I vividly remember when all the CSI shows hit the scene. They were practically the only thing anyone was watching and everyone had their favorite city. People were absolutely fascinated by the science behind solving crimes. (Plenty still are, I think a few of those shows are still around.) So, I shouldn’t be surprised that this book was originally published in that same time frame. If people really wanted to learn about forensics, books can teach even more than television.
Narrowing down the very broad scope of forensics, Dr. Bill Bass is an anthropologist. He studies the bones and gleans the truth as best he can with what is left behind. Unidentified bodies are given race, sex and a rough age estimate. This can help in missing people cases and also in murder cases. Dr. Bass was consistently busy assisting police, doing research and teaching students.
But, as any good scientist, the more he learned the more questions he produced. Forensics is a fairly new science so there are certain things that just had not been studied yet. Like, how EXACTLY does a human corpse decompose? How long does it take depending on weather conditions? Do insects increase the decay rate? How can the surrounding environment help time stamp a victim’s death?
The only good way to answer these questions is to examine decaying human remains. And thus, the Body Farm was created. (It has a technical name, but Body Farm is cooler.) Using donated cadavers, Bass and his students began creating scenarios and studying the results. From those studies, sprung other studies developed by his students and forensics was pushed even further.
This is 50 percent about the Body Farm and how it came to be, and 50 percent an autobiography of Dr. Bass. My only minor complaint was the constant reminder of how the science worked, sometimes not very far apart. It did nothing to dampen my appreciation of this book. You definitely need a morbid curiosity for this one, which luckily, I have an abundance of.
Even when money is tight, sometimes you just gotta treat yo self.
As a mood reader, the one thing I did not have in my collection to quench a thirst if it popped up, was any non-fiction. I’ve always liked learning and even though I’m in school currently, my brain still wants more.
This is my second ever order from Bookoutlet.com. Their prices are pretty incredible. I bought 7 books for $38. (That tops what I spend in all of 2022 on books but who cares?! Books!)
True crime, non-fiction, mystery, dogs. The range is good with this lot. I’ve already started Death’s Acre so expect a review of that in the near future.
What treasures did you get in your latest book haul??
If you touch Miriam Black, skin to skin, for even a second, she can see your death. The exact year, day, hour and manner of how you die. Just the one vision, one time, but she never forgets. Miriam doesn’t try to change fate. She tried that once upon a time and it doesn’t work. She hangs around like a vulture, waiting for you to die. Then, she takes the earthly things you don’t need any longer; money, credit cards, etc. She crowns herself a scavenger and she accepts her lot in life.
Until she foresees a death that is a direct result from the person knowing her. Finally, something shakes her from her complacency. She doesn’t like the idea of someone dying because they know her, but she can’t change fate, right?
Miriam isn’t a very likable character. I can enjoy a good anti-hero, but she just doesn’t have very many redeeming qualities, at least until the end. The actual villains were quite good. Creepy, intimidating. Running from them made sense.
There were a few very Stephen King elements to this book. I should have written them down when I thought of it, but I was too confident in my memory. I do remember that it was so glaringly similar that it almost felt like a complete duplication.
Currently, I am undecided whether I will continue this series.
It’s been a weird winter here in Michigan. We’ve received hardly any snow, mostly cold rain and gray, gray days. This past Wednesday we were hit with a pretty good storm, and it finally feels like a real Michigan winter. At the very least, the snow is pretty, and it makes the house feel cozier.
I’ve been hunkered down with lots of schoolwork as of late. I do have a book haul on the horizon, a book review and a possible comic review as well. Until then, I try to check in every couple of days when I have extra time. So, for now, I leave you with cute dogs in winter pictures.
Before I make any reading resolutions for the new year, let’s see how I did in 2022:
Continue/complete series: I created a master list for this goal and only read 1 book series from the list. I did continue/complete 4 series that were not on the master list. I would consider this a semi-successful goal. Some progress is better than no progress.
No spending limit on books: Despite giving myself free reign to spend as much as I want on books, I spent $19.67.
Mood read for the entire year. I can check this one off with 100% confidence!
Continue/complete series. I’m going to copy the master list into the new year and give it another run. It’s nice having a focus point, even if I don’t necessarily stick to it very well.
No spending limit again! It’s interesting when I give myself no limits and then I’m still frugal as hell.
Read more comic books. I really neglected comics in 2022 (I read none) and want to change that in 2023.
Do have any bookish resolutions for the new year??
I’m just zipping through this little robot space opera, and I am doing so happily.
Another planet, more dumb humans almost getting themselves killed and a robot still questing for answers.
Murderbot is onto its next clue in bringing down GrayCris. The organization that tried to kill their first group of humans in order to hide their illegal activity, harvesting ancient alien remains. Murderbot wants to find as much evidence as possible to send back to the first human that recognized and respected their free will (I don’t remember their name) so that they can win their legal case and be safe from a dangerous organization.
Did they really go crazy and kill a bunch of humans and then have their memory of the event erased by the corporation that made them?
To find the answer, they must hack security systems and bribe other robots to get to another planet. Once they arrive at said planet, security forces anyone to have a reason why they want access to the surface. Murderbot takes a contract as a security consultant to get there.
It wouldn’t be a good story is the humans didn’t cause trouble for Murderbot’s mission. Will Murderbot’s secret be exposed in an effort to keep the humans from being killed?
Tune in for this week’s episode of Days of Our Robot Lives to find out.
The results? I did not watch a single episode of Battlestar. I watched 3/4 of Escape From New York when Tubi decided it didn’t need to play anymore and it wasn’t going to reload it for me, so I gave up. I read TWO science fiction novels. Semi-success. 😀
What if robots designed to be security and kill when commanded, became sentient? Sounds absolutely horrifying, right?
Turns out, they rather just be left alone to watch their programs like an old woman.
However, they must keep up the ruse that they obey human commands, or they will get reprogrammed and go right back to be being just a murderous robot.
Murderbot, as they call themself, actually likes the humans they are currently contracted to protect and they’re going to have to break protocol when the excavation site is under attack if they want to get those kind humans out alive.
There was a lot of hype surrounding this novella when it came out. I’m happy to say that it held up to the recommendations. I downloaded the second book immediately.
As you might surmise from the title, this entails zombies and Trekkies. Without ruining anything, the zombies are not your average zombies, and it makes this story a little more science fiction-y and fun.
A Houston hotel is hosting a Star Trek convention and manager Jim, ex-military, is attempting to make sure that everything is running smoothly. However, the staff keeps disappearing. The guests are acting strangely (non-Trek related) and shit very quickly, hits the fan.
What follows is a tale of zombie apocalypse survival. Jim is doing his best to keep his sister, her friends and a Star Wars guest who keeps quoting the movies, from becoming zombie chow. (Some Trekkies might have used her as bait for distraction but what’s more fun than that age old rivalry among science fiction fans?)
I had a very good time reading this book. I enjoy zombie novels in general but adding Star Trek and Star Wars on top was the spice of the novel. I am a Star Wars fan, but I grew up watching Star Trek: Next Generation with my dad as well so I appreciate both worlds although I would not consider myself a Trekkie.