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text 2019-01-15 13:44
Reading progress update: I've read 35 out of 394 pages.
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean

Got through the introduction and into the first chapter - and remembered the slog of my first time reading it.  Nothing against Kean - it's just whenever we start talking about electrons swapping and using words like ions, I have t slow down to make sure I have the facts straight and I'm not conflating electrons with neutrons or anything stupid.

 

Not to mention constantly try to banish the 'old fashioned' orbital planets model from my head as I'm reading.

 

Huggins says READ FASTER - MY SPOON IS STILL MELTING!!

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text 2019-01-15 09:57
Reading progress update: I've read 80 out of 288 pages.
The Honey Factory: Inside the Ingenious World of Bees - Diedrich Steen,Jürgen Tautz

So. much. science.

 

Which is awesome.  I'm thoroughly enjoying it and getting exactly what I wanted: an in-depth, you-are-there, description of the world of honey bees and what we know so far about how they function in the hive.

 

Originally written in German, the translation is good, but it's funny because the narrative voice reminds me so much of the way one of my former colleagues in Denmark spoke English.  Grammatically perfect, but with a rhythm–dare I say melody?–that made it sound like he was ... I want to say 'talking to a  child' but it wasn't condescending; it was simply a similar cadence.  It's hard to explain, but the result is I can't hardly read this without picturing him in my head and hearing his voice.  Which is totally ok (I liked him), but a tad discordant too, as to the best of my knowledge he was not a beekeeper.  

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review 2019-01-14 06:11
Bird, Bath and Beyond (Paws to the Stars, #2)
Bird, Bath, and Beyond - E.J. Copperman

I think I liked the first one better, though this one was good.  The premise, and series name, sound more twee and cutesy than the stories themselves are, though it's definitely cozy fare.  Kay is an agent to animals used in the entertainment industry, mostly because she's from an acting family, loves animals and couldn't stomach being a vet.

 

The plot of this one was ... out there.  But here's the thing, and I don't know if I'm going to explain this correctly:  the premise was one that could have been believable, just.  

 

A famous TV actor hires a hitman to kill ... himself.  He's depressed, battling addictions, hates his job, his life, etc. but either doesn't have the courage to do the killing himself, or wants to go out making a statement about the need for gun control - the book never really cleared that up.

(spoiler show)

 

I mean, stranger things have happened.  But Copperman further complicated what was already a weird plot by adding layers of crimes and criminals.  It's my feeling that he took an already weird plot and twisted it up to make it weirder when it didn't need to be.

 

And now what will look like something of a non sequitur but will make sense in a second, when I was at Bouchercon, my sister and I sat in on a panel that E.J. Copperman was on, and he kept talking about how he writes humorous cozies, like Donna Andrews.  My sister and I were sitting at the back, so we could swap comments, sotto voce, and I said to her that I'd read most of his books and I didn't remember any of them being funny.  Not that the jokes fell flat, but that I didn't remember there being any attempt at all to make them.

 

This is the first of his books I've read since Bouchercon, and now I see what he's talking about, and now I can say they're there, they just (mostly) fall flat.  In fact, he seems to be going for a wiseass voice throughout most of the book, and it's either too heavy, or it's a NYC style of humor I fail to get, in a way that is similar to some people not getting British humor.  It didn't ruin the book at all, but it became cloying at times.

 

I wouldn't say 'no' to a third book - I like the parts of the story where Kay is interacting with clients and their owners, and the scenes at her office feel balanced and witty.  But I'm not sure if I'll rush out to get it - and it'll probably be in paperback.

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text 2019-01-14 00:53
Reading progress update: I've read 277 out of 460 pages.
The Penguin Classics Book - Various Authors,Henry Eliot

Whew! Them there Victorians sure wrote a lot of Penguin Classics!

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text 2019-01-10 23:31
Reading progress update: I've read 230 out of 460 pages.
The Penguin Classics Book - Various Authors,Henry Eliot

George Eliot - what do you recommend as a first novel to try?

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