Ellen Datlow.  This had an alternate title when I downloaded it from netgalley.  I was expecting something a little more modern, but the first few stories were older (like, 70s) and felt it.  I didn't finish it.

The Reluctant Amazon, by Sandy James.  This is a crappy romance that I got for free and didn't finish. The main characters are a joke, composed exclusively of over-the-top stereotypes.

The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read, by Stuart Kelly.  I quit after pg 61.  Sounds interesting, right?  I should have skipped ahead to see how some of the modern lost books played out, but it turns out there are only so many times I can hear about a Greek philosopher I've never heard of.  Although I did learn something interesting about the Library at Alexandria.

The Sheen on the Silk, by Anne Perry.  I fell into a funk a while ago, after reading nothing I liked for a long time.  I asked for recommendations and got, among others, this title and the next one.  I definitely find that reading something I would never have chosen for myself does pull me out of it.

There were quite a few people in this book, and I'm not sure all of them were completely necessary to the plot.  Definitely too many for me to follow comfortably. 

The Sultan's Seal, by Jenny White.  Same setting as the previous title, but a different time period.  It was interesting to read these back to back.  This one was sometimes difficult to follow, as not all the characters interacted with each other and it seemed to jump back and forth in time but how far wasn't always clear.  I think the author, with a little growth, could be really great.

The Plant Hunters, by Carolyn Fry.  I ordered this book for the library, funded by a donation in memory of a patron.  This is a great book, very beautiful, but I had to return it: it has way too many loose pieces.  While a work of art, this is in no way appropriate for a library.  (I didn't read it.)

Consider the Fork, by Bee Wilson.  (643)  I very much enjoyed this (got it in prepub ebook, ordered the print for my library and recommended it to several people).  There were some rendering problems in the text; I would hope this would be fixed in a finished ebook release. Half a dozen times throughout the book, lines were for some reason in the wrong order.  Example:
"The rich// get their ice in the summer, but // theirs in the winter," as Laura // in her book about life married to // the poor get // Ingalls Wilder wrote // a struggling farmer on // the Dakota prairie...
This really threw off the flow of the reading, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Long for this World: The Strange Science of Immortality, by Jonathan Weiner.  (500)  I was expecting more of an overview of the current theories, as the title seemed to indicate.  Instead, the book mostly focused on one scientist with whom the author seems rather captivated, and his and contradicting theories were presented.  I'm not sure that was the focus or organization that would have worked the best.  Still, there is quite a lot of interesting information inside.

Some Girls, by Jillian Lauren.  (306.74-- we don't actually have a print edition, just e, but if we did, this would be the call number.)  It was a bit difficult to feel much connection with the narrator.  While definitely interesting and eye-opening, she made her own choices.  I'm not sure she wanted readers to identify with or feel sorry for her; I surely wasn't able to.

Far Alaska, by Mason Smith.  Did not finish.  Does this qualify as "stream of consciousness" writing?  I didn't more than a few pages in.  Can I buy a full sentence, please?

Horeseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms, by Richard Fortey.  Also did not finish.  It had alot of interesting science, but too dry (although a definite improvement over his earlier work).

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

Whew! Quite the list! Glad to see you're still reading.