logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: books-about-books
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-13 09:13
A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup

This one is for all the Agatha Christie fans out there who also love science.

 

Harkup devotes a chapter to each of the 14 poisons Christie used to eliminate so many of her victims over the course of 56 years writing mysteries.  In each chapter she discusses the history of each poison's discovery, its use in real crimes throughout history, its antidotes (if any), how its tested for, and how Christie used each poison in her books (as well as how accurate her knowledge was - hint: very).

 

I found the writing compelling and incredibly interesting, but this is not a book for people bored by, or disinterested in, chemistry and anatomy.  Harkup knows her stuff both as a chemist and as a Christie fan.  She gets into the nitty gritty details about how each poison wreaks its havoc in the human body; this might cause some eyes to glaze over.  In almost every chapter, she manages to discuss Christie's books and plots without revealing the killer, and when she can't avoid it, she clearly warns the reader upfront that there are spoilers ahead, offering "go to page xx" to readers wanting to avoid knowing whodunnit.  Some might still find her discussions too revealing, so be warned; if you want to know as little as possible about the books, save this one for later.

 

At the end, she offers a fascinating appendix of every book and short story Christie wrote, with each US/UK title and a list of all the ways people die, a more esoteric appendix illustrating most of the chemical structures discussed in the text (the rest are on her website), a select bibliography and a comprehensive index.

 

I came away from this book having learned a lot, but possibly the two most important things:  strychnine is just about the last way I'd want to go, and that Christie would have been the last person I'd ever want to piss off.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-10 03:49
Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores
Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores: True Tales and Lost Moments from Book Buyers, Booksellers, and Book Lovers - Garrison Keillor,Bob Eckstein

The author and illustrator, inspired by an assignment for The New Yorker, chose 75 independent bookstores from around the world and painted a watercolour of each storefront.  Superimposed on these illustrations are quotes or stories about each shop, told by the owner, an employee, or a customer.  Some have a definite 'wow' factor, some are sweet, some are funny.  At the back of the book are a collection of stories that didn't fit into the book but couldn't be left out.

 

All of them reaffirm my desire to own a bookshop someday. 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-08 21:25
A Child of Books - Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston
A Child of Books - Oliver Jeffers,Sam Winston,Oliver Jeffers,Sam Winston

An entire picture book expanding on the concrete visualization demonstrated in “A Mouse’s Tale” in Alice in Wonderland. Of course I love it. Who among us does not feel like a (former) Child made of Books? Well then. Library copy

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-06 05:38
No Two Persons Ever Read the Same Book: Quotes on Books, Reading and Writing
No Two Persons Ever Read the Same Book: Quotes on Books, Reading and Writing - Bart Van Aken

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this book was a gift.  An amazing gift made personal and unique by my bestie, so I was never going to rate this less than 5 stars.

 

Now that the bias has been disclosed, it is actually a beautiful book.  The cover is metallic gold cloth (not printed gold paper) and each page is set in it's own typeface, one that fits the spirit of the quote (as interpreted by the author and the typesetter, at least).

 

The best part:  each quote includes a small biography of its author and if the quote originated in another language, it's repeated in its native language.  This made it easy for me to curl up and read what is unarguably nothing more than a book of quotes as if it was a narrative, beginning to end, Saturday night.

 

If you are inclined towards collection books, I un-hesitatingly recommend this one.

 

"Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, a fate.

 

It is not a hobby."

 

-Jeanette Winterson

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-03 03:05
Invisible Library series is ridiculously fun
The Burning Page - Genevieve Cogman

My latest at B&N SciFi.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?