October 27th, 2009


Update books 36-44

As I have put on hold my PhD (without a job, how can I study?) I have added to the books I have read.
Book 36 was Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, 319 pages.
Book 37 was Granta edition #105, entitled Lost and Found, 252 pages.
Book 38 was Granta #106, New Fiction Special, 250 pages.
Book 39 was Terry Pratchett's Night Watch, 474 pages.
Book 40 was Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men, 318 pages.
Book 41 was Terry Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment, 494 pages.
Book 42 was Granta # 107, no title, 253 pages.
Book 43 was Terry Pratchett's A Hat Full of Sky, 350 pages.
Book 44 was Terry Pratchett's Going Postal, 474 pages.

As you may notice, I am enjoying the Terry Pratchett series. I guess it is a kind of comfort.
With 44 books I am now up to 15,078pages, which is my target for the year.
  • cat63

Book 51 for 2009

Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon

Lou Arrendale is autistic. His condition means he has considerable difficulty with the sort of social interaction that most people take for granted, but it also gives him the ability to draw complex patterns from data, which are invisible to "normal" people and this is how he earns a living.

But now he has a new boss, who resents the cost of the special support mechanisms that Lou and his autistic colleagues need to do their jobs. He wants them to take a new experimental treatment, which will make them "normal" and the story is largely concerned with the conflict this causes.

I don't know how accurate the portrayal of autism is, especially since autism is a spectrum (and of course every individual is different anyway) but the author has an autistic son, she presumably has a clue or two.

In any case Lou is an engaging and sympathetic protagonist, and I very much enjoyed reading this book and seeing the world through Lou's eyes for a while.


# 72 Lydia Bailey

Lydia Bailey

Kenneth Roberts

Albion Hamlin is a young farmer and lawyer at the dawn of the Nineteenth Century. When he is pressured into defending Thomas Bailey, writer of a political opinion piece, who uis accused of breach of the Alien and Sedition Act his life is forever changed.

Upon the death of his client, Albion sets off to Haiti in search of Thomas's niece and heir, Lydia Bailey, who is governess to two little French boys in Port-Au-Prince.

In Haiti he becomes good friends with the perspicatious, jolly King Dick, and becomes embroiled in the slave revolt against the French. He finds himself fighting for Toussaint L'Ouverteur under the command of Dessalines.

At last he is able to find and rescue Lydia Bailey, with whom he immediately falls in love, and whom he marries.

After they make their escape from Haiti Albion and Lydia are captured while sailing the Meditterranean and taken to Tripoli, where they are kept as slaves. Once again they are embroiled in politics, warfare, and adventure.

I loved Lydia Bailey! The history and politics were obvioulsy well-researched, and the adventure and daring escapades were exciting.

The only mild criticism I have is that I thought the characters of Albion Hamlin and especially Lydia Bailey should have been a bit less perfect; a bit more flawed.
I loved the character of King Dick, though.

However, it's the plot that drives this novel, so the slight weaknesses in the characters in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book.I'll re-iterate that I loved Lydia Bailey!


Books 201-215

I would like to hit 300 books by Dec 31, but with NaNo and all, I don't think I'm going to make it. So I'm just going to read what I can and when I can. To be honest, the last month I've barely read anything. Two books in one month is pitiful for me. Got to step it up.

Anyways, my book list. Some mystery and some YA and a couple of randoms. One not-really repeat, no fan fic (which is what I have been reading the last month).

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Books 29 & 30

 itle: Girl Who Played with Fire
Author: Stieg Larsson
Themes/Topics: Family Dysfunction, Murder, Suspense

The only sad thing about this book was that it ended, and quite suddenly: I definitely wanted more!  This novel, the second in Larsson's trilogy, was terrific: compelling, surprising, violent, and a joy, just like the first.  If you want to delve deeper into the character and drama of Lisbeth Salander, dive in and you will NOT be disappointed.  Sadly, the third novel won't be available in English until June.  Noooooooooooooooo!

Title: Brave New World 
Author: Aldous Huxley
Themes: Genetic Engineering, Freedom, Community

A classic, and a great one at that.  The writing isn't the best of all time but the ideas behind it are amazing.  Huxley was definitely a man before his time and his creativity amazes me.  My personal favorite novel of all time is 1984 so I like Brave New World for the similarities I draw, specifically, both novels shake me out of the complacency of every day life and make me wonder what changes I will see in my lifetime, and if they will be welcome, or horrific.