Rodents roam in the underbelly of cities all over the world, and in this peculiar little book the author sets out to examine rodent life in perhaps onRodents roam in the underbelly of cities all over the world, and in this peculiar little book the author sets out to examine rodent life in perhaps one of the most prolific rat infested cities in America: New York. Out of morbid curiosity and the need for some inexpensive escapist airplane reading material, I decided to give this book a try. Face it, rats are disgusting disease ridden vermin so I recognize reading about them can evoke repulsion, fear, and disgust. But rather than focus exclusively on the urban rat life, the author weaves in stories of politics, architecture, labor unions, obscure historical figures, everyday people, and of course rodent control professionals. It turned out to be an interesting and fun diversion from the usual. ...more
Outstanding book. It is an unrivaled moment in baseball history, the longest game ever played, by an author who captured the essence of the event, theOutstanding book. It is an unrivaled moment in baseball history, the longest game ever played, by an author who captured the essence of the event, the game, the place, and everyone involved in this unique moment in time. Great books transform you into the scene and involves you in such a way that makes you feel like you are there. The author adeptly weaves in the back stories of the people involved in the game - everybody including the spectators, players for both teams, their families, the bat boy, radio announcers, statisticians, et al - with the telling of the story of the game that is seamless and almost effortless in its flow. If you have ever been to a baseball game or watched a baseball game whether it is little league or major league, you know in your heart these are precisely the emotions and conversations and experiences that go on every day. Page turner start to finish. Kind of like the game itself, reading it was like being suspended in time and while I didn't want it to end it does, of course, and getting there was entirely glorious.
I won this book on a goodreads giveaway. It was the game winning grand slam on my scorecard, and now I am putting it rotation for my friends to enjoy. ...more
I enjoyed this lively little book about the history of cod. What could seem like an obscure topic for a history book turned out to be an entertainingI enjoyed this lively little book about the history of cod. What could seem like an obscure topic for a history book turned out to be an entertaining and very informative narrrative about a species of fish that has sparked war, shaped international political discourse, impacted diverse cultures, markets, and the environment. The author did a good job of weaving in odd little facts within the larger discussion. Seems a bit ironic that he would lamment the near extinction of the fish while simultaneously offering up cod recipes. The book really focuses on the North Atlantic cod, and he gives only brief mention to Pacific cod toward the end of the book. The relative history focuses on the Nordic waters so it makes sense, but I expected a little more about the Pacific fishing dynamic. In contrast with Salt: A World History by the same author, which I read last year, the flow in Cod was much more organized and overall I found it to be a better book. Both books the author has a tendancy to follow a tangent in the middle of a story, but he gets back to his point, you have to wander with him from time to time to get there. Overall well written and enjoyable. Pictures and drawings are few but very helpful. ...more