world war Z and emperor of scent

How could I not like a book about the zombie apocalypse? While I DID like this book, I had expected it to be a cohesive story, which it doesn’t attempt to be at all. It’s many, many short stories of how people dealt with the zombie apocalypse in many places. This is interesting, and fits into my ADD lifestyle. However, it also seems sort of like the author decided that every week he would write a short story (very short) about a different aspect of zombie apocalypse and this was the book that resulted. It’s like he sat at a desk and thought “Okay, this week, China. This week, the space station. This week, North Korea.” Many of them are very interesting, and professionally I completely respect the amount of research he must have done for this book. But again there was less cohesion than I would have liked.

This is another book I thought would be totally different. I wanted to read it for a long time. It’s less about the history of perfume and more about one particular scientist who has a crazy idea, but a crazy right idea, yet the scientific establishment refuses to believe it. It’s sort of sad in that way. Never before did I think a successful book would involve an epic battle with Nature. This book also had a lot of “real” research level chemistry. I mean I think I can count on one hand the number of popular books with the word enantiometer used frequently in them. If the science won’t scare you, or you have a store of atomic level chemistry knowledge, you will really love this aspect. I felt like this book was slow going–not a book a read when I wanted to zone out. But still really excellent. I almost never wear perfume, but now I want to! I at least want to smell Tabac Blond.

My favorite things gleaned from this book:

1. American perfumes all suck, except TommyGirl which everyone perfumey thinks is genius.

2. Americans suck at perfume because they enjoy cleanliness and hygiene.  The best French perfume is described as the scent of “a woman who neglects herself.”  Paging Dr. Freud…..

3. Perfume expert types also think vanilla is a way overused scent, and, well, VANILLA.  I totally agree.  Look I am smert!

4. Most masculine perfumes suck.  In fact, whether a perfume is for men or women is dumb.

5. Perfumers hate gay men.  They will not hire them.

6. Smoking cigarettes makes smells linger in your nose (you don’t get attuned to a certain smell and tune it out).  So smoking makes you able to smell BETTER.

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