Michelle J. (mlbish) - Reviews

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Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside
Review Date: 6/8/2008
Helpful Score: 7


Certainly an entertaining book, but really just okay. Although I had some complaints with the book, none of them made me want to stop reading. I couldn't put it down. However, it was poorly written and edited. There are some cringe-worthy mechanical/grammatical errors. Because the author has a difficult day job, however, I suppose we can forgive some of the sub-par writing. The last chapter, in my opinion, was extraneous and self-indulgent. I could have done without that--it left a bad taste in my mouth and I wish the editor had removed it. About the tone of the book: although it does take guts and self confidence to succeed in the field of neurosurgery, that came across in writing as arrogance on several occasions, especially at the beginning of the book. The arrogant tone did seem to wane as the book went on (or maybe I just got used to it).

But, as I mentioned before, all my complaints aside, I was riveted through the whole book.


The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
Author: Michael Pollan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 122
Review Date: 7/18/2007
Helpful Score: 3


A pretty interesting study of a few types of plants. I didn't love how the author anthropomorphized the plants, and he took a lot of liberties with how he describes evolution, but that won't bother everyone. As a serious scientist, that stuff gets on my nerves! The book is definitely worth reading.


Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America
Author: Steve Almond
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 75
Review Date: 12/6/2007
Helpful Score: 5


It never occurred to me that a book about candy could be darkly written, but this one was a bit dark for my taste. It seems these days that anyone who has a book inside them wanting to be written also has some neuroses and personal hangups that are going to come out, no matter what the topic is. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading about the candy and Steve Almond's visits to the factories and commentary on the people he meets. However, I could have done without some of his navel gazing. Ah well, I guess it's his book after all...


A Conspiracy of Paper (Benjamin Weaver, Bk 1)
A Conspiracy of Paper (Benjamin Weaver, Bk 1)
Author: David Liss
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 127
Review Date: 7/18/2007
Helpful Score: 8


This is a great historical mystery. I love the dark version of England that David Liss has created.


A Fury Scorned (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Bk 43)
A Fury Scorned (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Bk 43)
Author: George Zebrowski, Pamela Sargent
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 1/20/2007
Helpful Score: 1


One of thw better Star Trek novels.


If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name : News from Small-Town Alaska
If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name : News from Small-Town Alaska
Author: Heather Lende
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 72
Review Date: 7/18/2007
Helpful Score: 6


A comfortable, homey set of stories about Heather Lende's life in small-town Alaska. Lovely vignettes about lovely people. It will put a smile on your face (and maybe a tear in your eye).


The Kensington Rune Stone Its Place in History
The Kensington Rune Stone Its Place in History
Author: Thomas Reiersgord
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/3/2006


From Amazon:

"Is the Kensington Rune Stone an authentic relic of European travel in the New World over a century before Columbus sailed on his voyages of discovery? Evidence of pre-Columbian European travel in North America has been unearthed in Vinland, Northeastern Minnesota."


I didn't read this whole book, but I did skim a lot of it. I hit all the parts that really appealed to me, including the first and last chapters (I figured they'd summarize it pretty well), and the one about the plague. While I really like medieval history, I'm not so into American history, so I didn't mind skipping the part about the native Americans. I was interested in the journey over from Northern Europe, so I read those chapters too.

I hadn't really thought about the fact that the Black Plague (or, as this author contends, the RED plague, since there was a lot of....blood leakage from...places) affected Northern Europe too, but apparently it was a big deal there. There was some interesting discussion of it impact on the Nordic countries, how it traveled, and also how it might have traveled to and struck North American and the people there.


Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Author: Ross King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 73
Review Date: 8/1/2006
Helpful Score: 4


This one was okay. It certainly didn't read like a novel, as promised in many amazon reviews. It could have used more broad historical context. The author really concentrated on Michelangelo, which makes sense, given the title and intention of the book, but I think a little more general history would have been great.


The Pilot's Wife
The Pilot's Wife
Author: Anita Shreve
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 1656
Review Date: 7/18/2007
Helpful Score: 4


Just okay. I saw the end coming a mile away. It would make a decent beach book, as it is a very easy and quick read.


Red Sector (Star Trek The Next Generation: Double Helix, Book 3)
Red Sector (Star Trek The Next Generation: Double Helix, Book 3)
Author: Diane Carey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 3/12/2007


My husband read this book and seemed to enjoy it very much. It is Book Three in the six book Double Helix series. He has read others in the series, and it doesn't seem like it is too big of a deal to read them together or in order


What's Your Poo Telling You?
What's Your Poo Telling You?
Author: Josh Richman, Anish Sheth, Peter Arkle (Illustrator)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 5/4/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Entertaining little book. I did learn a few things.


Who's Afraid of Virginia Ham? (Chas Wheatley, Bk 3)
Who's Afraid of Virginia Ham? (Chas Wheatley, Bk 3)
Author: Phyllis Richman
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 7/18/2007
Helpful Score: 3


An entertaining read. I love this series! The book isn't without its flaws, but I couldn't put it down. I zipped right through it and enjoyed every minute. It seems to me that this one was a bit darker than the two previous books in the series, and the end was sort of chilling. (Not a spoiler!)


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