Books, Briefly

Y’all, there’s such a backlog of books I’ve been meaning to post about that I don’t quite know where to start. So, I’m going with some random notes, then declaring book post bankruptcy.

Bad Pharma, Ben Goldacre: Are you a nerd who cares about research methodology? Does your eye get kind of twitchy when people start pulling out numbers that make little sense? This is your book. I often skim over criticism of drug companies because it seems there is so much to criticize and yet it so often comes down to “I shouldn’t have to pay for my pills! Bastards!” Not that I don’t have any sympathy, but it’s kind of hard to be outraged about a business charging for its products. So much easier to be outraged over secrets, lies and slipshod research.

HHhH, Laurent Binet: I picked this up because all those Hs caught my eye and also I think I’ve read some good reviews. It’s about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Big Deal Nazi, mixed up with the narrator musing about his research and this book he’s writing. Normally I think I would find this pretentious and annoying but it’s sort of sweet here; Nazis get a lot of page time so it’s nice to get a break.

The Necromancer’s House, Christopher Buehlman: I’m a sucker for books that have magic and ordinary life. Like maybe you’re a guy who lives in Nowhere, NY and spends his days attending AA meetings and trolling the local Jehovah’s Witnesses. But also, you talk to dead people through VHS tapes and have a bathtub that takes you anywhere you want to go. Fun!

Tin Star, Cecil Castellucci: The title reminds me of Christmas tree decorations my parents have, so I kept thinking of an old-timey Christmassy story. This is not one. It’s about a girl stranded on a backwater space station. Maybe this is one of those series that really takes off in Book 2 but this didn’t do a lot for me. I mean, it was fine, but it seemed like pretty standard Bleak Future with Space Travel and Grifting.

The Last Camel Died at Noon, Elizabeth Peters: I’ve read a couple of the Amelia Peabody books now – it’s the sort of thing I pick up for bus reading. And somehow I can’t decide if I find them charming or annoying.

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3 Responses to Books, Briefly

  1. Jenny says:

    I find the Amelia Peabody books decidedly more charming than annoying. But I also have read all the same trashy Edwardian adventure fiction that plainly influenced Elizabeth Peters (& loved it), so I am particularly susceptible to the brand of humor in those books. The Last Camel Died at Noon isn’t my favorite, though.

    HHhH: Totally sweet, right? My mother made fun of me for describing it as the sweetest book about Nazis I’d ever read, but it’s an accurate description. lt’s a dear of a book.

  2. Memory says:

    TIN STAR didn’t really do it for me, either. It seems like everyone else on the planet loved it, so it’s nice to find someone else who wasn’t bowled over.

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