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Sunday Salon: the Satisfied Post

August 1, 2010

I did meet the goal I had yesterday of finishing up those four books, and that’s put me in quite a satisfied mood! But I also want to get back to reading my new books, so let’s dive straight into what I read this week, shall we?

I read a review ages ago of Angelology by Danielle Trussoni that made me decide to put it on hold; I’ve never heard of it before, so imagine my surprise when I was #94. By the time I made it to the top of the list, I’d completely forgotten what the book was about. I remembered it had angels, and I had a vague idea that it was YA, but that was it. Turns out, it’s not YA, and the only way I know how to describe it is if Dan Brown had written The Historian with angels instead of vampires, it might look something like this. I enjoyed the first 300 or so pages; the writing wasn’t anything special, and the characters were pretty much stereotypes, but the plot drew me on and it was just plain old fun. But I don’t know what happened to the last 150 pages, if an editor quit or what, but suddenly the writing went from ‘nothing to special’ to ‘kind of atrocious’. Here’s a passage from page 302:

“Come, Sister,” Philomena said once they were in the hallway. Whatever anger Philomena must have felt at Evangeline’s truancy had disappeared. Now her manner was inexplicably gentle and resigned. And yet something about Sister Philomena’s demeanor seemed disingenuous. Evangeline didn’t entirely believe her to be genuine, although she couldn’t pinpoint why.

And it kept getting worse. Here’s a sample of page 432 (it took me awhile to choose between this and a later passage, but that one contained very mild spoilers, so this one it is):

A pair of Yorkshire terriers with red ribbons tied into the fur over their eyes jumped off a couch and bounded to the door as Bruno and Evangeline stepped into the apartment, barking as if to frighten away intruders.
“Oh you silly girls,” Alistair Carroll said. He swooped them up, tucking one dog under each arm, and carried them down the hallway.
The apartment was spacious, the antique furniture simple. Each object appeared both treasured and neglected, as if the decor had been painstakingly chosen with the intent that it would be ignored.

The story stopped working for me too; while the earlier book had included several pastiches describing past events, once the action was firmly in the present it became a ‘timed run around NYC quest’ (think movies like The National Treasure) that just annoyed me. I was confused; it suddenly felt as if an entirely different author had written the last third of the book. And then, when I got to the very end, I felt gypped. The ending isn’t a real ending at all, which I can only assume means Trussoni has another book waiting in the wings. But she could at least have the decency to do a kind of faux ending if she wants to set herself up for a sequel. This was so not an ending that I turned the page expecting to find another chapter. It’s too bad; while I was reading the first half of the book, I imagined a review saying ‘a fun book, not as incredible as The Historian but in the same general vein just much fluffier.’ Unfortunately, the last third of the book prevents me from saying that, so instead I recommend this to Dan Brown fans (and for the record, I’ve read both The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, so I do have a bit of a reference point): the plot is certainly page-turning, and if you’re willing to overlook weak writing and characterisation for that, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this. Do be warned, though: the very ending is both a bit silly and predictable and utterly unsatisfying.

If you recall from my Library Loot post, I saw Chances Are by Michael and Ellen Kaplan while browsing and decided to take it home with me since I love statistics and probability (why yes, my name is Eva, and I’m a nerd). And you know what? I loved, loved, loved this book! It’s pop mathematics/science at its best: the early chapters trace the development of probability and the later chapters look at its application to aspects of human life (justice, weather, war, etc.). That in and of itself is clever, but I loved this book for the writing and the author’s ability to put theoretical stuff in its place (i.e.: they point out when the theory is lovely but doesn’t have much bearing on the actual world). Here are a few of my favourite passages, so you can get a feel for the writing:

The law of average rules each play much as the Tsar of All the Russias ruled any one village: absolutely, but at a distance.

Normality, in modern society, stands for an expectation: the measure of a quality that we would consider typical for a particular group; and, since we naturally seek to belong, we have elevated that expectations to an aspiration. Man is born free but everywhere is average.

