Friday, January 16, 2015



- Alan Dean Foster -

I found this retro book at the Bibles For Missions thrift store. A classic Star Trek, mint condition, written by Alan Dean Foster, and the best part - it was only 50 cents! See why I couldn't resist buying it. Unfortunately, I have to say the highlight of this book was the buying process.
I've read a bunch of Star Trek books and what I like about them is the action - the phaser shooting, the tension of an intergalactic warship standoff, the no named Redshirt who dies a dramatic/outrageous death. This book had very little of that. The main story was a war of words around a negotiating table...boring.
Also, the twist of this book was that during a transporter malfunction some of the crew switch bodies, ie Kirk is in Uhulas body, Sulu in Spocks body etc. Ok idea, except I kept getting the characters mixed up. It was hard to keep track or enjoy the 'normal' behaviour of my favourite characters.
The writing was also bad. A lot of awkward sentences. Choppy. One of those books where you find yourself trying to decipher a sentence every once in awhile. Perhaps the book was rushed. It felt rushed.
Overall, not good. Keep the cover, frame it, stick it in a scrapbook...throw away the rest.

RATING: Do Not Read

Wednesday, January 14, 2015



Bourdain pulled it off again! Another 'Must Read' book I'd recommend to anyone.
The concept is pretty basic - he travels the world in search of the perfect meal. From the refined tables of France to the dirty slums of some hideous sounding Asian country, he really does go everywhere. This is the book version of his TV show - No Reservations. Or, at least the first season. But, as any bookworm knows the book is always better than the movie.
Now, I liked No Reservations (the TV show), but, I really, really, really liked A Cook's Tour. Bourdain gives us the backstory, and the truth behind each episode he filmed. What you see on TV is not really how it happened, or at least how Bourdain felt it happened. He may be smiling to the camera, but, he was often homesick, filled with guilt, or wracked with depression.
This book is great because it is so honest. Bourdain is not a chipper chicken the entire time. If he doesn't like something he'll let you know. On the other hand, if he says the sheep testicles are one of the best things he's tasted - then they probably are.
I also liked that he revealed his true feelings about some of the places: That France did not live up to his childhood memories. That some Japanese delicacies almost made him vomit. That he sometimes felt like a stereotypical bumbling American that would never really be able to understand another culture.
He gave it a good try though. As a tour guide he was good. As a food guide he was excellent. His trip around the world was a true adventure. He didn't always stick to the beaten path. He has a good knack for describing things so well, in a somewhat crude way sometimes. It made for a fun read.