Genna (noachoc) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Horribly behind in updating, as usual, so let's get right to it, shall we?

First book was Math Through the Ages: A Gentle History for Teachers and Others by William P. Berlinghoff. A friend of mine was taking a History of Mathematics course and, while she was in the hospital, I ran off with her textbook. I sort of vaguely majored in the History of Math and Science but am not a very strong math sort of person, so I found the historical bits of this book to be dull (I knew most of it already) and the math bits to be confusing. In retrospect, I have no idea why I read it. If you want a quick history of math, though, and aren't too bothered by quick summary, this is your book.

That was boring, let's continue on to more interesting sorts. Next I read Foundation by Isaac Asimov. I'd loved Asimov's books, growing up, with a near fanatical devotion but could never manage to get into his Foundation series. This is especially odd because people RAVE about his Foundation series so, older and (perhaps) wiser, I took another whack at it. On (re?) reading this, the first of the series, I found that I didn't mind it, but neither did I love it. I think, perhaps, the problem is that I was always drawn to Mr. Asimov's characters and, as Foundation covers such a huge span of time, you don't really get any particular character for more than twenty pages or so. It makes it difficult to bond, if you know what I mean. It's definitely clever, though, we must give him that.

My Malaysian best friend that I've only met once has an American girlfriend that he's only met twice and SHE recommended Sabriel by Garth Nix. It's the story of a girl who must journey across the wall between the Real World and the Fantastical World to save her father (who is a necromancer). It's a different view of necromancy, one that I'd never considered. This chick's father's job is to make sure the dead STAY dead, which kept me fascinated for quite a while. At the end of the day, though, I'm still finding it difficult to connect to most Young Adult novels. I wish I'd read it fifteen years ago (and yes, I feel old now, thanks).

Next, because I'm trying to read more non-fiction and because I realized the other month that all I know about him is that he's connected with the Civil Rights movement and kind of scary, I read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Mr. X turns out to be a fascinating character, though he was murdered right when (in my opinion) he was starting to get really interesting. He IS kind of scary in the beginning, and it was difficult to read his book (as a white lady in the twenty-first century) because, well, Mr. X did a lot of stupid and, even, evil things in his youth (this is before his conversion) but talks as though he could not have done otherwise because of White Oppression. Me, I'm white, and I'm living in a time when African Americans aren't nearly as oppressed as they were then, so what do I know? But it's hard to believe that there were no other options available to Mr. X than the options he chose. He converts to Islam, preaches that the White Man is Satan (at which I take a bit of offense) and goes on like that for quite a while. But then, and this is the interesting part, he travels. He goes to Africa, to Islamic countries, and finds that there are some white men out there who are perfectly decent. He starts to attack the CULTURE of the white men in the US instead of the race entire. And then, of course, he gets shot, a lot, which is really upsetting because he was CHANGING HIS MIND and starting to work toward something more useful than spreading interracial hatred. It's probably the most interesting (auto)biography I've ever read. I wish there could have been more of it. It would make a good Shakespearean tragedy, actually.

And then, breaking my oath not to read any more novels about serial killers until I'd stopped freaking out whenever I saw a van out of the corner of my eye, I read Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. This is the book before Silence of the Lambs and, actually, I liked it a bit better. The serial killer in this one was more interesting, less annoying. Of course, there was less Hannibal Lecter, but he still managed to come across as being even more creepy than in Silence, if that's possible.

That takes me to 75/100ish. I am, in fact, a bit behind.

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