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text 2017-08-19 23:41
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 226 pages.
The Last Alchemist in Paris: & Other Curious Tales from Chemistry - Lars Ohrstrom

Apparently a diet consisting of only heavy water (deuterium instead of hydrogen bonded to the oxygen) rather than regular water would give you serious health problems. Now I kind of want a science fiction writer to use a locale that has too much heavy water and have everyone get sick from it.


They should probably include sentient trees while they're at it (see my review of The Hidden Life of Trees).

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review 2017-08-19 19:24
Unmentionable by Therese Oneill
Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners - Therese Oneill

This was a quirky albeit sometimes condescending at the more intimate areas of life in the Victorian era. The tone did grate at times and I had to sometimes roll my eyes at the chatty condescension, but it was still funny and the tone didn't bother me all the time. It was a pretty quick read, and I enjoyed many of the quotes from "experts" of the day. There were also a lot of examples of advertisements and so on.


Previous update:

164 of 298 pages

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review 2017-08-19 16:13
The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms - Amy Stewart

The Earth Moved is an overly chatty book that takes a superficial look at the uses of earthworms.  I felt the author spent too much page space regurgitating what Darwin had to say about earthworms and going on about her worm bin and her garden.  There wasn't nearly as much information about earthworms as I had hoped, just generally the stuff one learns in junior high-school biology class and the odd factoid, and no diagrams.  I did however find the chapters on land reclamation and sewage treatment informative.




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text 2017-08-19 11:44
Reading progress update: I've read 190 out of 346 pages.
Life and Letters of Charles Darwin - Volume 1: By Charles Darwin - Illustrated - Charles Darwin

I recently saw Darwin dismissed as "a racist and social darwinist." I'm not entirely sure how that squares with  his oft expressed views in opposition to slavery - views that were not popular with many of his correspondents and colleagues, including Fitzroy, captain of the Beagle, with whom Darwin had a fierce argument on the subject.

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review 2017-08-19 03:46
How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country - Winston Rowntree,Daniel O'Brien

This is book about how to beat up presidents and it is perfect. This book is so perfectly kickass that if you don't agree, I'm sure this book will find a way to kick your ass. There's a lot of ass kicking in this book. I'm talking like this because I'm coming off some type of violence induced endorphin high and how I really wanted to start this review was... "In a world... where you have to defend yourself against the badasses who ran this country..." (using my deep, gravelly voice, of course), but I thought better of it because maybe no one would get it.

Anyway. Some (like...my husband for example) may wonder what I'd possibly enjoy about a book that's a humorous biographical view of each president, focusing on just how to defeat each in hand to hand combat. My answer is... what's not to love? Let me count the ways:

It has the history. O'Brien loads you with the most relevant and interesting facts and stories he could dig up to prepare you for battle. Teddy Roosevelt and the most pissed off fox in the forest is a personal favorite of mine. If you're going to defend yourself, you better know the brand of crazy you're working with.

It's inspiring. I'm currently tearing a page out of Washington's book and going to win a war based on my will alone.

It's funny. And therefore, highly entertaining.

"“If Mr. Fantastic and Professor X had a baby, there would be tons of questions, but also it would be Abraham Lincoln.”

It has new and creative uses of about every obscenity I know. I'm always looking for a wordsmith.

It's loaded with references to the male genitalia.

Here, I pause.

There's something you should be prepared for, dear reader, should you take on the lessons within this book. You're going to run into an enormous amount of penis. Penis jokes, Penis envy, Penis measurement. Waving penises. This book discusses the penis more than any of my favorite romance books.

In fact, the chapter on Johnson *alone* might have more uses and variations of the penis than all the romance books I've read this year, combined.

I know that JFK has seen more action than all my reads this year combined. And possibly the president who thought it was unAmerican if you didn't do it in the snow. I think that was Adams.

Clearly, this book is not for the faint of heart. You'll need a healthy sense of humor, but I will say for all the crude and or/rude delivery, it is balanced with smarts. In between jokes, there is some wonderful insights and even if you're a buff, I think a couple of takeaways could be had. I certainly had several (real, honest ones unrelated to the comparison of the presidents mettle vs. ball size).

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