The combination of higher-than-average intelligence, energy, curiousity, and a large personal fortune can produce remarkable things. Francis Galton had the intellectual and physical vigor that characterized Victorians at their best. His portraits show him high-domed and sideburned, sleek, and alert; a racing version of his cousin Charles Darwin.

And in doing all this, we must be brave-because, in a world of probability, there are no universal rules to hide behind. Because fortune favors the brave: the prepared mind robs fate of half its terrors. And because each judgement, each decision we make, if made well, is part of the broader, essential human quest: the endless struggle against randomness.

Good stuff, eh? I often laughed while reading this (seriously!), but at the same time it definitely made me think, and I learned cool stuff…like the 52 cards in a deck increases possibilities so much that if it’s well-shuffled (which means at least 6 shuffles), speaking from a probablility angle the order of the cards is unlikely to be same as any other deck ever dealt in all of history. Isn’t that fascinating? The chapter devoted to medical studies was really good, and among other things I learned why the MMR vaccine actually doesn’t cause autism and that in the US medical studies are no longer the randomised placebo-using ones we imagine because no one’s willing to consent to taking the risk of not having the drug.

I’m skipping over A Fine Balance, since I want to explore that in more depth than my TSS style allows. Which brings us to The End of the Free Market by Ian Bremmer. I can’t speak about this one as a reader; as an academic, I found his arguments weak, his research shallow, and I spent most of my time reading teasing out the flaws and wondering what exactly his argument was. He finally got around to it in the final chapter: the increasing economic power of non-US loving countries might make life harder for US companies. Boo-hoo. At least, I think that was his thesis…honestly, I’m still not positive even though I read the book! I think this could have been a strong book, if he focused just on China (rather than trying to talk about a variety of countries, which often only got a paragraph or two, thus being pointlessly generalised, while China got most of the focus, and his chapter on countries with oil just drove me bonkers) and if he’d focused on the human rights problems that China’s increasing economic clout bring (i.e.: they’re more than happy to invest money in horrible regimes, including Sudan and Burma, which significantly decreases the West’s soft power). But he didn’t. And, honestly, most of the behavior he describes in a tone of outrage (governments using their country’s natural resources to profit and become stronger, using protectionist policies to protect nascent domestic industries, etc.) didn’t bother me from an economics perspective. After all, the developed countries use their economic clout to do whatever they want, so why shouldn’t the rest of the world? And the West wouldn’t be at the economic level it is today without using many of these same techniques in the past (and should we talk about farm subsidies?). I’m certainly not condoning the governments of, say, Saudi Arabia, but it seems to me that if we don’t want governments we disagree with to be rich, we shouldn’t buy their natural resources. Not once does Bremmer explore the idea of the US using one of its greatest resources (its innovation and the brain power it has in both its own citizens and the well-educated people from around the globe willing to immigrate here) to decrease our dependency on oil and thus deprive those countries of their huge profits. Also, even he admits that Norway’s state-owned oil company isn’t a problem…so really, his thesis falls apart, because obviously we’re not talking about an economics problem but a political one. The West doesn’t have problems with these states because they’re fans of government-run industry (as Bremmer calls it, state capitalism); the problems arise because the state governments have different values (and aren’t willing to simply get in line behind the US). That’s a serious issue, and one we’ll have to address, but it arises more from our own consumer-oriented society than anything else. In other words, neo-liberal economics created a lot of the problems Bremmer describes, so we probably need to look outside the neo-lib box to find some solutions. I wouldn’t recommend The End of the Free Markets unless you also read a book like The Bad Samaritans to get some more perspective. (This is a sample of how I’m tempted to review international relations books…let me know if you thought it was helpful or not.)

