redbyrd_sgfic (redbyrd_sgfic) wrote,

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Creatures Great and Small

There seems be a creature theme going on in books this season...but I started with mysteries.

Five of a Kind by by Rex Stout
The Father Hunt by Rex Stout
If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout
Death of a Dude by Rex Stout
Classic Nero Wolfe mysteries.

The Big Necessity by Rose George
A fascinating and frequently appalling look at toilets- the good, the bad, and the non-existent. Highly recommended- though not as lunchtime reading.

Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life by Carl Zimmer
You wouldn't think that one could say enough about a single strain of bacteria to fill a popular science book- and you'd be definitely wrong. Bacteria, those 'simple' one-celled creatures, turn out to be unbelievably complex and quite fascinating. The science is not dumbed down, so you might need to look up a few things while reading, but it's worth the trouble. Also, the author does a good job of relating the research to macro-world concerns.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff
Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff
Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff
Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff
Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett
Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett
Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett
The Return of the Shadow by Walter Gibson
The Shadow (movie novelization) by James Luceno

Dry Storeroom No. 1 by Richard Fortey
A long rambling loving memoir of a big rambling institution. Fortey reminisces about his many years at the British Museum of Natural History, the work it does, and the many interesting characters he's known there. Dry Storeroom No. 1 is a fascinating read, a passionate argument for basic research in biology and systematics, and love letter to the organization that has enabled his life's work.

The Shadow: The Murder Master and The Hydra by by Walter Gibson (writing as Maxwell Grant)
A new reprint of the classic pulp novels- great fun for fans of the genre.

Cast a Cold Eye by Marjorie Eccles
British police mystery in the classic mold- not a procedural exactly, nor even completely a fair play mystery, but I had to admire a crucial clue hidden in plain sight before the reader. The characters seemed a bit sketchy, but that may in part be due to me having picked up a middle book in the series. Overall, quite enjoyable.

More Deaths than One by Marjorie Eccles
Much like the previous book by the same author- classic-flavored British police mystery. I didn't find the police characters especially sympathetic, but some of the others were interesting, and once again, she cleverly slid a major clue right by under my nose. For that alone, I had to admire it. Otherwise, I found it readable though not compelling.

Blood Test by Jonathan Kellerman
I've seen these around for ages and finally picked one up at the library. It's very well paced and made for a page-turning read. And yet, the characters didn't really grip me. I'd read another one if I was in the mood for a thriller, but won't be rushing to seek them out.

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
Okay, I don't usually review cookbooks. But this one, I not only checked out of the library but read much of, and tried the basic recipe. And, it's really good. Five minutes is slight hyperbole, but it's a collection of recipes for bread where you refrigerate the dough without kneading, and then can bake a loaf at a time as needed. Very tasty, with a nice chewy crust- a nice contrast to my usual bread machine fare. I will likely buy a copy for myself- clearly just checking it out from the library isn't going to be enough.

Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski
Another sort of book I don't usually review is books of knitting patterns. But again, this is one I read through. The patterns are gorgeous, I'm only sorry I didn't have a chance to try any before it had to go back to the library.

What Einstein Told His Cook 2 by Robert Wolke
A collection of cooking science essays- if you're a fan of Shirley Corriher (whose BakeWise I'm slowing working through at the moment) or Alton Brown, you'll find this very enjoyable and informative.

Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Another knitting book of deserved renown- I enjoyed the writing though again, did not have the chance to try any patterns while I had it out.

Alex and Me by Irene Pepperberg
The Alex of the title was an African gray parrot of enormous charm and personality. I would have liked to have heard more about the science of animal intelligence that he helped scientists study- the book only skims over it. But the book, like the bird, was delightful.
Tags: books
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