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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dead Simple

After months spent in non-fiction I returned to the fiction shelves for a book of short stories called Dead Simple. This crime selection was quite strong and of the 8 stories 5 were good, 2 were average and only 1 was bad. 7/10

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Past the 100 mark

I passed the 100 mark with Medical Detectives: The Lives & Cases of Britain's Forensic Five by Robin Odell a book about forensic pathologists. This was about the "Big 5" British men who occupied the limelight up to about the 1970s when everything started to change once computers were introduced. It's a fairly rambling book which launches from case to case with no clear divide. Interesting enough. 5/10

Coping with dyspraxia by Daniel Goldberg is useful but mainly aimed at younger kids, and not a lot of use for 12-year-olds!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Dr Rosemary Leonard

Dr Rosemary Leonard used to be on TV and she has written a few books about her experiences as a GP. This book Doctor's Notes is the second in the series, and although I haven't read the first (every book I choose has to be by an unread author according to my own rules), I imagine this contains very much the second best set of tales. The book is very untechnical and much more on the human side, rather than portraying patients with complicated illnesses. Nearly every "illness" in this book is something silly the patient has done. There are one or two good stories, but a few duller ones. It's easy to read but nothing special. 6/10

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

How to Help Your Autistic Spectrum Child

I didn't find How to Help Your Autistic Spectrum Child of much use, partly because my daughter was not diagnosed until she was 12. Most of these books are aimed at parents of much younger children. There were a few bits for older kids, at least the good news seems to be that with helps autistic children in the main live normal (ish) adult lives.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

My Secret Life Inside Scientology

Book 95, Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology by Jenna Miscavige Hill was a real eye-opener. I have  been interested in Scientology for many years after reading the Bare Faced Messiah book by Russell Miller. I thought that was hilarious at the time and that LRH was a brilliant con man.

This book reveals the human cost of his scam, and the fact that it is still going on after his death. Jenna grew up inside Scientology so it's all she knew, just like people living inside places like North Korea she was brainwashed. In the end she managed to escape but the attempts to control her were appalling. It's certainly a very interesting book. Rating: 8/10

Beyond Belief concludes Mind, Body and Spirit. It's now time for Health and Well Being.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Book 94, Greed by Richard Girling was a book with an almost limitless number of topics. Basically it's about humans and groups of humans like countries and races being intrinsically greedy. Richard Girling could go anywhere with this discussion and frankly he does. He moves from topic to topic like a butterfly, there is no coherent pattern to the book and its central premise is self-evident to a 10-year-old. Rating: 3/10

Saturday, July 7, 2018

There are no Aliens!

Book 93, The Aliens Are Coming, is the first book in the Mind, Body and Spirit section. It doesn't belong there at all really, as it's in the UFO section. It's not about UFOs or even about aliens, because there aren't any that we know of. It's more about the search for life and how we might go about it. I have read numerous books that cover similar subject matters to this one, and it has no great insights. It covers the obvious subjects of the inevitability of intelligent life elsewhere, and the real blockers to multi-cellular organisms like ourselves taking hold. In the case of our planet it was the emergence of the eukaryotic cell that was the really unlikely event, but there's no real way of knowing how unique our situation is. It then discuses the problem of recognising life elsewhere as well as ever reaching it. It doesn't cover the subjects of genetic engineering or cyborgs to extend our lives, which will partly overcome the time and distance problem. Not does it cover colinisation of other planets or worlds. There are better books than this, I score it 5.0.