April 26th, 2012

kitty, reading

Books #17 & 18

Book #17 was "What Is My Cat Thinking?: The Essential Guide to Understanding Pet Behavior" by Gwen Bailey. This is a short book, only about 100 pages, with lots of illustrations, so it was easy to read in one day. Negatives: the book could have been more carefully edited. I found a period in the middle of a sentence, and a grammatical error that was repeated a couple of times. The positives: I liked all the photos of cats in different poses and the explanation of what the pose (or ear and tail movements) were likely to signify: friendship, aggression, fear, etc. I think it'd be a good book for anyone who is thinking of getting a cat, anyone who has a cat with behavior problems or anyone who wants to introduce a new cat to an existing cat already established in the home. It's written by a woman who is head of the humane society in the UK, and she seems to really know her animal behavior science.

Book #18 was "God is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens, as an audiobook read by the author. I liked this book a lot, but he was preaching to the choir in my case. I listened to it on a road trip with my husband, through the Bible Belt where there are homemade billboards with "Jesus Loves You" and the 10 commandments posted near the highway. Hitchens explains why all the major sacred texts are fiction, why all religions are corrosive and corruptive to human dignity and progress and highlights a few beacons of reason and enlightenment through history. I knew a lot already about what he had to say about Christianity and Judaism, but I learned something from his critiques of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and a few other minor sects. I think the book would not sway any firm believer, but it would be an informative read for anyone on the fence or a budding atheist who isn't sure how to counter objections from believers. It's also an entertaining read for an established atheist such as myself.



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Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

I read a lot while I was in the Jury Assembly Room, yesterday, but I only finished one book:

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces #49: Croatian Aces of World War 2. Now, I admit that the Ospreys have covered a whole lot of the history of the world and its soldiers, but honestly, Croatia? In WWII? Really? But even odder is that they do have documented aces fighting with the Germans against the Allies...

I guess those Germans just kept really meticulous records!
der Mut

Absolute Fun American Invention; Unexpected Zen Prize in the Burn

The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
Slight but lovely. The images will stick with me longer than the words will.
(74)

Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel (reread)
Even better than last time I read it.
(75)

Absolute Death, by Neil Gaiman et al (almost all reread)
Also even better than last time I read it. Which was ... 13 years ago? Marvelous to read such big lovely recolored pages, and there were some bits I hadn't read before, with some of my favorite artists.
(76)

Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007, edited by Dave Eggers and the members of 826
My favorite of all the annual anthologies. This one had a lot in it about the war.
(77, O31)

Burn, by James Patrick Kelly (nook)
Every time I read James Patrick Kelly I think, "I should read more of his stuff!" This was no exception. The people are very very true, is the best part; the ideas are nifty, is the second-best.
(78, O32)

The Prize in the Game, by Jo Walton (nook)
A bit rough compared to her brilliant later works; still, there was a lot of good in it. By the last 50 pages or so, I couldn't drag myself away.
(79, O33)

Presentation Zen, by Garr Reynolds
I'd been trying to do this kind of presentation - simple and meaningful, rather than cluttered and ugly - based on second hand examples, so I thought it was a good idea to go back to the source. It helped.
(80)

The Unexpected Corpse, by B. J. Oliphant (aka Sheri Tepper)
I am sick. This is exactly the sort of mystery novel I adore when I am sick (and at other times, too). Crusty old lady sleuth with a heart of gold, lots of didactic moral ranting (with which I largely agree). Whee. So pleased I still have a few more left in this series.
(81)

Petrefax, by Mike Carey and Steve Leialoha
Novel and old-fashioned all at once. Which is, you know, exactly how a Sandman comic should be. I need to start Lucifer from the beginning one of these days.
(82)
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