Next I finished up Letters from a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stuart, which was such a treat! It’s a collection of letters from Elinore to her friend back in Denver, after she decides to stop being a washerwoman there and head west to homestead. What I loved about the letters is Elinore herself…she’s so optimistic and cheerful, and she’s so good at telling stories, that she reminded me a bit of a real-life Anne of Green Gables. :) I also loved the glimpses of a vanished way of life: as I said, Elinore is a good story teller, and she really made turn-of-the-century Wyoming appear before me. She meets a variety of people, most of them complete characters, and it was such fun to be along for the ride. And Elinore’s so strong, this would be a perfect Women Unbound choice! The letters do end pretty abruptly, and my edition at least didn’t tell me what ended up happening to her, which is a bit of a shame, but this book was a delight and one I highly recommend. (I would share with you a passage, so you can get an idea, but I listened to the audio version and didn’t remember to type anything out.)

Four nonfiction books in a row! Next up is The Jaguar Smile by Salman Rushdie. Rushdie is one of my all-time favourite fiction authors, but I’ve never read any of his nonfiction. This is a travelogue about a visit he made to Nicaragua in the 80s (when Reagan was actively trying to bring down the Sandinista government), and once I decided to read it as a travelogue instead of a political analysis, I very much enjoyed it. Rushdie has a good eye, and he really brought what he say to life. There’s a lot of emphasis on the Sandinista government, its flaws but mainly its strengths, which makes sense since Rushdie was invited by the government and since at the time US policy was so vehemently against it. I took the profiles of the people for it was, and while Rushdie is scathing of the Reagan administration, this didn’t bother me since he didn’t conflate it with the US in general and since, really, US foreign policy in Central America deserves as much scathing as one cares to throw at it. Backyard indeed. In my favourite chapter, Rushdie heads east to Bluefields which is culturally and politically separate from Mangua and western Nicaragua (it has more of a Caribbean history and most people speak English rather than Spanish). Since he’s no longer visiting with government officials, he simply describes the countryside and people he’s seeing to great effect. Here’s a taste:

After eating we went to visit Mary Ellsberg’s friend, the local midwife, Miss Pancha. She was rocking on her porch in the village’s downtown section, and when she saw us approach she let out a whoop. “Oh, Miss Mary,” she said. “I was worry when I see you comin’ ’cause I did not have my brassiere on. These days I only puts it on when I has company and you done take me by surprise.’ Miss Pancha had the largest breasts I had seen in my life, and, Mary told me later, you couldn’t actually tell the difference when the bra was on. I was saying hello to Miss Pancha when her pet cow strolled out of the living room and joined us on the porch. ‘Say “hi” to my darling, too,’ Miss Pancha said.

Isn’t that great? This is a slim little book, and well worth a read; I thought it was a great complement to other Nicarguan books I’ve read.

Skipping over Seraph on the Suwanee, since it too deserves its own post, brings us to Red Gold by Alan Furst. I must say, I think my expectations were a little too high. The first Furst (hehe) book I read, Night Soldiers blew me away. This one was good, but much shorter, and I didn’t feel as much connection with the main character as I did in Night Soldiers. The strong writing and spot-on setting was still there, but I can’t say I loved it. Still, it was a good, solid read, and Furst remains my new go-to for spy books. In the future, I’ll probably be more excited about his longer works, though…those are the ones that really give me something to sink my teeth into. I highly recommend looking into him if you enjoy espionage or WWII fiction!

Whew! I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. So I’ll save Memories of Muhammad for another day and wrap this post up. And like everyone else, I can’t believe it’s already August! I’m off to spend some time with my new books…I’ve got Cold Comfort Farm, Biography: a Very Short Introduction, Kartography, and Africa’s World Wars lined up, and then my mom and I are taking my niece to the Renaissance Festival (I’m never been before and am a bit nervous). What book have you decided to start August with?

62 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2010 8:14 am

    I love the excerpts from Chances Are. I’m not saying it will convert me to belief in probability, but you never know! :p

    • August 3, 2010 10:33 pm

      Those excerpts are very representative, so you should pick it up. There’s a whole chapter about weather that made me think of you! :D

  2. August 1, 2010 8:19 am

    I never felt an inclination to read Angelology. And from reading several reviews from bloggers that I trust which didn’t enjoy the book, I don’t think I will read it.

