This is more of a shaman themed novel than a mystery. I liked it a little bit better than Zia Summer. It has all the same nice desert imagery, plus some new and interesting characters. Sonny and Raven are both still annoying, but, Sonny's mentor don Eliseo is a believable and inspiring character. I also liked the genealogy and historical episodes. It doesn't seem like this series is improving much though, and I don't know if I'll bother reading the other two books.
Finished Shaman Winter [8/22/2009]
Finished Zia Summer [8/17/2009]
Zia Summer is a fast paced murder mystery. I enjoyed Anaya's descriptions of Albuquerque. He makes me want to spend more time in New Mexico. However, I was somewhat disappointed overall with this book. The main character Sonny Baca can be annoying at times, especially when he is both bragging and guilty about his womanizing. Also, a lot of the secondary characters felt hollow. Despite the problems, I'll probably read the other three books in the series anyway.
Finished What We Believe but Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty [8/10/2009]
This is the second John Brockman edited, Edge.org collection that I've read. It was much easier to get through than The Third Culture, because most of the essays are very short. The range of topics was also much broader, including psychology and sociology as well as physics and math. Two of the entries that most interested me were those by Alex Pentland and Robert R Provine. Alex Pentland believes, "A very large part of our behavior is determined by mainly unconscious social signaling, which sets the context, risk, and reward structure within which traditional cognitive processes proceed." [pg 156] Similarly, Robert Provine believes that "we overestimate the conscious control of behavior" and "we vastly overestimate the amount of time that we are aware of our actions, whatever their cause." [pg 145] Their essays were interesting enough that I might attempt to overcome my fear of psychology research and go out and read their recent books: Provine's Laughter: A Scientific Investigation and Pentland's Honest Signals: How They Shape Our World.
Anejo Sampling Part 1 [8/08/2009]
Images from Tequila.net, a great resource for Anejo reviews.