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Showing posts from November, 2017

Review: You Are Awful (But I Like You) by Tim Moore

Full title: You Are Awful (But I Like You): Travels Through Unloved Britain.

I was in Manchester (the one in England) earlier in the month and thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the Christmas markets, visiting the John Rylands Library, doing a spot of Christmas shopping and eating good food. I only managed to visit one bookshop, and when I can't visit more than one, I try to make it count and therefore I chose Waterstones. The Waterstones I visited in Manchester isn't nearly as large as the big one London, but it was big enough to make me happy.

I don't really need more books and when I buy them new I try to choose ones I know or expect will become keepers. I've already been disappointed by one of my purchases (The Soul of an Octopus) and I can only hope the remaining books I bought will not be as disappointing.

The book under review here is actually one of the books I considered buying, but didn't. I then came across it second hand at a fraction of the price a cou…

Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

I love to read popular science books and have a small collection of them. Two of them are about sea creatures that I found charming and interesting enough to keep and was hoping that The Soul of an Octopus might become the third book in this small sub-collection.

However, the title should have been a clue that it wouldn't be. I was hoping the book would be the balanced mixture of natural history and personal observations that I like in such books, but it turned out to be mostly about the author's friendly interactions with octopuses, interspersed with snippets of information about their life-cycles and physiology, some of which are repeated more than once, and slightly longer attempts to justify the book's subtitle: "A surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness".

With a sub-title, and indeed a title, like that, one might at least have expected there to be some philosophical musings about octopus consciousness, but there was very little of that, and n…