Thumbs up for Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. Literature.
This is what I call a “bath book” – a book of 200 pages or less that I can read over the length of one (very long) bath. And a most delightful bath book it is. It is a novel in letters (I won’t be poncy and call it “epistolary”), mostly sent between two teenage cousins who live on opposite sides of the hyper-literate island nation Nollop, which floats off the coast of the southern US.… >> Read more
for Photoshop 6 Killer Tips
by Scott Kelby and Felix Nelson. Nonfiction/computers.
The point of this book is that it consists solely of the little tips that other computer software manuals stick in the sidebars, which always have the best stuff in them. This book is full of freaking awesome tips, so mission accomplished. If you are stuck with a decade-old Photoshop edition like I am, I would say, get this book right away; no matter what project you’re working on, there’s going to be enough useful things in here to make it worth your while.… >> Read more
for Getting Started in Bird Watching
by Edward W. Cronin, Jr. Nonfiction/nature.
While bored at work I read this book’s 62 pages of content (the remainder are bird lists). A very useful beginning. The lists however have been superseded by a 99c app on my phone. Ah well.
How does a beginner start to identify birds? Typically, the birds he sees are moving so fast through the foliage or across the sky that he seldom gets a good view.
… >> Read more
for Moon Over Soho
by Ben Aaronovitch. Fantasy.
It’s a demonstration of how very much I liked the first book in this series, Rivers of London (see my review) that I immediately jumped into the second – something I rarely do. Blessedly, it’s just as good as Rivers: full of rich detail and wit. (Yes, Peter does do something fairly stupid in Soho…but what young man doesn’t make stupid decisions when hot women are involved?… >> Read more
for How to Be a (Bad) Birdwatcher
by Simon Barnes. Nonfiction/nature.
A small, wise, funny book that makes birdwatching sound like the best hobby ever. And, well, I guess that was the point. Highly recommended if you have ever for a moment wondered how you might tell the difference between one small brown bird and another.
Birdwatchers are famous for being boring.
… >> Read more
for The Story of Tracy Beaker
by Jacqueline Wilson. Children’s.
This book came in at #31 on the BBC The Big Read list of Britain’s favorite books. All in all, Jacqueline Wilson had seven books in the top 200. Pretty amazing to me, since I’d never heard of her. I immediately marked her down as someone to check out.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Young adult science fiction.
Yikes. Even more intense than the first in the series, Divergent, which frankly was pretty dang intense. Things just keep getting worse and worse in Tris’s world. This is a very violent book packed with action, but not mindless action – Tris is a three-dimensional character who thinks as well as fights, and that’s a good thing because she’s up against some bad shit.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Rivers of London (US title: Midnight Riot) by Ben Aaronovitch. Fantasy.
Absolutely wonderful. I had to look up Aaronovitch’s bio to establish that he was not actually a cop: I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that he was, for the details about police procedure layered throughout Rivers are so concrete. I love that, because Peter Grant’s copper/failed scientist mindset makes him the perfect observer and investigator in this story of magical murders going on in London.… >> Read more