Friday, October 12, 2007

Time is slipping, slipping....

It's starting to get serious. So much to do; so little time.

What I'm reading: The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis. This book will make your head spin. A lot of it reads like it should be in a medical journal but somehow I'm still very into it -- this from someone who breaks out into hives at the thought of anything science-related. Excellent research and accessible writing. It's scary that a lot of the environmental risks for various cancers were known by the medical establishment in the 1930s yet nothing was done about it; outrageous that major corporations were able to get away with so much pollution and what seems like outright murder of their workers. Even more shocking are the human experiments and the programs begun to rid Germany of lung cancer but which turned into absolute horror under Hitler. The "Secret War" is very graphic and honest and a lot of the material that focused on WWII and the Holocaust was very upsetting. The book leaves me feeling scared and helpless. The toxic garbage is all around us -- in the air, in our food, in our homes, in cosmetics, etc., and there seems to be very little that can be done at this stage -- at least for our generation.

I haven't finished Brother, I'm Dying by Danticat but I'll save that for a longer review when I have time.

The Middle East by Bernard Lewis was excellent. Very indepth look at the history, culture, and economy of the region. This was like reading an encyclopedia and after I was finished I was proud of myself! I know so much more now than I did before! I have a greater understanding of the origins of Islam, its various branches and the conflicts arising therefrom. Interesting how great societies so rich in history and culture can remain so poor in other ways when there seems to be such capacity for great progress. Now, I *really* need to visit Egypt within the next year.

Until I take the awful MPRE exam on Nov. 3, I probably won't have much time for fiction but hope springs eternal...

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