logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: MC-club
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-22 22:16
The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars - Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel's 'Glass Universe' has a fantastic premise: telling the story of the women who founded, funded, and worked in the Harvard Observatory from the late 19th century to well into the 20th.

There were marvelous strides made in astronomy during that time, and it is astonishing to think of how these women were able to parse out the mechanics and make-up of the stars from long examination of glass plate negatives.

The science was marvelous and astonishing. The women themselves, with very few exceptions, seemed to have escaped Sobel's notice. There was an enormous 'cast' of women for Sobel to profile, true, but she could have picked a few representative cases instead of picking 1, or at most 2, dramatic instances from the lives of dozens of scientists and patrons. This is unfortunate, as without a human touch to the narrative, the science made me glaze over.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-17 01:55
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Moby Dick (Vintage Classics) - Herman Melville

I've been trying to read Moby-Dick for years, abandoning it many times since high school. When asked to set up a book club for those wanting to tackle the big classics, I couldn't do anything but pick the most large, 'uge, magnificent book ever written.

And, having finally finished it, it's OK. I see why people invest so much energy into this work and enjoy parsing it out, but in the end I would have preferred a little more sailing adventure and less arcane mythological references and asides. Melville had a plan and he followed through with his deconstruction of the novel by constructing an even larger novel around its architectural corpse.

There were passages of brilliant intensity and longing, rewarding humor, wide progressive streaks on race, relgion and sexuality, and romantic squeezes in the spermacetti, but the dull implacability of much of the novel was too intense for me. We were quite torn up about the book at the meeting, but we all agreed that the foreskin helmet was awesome.

'Moby-Dick' is something you have to read for yourself, if you want to. Like with everything, I suppose, your mileage may vary and you might not want to invest the energy needed to break into a novel like this, and that's OK. I gave it a solid 65% of my attention and appreciated it, but its not for everyone.

Like Reblog
review 2018-07-15 05:41
The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind! Volume 2 - Gamei Hitsuji,Hikoki

DNF 20%

 

I am disappointed to say that this volume was a bit of a letdown. There were too much technobabble and unnecessary exposition in the passages I read. I had a difficult time to slog through the passages talking about Kabbalah and the different elements for example. It is a shame that I have to rate this book a low rating because I liked the first volume. I forgave the first volume for its wall of text because it was meant to be an introduction for the series. However, in this second volume, the info dumps became old fast. I wish information like that were in a guidebook or some side material so that the story would be read more smoothly without all the technobabble. 

 

However, I liked the illustrations in the book.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-10 09:15
The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

TITLE:  The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions

 

AUTHOR:  Thomas McNamee

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2017

 

FORMAT:  Hardcover

 

ISBN-13:  9780316262873

____________________________________________

Book Description:

"Our feline companions are much-loved but often mysterious. In The Inner Life of Cats, Thomas McNamee blends scientific reportage with engaging, illustrative anecdotes about his own beloved cat, Augusta, to explore and illuminate the secrets and enigmas of her kind.

As it begins, The Inner Life of Cats follows the development of the young Augusta while simultaneously explaining the basics of a kitten's physiological and psychological development. As the narrative progresses, McNamee also charts cats' evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta's life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, who will help readers more fully understand cats.

McNamee shows that with deeper knowledge of cats' developmental phases and individual idiosyncrasies, we can do a better job of guiding cats' maturation and improving the quality of their lives. Readers' relationships with their feline friends will be happier and more harmonious because of this book.
"

_____________________________________________

 

This book was less about the inner lives of cats, or the science and secrets of cats than an ode and memoir about the author's cat, Augusta. 

 

The science bits were interesting though some of the numbers quoted lack a reference and make verification difficult.  There were also many interesting sections on feral cats in Rome, sensory input and raising kittens and the semi-domestic nature of cats, as well as the stupidity of humans who keep wild animals in their homes and are surprised when it eats them or shreds the house.  The majority of the book involves stories about Augusta.  Sometimes these stories tied in with the more informative parts of the book, sometimes they didn't. 

 

I haven't lived with a cat for years, so I'm not as inclined as cat-owners to go all soppy over the Augusta sections (maybe if Augusta was a German Shepherd it might have been different), but I did find the book entertaining and well-written though lacking in science.

_________________________________________________

OTHER BOOKS:

 

-The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World by Abigail Tucker

 

- Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher

 

- Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World by Richard C. Francis

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-07-10 04:56
The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit - Michael Finkel

The opening pick for our non-fiction book club. 'The Stranger in the Woods' by Michael Finkel is a fascinating story of a man who chose to cut himself off from personal contact with others. He didn't quite cut himself off from the world, the reason we all know about him today is because he was finally caught after decades of theft.

The story is fascinating, but I do have to confess to having problems with Finkel's methods. I realize one has to be a bit pushy to get a story, but how Finkel bothered Knight's (the hermit's) family and acquaintances to pump them for additional information was sickening.

In no way do I want to romanticize Knight's choice to "forsake humanity" or whatever, because the truth is he didn't since he had to support himself with stealing, but this was a quick read, and a nice twist on the usual survival biography.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?