Category Archives: Book Discussion

Dean Koontz is a Terrible Writer, Part One

Some new medication I'm on has been making it difficult to focus so I haven't been able to do the normal sort of stuff. Happily, that's let me catch up on some of my fiction reading. One thing I like about reading fiction over non-fiction is I generally don't have to try to think about or process details and comprehend things for future use - I just have to read the story and enjoy it.

Of course, even when feeling somewhat stoned, I can't really turn off my brain. That's why I want to tell you a bit about how bad this Dean Koontz book I'm reading is. This isn't like the last couple books I told you a bit about. The difference is those books, however entertaining they may or may not have been, were non-fiction. They were supposed to convey information. This book, titled Deeply Odd isn't. Dean Koontz is a fiction writer, and as such, his only obligation is to entertain his readers. He just needs to be fun. And he isn't. Not even sort of.
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Climate Change: The Facts - Part Three

My last two posts have been quite critical of the book Climate Change: The Facts. I stand by everything I've said in them, but I feel it is important to point out some parts of the book are actually quite good. One such example is the next chapter in my review, Chapter Seven.

Chapter Seven is written by Nigel Lawson, and he deserves praise for writing an insightful and informative chapter. To him, the global warming debate can be summarized quite simply: How much will the planet warm, what will the effects of that warming be, and what should we do about it? For each of these issues, Lawson gives a simple overview without any excessive exaggeration or rhetoric - exactly what you'd want from a book claiming to provide "The Facts."
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Climate Change: The Facts - Part Two

My last post was about a book I recently read, Climate Change: The Facts. The post discusses the first five chapters of the book, explaining a bit of why they are terrible and should be an embarrassment to anyone involved with the book. One such person, Mark Steyn, has referenced my post a couple times (most recently here) in a derisive way without actually saying I got anything wrong. One of his readers stopped by to fill in that gap, but as hilarious as his comment was, it didn't actually have any substance. (Personally, I'm hoping it was an awesome case of satire.)

This sort of approach to discussions has always bothered me, and it's given me the motivation to discuss more of the book. Also encouraging was my discovery the book has not been officially launched. According to Mark Steyn:

Next week, I'll be out and about promoting the official Earth Day release in North America of Climate Change: The Facts. We've been shipping out personally autographed copies for a couple of weeks as a SteynOnline exclusive, but starting next week you'll be able to get the paperback out in the wider world, too. It's already available in eBook format via Kindle, Nook or Kobo, so, wherever you are on the planet, you can be reading it in the next 90 seconds. But, as I said, the official launch is next week for Earth Day, so I'll be venturing onto the airwaves - as will my co-author Christopher Essex - and we'll keep you apprised of which shows and when.

I find it a little weird this book has been read and discussed for over two months now yet hasn't officially been launched, but at least that means any commentary I have will be contemporary.
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In-Process Review of Climategate: The CRUtape Letters

I bought the book Climategate: The CRUtape Letters a few hours ago. I've long intended to read it since it is a book on Climategate, and that was one of the biggest events in the global warming debate. I've never gotten around to it because I thought there was little need. I figured I'm probably familiar with everything it would cover, so I wouldn't learn much from it.

I was wrong. It turns out the book has many factual claims I had never considered. I can offer no excuse for my ignorance, not even that these ideas exist only as figments of the authors' imaginations. Similarly, I can offer no excuse for previously being unaware of the fascinating possibilities available in the English language if one is willing to simply ignore basic rules of grammar and punctuation.

Recognizing my failures, I would like to remedy them by taking special note of the many things I could never have imagined, no matter how hard I might have tried, prior to reading this book. I'll be using the comments of this post to do so.