Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beware the Tiger

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and SurvivalThe Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival by John Vaillant

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. I will say that some of the descriptions of the victims were hard to read, but overall I was impressed with how restrained Vaillant was in these passages. It would have been easy to over-describe, but he maintained respect for the deceased. It was a little hard to follow the book as it skipped back and forth in time and around in geography. I know that some readers cannot stand books that do that and they will not like that in this book. This technique doesn't really bother me, but it was sort of distracting. Given the real paucity of data on the actual events, the need to fill out the book with the background was real and interspersing the background with the events kept me reading through all of the data. I'm sure I retained more of the background than I would have if there would have been an extensive background separate from the event descriptions. The background research was very thorough and made the book much more than a voyeuristic journey of gore. I knew that tigers were endangered and that man was the primary reason for that, but it was very interesting to see just how our economic journey impacts the tigers. All in all, a very worthwhile read!

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Curl Up With a Book Sunday

19841984 by George Orwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this one for the first time years ago and I remember being fascinated by the idea of The Party and its stranglehold on its members and utter control of all in Oceania. This time around I read it because it was is the January book for my book club. Either the book isn't holding up or I have changed. I kept waiting for it to get to the point and was frustrated with Winston and Julia's affair and their blind trust in certain persons who all proved to be completely untrustworthy.

There are books that I enjoy re-reading, but this wasn't one of them. Perhaps it is because too much of the book has come to pass. My every keystroke can be monitored at work and there is no privacy online. There also seem to be those who would whip us into the mindless frenzy that The Party loved to create. Then again, I believe that one of Orwell's aims with 1984 was to make us uncomfortable with the parallel between his fictional world and the one we see out our windows. In that, this book still succeeds.

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy 2011!

New year, new times. Comments are back on. Play nice.