Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What I've been reading

The last week or so, I've read these:
Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk
My thoughts: This is a pretty WTF book. It is about rabies. And then it gets weird. It's in the "oral biography" format, which means that it is a compilation of people's statements. It flows surprisingly well for that format. The story starts out weird and gets more and more surreal as it goes. Do not use alcohol or drugs while reading this book. Or maybe you should. I don't know.

Haunted: A Novel by Chuck Palahniuk
My thoughts: Oh, Chucky, what a statement on the base selfishness of human beings that isn't even close to being duplicated in the animal world. What people will do, what false realities they will construct, at the barest whiff of coming out on top, or even just an inch ahead. Wow.

Mr. Wrong: Real-Life Stories About the Men We Used to Love by Harriet Brown
My thoughts: This is pretty funny. In a lot of the stories, the women were just as guilty as the men of bad behavior, but that made it more amusing and less "men suck".

The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong by Barry Glassner
My thoughts: Wow, this book is AMAZING. I am going to have to review it. I wish I owned this copy instead of checking it out from the library, because I had to flag it over and over to go back and write stuff down later. He also takes the "obesity epidemic" into the ring and proceeds to kick its ass, but that's a fairly minor part of the book. Much of it deals with our National Eating Disorder, where we believe that food is medicine, and some foods are evil while others are good. He reveals many food obsessions as classist bullshit, and puts to rest common misconceptions of food as deadly poison. I really enjoyed this book.

The Smaller Majority by Piotr Naskrecki
My thoughts: This book is so gorgeous, filled with macro shots of tiny insects, frogs, and other creatures. It describes the world of tiny creatures that most people don't even notice, and it explains why this world, filled with innumerable interdependent webs of life, must be preserved.

The Cat Who Cried for Help: Attitudes, Emotions, and the Psychology of Cats by Nicholas Dodman
Dr. Dodman is a professor of animal behavior. He really knows his stuff, and this book is very basic, with a lot of anecdotes and use of layman's terms. He's got a very good grasp of the cat mind, and he's saved the lives of many cats whose behavior had driven their humans to desperation.

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