    As for the other books, you of course added to my wishlist again :) I now have Letters from a Woman Homesteader and Chances Are written down.

    • August 3, 2010 10:33 pm

      I don’t know how I’ve missed so many Angelology reviews! lol And yay for Women Homesteader and Chances Are. :D

  3. notjustlaura permalink
    August 1, 2010 8:20 am

    Letters from a Woman Homesteader sounds right up my street but I’m unable to find it on Can you tell me where you got it or check for an ISBN, please? Thank you.

    • August 3, 2010 10:34 pm

      Hi Laura! My copy was an audiobook downloaded from my library’s ebranch. But on my ‘Books Read’ page, I link to the publisher as long it’s in print. Women Homesteader is currently published by Houghton Mifflon Harcourt (here’s the link). Hope that helps!

  4. Ashley permalink
    August 1, 2010 8:37 am

    I just wanted to say that I really appreciated your review of The End of the Free Market. One of the things I worry about when I read nonfiction books about areas that I don’t know anything about it is how the author’s bias is playing into everything (that and accuracy, but that wasn’t the focus of your review here). Sometimes it’s easy to tell, but sometimes it’s not, so I appreciate reading a critical review from someone who is more knowledgeable than I am.

    I did read and more or less enjoy Angelology (I think I’ll probably read the sequel at some point, but I would never buy it), but I’ve got to admit that it was the sort of book that by the time I got to the last third or so I was basically skimming to find out what happens at the end, so I managed to not notice the writing style at all. Maybe the editor did the same thing I did :-P.

    • August 3, 2010 10:35 pm

      Thanks Ashley! I was skimming the last third two, only stopping when I came to a particularly ridiculous sounding passage, lol. I won’t be reading the sequel, but I do plan to look up the plot online. heehee lol @ your theory about the editor

  5. August 1, 2010 9:04 am

    …if Dan Brown had written The Historian with angels instead of vampires, it might look something like this.

    I think this explains my reaction to Angelology to a T- I hated The Historian, and I didn’t like Angelology. I actually just realized I never actually posted my review of Angelology, so thanks for the reminder!

    • August 3, 2010 10:36 pm

      Can’t wait to see what you make of it! I lurved Historian, though…I’ve been meaning to reread it to see if I’ll love it as much on the second go round. ;)

  6. August 1, 2010 9:09 am

    You finished four books in one day?! Girl, you are awesome! Letters from a Woman Homesteader sounds like a great read! You gave me one more reason to avoid Angelology. It’s been hyped so much online, that I’ve been weary of it. Have a great Sunday!

    • August 3, 2010 10:37 pm

      Finished up: I’d started reading all but one of them earlier! :) Woman Homesteader is SO good, and yeah, skip Angelology. I don’t know how, but I’ve been completely oblivious to all the hype or else I’d have been turned off too. Maybe the hype happened while I was offline?

  7. August 1, 2010 9:11 am

    Wow, great list of books! I felt similarly about Angelology. The ending really ruined the book for me, not that it was anything exceptional to begin with.

    I loved this line: “but it seems to me that if we don’t want governments we disagree with to be rich, we shouldn’t buy their natural resources. Not once does Bremmer explore the idea of the US using one of its greatest resources (its innovation and the brain power it has in both its own citizens and the well-educated people from around the globe willing to immigrate here) to decrease our dependency on oil and thus deprive those countries of their huge profits” – that is something I find a lot of books like this are unwilling to tackle. I would point to America Alone which I just reviewed which moans and complains about Wahabiism and how Saudi Arabia promotes in and they have so much money, but never suggests that we stop bankrolling them!

