Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Do chimps have culture?

Ah, the eternal question.
Read this post on Primate Diaries for a great discussion of the topic.


45. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
I read another series by Chima and really liked it so I thought I would pick this one up. I also really liked it. This is just really solid straight ahead fantasy. You have the supernatural, magic, people who are probably not who they appear to be, all kinds of romantic triangles hinted at and some great selfless heroism. Chima is currently one of my favorite contemporary fantasy authors and I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

46. Skim by Mariko Tamiki and Jillian Tamiki
This is a graphic novel about a loner teenage girl as she navigates various teen angsts. It didn't so a lot for me now, although I enjoyed reading a kind of character driven graphic novel. I think I would have loved this as a teenager, though, and really related to it then.

47. The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters
Another great Amelia Peabody mystery. This one is set in Britain, but it is still awesome.

Monday, June 28, 2010


41. A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
A really good re-telling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, with some excellent, strong female characters thrown in. This dragged a little bit in the middle, but by the end I couldn't put it down.

42. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
I was a little disappointed in Ferris's first book, as I'd heard it was hilarious and I did not LOL. I liked this book more. This is the story of a man with a strange medical condition/compulsion/what have you. The book follows him and his family as he deals with this. This description makes the book sound kind of Hallmark-channely, but it is a good character study with a unique premise.

43. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind
Someone highly recommended this book to me, and I always hate it when I don't like a book someone recommends, but I did not like this book. It is about a strange man who has no odor of his own, but has an amazing sense of smell. It goes inside his mind as he commits some murders, and in that way it is interesting, but I really really did not like the main character and did not want to be inside his mind. That was probably the point, but it did not make for an enjoyable read. I did like the descriptions of the smells throughout the book, though.

44. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Loved this book. It is in the form of a diary of a teenage girl who lives through an asteroid hitting the moon and knocking it off course. Of course, various terrible things befall the earth. I love post-apocalyptic novels and teen angst, so this was an excellent book for me. I recommend it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Too much typing

Wow. It has been more than a month since I updated. How have you, my five readers (hi, Mom!) survived without my updates? I bet it has been a struggle.

Here is what I was doing: teaching, finishing the quarter and dissertating like crazy. I will blame the dissertating for my absence as I dissertated myself right into some mild carpal tunnel syndrome plus some bonus tendinitis! I was supposed to rest my wrists some, but as I could not really stop dissertating I did cut down on non-essential typing, thus less blogging. I am pretty cured now -- my wrists still get a little sore from time to time, but rest, ice, Aleve, and sleeping in a wrist brace have done wonders.

Aside from that, in the last month I have also gone to North Carolina, South Carolina and to a conference in Kentucky. More travels await this summer! I am also way behind on my book list, so expect more posts on that. I've also been reading more primatology blogs and am toying with writing about more science. We'll see how that goes, though.