Thumbs up for After You With the Pistol by Kyril Bonfiglioli. Suspense.
As usual, I had no intention of starting a new book, since I was in the middle of several others; but I was out and about and finished browsing the bookstore my boyfriend and I were in before he did, so I picked a random, interesting-looking book off the display to examine while I waited.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Double Negative by David Carkeet. Mystery.
I’d had this on my “to-find” list for a while because it was a mystery taking place among a group of linguists, and I love linguistics. It was not the best mystery I’ve ever read, but it was readable, well-characterized, moved along nicely, and had occasional flashes of great wit that made up for it being merely “readable.” Also, I couldn’t figure out who did it, and that’s always nice.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Cholesterol Myth by Uffe Ravnskov, MD. Science/nature.
Perhaps the fact that my dad gave me a copy of How to Lie With Statistics at a tender age explains why I laughed when reading this book, which is definitely not funny. While technically about cholesterol, it is in fact a brilliant explication of all the ways people lie with statistics.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for What Pete Ate from A to Z by Maira Kalman. Children’s.
All of the things that Pete the dog eats. If you haven’t seen Maira Kalman’s delightful illustrated stories, go read her “And The Pursuit of Happiness” blog on the New York Times site. Yes, you heard me. The New York Times. Go. It will make you happy.… >> Read more
Thumbs up to Miss Manners’ Guide to Rearing Perfect Children by Judith Martin. Humor/Etiquette.
It is no closely held secret that I do not like children enough to ever have one myself. I do, however, like Miss Manners – very much indeed. She is that special combination of wise and hilarious. Her classic work, Miss Manners’ Guide To Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, is a staple of my bookshelf; and even if I do not live up to it, at least her wit makes me bellylaugh when I am down.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Everyday Life in Ancient Rome by Lionel Casson. History.
It takes real skill to write a work of nonfiction that glides by as rapidly as a good novel; Casson has accomplished that. If you want to get a sense of what it would be like to live in Roman times, this book is a good place to start – easy to read, yet detailed and evocative.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley. Science fiction.
My boyfriend is quite taken with Sheckley right now, and as the bits he read out loud to me seemed highly promising, I was looking forward to trying some out for myself. He recommended this one for a plane ride, and it hit the spot. Smart, quick-paced, and very witty, it reminded me of Douglas Adams and John M.… >> Read more
Thumbs up to Rules for Aging: Resist Normal Impulses, Live Longer, Attain Perfection by Roger Rosenblatt. Humor.
I hesitated whether to categorize this book as “self-help” or “humor.” It’s very funny, but like most humor, it’s funny because it’s true. By all means, read it to laugh, which is what I did; that it’s good advice is just gravy. Such as my favorite, Rule #42, which I always try to live by: “The unexamined life lasts longer”:
“People have been living for over a hundred post-Freudian years with the idea that prolonged and continuous introspection is good for one’s mental health, thus they fail to remember how miserable doing this makes them.
… >> Read more