    • August 3, 2010 10:39 pm

      Thanks Amy! It is frustrating when authors don’t acknowledge that it’s the West’s demand for natural resources that in large part props up non-democratic governments (although, of course, with China’s demand increasing that might not always be true). I watched a documentary about the electric car, which had almost become a reality during OPEC’s oil control in the 70s but then fell apart once gas prices returned to normal…from a policy perspective, I’m not really opposed to higher oil prices (which Bremmer complains about frequently as ‘market distortions,’ and which made me want to scream about the environmental costs).

      And I’m glad you’re with me on Angelology! If only I’d seen your review, I would’ve just skipped it. ;)

  8. August 1, 2010 9:38 am

    I expect that once I return from my Yale summer of Chaucer I’m going to be reading lots of “old comfys” which for me is stuff like the Furst book. I’ve also found my reaction to him to be hot and luke warm, but when he’s hot, he’s hot.

    • August 3, 2010 10:40 pm

      I can see Furst as a comfort read! What are your favourites of his?

  9. August 1, 2010 9:40 am

    I am impressed that you were able to read four books yesterday. Sometimes I don’t even get four books read within two week’s time!

    • August 3, 2010 10:40 pm

      Thanks! I’d started 3 of them before yesterday though. And I have too much free time. ;)

  10. August 1, 2010 10:15 am

    You are a reading machine! How you manage to read so many books in so little town baffles me…

    I paged through Angelology a while back and was immediately put off by the writing. Even the opening pages felt stilted and sterile to me, so I decided it wouldn’t be a book for me. Also, I didn’t much care for The Historian (loved the first 120 pages, then found the rest a soporific slog) and while I think Dan Brown can plot a thriller, he’s certainly not a writer I admire… All to say this probably wouldn’t be the book for me!

    I hadn’t realized Rushdie had written any non-fic, but The Jaguar Smile sounds great! I’ll have to check it out!

    • August 3, 2010 10:41 pm

      lol! I only average 50-100 pages an hour…I just have lots of hours! And yep: Rushdie’s written Jaguar and a couple essay collections I believe.

  11. August 1, 2010 11:00 am

    As I’m such a fan of Rushdie’s fiction, I’m not sure why I have never read any non-fiction but The Jaguar Smile sounds like a good one. I actually just bought Haroun and the Sea of Stories because I’ve never read it either.

    Now, back to my Diana Wynne Jones week. :) I’m reading Dogsbody today and then going from there!

    (And I sent you a follow request on Twitter and would love to be approved!)

    • August 3, 2010 10:41 pm

      Oh, you’re in for a treat with Haroun! :D Can’t wait to see your review. ;) Sorry it took me a few days to approve you on Twitter; I use Seesmic Web and it doesn’t tell me when I have follower requests.

  12. August 1, 2010 1:00 pm

    A great list of books, Eva. I have to say I was put off by Angelology from the get-go. Something about the title and cover didn’t sit well with me. I am intrigued by Chances are.. even thought I’m not a math nut, and I definitely want to read The Jaguar’s Smile. Have a great week!

    • August 3, 2010 10:42 pm

      Your Angelology instincts were right! I’m not a math nut either, except for probability and statistics. ;)

  13. August 1, 2010 1:48 pm

    I’ve always wanted to read Alan Furst, and now based on your recommendation might have to read him. However, I’ll definitely be staying away from Angelology. Thanks for warning us.

    • August 3, 2010 10:42 pm

      I highly recommend Night Soldiers! But I don’t have much experience w/ Furst to compare it too.

  14. August 1, 2010 2:24 pm

    I was very interested in Angelology when it first came out, but the longer it is out the less I want to actually read it.

    • August 3, 2010 10:42 pm

      lol! Isn’t that often the case w/ hyped up books?

  15. August 1, 2010 3:16 pm

    Thanks for the tip about Letters from a Woman Homesteader. I just requested it from the library and am now eagerly awaiting reading it.

    Glad you’re back to the blogging world. Missed reading your excellent reviews!

