To start off with, I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but I was intrigued by this title, since I don't see many books about vegetarianism or veganismTo start off with, I'm not a vegetarian by any means, but I was intrigued by this title, since I don't see many books about vegetarianism or veganism come across the desk at the library. Plus the art is unusual.
The illustrations are unique and expressive, and while some reviewers seemed put off by the odd appearance of the animals, I felt the style worked fairly well with the writing.
What bothers me about this book is the simplified dualistic view it takes of farming. I believe children (and parents!) are capable of understanding that there are more options than eating animals raised on Evil Factory Farms and not eating animals At All. Moreover, since the author is taking an environmental approach to justifying vegetarianism, it ought to be mentioned in the text that in industrial farming both livestock AND crops contribute to pollution and the destruction of natural habitats, etc. And yes, it is suggested on the back page to look for foods that are "sustainably grown", but when a chief point of the book is the harm inflicted on the planet due to farming, the other factors (such as toxins in pesticides and fertilizer) should be more prominently taken into account.
Of course, you may argue, there's limited space in a children's book such as this, and the complexities of the industrial farming issue would go over most kids' heads. It's still wrong to ignore them. But then again, this book is written by and for vegetarians and vegans, so it's not in the author's interests to talk about alternatives such as locally-grown livestock, grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, and other such farmer's market fare. This, IMO, makes for a very limited view of the issue, and therefore can't be the be-all-end-all reason why the readers don't eat animals. This book is a good place to start, and I'm glad that there are children's books talking about the impact of farming and the quality of life of those animals raised as livestock, but I fervently hope that this title serves as a platform for further and nuanced discussion with children, instead of an oversimplified explanation. ...more
The first half of Sykes' book is an incredibly thorough yet still accessible history of the use of mitochondrial DNA in tracking maternal genetic heriThe first half of Sykes' book is an incredibly thorough yet still accessible history of the use of mitochondrial DNA in tracking maternal genetic heritage. It's a nice companion to Spencer Wells' The Journey Of Man, though I read that one ages and ages ago, and can't offer any serious comparison of methodology or anything. All I can say is it was understandable but not too easy, and I actually felt like I was learning something about the process, even though I've read up on this sort of genetic investigation before.
The second half of this book is a fanciful look at the seven "clan mothers" as Sykes calls them, and their possible lives; this is where things get silly. Serious Scientists will obviously have deep objections to Sykes' use of fiction to sell his point, and also that he's cashing in on this interest with a nice expensive genome tracking project (again, Spencer Wells has done the same, but with National Geographic instead of Oxford). Serious Scientists also, no doubt, are all riled up about Sykes very individualistic narrative of discovery, and of course he wasn't working on this stuff alone. But science is a nasty antagonistic business with rival cliques, and none of this came as a surprise to me. Author bias is bound to get into the narrative.
The main point of Sykes' book, though, is that it is not for the Serious Scientist. It's for the everyman (or woman, in this case) who wishes to find a personal ancestral connection to human prehistory. And in that respect, the book succeeds beautifully. I was engaged from the first page. While the life stories of the seven Daughters got a little over the top after a while, on the whole the book is a great way of getting people interested in the picture genetic heritage paints of the world....more
This is my version of trashy summer romance novels. it's so ridiculous, and it's been proven these guys were making things up, and it's such a delightThis is my version of trashy summer romance novels. it's so ridiculous, and it's been proven these guys were making things up, and it's such a delightful silly little incendiary yarn that it makes the boring workday fly by. And yes, I'm shelving this under fiction. XD...more
A really wonderful little story about the labors of a man trying to inventory the vaults of a fictional Louvre, here presented as incredibly ancient aA really wonderful little story about the labors of a man trying to inventory the vaults of a fictional Louvre, here presented as incredibly ancient and nearly infinite. It gets pretty Borgesian in there. ...more
This is a beautiful take on Stevenson's story, with exquisitely disturbing visual style. While the plot adaptation is I think based on dramatic or filThis is a beautiful take on Stevenson's story, with exquisitely disturbing visual style. While the plot adaptation is I think based on dramatic or film versions more than the original text (i.e. there's a woman involved in the downfall), the narrative is concise, and Jekyll's journals have a great literary detachment from the vivid, horrific imagery of the graphics. It all feels very German with the expressionist colors and the proto-cubist-ness, like the story is taking place in the seedy cabarets of Weimar Berlin instead of London, and it fits perfectly. I particularly liked the first transformation sequence where everything goes sort of Dali-esque surreal and creepy. I'll definitely be looking for more work by these artists. ...more
Not entirely finished lookng through this one yet, but so far it's a cutesy little collection of crafts and movie recommendations and recipes for, I'mNot entirely finished lookng through this one yet, but so far it's a cutesy little collection of crafts and movie recommendations and recipes for, I'm assuming, the DIY folks who used to shop at Hot Topic? So, not really my cup of tea. But it's amusing, and has a good variety of different patterns. ...more
While the patterns in this book are a little beyond my knitting skills at the moment, and I'm not yet at the point where I look for challenges and altWhile the patterns in this book are a little beyond my knitting skills at the moment, and I'm not yet at the point where I look for challenges and alterations at every opportunity, Dominknitrix features some of the most solid technical instructions I've found in all the young hip knitting books I've come across. (i.e. not Elizabeth Zimmerman or Vogue Knitting sock books) I especially appreciate the section where different stitches and techniques are shown in both Continental and English style, since I learned Continental initially and it was SO hard to find any instructions on how to purl that weren't English.
