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Reviews
The Accidental Law Librarian by Anthony Aycoch
Along a Long Road by Frank Viva
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks
Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. Hirsch
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires
Birds of a Feather by Francisco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais
The Bride's Kimono by Sujata Massey
Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains by P.I. Maltbie
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters
A Dog's Heart by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Dogma of Cats for Kids by Debra Snyder
Drive by Andrew Bush
Everything but the Horse by Holly Hobbie
Firestorm by Nevada Barr
The Floating Girl by Sujata Massey
For the Love of Autumn by Patricia Polacco
Fuddles by Frans Vischer
I'm a Shark by Bob Shea
A King's Ransom by Jude Watson
Lettice the Flying Rabbit by Mandy Stanley
The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson
The Many Faces of George Washington by Carla Killough McClafferty
The Power of Thinking Differently by Javy W. Galindo
Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 2 by Gail Carriger
Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap
The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare
Wind Song by Carl Sandburg

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Comments for The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea

The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea: 12/31/13

cover artThe Whale by Philip Hoare is a nonfiction that probably gives catalogers a headache. By it's title — it's a book about whales but there are many many different ways to write about whales: whale anatomy, the history of marine biology, whaling and with a stretch — the author who made a career out of writing about sailing and whaling.

Hoare tries to do all of that in The Whale. The book begins with the author's childhood fascination with whales during trips to see whale models. That opening sounds like it will be a history of how those models came to be and how our understanding of marine biology has expanded and improved in the last two hundred years. Or maybe he'll go down the list of the major species of whales.

No. Instead, he tosses into the mix his love of Moby-Dick as well as a biography of Herman Melville. The biography further distracts the narrative flow with discussions of how Manhattan has changed over the years, as well as descriptions of Nantucket and other whaling towns.

Somewhere along the line the book gets stuck on the homoerotic aspects of Melville's writing. While fascinating and amusing, it's not exactly on topic.

Whale is about all things whale but it is disorganized. The book contains information on whale biology, the history of whale biology, whaling, whale as cultural icon and length passages on the homoerotic aspects of Moby Dick as well as Herman Melville's biography. It's all smashed together with no real rhyme or reason. With better organization, this would be a great book.

Three stars

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