Monday, February 23, 2009

a bit of blame

You know, I told myself that I would try to get as many blog posts read yesterday as I could, and then I was just going to mark as read. But I just couldn't do it. So now I'm giving myself the week to get caught back up. And then I pull the mark as read lever. Maybe.

Man, did I have a major case of the Sunday night blues last night. Always tough coming off a vacation. I think that may be the reason I was so cranky and got so terribly annoyed with The Strand Prophecy, the book I was reading for the Sci-Fi Experience. I fully expected to enjoy this book, and actually might still enjoy it at another time. Annie definitely loved it. But right now I just have a bad attitude about it, so I'm going to set it aside. (So, what caused my little snit? Well, first, there was this: "...his obsession was with the human brain, and why so much of it was left unused." We use all of our brain! Nymeth found this myth in a book she read recently, too, but I can't for the life of me remember which book it was so I can't link her comments here. Anyway, the author went on to talk about the connections made in our brain and whatnot, and I thought, "Okay, maybe we're actually okay here, and that the choice of wording earlier was just not as clear as it should have been." So on I read. And then I come to this: "Humans are by far the largest population of animal on the planet, thought Steve." What?!! Have you never heard of insects, Steve?!! The Earth's ant population alone is estimated at as high as a quadrillion. And maybe I could even have ignored this, had Steve, the character to whom both of these thoughts are attributed, not supposedly been a brilliant scientist. Yep, there you have and my crankiness laid bare. Hey, better I took it out on a book than on my family, right?)

Okay, but let's get past my petty grumblings, huh? After all, books galore entered my abode last week. I guess I'll start out slow here. These are the books that arrived via PaperbackSwap:

Selected Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Just another I needed to pick up for that literature class we may be using. But I am eager to dip into it.

The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III. Hmmm...I honestly have no idea what possessed me to order this one, but it does sound good.

All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians, and Artists by Terry Gross. Totally whim. Because I love Fresh Air, even though I don't get to listen to it nearly enough anymore.

A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle. And yep, here we finally have a point to award. And I'm sure everyone knows who gets this one, huh? Yep, Nymeth's review landed this one on my wish list quite a while ago.

I hope to be back later with a little babble about the graphic novels I read last week. Then I can show you all the new ones I acquired, too.


Nymeth said...

It was Hardboiled Wonderland & The End of the World by Murakami. That would totally annoy me too! A scientist saying those things...yeah, right, that would happen. Your "ever heard of insects" comment made me laugh out loud, though :D

Guess what I just finished reading! Bugs in the Brain :D Verdict: awesome. Toxoplasma gondii is mentioned in and Rich are seriously going to love that book! I asked you when replying to the comment, but in case you don't see it: if Rich has any recommendations of books on parasites, I'd love to hear them :D

I know I'm going on and on, but I just LOVED the last few lines of the essay: "We need phylogenetic humility. We are certainly not the most evolved species around, nor the least vulnerable. Nor the cleverest."

And a Fine and Private Place <3 I love the cover of your edition. Very "vintage" looking, and very pretty.

Debi said...

Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed that essay! Not only did I find it incredibly interesting, but I really enjoyed his writing...for a scientist, the guy sure can tell a story. ;)

Oh, oh, and I've got just the book for you! (Though maybe you've already come across it.) Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer. It's one I'm definitely planning on reading for the Science Challenge. I can't remember for sure if Rich has read it or not, but I do know he was the one who recommended it to me because he likes Carl Zimmer.

Trish said...

Parasites? Eeeks!! Um...not sure what else to say. The comment I had in my head has now disappeared. Going to go reflect now on parasites.

Oh ya--curious what you think of House of Sand and Fog. I read it years ago and remember it being dark. But compelling.