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« November, 2008 »

Tell Me Where It Hurts   book icon  
by Nick Trout (2008)

read: 30 November 2008
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Is it weird to have a predilection for veteriniarian non-fiction? This is one of those “Hi, I’m a vet, let me tell you about my day” books and as those books go, it’s pretty good. The author works at a veterinary hospital in the Boston area and tells the tale of one long day at work. This is a little strange because, as he admits, he basically makes up a day by smooshing a bunch of stories into one 24 hour period. My guess is that his usual days on the job may be a little more prosaic. This day is full of complicated medical diagnoses, surgery judgment calls and a lot of interactions with animals (mainly dogs but there are a few cays and one turtle) and their owners. Trout is British which may explain a bit of his wisecracking style which I found a little off-putting but not too terrible. The book is filled with anecdotes about the veterinary profession which were just about as interesting as the animal stories themselves.

The Eight   book icon  
by Katherine Neville (1997)

read: 16 November 2008
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I picked this up in an airport because I was desparate not to have nothing to read on the plane and this wasn’t a self-help book. The blurb said it was a “feminist version of the DaVinci code” or something and I was not totally psyched about that but it turned out to be a fun airplane read. It sort of IS like the Dan Brown books -- it’s a historical romp with a big-scale mystery driving the action - but most of the main characters are women. And they’re not women in some like super-feminist matriarchy, they’re just female characters. There are a lot of male characters too, they’re just not primary. And it’s about chess but instead of it being a totally cerebral novel with a bunch of chess in-jokes, the chess in this book is mostly understandable to someone who has at least played the game once or twice. As a random airport book this was a pleasant surprise. I’ll probably pick up Neville’s next book when I see it.

Firebirds Soaring   book icon  
by Sharyn November, ed. (2009)

read: 16 November 2008
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, ya

Another terrific Firebird collection by my friend Sharyn November. This collection of young adult fantasy short stories serves as both a great collection of pieces but also an introduction to many great authors working in YA today. The stories range from super-short almost-poems to long stories that operate on their own as well as chapters or sequels to existing works. Each story has a lead illustration that is a neat addition to this already-rich compilation of stories. Sharyn is a stickler for details and this book is well-chosen and well-edited. Another must-read for fans of YA fantasy.

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