The attitude of the book can get a little grating sometimes, but that's the entire premise, and it's funny, which makes it stand out. This is definitely not the essential standard knitting primer, but if you're looking to branch out into more creative projects, or garments, I recommend looking through it. ...more
Like other reviewers have stated, this book doesn't pull any punches. Midkiff lays out the horrors perpetrated by agribusiness (ethical, economic, envLike other reviewers have stated, this book doesn't pull any punches. Midkiff lays out the horrors perpetrated by agribusiness (ethical, economic, environmental, medical) and the government's complicity therein. This essentially reads like Upton Sinclair's The Jungle for the modern era, only the objective here isn't solely to illustrate the plight of the workers. The difference here is that the industrial food system has gotten to the point that in the production of animal "units" for human consumption, everyone suffers. Midkiff does an excellent job of making this point clear. The system is unsustainable.
One of the aspects of this book I particularly appreciated was the lack of political bias. Whether you're an animal rights activist or a farmer stripped of your livelihood by a feedlot or slaughterhouse, this book is for you. Midkiff says that he hasn't set out to write a book advocating vegetarianism or veganism, but to promote the support of small, sustainable farms and locally-grown meats. However, if you're looking for a reason to stop eating meat entirely, this book will certainly convince you. I myself will continue to be an omnivore, though I'm definitely going to find some alternative sources of meat and eggs in my area as soon as possible (Appendix B has a list of contact information for finding farmers' markets in each state).
I'm only giving this four stars becase Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma did an excellent job of taking a broader look at industrial food, including the menace of corn monoculture and industrial organic farming, compared to which the scope of Midkiff's work seems a little limited. However, this book is an excellent companion to Omnivore's Dilemma and I suggest you read them both.
Now if only I could figure out what to have for lunch today that won't make me feel unclean....more
A nice little story which, I think, could have been explored in more depth. I like the Sherlock Holmes-ness of it, and I especially enjoyed the explanA nice little story which, I think, could have been explored in more depth. I like the Sherlock Holmes-ness of it, and I especially enjoyed the explanation for the world/events..the ending was a little unsatisfying but it really couldn't have ended any other way. ...more
This is an odd, funny, wonderful little work that feels a bit like the webcomic Questionable Content, mainly in that it is about hipsters of various bThis is an odd, funny, wonderful little work that feels a bit like the webcomic Questionable Content, mainly in that it is about hipsters of various breeds, and relationships. I enjoy this so much better, though, mainly because the art is wonderful, the plot is hilarious, and the characters are outrageous but still honest and they feel genuine. And, okay, it's also Canadian. Maybe that helps.
Slacker Scott Pilgrim has a band, a tiny basement apartment, a snide gay roommate, and he's dating a high school girl, and he seems to think he's got everything the way he wants it. Enter Ramona Flowers, a cute delivery girl for amazon.ca who can travel through space-time...somehow...and that's where things start turning into a videogame. Ramona's got seven evil exes, and Scott will have to defeat them in battle if he wants to date her. But it's much less cheesy than that sounds.
A great cast of characters and lots of geeky fun. I read the first four volumes in about....three hours. yes. ...more
I feel ashamed of myself for reading this book, since it is just so awful, but I was under duress. I was stuck a LaGuardia airport for five hours on sI feel ashamed of myself for reading this book, since it is just so awful, but I was under duress. I was stuck a LaGuardia airport for five hours on sunday and I needed something hilarious and stupid to keep my mind off the stress and amuse myself. This tiny little "Now A Major Motion Picture!" edition fulfilled that need. Now, of course, I'm worried that I'll never finish the book since this is not something I'd ordinarily read. I'd tried starting it a few months before at work, just to see how bad it actually was, and the writing was the most apalling stuff I'd seen in published form. After a more thorough examination I can now say that at least Meyer had a decent editor for this book, but my god, the plot and characterization are unbearable. The only place writing this goopy would be acceptable is in a romance novel, and that's what Twilight is, in a way, but this is a romance novel with no sex. wow. There's nothing I can really critique about the book that hasn't been said before (Bella as the author's Mary-Sue fantasy projection, the horrible message about self-esteem and life goals it sends to young readers, etc), but on a personal level I'm just astounded that this series has sold so well.
I guess there's always going to be a market for mass-produced airport-ready mindless drivel (here's to you and your ghostwriters, James Patterson!). As a final note, I will say that if I hadn't read The Raw Shark Texts the same week and was will feeling all fuzzy and energized from the great book high, I would have ripped Twilight apart and danced on its remains, screaming.
Will I finish this? probably not. but I think that's a good thing....more
Surprisingly, I laughed out loud for much of this book. I wasn't expecting to do that. I've also learned more about hoboes than I ever thought I needeSurprisingly, I laughed out loud for much of this book. I wasn't expecting to do that. I've also learned more about hoboes than I ever thought I needed to, and I particularly enjoyed the wereworlf lunar transformation charts at the start of each section. Nicely organized, hilarious, and a great way to kill a lazy afternoon. ...more