Sunday, June 19, 2011

This Week at the Library (19 June)

In addition to the reviews posted this weekend, I also finished Biology Made Simple -- which proved to be too simple for my needs. Although the book improved vastly as the author covered the bodily systems, the opening chapters on basic biological functions are too simplistic to be of help: I generally need to see diagrams of chemical reactions to fully appreciate what is happening. For that, I think I should return to Biology Demystified instead.

At the library, I picked up:

  • Cop Hater by Ed McBain, which I read within hours of picking it up for the first time.
  • God is not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Rule the World and Why Their Differences Matter by Stephen Prothero. This book has been checked out of the library for months: I'd assumed someone lost it, but apparently they've been renewing it again and again and the library's software didn't catch them. This should be an interesting read, given that I tend to believe humanity's various religions have all interacted with one another too much throughout the course of history to be completely separate. 
  • Sharpe's Fortress, the final book in the Indian trilogy by Bernard Cornwell. 

Also, on Friday morning I received The Third Chimpanzee by Jared Diamond in the post. I've been wanting to read this one for a while.

I also have The Age of Faith. I'm presently reading about  the Islamic wars of conquest and hoping for something a little more cheerful, like the spread of the Black Death. Robert Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks through Walls is still unfinished. I'm finding it an altogether odd reading experience: I read Currents of Space by Asimov last week in part to scratch my old-school SF itch but with a more familiar author.


  1. If you really do want to read something on the Black Death, then I must recommend the most readable book on the subject Philip Ziegler's The Black Death. By turns its funny, traumatic and horrific.

    Is my own review!

  2. Although that remark was more a joke, in truth I have looked for books about the historical importance of the Plague before. It appears Ziegler's work may be just what I'm looking for when the itch strikes me again. Are you familiar with any other medieval history authors?


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