The Infernal by Kim Wilkins

639895I started reading this early May but put it aside to deal with health issues. I had to have a tumour taken out of my face and was in hospital for a little over 2 weeks, so you can imagine I wasn’t in the mood for horror. Also, it was hard to read as my eyes were swollen and as they recovered, they got tired and on top of that, I didn’t have the concentration to read a novel. Magazines, short stories and collections of short journalistic pieces have been my latest reading materials. But I’m back (sort of) to novels! Hurrah!

I’m a fan of Kim Wilkins and own many of her novels. This is her debut novel and I chose this for the Read Harder challenge. I could even double-dip and count this for fantasy, but I think that would be stretching it as it is more urban horror. It is a good story and a really good debut. Plus I am glad to say that Wilkins novels has improved! This is a good scary story and even while it is a reread for me, I had forgotten who the reincarnated sorcerer was – I was sure it was either boyfriend or the would-be boyfriend, but it totally came as a surprise to me. Again!

I do have some quibbles (when do I don’t? Maybe I’m too harsh) but overall, a good story – atmospheric mixed with realism.

 

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Bad Science – Ben Goldacre

9542493Ben Goldacre is angry. He is angry about quacks preying on the gullible and the naive, nutritionists with their science-y sounding potions (anyone can say they are a nutritionist – you can’t do that with the dietician title), hidden clinical trial results (I’m looking at you Big Pharma!), dodgy media reporting and people out to ruin lives just for a fast buck. I work in a hospital and so the concepts of evidence-based medicine is not new to me, but they way he explains complex issues is brilliant. I am also very interested in health literacy and I applaud¬† Goldacre’s attempts to enlighten the interested general public. He does rant on a bit and he admits this himself, but the whole situation is just so enraging!¬† At the last evidence-based workshop I went to, one of the presenters used an image of a cosmetics product – DNAge or something like that – for an example of science-y sounding products. I must admit that I do buy some products, but only because I like the scent and massaging my face at the end of a busy day is nice. But I do know that creams etc do not work as claimed because the skin is meant to be impermeable (if it wasn’t, it would have a hard time keeping all the fat, organs, muscles and veins inside!). Ben Goldacre digs up some shocking information too – the war in Iraq is almost down to one quack advising Blair. And the situation in South Africa is just heartbreaking. All those deaths due to misinformation about HIV drugs. Ben Goldacre cares about people being empowered¬† to interpret the benefits and value of drugs, cosmetics, health products and news stories for themselves. Read this book. You’ll chuckle and be amazed.

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