Category: Book Review Monday

Pollan almost lost me on page 20.

I remember when I got to the end of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma thinking, “Well, what the hell CAN I eat, then?” Although the image of that potato farmer covered in fertilizer did stick, I was pretty much done with Pollan lecturing me on how everything I buy in a supermarket contributes to the destruction of…

Read more Pollan almost lost me on page 20.

You would think that most of Puri’s time would be taken up in just staying alive, but you would be wrong.

Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Missing Servant is a different kind of crime novel, and not just for its vibrant street view of modern India. Vish Puri is no loner PI in the traditional Sam Spade mold. He’s the proprietor of Most Private Investigators Ltd., a thriving concern. He has employees. He has an…

Read more You would think that most of Puri’s time would be taken up in just staying alive, but you would be wrong.

A very scary ex-lover resurrects himself from Rose’s past, a neat trick since she thought she’d killed him.

Poke is a travel journalist living in Bangkok, married to Rose, a retired bar girl with both now adopted parents to Miaow, a precocious prepubescent rescued from the Bangkok streets with hormones and attitude both kicking in in full measure. A very scary ex-lover resurrects himself from Rose’s past, a neat trick since she thought…

Read more A very scary ex-lover resurrects himself from Rose’s past, a neat trick since she thought she’d killed him.

…the Viagra of the year 1000…

What a delightfully informative little book! I don’t know how they crammed so much information into just 200 pages (reminds me of Mark Kurlansky’s Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World and this one doesn’t have recipes). (And why not, I ask? Hmmph.) The authors take something called the Julius Work Calendar,…

Read more …the Viagra of the year 1000…

It is difficult to find anywhere in the records a favourable comment on the Free Companies in the Middle Ages.

Less than two hundred pages packed with information on the title subject, written in lively prose and illustrated mostly with line drawings from the times, plus a few photographs. Where else are you going find out that during the Middle Ages An amusement gallery was sometimes run in conjunction with a medieval zoo…In these galleries…

Read more It is difficult to find anywhere in the records a favourable comment on the Free Companies in the Middle Ages.

Saint though he might have been, you could smell Francis of Assisi coming long before you saw him.

Cahill is determined to redeem the Middle Ages from the likes of William Manchester (A World Lit Only By Fire) and Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court). On the contrary, Cahill writes The reputation of the Middle Ages for thuggish cruelty is largely (if not wholly) undeserved. which I find a bit…

Read more Saint though he might have been, you could smell Francis of Assisi coming long before you saw him.