An interesting book, but not that well written. The author has some very annoying tendencies in her writing that just ended up grating on my nerves byAn interesting book, but not that well written. The author has some very annoying tendencies in her writing that just ended up grating on my nerves by the end.
For one, she latches on to something she doesn't like an harps on it far longer than she should. For example, the tendency in the United States for us to measure dry ingredients in cups instead of weight clearly annoyed her and she let us know it; She just needs to get over it, that a slight improvement in accuracy does not make up for the convenience of "scooping" over weighing.
Another annoying tendency she has is to make statements about how until a very recent date, every invention of a specific type was just crap, until this widget came along, when in fact the "new invention" isn't new, just modified. For example, on the she states that there were no good ways to peel vegetables (for the home cook) before the 1990's, and that the ones that were invented in the early 20th century worked well enough (the traditional swivel and rex models) but would hurt your hands and give you blisters if you had to use them for very long. The answer to this was just the "OXO Good Grip" version that had a chunky plastic handle. I've used a vegetable peeler since I was a child in the 70's and never hurt my hand with one. That said, the OXO one is an improvement, and evolution to consider ergonomics in the design, but to claim that it has revolutionized the peeling of vegetables for the general public is not only inaccurate, but detracts from the book as a whole.
Overall, the subject matter was interesting, but I wish the writing was more polished....more
This isn't so much a book as a series of really long guest lectures from a university professor. I half expected Power Point slides with the audio booThis isn't so much a book as a series of really long guest lectures from a university professor. I half expected Power Point slides with the audio book.
For a book, the writing style is unprofessional with a snarky attitude. He half sounds like Barney Stinson, quite often using the constructions and wait of it..., or using the same descriptions over and over, such as blew away like autumn leaves.
The author's reading of his own book only added to the lecture feeling. He had a hard time not laughing at his own "witty" remarks and apologizing for plugging his other books.
Despite the fact that I have no training and very little knowledge of linguistics or etymology, I found myself less sympathetic to his view of the history, because of his style of writing and reading....more
Pretty good read. Not light hearted and funny obviously, but it caught and held my attention. Not sure how it would have been to actually read it (I hPretty good read. Not light hearted and funny obviously, but it caught and held my attention. Not sure how it would have been to actually read it (I had the audio version from Audible), but listening to it in 30 to 45 min segments too and from work was good. I really liked the weaving of actual cancer patient stories into the narrative of the history. The most interesting part, for me, was the relationship between cancer treatment and treatment of HIV/AIDS in 1980's and how that fed back into the cancer treatments in the 1990's. ...more