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« June, 2012 »
Catching Fire

Second in the series and I think the first book I’ve read from start to finish as an ebook. Also enjoyable.


I somehow managed to not read any of these books when they came out even though I knew they were immensely popular. And then for some reason, I think because I had seen the ads for the movie, I decided to read them all over about a week. I enjoyed them, I had some issues with them. All in all I was not only happy to read them but happy to have one more popular book that I liked well enough that I can talk to people at the library about. Lots more thinky stuff about how the kids are all used as pawns and a lot of the critique of nation-states that I perceived in the texts, but as stories even the books were quite good and it’s a refreshing change to see a female lead who isn’t (entirely) either an emotionless robot or a dim-witted pawn. The books, it seems, make her out to be some of each from time to time but not wholly one or the other.

The Hunger Games

Thought I’d like this book after seeing the advertisements for the movie. I was not wrong.

The Cure for Everything

Enjoyed this. Caulfield is a heath researcher in Canada who I had previously not known that much about but I guess he’s hot shit in his field. This book attempts to look at the science behind many of the health claims we deal with in the modern world and not in that “Here are the facts that support the fad that I am currently publicizing” way but in looking at the analysis and meta-analysis to help answer questions like “Wat is the best way to lose weight?” and “Is there any proof that naturopathy works?” and “What’s the best way to exercise?” Along the way Caulfield uses himself as a guinea pig, getting his genetics tested and going on a healthy diet and talks to many other professionals in the field to get at what is really going on and why we might not be getting the best information from the media we consume. I enjoyed it. Caulfield is engaging as a writer and the stuff he says mostly makes sense. People interested in health who are sick of the usual New York Times analysis of current food and exercise trends and reporting will find this a breath of fresh air.

Any Empire

Loved this, had a little trouble following it. This richly illustrated story about kids who grow up and move and reconnect all along with a background of war and warlike activities had a bunch of interesting threads but didn’t cohere for me. Might have been the heat wave, might have been the book. It’s made me want to go track down a lot more of Powell’s stuff because while this may not have been my particular story, I like his general style and would like to try something else.

The True History of the Elephant Man

Was surprised how good this was. I’ve been interested in Very Special People and freaks for quite some time. There’s often a paucity of information just being repeated over and over again and it was neat to read something that went back to the original source material [the book has several appendices in addition to the main book] to basically get as much information as we could not just about Joseph Merrick but about the people who wrote about him and met him at the time so that more could be learned.

Library of Shadows

A good mystery book with a bit of a magical realist vibe to it, this is the story of a high powered lawyer whose father dies mysteriously who then finds himself the heir to his estranged father’s bookstore. Then he comes upon a shadowy collection of book folks who have some slightly supernatural powers, and then stuff starts to get even deeper and more involved. This book was translated from the original Danish which may or may not explain a bit of why it sounds so stilted. I enjoyed the characters and the story but occasionally felt that it lapsed into cliche and/or tropes. However, at its core this is a story about books and readers and listeners and that alone (well maybe in addition to the long train ride) propelled me forward into finishing it to figure out what happened and whodunit.