Thursday, March 7, 2013

Middle Sister's February 2013 Reads

February was a short month that flew by. That's my excuse for only reading three books. Well, that and I was trying to slog through Les Mis, which I abandoned. It's well-written, but honestly, it's so stinking long...I stopped caring what happened to Fantine.

Last Ape Standing: The Seven Million Year Story of How and Why We Survived by Chip Walter I admit it--I've fallen behind in keeping on top of paleoanthrology news. Yea, I read the news feeds and the New York Times articles when new fossils are found, but I haven't had to teach this stuff in almost 20 years, and there's just too much I do have to keep up with. I thought this would be a  (hopefully) painless way to update myself on the latest in hominins and hominids. Painless it was--and with very recent data, and funny, and a quick read to boot. Walter's writing style is a bit droll and bit sarcastic and I loved it. I could envision a great PBS documentary being made out of this book (well, with me reading it in my head, anyway, it came across as having great A/V potential). Highly recommended if the last you heard about human evolution was Lucy.

Victorian Lace Today by Alexis Xenakis  Gorgeous, gorgeous lace shawls and stoles. So far above my knitting skill level, I can't even see that bar. Maybe someday. I can dream about making and wearing one of these someday, though. Beautifully photographed and laid out.

Shawls Two by Trisha Malcolm All right. more my speed. There were 3 or 4 stoles I want to make out of here. Nice photographs, although the small size of the book itself was a surprise. Bigger is always better when it comes to photographs and patterns.

Tainted Mountain by Shannon Baker This really shouldn't be listed, as I gave up in disgust after chapter 8. I should have liked this book. It takes place in Flagstaff. I love Flag. It involves the very controversial and timely idea of artificially making snow to be deposited on a mountain sacred to the local tribes. This is a ongoing argument here, so very topical. I didn't like it one bit. I didn't like one single character. I need to at least have some sympathy for the main character, and I disliked Nora Abbott intensely from the beginning. Every single character is two-dimensional, mean, and utterly, utterly self-absorbed and narrow-minded. I wish I could have liked it. I really hate panning a book completely, but for only the second time, I'm going to write: stay away from this book. 

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