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Velma has commented on (4) products.

The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed by John Mcphee
The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed

Velma, March 23, 2012

A quick, entertaining, and interesting read, this is an account of the rise and fall of the idea of a radical, experimental flying machine sans wings: the Aereon 26. I think anyone interested in a little-known backwater of aviation history would enjoy it, particularly if you like a bit of technical jargon, as would fans of McPhee's inimitable prose, which shines here.
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The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass by Bill Maher
The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass

Velma, January 16, 2012

Like it's predecessor, The New Rules, this one is structured as a set of Maher's humorous observations about modern life. This smart, acidic, and hilariously off-color collection of pieces is a quick and entertaining read. I particularly enjoyed the longer, more political editorial essays sprinkled throughout. I think Maher writes from an if-I-don't-laugh- I'll-slit-my-wrists perspective, and it really comes out in these scathing indictments. Also: Best. Forward. EVER.
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My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares
My Name Is Memory

Velma, January 8, 2012

This was one of those hard-to-stick-with books, but one that I'm glad I didn't give up on. Although I was not overly impressed with the writing (seriously, no author should ever pen the line "Time lost all meaning"), the story hook was such an intriguing one that it eventually won the day.

A man, shedding lives like a snake shedding skin: not convinced it's a new idea, but it is a good one. It certainly wasn't the romance arc that kept my attention (ew), and although most reviews I've read talked about the deep emotional connections they felt, I didn't get that at all. But the reincarnation premise really got my motor revving; I found myself actually wondering, "hey, could that be why I..." on several occastions. I also enjoyed the little tastes of historical fiction that came in the form of the protagonist's life flashbacks.

So if you're into historical fantasy and you have a day to fill (I read this in one sitting), this isn't a bad little read.
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The Windup Girl. Paolo Bacigalupi by Paolo Bacigalupi
The Windup Girl. Paolo Bacigalupi

Velma, January 2, 2012

This is one of those rare books that you find yourself proselytizing about: at coffee shops, on public transpo, waiting for your name to be called in waiting rooms. A miasma of sweat-soaked action, Windup Girl is packed with political machinations, all-too-human foibles, resurrected extinct species, global environmental chaos, and ubiquitous corporate greed. It fairly drips with the consequences of the pre-apocalyptic fruits we're now growing in the West and elsewhere. More, Bacigalupi, we want more!
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