    • August 3, 2010 10:42 pm

      I hope you enjoy it as much as me! And thanks for the sweet comment. :)

  16. Kathleen permalink
    August 1, 2010 3:24 pm

    I will definitely not be planning to read Angelology. I have resisted reading The DaVinci Code and this is another one that I have on my “probably won’t ever read list”.

    • August 3, 2010 10:43 pm

      I can understand that: too many other books to read! :)

  17. August 1, 2010 3:52 pm

    You are a reading machine! I can’t believe that you finished four books yesterday. Congratulations. I’m trying to read more nonfiction, so I think I’ll be tracking down a copy of CHANCES ARE. Happy Sunday!

    • August 3, 2010 10:44 pm

      Thanks Jessica! I hope you enjoy Chances Are as much as I did. :) And if you’re looking for more nonfiction authors, may I suggest Oliver Sacks? (I have about a billion others springing to mind too, hehe)

  18. August 1, 2010 5:11 pm

    These sound really good. I was interested in the first one (the angels one) until you mentioned it turned too silly at the end; I hate that. The probability book and the homesteader book are totally up my alley. Good stuff. Don’t you love finishing off a bunch of books?

    • August 3, 2010 10:46 pm

      I do love finishing off a pile: getting to pick 4 new ones to begin at once is thrilling and unusual. :)

  19. August 1, 2010 5:46 pm

    Now you see…I had been interested in Angeleology, but then you went and said Dan Brown and now I will never ever ever be able to read it :p With that association in my head, I now have a permanent block against it. I can’t even begin to describe the loathing that I have towards Dan Brown :/

    On the good side, the Rushdie book sounds really cool!

    • August 3, 2010 10:47 pm

      Eek: sorry about that! But if you loathe Dan Brown, it’s probably for the best I warned you off. ;)

  20. August 1, 2010 7:58 pm

    You have me coveting Chances Are! I have never been a mathy kind of geek, and I am always on the lookout for books that will both appeal to my interests and help me understand mathematics and statistics better.

    • August 3, 2010 10:47 pm

      Do get your hands on it! I’m not a mathy geek either (except for stats & probability), and I had no problem understanding it.

  21. Kerryn permalink
    August 1, 2010 10:13 pm

    Well my August started with Reginald Hill’s new novel, The Woodcutter – wonderful book. I’m now half way through Treasures of Time by Penelope Lively. On the bedside table is The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (my pick for the Booker), The good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ by Philip Pullman and Madame Solario by Gladys Huntington. Winter in Australia is a perfect time to snuggle up with a pot of tea and a good read.

    • August 3, 2010 10:48 pm

      I LOVED Moon Tiger when I was in high school-I really need to read more Lively one of these days! It sounds like you’ve got a good full nightstand…and I’m jealous about your winter. I’m defiantly drinking mugs of tea despite the weather here, but it’s not easy. ;)

  22. August 2, 2010 1:42 am

    I’m a nerd too and love pop science! Chances are is now on my list :-)

  23. August 2, 2010 3:28 am

    I actually like Angelology but I seem to be in the minority ;P However, I wasn’t too sure about the ending either, although I am looking forward to how the story will unfold. I’m so impressed by how many books you’ve read and in such a wide variety of subjects. I’m definitely going to find ‘Chances Are’ purely because probability and stats was my weakest maths subject and I just can’t seem to get my head around it (I got confused at school and have stayed confused since.)

    • August 3, 2010 10:49 pm

      You should also track down Drunkard’s Walk for stats/probability. :) That’s so funny that it’s my strongest area…possibly because I studied lots of philosophy in high school? Whereas with math like calculus, I can’t look at an equation and instantly see the graph, so it’s tiresome.

      I liked Angelology for the first 300 pages, if that helps! ;)

  24. August 2, 2010 6:39 am

    I’m kind of confused if I should try Angelology. I like Dan Brown but don’t love him. But I insist on good writing too. Those passages you posted make me feel that I will probably get frustrated with it. Hmm.. it’s for books like these that I have a ‘maybe/maybe not’ folder.

