Thursday, March 25, 2010


Also known as, an update on what I have been reading.

The Mortal Instruments trilogy [beginning with Book I, City of Bones]- Cassandra Clare
These books are a bit ubiquitous, in that they are sitting in big stacks on an awful lot of bookstore tables, and you've probably walked by them yourself and maybe been put off by their shininess and/or the Stephenie Meyer endorsement on the cover. But I've been meaning to read them for awhile and the planets aligned for me, in the sense that I picked up a copy off one of those piles and took it home and started it even though it seemed intimidatingly long and, well, shiny. INTERNET! This book is astonishing! It has funny dialogue and demon-hunting and star-crossed love and fairies and protagonists with secret destinies. In other words, it is the best book ever. And then there are two more. And another one to be released next year. Altogether, the trilogy is already, like, Tolkien-length, and I finished it in about, uh, a week?

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York - Deborah Blum
I have only read the first 60 pages of this so far but I already feel confident in my assertion that it is excellent. [I think I heard about it from the BookSlut blog? Maybe?] Starting it last night, there were lots of passages that I felt compelled to read aloud to James strictly because I found them so interesting. Like all great non-fiction, this book makes you feel like you are not even learning anything because it's so compelling. (This is how it should be. Reality IS compelling!) In this case, the subject is two men-- a medical examiner, Charles Norris, and a chemist, Alexander Gettler-- who rose out of a corrupted and ridiculous system of investigating deaths in New York circa the 1910s and 1920s and basically invented forensic science. They are cool and committed and badass, like Grissom but real.

In March, 2006, I started keeping track of my reading. Since then I have read 243 books. Sometimes I review them on here, usually only if I really like them.

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