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review 2018-02-23 06:32
Death on Earth by Jules Howard
Death on Earth: Adventures in Evolution and Mortality - Jules Howard

TITLE:  Death on Earth:  Adventures in Evolution and Mortality

 

AUTHOR:  Jules Howard

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2016

 

FORMAT:  ebook

 

ISBN-13:  978-1-4729-1510-8

 

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This book is horribly written (in my opinion) but some-what entertaining.  The author makes a rather poor (and unsuccessful) attempt to explore death in nature.  There is no focus to this book, no thesis or structure - there is just a collection of chapters that briefly discuss whatever random, sometimes  vaguely death related topic the author came across at any given time (I suppose this is the adventure part of the title?).  The book struck me as being more about life and the strange habits of humans rather than death.  Some of these animal stories were interesting, but all were rather superficial.  The writing style is informal, science-lite, overly chatty with too many far too personal anecdotes and opinions.  This is basically a shallow but fairly entertaining book to read if you don't feel like putting too much effort into your reading matter.

 

 

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review 2018-02-19 04:43
Artemis
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

I have no idea quite how to rate this book so I'm going with 3.5 stars. My first impulse was 4 because I thoroughly enjoyed it, but then I finished it, sat back and actually thought. Most of the plot wouldn't have happened if the main character Jazz hadn't been such a petulant asshole, and pretty much everything is her fault. It's hard to feel sympathy for those kinds of characters, the ones that keep making terrible life choices over and over and never seem to learn. And then in the end get away Scott free. Talk about maddening. 

 

But the writing was well done, the plot moved along at nice clip, and the science seemed sound. Not too much over the top like in the original Jurassic Park books where I wanted to gouge out my eyes every time Malcolm talked. I just wish Weir had dialed it down on the bitch scale a bit because Jazz damn near ruined everything and seemed to think she was entitled to no punishment. Talk about arrogant.

 

 

P.S. early in my marriage we had a black pug named Artemis. He was a needy shit but we loved him. 

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review 2018-02-08 13:34
Flora and Ulysses
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures - K.G. Campbell,Kate DiCamillo

Author: Kate DiCamillo

Rating: 2.5 stars

 

Newberry Medal Winner 2014

 

Book Blurb:  Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. 

 

It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry - and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.

 

I should've liked this. A girl who reads comics and says things like "Holy Unanticipated Occurrences!"  A superhero squirrel that flies and loves poetry. Positive messages on connection and dealing with change... 

 

But I just could not connect with and/or get into this one. I closed the book and said "Meh". Maybe it's cuz I'm not the target demographic? Hmmm. Maybe. That's never stopped me before though. 

 

2.5 stars.

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text 2018-02-05 21:10
Reading progress update: I've listened 270 out of 320 minutes.
Cheer Up Love: Adventures in depression with the Crab of Hate - Susan Calman

This book is a kind of autobiography/self-help guide to dealing with depression, or the crab-of-hate as Susan calls it. It's written and narrated by Susan Calman, a Scottish comedienne, who I've recently started to like. She tells her story in a conversational style, covering all sorts of topics like fashion, therapy, social media etc and how she navigates these in consideration of her depression. As she's a comedienne it'd be a bit strange if it wasn't funny, which of course it is. She's funny and brutally honest about her experiences and I'm laughing while at the same time shaking my head furiously because I can identify with so much. If you're looking for a book which gives an honest account of depression, this wouldn't be a bad place to start.

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review 2018-02-04 20:48
Young Sherlock Holmes Adventures - Drew Castalia,Huw-J.,J.L. Straw,Owen Jollands

This is not like the movie, but it doesn't really claim to be outside of the title reference. Sherlock is a bit of a jerk, and quite frankly, you want him to get smacked. Additionally, the sole female character is told she is useless and then objectified, though some very passing reference is made to Ganesh

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