Monday, August 18, 2008

A miscellany of mysteries & a graphic novel

How the Dead Live by Derek Raymond
This was a bit slow starting out but once you get used to his writing style he’s great! I love the way he says so much in so few words:
It’s the capacity of knowing that’s the real agony of existence; maybe we would all of us be more honest without knowledge.
I’m looking forward to reading more of him. He died in 1994 and there are only 5 in this series so I might actually get to read all of them.

Epileptic by David B.
This is my very favorite graphic novel! It is an incredible story of growing up with an epileptic brother, plus a look at the medical crazes in France of the 70’s. It is complete fascinating!

A Grave in Gaza by Matt Beynon Rees
Teacher Omar Yussef is working with the UN to investigate the imprisonment of a UN teacher in this, the 2nd in the series. As well as a great mystery, Beynon Rees teaches you so much about Arab culture and customs. This is a great series!

Lie in the Dark by Dan Fesperman
This is a mystery story that takes place in Sarajevo at the height of the war. Our police detective, Vlado, investigates a case of stolen artwork which involves entanglements with the government, the UN and the military. Very exciting!

Little Girl Lost by Richard Aleas
Detective John Blake investigates the murder of his high school girlfriend which leads him into the world of strip clubs and mobsters. Nominated for an Edgar and Shamus award for best first novel.

Above Ground by Don Easton
Jack Taggart (Cpl. in the RCMP) seeks vengeance after an innocent man with his name is killed & his infant child is paralyzed by a vicious drug dealer. This is a satisfying, tough read full of danger and which questions “what is justice?”

Reviewed by Julie

Monday, August 11, 2008

Good Eats!

The Organic Food Shopper’s Guide by Jeff Cox

If Michael Pollan’s books In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma inspired you to change your eating habits, you will find that this book is a good resource to have. Cox starts out with a chapter called “Why Buy Organic Food?” in which he spells out the benefits of organic versus conventionally produced food. Then it’s on to chapters devoted to groups of foods, further broken down by individual type. For each type of food Cox provides information on growing season, varieties, how to determine freshness, tips for storage and preparation, and some simple recipes. He winds it up with a chapter at the end called “Kitchen Staples,” where he discusses such items as coffee, chocolate, and cooking oils. Cox also provides resources for learning about and locating organic foods. This is a good primer for those just venturing into organic foods and a handy reference for the more experienced shopper.

Reviewed by Macaire