Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book review: "Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History" by Bill Schutt

I think sometimes I scare my coworkers. When they stop me when they see me going to find a quiet place for lunch to read, they ask me "so what's your book about?" Usually my answer doesn't elicit to many reactions, but when I said I was reading a book about cannibalism it was "Why?! And while you're eating?!"

By now, you guys know my love for very specific, weird, nonfiction. And that's how I ended up reading a book about cannibalism while munching on my lunch.

Each chapter highlights a different type of kind of cannibalism, or question about cannibalism. Here are just a few sneaky peeekies:

- There is a chapter on the Donner Party, naturally. Did you know that the married men out survived the bachelors in the group? The author has reasoning for this that I think is totally wrong, but I'm just some ahole so he's probably right and I'm wrong.

- Do you know how long it takes some snails to mate? 6 seconds! You know why? Post-coitus cannibalism!

- If someone invites you to a Thyestian feast you SHOULD NOT GO

- There's a type of cannibalism that is motivated by filial piety. Looking at you certain Asian countries....

- Want to learn some slang from the 1920s and 30s? If you were an "older homosexual tramp who traveled with a young boy you could be called a cannibal". 

In full disclosure, there was a chapter in the book about whether or not the act of Holy Communion practiced in Christian churches is considered cannibalism. Reader, I skipped that chapter. I did not want to become angry.

This boo was full of interesting tidbits (HAHAHA) and I learned a lot. The only time when I was queasy about this book while eating was the chapter about human mothers who eat their placenta......just...don't....no.

3.8 out of 5 stars!



Friday, March 10, 2017

Book review: "Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch

This was a book club pick for my work friend book club and though I had heard vague good things about it I had no idea what it was about. Looking back this is probably by design because there is very little that I can say about this book without giving away major plot points, so this review is not much help but here it goes.

So Jason is a really smart scientist, but he's not really living up to his full potential because he knocked up his girlfriend who was an aspiring artist and now they are both very happy with their now teenage son but both of them are acutely aware that they aren't really living up to their whole poteintal. Then, one night after a crappy encounter with a friend whose life took the super successful science trajectory that Jason's could have, he finds himself naked in a warehouse at gunpoint by a guy in a creepy mask. And it all unfolds from there.....I'm going to be honest. It was a bit of a slow start, but it did pick up. It I felt like it just had a long build to get to the action.

If I had put together that the same dude who wrote this book also wrote the Wayward Pines trilogy I probably would have been able to guess where this was going to go. But I didn't. And I was surprised. Which is fine.

Slightly spoilery- When Jason and Amanda are in that corrido and that random torn up horrified dude just walks past them and screams, that is the most freaked out I've been by a paragraph of a book in a long time. So, good on you book. You made me go "Eeeeeeeeek!"

So if you like twists and turns and big thoughts about destiny and life and all that stuff, this is the thriller for you.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Book review: "Mexico:Stories" by Josh Barkan

I read this book over a month ago and hadn't gotten around to reviewing it, which maaaaybe says something about the book. (And maybe a little about me...I'm going to say 75% book, 25% me)

It's a short story collection, and each of the stories are centered around people who are not involved in the incredibly scary drug cartels but somehow get pulled into that world.

-There's a Romeo and Juliet story between two kids from different drug cartels families which is by far the least creative or original story in the bunch.

-There's a strange story that involves a mime and a circus and a little person...

The story that I thought was most interesting was about a man who was a kind of mid line plastic surgeon in Mexico. Suddenly a famous narco bursts into his office and demands a makeover. Not just a nip and a tuck but a "I'm going on the lam and I need to be unrecognizable" kind of makeover. The doctor protests ("yeah, usually there's a consultation or two and usually I don't do surgery at gun point soooo can we talk?") Things go south and the doctor fears for his life...

I keep trying to think of things to say about this book and I just keep shrugging my shoulders and thinking "I dunno, it's fine." If you've got a hankering for a REALLY GOOD book about people being dragged into the cartel's sphere I'd much more highly recommend "Prayers for the Stolen". That's a good book. And the cover is great. This cover is ok. It's fine. Everything about this book is just fine. It's like....if Train were a book. Not special, just fine.

I received this book for free in exchange for a fair review from Blogging for Books