After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

2017 edit #2
I am happy to report that my bone marrow transplant was a success and that I'm feeling more like myself everyday. That said, I'm going to try to start blogging a little more frequently, but please bare with me as I still continue to recover.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

WTF, Evolution?!: A Theory of Unintelligible Design by Mara Grunbaum

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Title: WTF, Evolution?!: A Theory of Unintelligible Design
Author: Mara Grunbaum
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780761180340
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Author Website:
Twitter: @maragrunbaum, @wtf_evolution, @WorkmanPub
Format: Paperback (received an advance copy in exchange for a fair review)
Available: October 7, 2014
Rating: 4/5 stars

Product description:
We all have our off days. Why should Evolution be any different? Maybe Evolution got carried away with an idea that was just a little too crazy—like having the Regal Horned Lizard defend itself by shooting three-foot streams of blood from its eyes. Or maybe Evolution ran out of steam (Memo to Evolution: The Irrawaddy Dolphin looks like a prototype that should have been left on the drawing board). Or maybe Evolution was feeling cheeky—a fish with hands? Joke’s on you, Red Handfish! Or maybe Evolution simply goofed up: How else to explain the overgrown teeth of the babirusas that curl backward over their face? Oops.

Mara Grunbaum is a very smart, very funny science writer who celebrates the best—or, really, the worst—of Evolution’s blunders. Here are more than 100 outlandish mammals, reptiles, insects, fish, birds, and other creatures whose very existence leaves us shaking our heads and muttering WTF?! Ms. Grunbaum’s especially brilliant stroke is to personify Evolution as a well-meaning but somewhat oblivious experimenter whose conversations with a skeptical narrator are hilarious.

For almost 4 billion years, Evolution has produced a nonstop parade of inflatable noses, bizarre genitalia, and seriously awkward necks. What a comedian!

This is a clever and funny collection of photographs of some of Nature's more obscure and bizarre creatures of all shapes and sizes, presented as a collection of photographs with accompanying dialogue between an unnamed narrator and Evolution. Evolution, often excited and anxious to show off it's newest creations, is often questioned, much to the reader's delight, by the narrator who is trying to figure out what exactly Evolution had in mind. Separated into chapters such as "Awkward Solutions" and "Half-Assed Attempts", we are presented with a wide array of creatures that does make one wonder what exactly was going on in the evolutionary process.

One of the reasons I enjoyed this book as much as I did is that I was introduced to a variety of animals that I had never heard of before, and while they are presented in a comedic fashion, I found myself researching a little more about them, beyond the humorous information presented in the book. One such creature is the whitemargin stargazer, a fish found in the Indopacific oceans, which I think looks like something that actually belongs Beyond the Wall.

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Mara Grunbaum has done a great job of presenting some of nature's more unique specimens, disguising some very interesting information about them is a humorous format that is both comical and informative. Check out her tumblr at for even more of Evolution's craziness.

WTF, Evolution?!: A Theory of Unintelligible Design by Mara Grunbaum will be available on October 7, 2014, from Workman Publishing Company.

To purchase any of the books in this post, and help my local Indie bookstore, and help me buy more books, click the links above!

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