Deja Dead - Kathy Reichs
CG bought this book at the recent book fair featuring the author, so it was just a matter of time until I read it.
As debut novels go - introducing Temperence Brennan - it's good enough but also uneven. CG's main complaint was that the character is unbelievable in worrying about her friends (as in, not enough). My complaint would be the far too lengthy descriptions of forensic procedures/terms, including her motivation for having to explain such things. When she offers brief comparisons to other characters, it works. When she prattles on for pages, seemingly out of character, it distracts.
But Reichs is a witty writer. And the base is there for more. So it's worth your time. But I'd still recommend glossing over some of those gigantic paragraphs.
On the Road to Kandahar - Jason Burke
Part blowhard and part curiosity seeker, Burke adds to the chorus trying to explain Islamic radicalism by checking in with average people in hotspots from Afghanistan to Palestine to places in between.
As a foreign correspondent, Burke is a bit too macho and recless, though he does admit to this with his constant pop-culture references. But as a curious reporter, Burke tries to make sense of each locale and see how all of the pieces fit together in understanding how the West and East have, and will, relate to one another.
Through the years, he admits to changing his mind as to what is happening. And his nascent optimism is shattered after terrorists attack his hometown of London.
Anyoen interested in world affairs might consider reading about his journey, even if they don't agree with the ultimate conclusion. The books is worth it, not so much for the analysis, but for a glimpse at information we rarely get to have.