After such a productive morning I treated myself to an afternoon of reading and was able to finish my advisor Deb Blum's latest book Poisoner's Handbook. I said back in the fall that I wanted to read her book, and I was lucky enough to win a signed copy at the end of the semester event for UW's online literary magazine Corkboard (which features the work of some very talented student writers, so you should check it out.)
The book is organized with each chapter representing a different poision, with some paragraphs on Norris, Gettler, and the science of toxicology and some paragraphs describing a murder case showing the effects of each chapter's poison. If anything I would say that because some of the people described in some of the murder cases reappear in other chapters, it can be hard to remember who is who. But even so, that did't dampen my enjoyment of the book. The structure was easy to follow, and even in moments where I had to think back to remember a character I was never really lost.
Knowing Deb Blum personally there were points where I could actually hear her in my head reading aloud the words on each page. In our literary journalism class she would read us experts from each of the authors we studied so I've gotten used to the cadence of her speech. I found it pretty interesting that I could see the same rhythm in her writing, and it made me wonder if I write the way I talk.
Poisoner's Handbook is the fifth book I've read since coming home, and hopefully I'll be able to finish one more before heading back next week. I am running out of space on my bookshelves at home, but I still love seeing my little library. It makes me feel oddly accomplished.