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Max Pearl

Joined 1 year, 5 months ago

Science Fiction reader and writer.

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Siddharth Kara: Cobalt Red (2023, St. Martin's Press) 4 stars

Important and Depressing

5 stars

All of the things that we now depend on, in our pockets, on our desks, and, increasingly on our roads, depend largely on cobalt mined in horrific conditions, often by children in the Congo.

Really well researched and well written. The author spent time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, at times risking his life, to get the stories of the artisinal miners told. I highly recommend reading this book.

Miles Taylor: Blowback (Paperback, Atria Books) 4 stars

The author behind the "eye-popping" (CNN) #1 New York Times bestseller A Warning presents an …

Well written, interesting, intriguing, with one major blind spot

4 stars

This is, I think, the third or fourth book from people who were lifelong Republicans, and were in some ways involved in the Trump administration, but then realized how messed up he, his administration, and the whole GOP was, then wrote about it.

This particular version is very well done. It reads like a combination of thriller and polemic. It describes in great detail the personal costs that this author went through in his process of being one of the "adults in the room" during the Trump administration, how he came to leave it, and what happened after.

He details, based on his national security background, what a "Trump 2.0" would do to our democratic process, and what we can do to stop it. It's both gripping and grim. And I do think this book is worth a read.

The blind spot? This is the blind spot that all GOP …

Andrew Coe: Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States (2009, Oxford University Press) 4 stars

Decent book, could have been more detailed

4 stars

This was a decent book - it describes the history of the relationship with Westerners with Chinese food, focusing on USians, and how Chinese food made it to the US, and evolved here.

I think it spent way too much time describing the US (and British) reactions to Chinese food in China, and not enough time on the evolution of Chinese food once it made it here. It does though, explain in good detail why Chinese food so popular, and describes some about how it evolved. I'd want to hear more about regional differences, why you find some kinds of Chinese food in some areas of the US and not others, the development of Asian Fusion, etc.

But if you have any interest in food and food history, and an appreciation for Chinese food, it's a good read.