Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just finished and currently reading...

Recnetly finished:

Spider Bones, by Kathy Reichs (Scribner, 2010), 306 pages. This is the latest in the series of Temperance Brennan novels by Reichs, and it isn't the best of the series, but it kept me turning the pages and I definitely didn't see the resoslution of thhe mystery coming.

If you've been avoiding these books becuase you don't like the Fox television series Bones, which is based on these books, don't let that stop you from reading. About the only things the books share with the television series are the name of the main character and her occupation as a forensic anthropologist. I love the books, and I like the series very much, but they are two different things altogether.

My Life Among the Serial Killers: Inside the Minds of the World's Most Notorious Murderers, by Helen Morrison, M.D. and Harold Goldberg (William Morrow, 2004), 276 pages. Don't read this book if you're squeamish. Really. It is non-fiction by a psychiatrist (Morrison) who has interviewed pretty much every serial murderer you've heard of - more than eighty of them, she claims.

There were things about this book that irritated me, such as the fact that Dr. Morrison seems to have a bit of a persecution complex of her own as a woman who started practicing psychiatry in the 1970s, when there weren't that many women in the field and those who were there weren't taken very seriously. It isn' that her complaints don't have merit. I'm sure it was a rough row to hoe, especially as she started having to deal with the law enforcement and legal communities when she began her studies of serial killers. The problem with the book is, she tends to stop in the middle of a story to air her issues on the subject in a way that interrupts the flow of the information she is trying to explain.

Dr. Morrison theorizes in the book that serial killers are born, not made, an idea that contradicts current paradigms on the subject, and from the quick bit of research I did after reading the book her opinions and her book have come in for a certain amount of criticism from her peers. Still, especially if you are interested in the subject of serial killers, it is a book worth reading. I'll probably be writing more about it soon. Finished reading: 29 December 2010.

Currently reading (for a complete change of pace):

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance: A Memoir, by Elna Baker (Dutton, 2009), 276 pages. I'm over halfway through this one, and I'm still not at all sure about it. It may well be a little too chick-litish for me. On the other hand, Baker writes from a fresh perspective. And she's funny, altoughh some of the stories she tells might not be quite as funny as she thinks they are.

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