I'm not into graphic novels, but when a nonfiction subject was presented in this format (and the opportunity to get it signed), I was intrigued. LearnI'm not into graphic novels, but when a nonfiction subject was presented in this format (and the opportunity to get it signed), I was intrigued. Learning about the whole convoluted history of a game I grew up playing was interesting, as well as the history of how playing games evolved (frontal cortex simulation). The illustrations were helpful keeping the various characters straight as Tetris's popularity grew outside of the USSR. With all of the various companies attempting to acquire rights for different countries and formats, the whole phenomenon spiraled out of control. And the poor creator Alexey basically got shafted by his government. There were some fascinating tidbits regarding Gameboy revolutionizing handheld gaming and the pissing match between Atari and Nintendo. The text itself was very simple, but the overall story was delivered in a captivating way. It's a quick read about the history of a pop culture icon.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher....more
This book wasn’t as “scary” as I would have anticipated because of Shah’s thoughtful and cohesive approach to the subject. It didn’t make me feel concThis book wasn’t as “scary” as I would have anticipated because of Shah’s thoughtful and cohesive approach to the subject. It didn’t make me feel concern about invisible pathogens flying through the air or had me washing my hands obsessively, but it did make me very much aware of the nature of pathogens and how they affect humanity on a global scale. Plus it was filled with fascinating facts, which of course I love. Some examples:
-Cholera’s spread was due to colonizing Brits settling in areas of India that even the natives avoided. -Christianity neglected the hygienic practices of the Romans, leading to the spread of contagious diseases. -The CIA “used a sham hepatitis B vaccination campaign as a cover to collect information that led to the assassination of Al Queda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.” -Pigs were once responsible for processing 60% of Cairo’s trash until they were labeled as scapegoat carriers of H1N1 and slaughtered. -It was Nepalese soldiers who caused the cholera outbreak in Haiti, so the UN was ultimately responsible for that catastrophe. -London was basically the Bog of Eternal Stench in 1858.
If you are at all squeamish about boils, excrement, and various bodily fluids and functions, you might not want to read this. But it is a fascinating snapshot of the past, present, and future of pathogens and their interactions with the human race.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via a blog giveaway. ...more
Dr. Di Maio offers a unique glimpse into a dying profession: forensic pathologist. He discusses his career and some of the high-profile cases he has wDr. Di Maio offers a unique glimpse into a dying profession: forensic pathologist. He discusses his career and some of the high-profile cases he has worked on. From testifying in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial, to exhuming Lee Harvey Oswald, he’s been involved in some of the most controversial forensic mysteries of our time. Since he is a specialist in gunshot wounds, he is called upon to consult in many unusual cases, including the murder trial of Phil Spector and even the historical case of Vincent van Gogh. The saddest and most chilling accounts concerned serial baby murderers. But because of his professionalism and the nature of his work, Di Maio maintains a cool indifference, not because he doesn’t care, but because he understands that a dead body is just a husk. And while his purpose is to determine cause of death, his ultimate goal is the pursuit of truth and the deliverance of justice to a victim. I found this to be a highly-engrossing and fascinating read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Goodreads First Reads program. ...more
I was familiar with the generalities of the Cheshire, Connecticut home invasion case that made headlines almost 10 years ago, but this in-depth accounI was familiar with the generalities of the Cheshire, Connecticut home invasion case that made headlines almost 10 years ago, but this in-depth account was absolutely riveting. It doesn’t divulge the grisly details about how one perpetrator raped and strangled the wife and mother Jennifer Petit while the other violated her 11 year old daughter. There are implications made to the most sordid aspects of the crime, but plenty of those heinous facts had already been reported in the press. The main story follows patriarch Dr. Bill Petit through the ordeal he faced as the sole survivor.
At first I was confused by the title; after all, what does The Rising have to do with a family destroyed by violence? Then I realized that Bill is the Phoenix, rising from the ashes of unthinkable tragedy. This is Bill’s story, how he survived, endured two trials, media scrutiny, and the darkest moments imaginable. Through the generosity of his community, he was able to establish a foundation in honor of his wife and daughters. He even found reasons to smile again, finding love and having another child.
As horrifying and sad as the whole thing was, this book is a testament to the three Petit girls who were selfless, kind, and undeserving of their fate.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Blogging for Books. ...more