logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: flat-book-society
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-10-17 02:03
The Flat Book Society - 15 days until Forensics by Val McDermid read!
Forensics: An Anatomy of Crime - Val McDermid

Bestselling crime author Val McDermid will draw on interviews with top-level professionals to delve, in her own inimitable style, into the questions and mysteries that surround this fascinating science. How is evidence collected from a brutal crime scene? What happens at an autopsy? What techniques, from blood spatter and DNA analysis to entomology, do such experts use? How far can we trust forensic evidence?

 

Any and all are invited to participate; group discussions will be in The Flat Book Society group, but there are always spontaneous discussions on the status updates too.  

 

More info on the group can be found by clicking on Huggins, our mascot:

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-10-03 00:19
The Flat Book Society - Remember to vote!

Just a reminder from Huggins that everyone in the group participates in choosing the group reads.  There's a list of books under the "Next Books" tab that have been nominated by members, and the books with the highest number of votes are the ones that get chosen for group reads.

 

At the moment, the frontrunner for our January 1st read is:

(Please note: this is NOT the official selection, just the one currently leading in the votes - I won't call the January read until November 1.  Sorry if I confused anyone.)

 

Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life - Helen Czerski A physicist explains daily phenomena from the mundane to the magisterial.

Our home here on Earth is messy, mutable, and full of humdrum things that we touch and modify without much thought every day. But these familiar surroundings are just the place to look if you’re interested in what makes the universe tick.

 

In Storm in a Teacup, Helen Czerski provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. She guides us through the principles of gases (“Explosions in the kitchen are generally considered a bad idea. But just occasionally a small one can produce something delicious”); gravity (drop some raisins in a bottle of carbonated lemonade and watch the whoosh of bubbles and the dancing raisins at the bottom bumping into each other); size (Czerski explains the action of the water molecules that cause the crime-scene stain left by a puddle of dried coffee); and time (why it takes so long for ketchup to come out of a bottle).

Along the way, she provides answers to vexing questions: How does water travel from the roots of a redwood tree to its crown? How do ducks keep their feet warm when walking on ice? Why does milk, when added to tea, look like billowing storm clouds? In an engaging voice at once warm and witty, Czerski shares her stunning breadth of knowledge to lift the veil of familiarity from the ordinary. You may never look at your toaster the same way.

 

For the record, I've read this, I thought it was great, and the flap is right: I no longer look at my toaster the same way.

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-10-02 23:44
The Flat Book Society - November Read
Forensics: An Anatomy of Crime - Val McDermid
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime - Val McDermid

Just a reminder that our BookLikes Science Book Club, The Flat Book Society, is scheduled to kick off a group read of Forensics: An Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid (also known under the title Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime).  

 

Our first official read in September wasn't a very auspicious beginning, but I have high hopes for this one.  Gulp by Mary Roach was a bit of a dark horse winner in our voting, but Forensics was a title most of our club members expressed a great interest in.  

 

So.  November 1st.  Forensics by Val McDermid.   And if anyone would like to join us for this or for any other of our reads, we'd love to have you.  Huggins here will tell you how to get there.  ;-)

 

(hint: hover your mouse over Huggins and wait for the tool tip.)

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-21 17:07
Gulp
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach

Several years ago, I listened to the audiobook version of Gulp.  My reaction at the time was “Fascinating, with just the right amount of yuck factor.” 

 

I re-read Gulp during the early part of September since it was picked as the first Flat Book Society read.  The chatty, anecdotal style that worked so well for the first listen, didn’t hold up as well to a (print) re-read.  The level of detail for many of the chapters seemed more appropriate for a podcast or a newspaper article than for a book, and perhaps would have been better if encountered in episodic form with a break between sections.

 

My least favorite parts were the early chapters discussing the history of Fletcherism (obsessive chewing) and the 19th century experiments on Alexis St. Martin (he of the fistulated stomach), both stories I’d previously encountered.  The book picked up a bit once Ms. Roach started talking about the Oral Processing Lab at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and other recent research into the digestive process.   I particularly liked the chapter debunking the story of Jonah and the "whale." While many find the closing chapter regarding stool transplants repugnant, as someone with a delicate digestion, I found the idea of recolonizing the digestive system fascinating.

 

If you can appreciate potty humor and are interested in a semi-random series of tidbits loosely connected to digestion, then you might want to pick up Gulp for your next audiobook or bathroom read.   

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-14 05:39
Gulp.
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - Mary Roach

Where to start?  

 

This was the book chosen (by popular vote) as The Flat Book Society's first official read.  Opinions seem to be firmly split down the middle, and while possibly an inauspicious start to our fledgling club, it definitely generated a lot of discussion.  

 

My personal feelings about the book started off complicated:  this is not the book I signed up for.  I was hoping for an accessible but scientific look at the human digestive process from start to finish, looking at each step of the process in relative detail.  I think a lot of us thought that was the book we were getting.

 

Gulp is not that book.

 

At first this was disappointing - it still is in the sense of the curiosity unfulfilled - but as I continued reading, and adjusted my expectations once it became obvious I was not going to get the book I expected, I ended up enjoying it a lot.

 

Anyone who has ever read Judith Stone's columns in Discover magazine (a very long time ago) will know what to expect from Gulp (some of them were published in a book called Light Elements: Essays in Science from Gravity to Levity).  Mary Roach is Judith Stone's successor, writing about the science that either seems trivial to most people, or the science no one wants to talk about.  Obviously, Gulp is the latter.

 

This is an overview of digestion in general; not just human, although that is the primary focus.  Roach looks at it from both an anthropological view, discussing the effects our social views and taboos about digestion have on everything from the food we eat, to the medical care we receive, as well as the scientific as she interviews scientists, looks at case histories and discuses current research.  

 

Think of Gulp as an introduction; an audit (in the US English sense of the word), of the vast science of gastroenterology, written with a whole lot of humor. Roach never shies away from a joke, a double entendre, or a bit of lighthearted but vulgar fun.  She never stoops to locker room level humour and she never does it at the expense of accuracy, but you can tell she's had a good time writing this book.  She'd definitely be someone I'd enjoy meeting, although probably not at any social event including food.

 

If that's the kind of book that appeals to you, definitely check this out; it will be informative and entertaining.  If you're hoping for a more focused look at the intricacies of eating and digestion, pass this one on by; it will definitely disappoint.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?