Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist's Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases by Gary Small

A collection of unusual cases from the practice of American psychiatrist, varying from a naked young woman standing on her head on the emergency ward to a slowly progressing dementia of a colleague. All cases are solved very neatly and quickly by the author, while most of his fellow doctors tend to be arrogant fools. Pretty interesting as such, but gives an impression that psychotherapy is a fast process which is most often based on a clever insight of the therapists. The book was entertaining to read in spite of a great amount simplification of the process.

267 pp.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

The long waited installment of perhaps the best fantasy series there is or have ever been.
The story continues partly in parallel with the earlier book and deals with those characters who were not featured in it.
As usually, the story is seen from multiple viewpoints, perhaps from too many. For some reason there seemed to be a fair amount of fluctuation of quality between different chapters. Some of them (especially the most Reek/Theon chapters,) were extremely good, some less good, or seemed even superfluous.
As a whole, this book felt more than a little like a middle part of a series: the pieces are being set up for the more important events in the later books and the Real Events will happen sometime later. Well, there were some moving and surprising turns of the plot, but even they seemed to be more cliffhangers for the rest of the series and the consequences were not explored at all, and practically all characters were left to hang on cliffhangers. This was not the best book on the series, and it seems that GRRM has reached that point in his career that he doesn’t have to use an editor anymore. There are a fair amount of things which could have been condensed and even removed resulting in a more satisfying and entertaining book, not to say that this wasn’t one.

1040 pp.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Katja Bargum: Kutistuva turska ja muita evoluution ihmeitä

Excellent and entertainingly written book about the basic principles of evolution. Something every creationist should read, but probably wont.

Viihdyttävästi kirjoitettu johdatus evoluutioon ja sen perusmekanismeihin. Kirja lähtee evoluution perusmekanismeista ja päätyy siihen kuinka ihmiskunnan itsekkyys (joka on evolutionaarisesti ymmärrettävää) vaarantaa koko maailman. Loppupuolella ehkä mennään hiukan liiankin moralisoivalla puolelle. Parasta kirjassa ovat kuvaukset evoluution erikoisista ratkaisuista, mm tilanteissa joissa evoluutio on johtanut lajeja umpikujaan suosimalla yksilön selviämistä lajin selviämisen asemesta. Evoluution logiikka ja mekanismi selitetään kirjassa erittäin hyvin ja selkeästi. Jokaisen sekopää kreationistin lukulistalle tämä kuuluisi, tosin ei taida siitä olla pelkoa.

317 s.