January 25, 2007

Book Round-Up #2

Someday I'll get the hang of writing entries for individual books. Someday.

What to Eat by Marion Nestle (via Chris King

A very good walk down the ailes of grocery stores, explaining labeling, pricing and positioning. Some of the things she writes about are pretty basic: sizes are inconsistent and you have to do your own calculations, processed foods are not healthy choices, soft drinks are empty calories. Others she had covered in Food Politics, so I had encountered them before: supplements are (largely) unregulated, baby formula is, for the most part, not necessary, and the government agencies are held in abeyance by corporate interests. There wasn't much that I hadn't previously encountered, but the explainations such as Natural vs. Organic meats were clear and enlightening. Highly recommended for anyone who purchases food.

Wildside by Steven Gould

What if there was a gate to an Earth where neither humanity nor any other human-conscious analouge evolved? What if this gate was in the control of a just-out -of-High-School Texas youth? The resurrection of passenger pigeons would occur, of course. A fluffy book that made for a good night's read, Gould touches on climate change and new areas potentially open for exploitation, but does so quickly as the book's on the slimmer side. Worth reading once, but Jumper and Reflex are more worth the time.

Finder by Emma Bull

I don't have too much patience with urban fantasy for reasons that I've never bothered to explore. Maybe it seems a little too much like LARPing to me. Whatever. This is the story of Orient, a human who has the ability to find things that are known to exist by either him or the person asking him to find. Over the course of the story he finds a motorcycle, some drug users, some answers. Also, love. I liked this book a decent bit, mainly because Bull is a good writer (see War for the Oaks and especially Freedom and Necessity, co-written with Stephen Brust)