February 12th, 2010


# 12 Patience & Fortitude

Patience & Fortitude

Nicholas Basbanes

Patience & Fortitude is like many of Nicholas Basbanes' works: a bibliophiles dream!

It takes the main theme of his earlier work, A Gentle Madness: who amasses book collections and how they amass them and developes it further. How is knowledge and information amassed and preserved to be passed down through generations? Is all informaton worthy of being preserved? If not, why is the information and knowledge that is selected for preservation chosen?

From the great libraries of the past and present, like that of ancient Alexandria, to the internet, from universities to public libraries and private collections, Basbanes covers the subject thoroughly, and with a deep passion for the subject. Of course Basbanes' love of the written word comes through on every page, and makes the book such a great pleasure for this bookworm to read!

Nicholas Basbanes has definitely become one of my favorite authors.

  • krinek

4. Contagious by Scott Sigler

Title: Contagious
Author: Scott Sigler
Year: 2008
# of pages: 436
Date read: 1/17/2010
Rating: 4*/5 = great


"From the acclaimed author of Infected comes an epic and exhilarating story of humanity’s secret battle against a horrific enemy.

Across America, a mysterious pathogen transforms ordinary people into raging killers, psychopaths driven by a terrifying, alien agenda. The human race fights back, yet after every battle the disease responds, adapts, using sophisticated strategies and brilliant ruses to fool its pursuers. The only possible explanation: the epidemic is driven not by evolution but by some malevolent intelligence.

Standing against this unimaginable threat is a small group, assembled under the strictest secrecy. Their best weapon is hulking former football star Perry Dawsey, left psychologically shattered by his own struggles with this terrible enemy, who possesses an unexplainable ability to locate the disease’s hosts. Violent and unpredictable, Perry is both the nation’s best hope and a terrifying liability. Hardened CIA veteran Dew Phillips must somehow forge a connection with him if they’re going to stand a chance against this maddeningly adaptable opponent. Alongside them is Margaret Montoya, a brilliant epidemiologist who fights for a cure even as she reels under the weight of endless horrors.

These three and their team have kept humanity in the game, but that’s not good enough anymore, not when the disease turns contagious, triggering a fast countdown to Armageddon. Meanwhile, other enemies join the battle, and a new threat — one that comes from a most unexpected source — may ultimately prove the most dangerous of all.

Catapulting the reader into a world where humanity’s life span is measured in hours and the president’s finger hovers over the nuclear button, rising star Scott Sigler takes us on a breathtaking, hyper-adrenalized ride filled with terror and jaw-dropping action. Contagious is a truly grand work of suspense, science, and horror from a new master." -- from the publisher

My thoughts:

Having listened to Sigler's books Ancestor and Infected as podcasts, I knew to expect a gripping story in Contagious - and I was right. In fact, I could hear Sigler in my mind reading the words and encouraging me to turn one more page and then another page and another. But the book is more than one exciting scene after another. Sigler builds in-depth characters that you care about and root for them to fight the alien invasion. I look forward to the next book in the series.
  • slickmc

Books 17-18 / 100

17. Timon of Athens - William Shakespeare
            A play about Timon, a really rich and generous dude who runs out of money and finds out who is real friends are...just about no one.  He then decides to hate everyone and live in the woods.
          I enjoyed reading this play, more so than recent Shakespeare plays I've been reading, I think because of the language.  Everyone was always insulting each other, either subtly or aggressively, and I bet this would be a funny play to watch.

18. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
            A novel about a group of Greek scholars at a New England university who get involved in a murder, or two, and then it's all sorts of suspenseful and people being paranoid and drinking like fish.
          For the first 100 or 200 pages, I kept thinking, "Haven't I read this before?  What was it called?  A Separate PeaceKilling Mr. Griffin?"  This book is like a combination of any book you've ever read about college kids and New England campuses and murder.   But then, this didn't hurt my enjoyment of the book at all.  I got totally absorbed, read it in a couple of days, ignored the growing mountain of work I have to do, just so I could find out what was going to happen.  Really, I recommend it.  It's very geeky and elitist and kind of creepy and very suspenseful and with amazing descriptions now I feel vaguely haunted by the characters, the way you do after investing so much time in a book.