Friday, August 29, 2008

Some book reviews

So I finally finished reading Unweaving the Rainbow about a month ago. Why did it take forever? A couple reasons.

1. Richard Dawkins is a pompous a-hole, who constantly points out the idiocy of the human affliction while simultaneously holding himself up as the gold standard of logical thinking.

Okay that might be a bit on the rough side, but that sure is the vibe I got throughout the book.

This means that I spent a whole lot of the book trying to convince myself to find reasons why he was wrong, even if I knew he wasn't. Just to show that SOB (in my own mind of course, where I always win) who was really the idiot.


2. He covers a LOT of topics VERY quickly. Everything from actually discussing rainbows and the ice crystals that form them to DNA testing, psychics, genetic evolution, trait favoring, world perspective, random chance statistics, and more. Yes, even more, and all within 352 pages.


My brain has trouble keeping up with an entirely new topic every chapter, so there was some serious re-reading occuring.


3. I really wasn't all that interested in the book to begin with. A co-worker sang its praises as a book for smart people and practically gift-wrapped it so I would read it.


I can say with some surety that I will not be picking up another Richard Dawkins book. :)



I also recently read a few other books. Like Random Acts of Senseless Violence. This work of fiction is based in apocalyptic New York in the near future. It is written in the form of a diary. The reason I bought this book is for the linguistics within it. The main character begins as a sweet private-school girl who eventually turns into a thuggish, gang-banging, murdering street hoodlum. This in and of itself does not a good novel make, but throughout the whole book her verbiage changes from what you would expect of a private schooled girl to an entirely foreign dialect. And you understand it throughout the whole book as she makes the changes.


The book was all-right. The linguistic aspect of it was pretty entertaining, but I wouldn't buy the book for any reason other than that.


Also reading The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain (author of acclaimed Kitchen Confidential which I loved). This is a collection of short writing which Tony has done for various local publications, schools, corporate meetings, blah blah blah.


Great book for filling in the gaps between appointments. The shortness of the stories allows you to get a whole helping of literary sarcasm in about 5-10 minutes. Kept it in my car and picked it up whenever I had a few minutes and am now nearly done.


Next book is Confessor, which my roomate checked out from the library. The final book in a series that I have been reading for a good long time. Totally psyched to get this series over with and onto something new.


melissa said...

Your Dawkins review is a hoot. I had The God Delusion recommended to me by a few gals whose opinions I trust. I still may check it out, but I'll be wary of pompous assiness.

And Bourdain is awesome. :)

TomboCheck said...

Melissa - :) I'd say read the God Delusion. I'd be interested to see if you get the same impression as me about Dawkins.

And yeah, Bourdain is hilarious.