    I just saw an Alan Furst book recommended at Lisa’s Lit and Love yesterday. To see it again today has made me doubly interested now. WW2 is surely my favorite period to read about, probably because of how much the human spirit was stretched to show either extreme goodness or badness. And espionage! Reminds me of those classic books and movies I’ve read that feature remarkable spies. Gotta try it out!

    • August 3, 2010 10:49 pm

      You could always give Angelology a try and abandon it if it’s not for you. :) Go for Night Soldiers w/ Furst: it was so good!

  25. August 2, 2010 11:28 am

    I had high hopes for Angelology, but it sounds pretty tiresome. It was one of Justin Cronin’s recommendations when he was on the Today Show awhile back, so that’s a little disappointing, too!

    The homesteading book sounds fantastic! I bet my library doesn’t have it, but that sounds like one I’d spring to own.

    • August 3, 2010 10:51 pm

      I’ve never heard of Justin Cronin…#evafail

      You might see if your library has an audio version of Woman Homesteader…that’s what mine had. But I definitely want to own a copy one day, so I think it’d be worth buying!

  26. August 2, 2010 11:50 am

    For months I’ve been looking for a good book to read on The Great Wild West, particularly the lives of people who took part in the expansion of it. I just have never read anything on that topic, and I was interested.

    And yes, FINALLY, a recommendation of a good one! Thanks for the mention of Letters of a Woman Homesteader.

    • August 3, 2010 10:51 pm

      Glad I could help! :D As someone who has no background knowledge of the West, I found Letters really easy to get into. It doesn’t provide any big picture stuff though.

  27. August 2, 2010 8:17 pm

    I didn’t know you were reading Letters from a Woman Homesteader — I loved that book. It is great for a reread too, very enjoyable, I so agree. (my copy is Houghton Mifflin reprint, c1988, with illustrations by N.C. Wyeth)

    And I have no interest in Angelology either. If I want to read an angel-y book I will go for the angel romance novels of Claire Delacroix ;)

    • August 3, 2010 10:52 pm

      That’s the copy I linked to in my books read page! I’m really curious about the illustrations (my copy was an audio version). I haven’t heard of Claire Delacroix, but I’m off to look her up. :)

  28. August 3, 2010 4:04 am

    You are possibly the world’s most voracious reader! I love the sound of The Jaguar Smile. The excerpt you chose made me giggle! :)

    • August 3, 2010 10:52 pm

      Aww: thanks! And wasn’t that part funny? lol As someone who only wears a bra when I leave the house and/or have company, I could totally sympathise. :D

  29. August 4, 2010 9:27 am

    Just the title of The End of the Free Market makes me wary, though it doesn’t tell me what approach/thesis it’s taking. I loved hearing your thoughts on that one, and I completely agree with your arguments here. I’m happy to give this a miss.

    I don’t mind reading books that offer a different perspective from mine on this issue (I’m a mere 100 pages into The World is Flat but I’ve committed myself to finishing it), but not if I already have an opinion of the author’s opinion before starting – I like to come at them not knowing what their views are.

    Angelology is one paranormal fiction novel I haven’t felt in the least bit tempted to read – and I feel justified for it now! Oh wow those quotes actually made me laugh! I have some tolerance for it just because it’s so common in genre fiction, that if you want to read the stories you have to stop griping about the writing or else give in! But it is atrocious. I’ve read worse though, loads worse!

  30. August 5, 2010 12:04 pm

    I have Angelology but I’m not expecting much from it, I’ve read both good and bad reviews. It’ll be interesting seeing which way I feel…

    That’s some heavy non-fiction in such a short time!


  1. Review: Angelology « The Literary Omnivore
  2. Favourites Reads of 2010 « A Striped Armchair
  3. Bernardo and the Virgin by Silvio Sirias (thoughts) « A Striped Armchair
  4. Walking with the Comrades by Arundhati Roy (thoughts) « A Striped Armchair

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