Thursday, March 10, 2011

I feel like a vulture...

...picking over the dying Borders bookstore. Wah. It was my favorite local bookstore, and the main reason my family ever went to that mall. (A mall which as a whole seems to be dying a slow death, too, sadly.) I suppose I'm part of the problem: nowadays I buy at least half my books online (many of them used). But I still prefer a bookstore I can physically walk through for browsing and buying random items that catch my eye.

So, I've been going every week or so, picking out a few books to take home with me. I find that I have much less patience these days to read novels (especially not big long epic ones), so mostly I end up with fluffy nonfiction books (preferably written by a scientist/doctor/engineer/whatever as opposed to a journalist).

Today's catch:

The Food of a Younger Land (Mark Kurlansky)
I really liked Kurlansky's book Cod, and enjoyed some of the others, so this looked promising. I also vaguely remembered reading a review of this book in the Washington Post, so...hmm... I did always wonder what Americans ate in the old days when food was a local thing. (I remember years ago I read some old book about turtles where they talked about eating them as if it was common! Well, who knows?)
Survival of the Sickest (Dr. Sharon Moalem)
Subtitled "The surprising connections between disease and longevity". They had lots of them at the store. I'm not sure how "surprising" it will be to me, but it looked like a fun book. It was on sale! It should help me design my next generation of vampires and werewolves. (Remember, in my world, vampirism is caused by mutant magical parasitical worms.)
The Island of the Colorblind (Oliver Sacks)
I've always enjoyed Oliver Sacks' books. This one is from 1996, but I don't have it in my collection. I do now! Ha ha! Anyway, obWriting: this kind of thing helps me think about how aliens might be alien (mentally and in their perceptions). Also about how in the future humans might meddle with their own minds. Or how you might design AIs. Etc.
Quirkology (Richard Wiseman, Ph.D)
Subtitled "How we discover the big truths in small things". Is this trying to capitalize on the popularity of "Freakonomics"? Still, I do have a weakness for psychologist-magicians, so there we go. Humans! Ha ha! Silly creatures. So yeah...this is the first one I'm actually reading!

Once I finish these books I'll get back to writing. (Ha ha ha ha ha! Shyeah, right. Ok, I did do a bit yesterday, but now I need to start a new chapter and I'm not sure what happens in it, so I stopped writing. Um. Later.)

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