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« July, 2013 »

Who Knew? Things you didn’t know about things you know well.   book icon  
by David Hoffman (2001)

read: 31 July 2013
rating: [+]
categories: non-fiction, reference

I’ve been trying to get better at trivia so I pick up these books when I see them. This was a little hardcover tucked away at my dad’s house. All the trivia factoids are about brand names which I guess makes sense but made it seem a little bit like a viral ad. And, in my nerdy nitpickery, I found myself wondering how much of the stuff was still true. For example, Alan Smithee is no longer the name used by producers who want to disown their relationship with a film, though it’s a great story. And I wonder if it’s still true that Cinderealla has been made into a movie more than any other story, or how you would tell? Anyhow, it was a fun quick read but I gave it the librarian raised eyebrow.

The Subtle Knife   book icon  
by Philip Pullman (1997)

read: 31 July 2013
rating: [+]
categories: fiction, ya

Again, catching up on books I should have read a decade ago. I find these books sort of slow. There are a lot of slow reveals and a lot of “Huh I wonder what THAT is about...” stuff going on. The second book had even less information than the first, though the story was pretty interesting. It did rely on the “main character is hurt and you worry they’re going to die” aspect to it which is one of my not-so-favorite themes, though there was also a favorite theme, that of the lady scientist. In any case, I’m now propelled towards the third book and I only sort of care what happens.

V is for Vendetta   book icon  
by Alan Moore (2008)

read: 13 July 2013
rating: [+]
category: graphic novel

Enjoyed the movie. Really wanted to read the original graphic novel. I found the graphic novel a bit more confusing, had a hard time telling some of the characters apart and, for once in a rare while, actually liked the movie better. There is some great extra stuff at the end including Moore talking about where they got their idea from and a few other things, but from a pure “I like this story, which version works best?” position I found the narrative structure of the movie and some of the plot choices easier to follow.

Aliens in the Backyard: Plant and Animal Imports into America   book icon  
by John Leland (2010)

read: 13 July 2013
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Enjoyed this book about what sort of things in the US we may think are native but are actually from somewhere else. This book goes into how we know which species of plants and animals are native, what the disputes are and what some of the notable failures of introducing species from outside including the stories that you know about like starlings and kudzu. Well-researched enough to be academicky but not dry and tough to read. Ignore the cover and pick this up and read it.

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