Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recent Reading

I've been reading some interesting books lately. And not to sound ditzy, but I'm impressed that I'm actually finishing them.  It seems like I have a hard time actually reading all of a book lately, but I've done well the last week or so.  Here are my thoughts on some of the books I've read.  Links are Amazon Associate links, so they'll take you to the Amazon page, and I get paid if you buy anything after following them.

The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride

The Indifferent Stars Above is about the Donner Party. It was pretty facsinating book, with lots of context history which I found very enlightening. Of course, it was kind of depressing and creepy too.  But educationally, so that's okay.

Hard Times in Paradise

Hard Times is Paradise is about a family who did the whole "back to the land" thing in the seventies, and stuck with it.  It was written in 1992, so I don't know if they're still on their ranch, but they'd gotten things well established by then.  I enjoyed this book to an extent, but I did have some problems with it.  The narrators do come across as pretty unlikable at times, and though building the house is described in detail, the garden is hardly discussed, and the animal husbandry is adressed only through antecdotes, and not really in any sort of detail.


This is the third or fouth time I've read Contest.  It's a science fiction, intergalatic gladitorial story set in the New York Public Library.  I know, right?  So, it's good... and they should make a movie of it.

Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese

Very interesting book about a couple raising goats and making cheese from the milk.  An interesting blend of practical goat knowledge, useful descriptions and antecdotes, and lofty philosophy.  A bit artsy, but not so much that you can't stand it, and is very lyrical.

Forensic Detective: How I Cracked the World's Toughest Cases

This was a very dry book about a pretty cool topic.  I'll admit, I just skimmed through it, since it was a little dense and dry to hold my interest too well.  I'd recommend Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist instead, as a much more interesting reading experience of the subject.

World Made by Hand: A Novel

World Made By Hand is Post-Apocalyptic vision of the future genre.  I really liked this book.  It's not too overwrought and sciene-fiction-y, and the plot is interesting and engaging.  It's not all boring and fatalistic like On the Beach (Vintage International) is, but may not be precisely realistic either.  I can forgive a lot of faults in fiction if I'm interested in the story and the characters, so some of the things that made other reviewers hate this book (lack of strong female characters, odd speech quirks, and not so good dialogue) did bother me slightly but were quickly and easily overlooked.  Some people were put off completely by these things, and so didn't get beyond them.

So that's my reading list lately.  I just started Kingdom River (The Snowfall Trilogy, Book 2) and Summer of the Apocalypse (loves me some post apocalyptic vision of the future?) but don't have any idea yet if I'd recommend either, because I'm not past the first chapter on either of them yet.

I'd better get going and get started on my baking today (graham crackers, granola, brown rice salad), but do want to say that I used the integrated Amazon Associates thing that Blogger has to put together this post and I think it's a pretty useful tool, in case anyone else is wondering about adding it to their Blogger account.

The sun's shining on me today, and it's energizing!  I hope everyone gets some sunny weather too!

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Jim Van Pelt said...

Hi hear that Summer of the Apocalypse book is pretty good. *g*

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Ugh, the story of the Donner Party is so depressing. It makes me feel sick.

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts about Lent yesterday.

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