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text 2018-04-21 10:20
The Flat Book Society: 10 days to go before May's read begins!
A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup

Just a reminder that our read of A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup begins on Tuesday, May 1st.


While it's obvious that those that love Agatha Christie's books are going to be drawn to this book, don't be fooled into thinking it isn't really a science book.  The science is real and though the author discusses these poisons in the context of AC's usage of them in books, she does not skimp on the chemistry.  


As Boomsbury describes it:

Fourteen Agatha Christie novels. Fourteen poisons. Just because it's fiction doesn’t mean it's all made-up ...

Agatha Christie used poison to kill her characters more often than any other crime fiction writer. The poison was a central part of the novel, and her choice of deadly substances was far from random; the chemical and physiological characteristics of each poison provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. Christie demonstrated her extensive chemical knowledge (much of it gleaned by working in a pharmacy during both world wars) in many of her novels, but this is rarely appreciated by the reader.

Written by former research chemist Kathryn Harkup, each chapter takes a different novel and investigates the poison used by the murderer. Fact- and fun-packed, A is for Arsenic looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering, and detecting these poisons, both when Christie was writing and today.


There are even a few diagrams and equations - but not too many.


Anyone is free to join us, as always.  Huggins loves a good crowd and a good discussion over the relative merits of cyanide over strychnine.


Looking forward to May day!


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text 2018-04-12 00:19
The Flat Book Society: July voting update - 4 way tie!

We're getting close to naming our July read, but at the moment, we have a 4 way tie for first.  Here are the contenders:


The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements - Sam Kean  The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee  Caesar's Last Breath - Sam Kean  Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods - Danna Staaf  


All currently have 4 votes each.  If anyone hasn't voted yet and sees a book here they'd like to read in July, please go to the group page and vote.  You can also vote for any of the other books too, of course, but it would be nice to have a clear winner to call as our July read.


Any and all are welcome to join The Flat Book Society.  Huggins loves a good crowd!


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text 2018-03-26 00:42
The Flat Book Society: Reminder that voting for July read is open.

We have a great selection of nominations for July's read - 12 books covering a wide variety of topics from chemistry, to evolution, to genetics, to geology.  If you haven't had a chance to pop in and vote, or if you think books have been added since you did, make sure to check our voting list to see what's new and what looks interesting and be sure to vote for all your favourites.


Voting for July's book will close on April 15, or thereabouts.

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text 2018-03-16 10:58
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong

This was readable and fascinating start to finish.  


I enjoyed but not really reviewing because not much to add to existing reviews or sure how to condense my thoughts and highlights enough to review.  A lot of material that never got too dense -- possibly because mostly new to me.

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text 2018-03-13 01:04
The Flat Book Society: Nominations are open for July group read.

The Flat Book Society's May read is A Is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup and will begin on May 1st.


The voting list has been cleared (although I added two books to get it started) and is now open for nominations for our July 2018 read.


Please keep in mind that we're aiming for a list containing 10-15 books.  You may vote for books anytime you'd like, and you can vote for multiple books, but be aware that others might add new books after you've voted, so check back often to make sure you don't miss out on voting for any favorites.




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