Thursday, July 21, 2011

Important Information About This Blog

Hello readers. This blog effectively came to an end in December of 2009 when I started writing articles for the website Suite 101. I wrote at Suite101 from Dec 2009 to April 2011, and stopped when Google's Panda update decimated the page views on the site. All my articles written for Suite 101 can be read here.

Since April 2011 I have started a new blog called Chris Saliba's Book Reviews. The reviews are more polished and a bit longer at this new site. You can also sign up for regular updates at Chris Saliba's Book Reviews - every time I write a new book review it gets emailed directly to you.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Storms of my Grandchildren, by James Hansen

I read this recently, but haven't written one of my longer posts that usually go up at Suite101.

At first I was unsure whether I would get through the book, as there is a lot of science in it. But Hansen's gentle demeanour and avuncular manner kept me reading.

This book is well worth looking into, as it goes into how science in general works,. ie. there is a lot of scepticism built into it.

A lot of the conclusions of the book are extrememly alarming. Hansen is mild-mannered, but the overwhelming evidence of the science has pushed him into activism and book writing to get the climate change science to the public.

If you want to get a close insight into how the front line science on this issue works, written in a friendly and engaging manner, then get this book.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change, by Clive Hamilton

I have a funny relationship with Clive Hamilton's books. I broadly agree with him, but I find his tone almost punishing. In short, he can be difficult to read, and you feel he always disapproves.

I read this book quite quickly and enjoyed it.

For those interested in the topic of climate change, it gives lots of interesting information that is easiy to read and digest.

Read my full review here at Suite101.

We Think The World of You, by J. R. Ackerley

J. R. Ackerley's only novel is about the failure of desire to obtain it's object. In this case, the by product of a doomed love is a new relationship with a dog.

Faultlessly written, this novel mixes sadness with comedy to create a bitter-sweet story of lost love.

Read my full review at Suite101.

Blueprint for a Safer Planet, by Nicholas Stern

Nicholas Stern is more famous for his Stern Report on the economic consequences of global warming. In his eminently readable Blueprint he offers an explanation of the economics behind reducing CO2 emissions.

Very accesible to the lay reader, and even quite enjoyable.

Read my full review here at Suite101.

Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World, by Richard Heinberg

Years and years ago I read Heinberg's The Party's Over about peak oil.

Powerdown (admittedly, not a good title), takes a deep and philosophical look at society's dependence on fossil fuels.

Highly recommended!

Read my full review at Suite101.

The Short Stories of Elizabeth Gaskell

This is a collection put together by Wordsworth edition titled 'Tales of Mystery and the Macabre.' These aren't really scary stories, although they do have their mysterious flavour. More to the point they exhibit Gaskell's great power as a story teller.

Read my full review at Suite101.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Woman In Charge, a biography of Hillary Clinton by Carl Bernstein

This is one fantastic biography. Really compelling reading of a very complex character.

Read my full review here at Suite101.

Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell

This is probably my least favourite book by Orwell. In fact, I found it quite boring!

Read my Suite101 review.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Our Betty: Scenes From My Life, by Liz Smith

In this beautifully written memoir British actress Liz Smith retells key periods and moments from her life.

Read my full review here at Suite101.

The Affluent Society, by John Kenneth Galbraith

I've long been of the opinion that so much of modern life is just useless busy work. In this book, John Kenneth Galbraith highlights the paradox of modern economies having to produce useless junk, thereby creating enough economic activity to keep employment full.

Written with Galbraith's dry wit, this book is essential reading.

Read my full review here at Suite101.

Crude: The Story of Oil, by Sonia Shah

A nicely written and researched book about the 'story of oil'. This is one of those books by a print journalist that looks at a subject from many differing views. So it lacks a cohesive, overall 'story' or 'narrative'. Published in 2004, it also seems just a tad dated now.

The early chapters that describe how oil formed in the ground reminds me of The Silent Spring in its poetic beauty. But then after a few chapters in the book becomes a series of essays on various oil topics: depletion, the activities of oil companies abroad, environmental damage, global warming etc. etc.

Worth a read nonetheless if the subject is of interest to you.