What have you just finished reading?
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. I…really need to talk to some people who have read it. All I can find are glowing reviews, and I had so many issues with this book. For one thing, the palpable air of misogyny that ran throughout. The book is narrated by two different characters: Amy Dunne and her husband Nick. No matter which character is narrating, there’s just a slew of misogynist language: each woman is a whore, a cunt, a bitch, or a slut. And it’s not just the narrators: every character quoted uses these words in excess, creating not a misogynist character, but a world in which women are promiscuous, duplicitous, and evil by nature. I found each main character profoundly unlikeable, and while the plot twists were satisfying and shocking in the beginning, in the end, I couldn’t help but wonder: what’s the point?
What are you reading now?
I’m more than a third of the way through The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. It’s about a mysterious circus that travels the globe, cropping up overnight to delight and enchant, and two rival magicians who have been brought up since childhood to compete for the glory of their instructors.
I have always been fascinated by circuses; I touch briefly on that fascination in “Lady Nadya Parts the Veil of Mists”. (A short story which can be found in the Sampler Plater section of this blog.) I am really enjoying this book, and it’s seamless weaving of fantasy and reality. The story is just on the edge of a cliff, I can feel it, and I can hardly wait to tip over tonight!
I am also reading Bad Science, by Ben Goldacre, on the recommendation of my friend LG.
Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window. But he’s not here just to tell you what’s wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You’re about to feel a whole lot better.
I’m a longtime skeptic, and so haven’t encountered anything new so far, but Goldacre’s writing is both compelling and concise, and I’d recommend this book to pretty much everyone, science afficianado or not. We are all presented with scientific information everyday and expected to make choices: this book will help you make better ones.
What will you read next?
Probably one of the many books off the “Essential Sci-Fi Reading List” put together for me by my friend JD. So many sci-fi books I need to read, and she is a damned good salesperson.
I’m also open to other suggestions! I like to read what other people are reading: it makes me feel a part of something. :)