June 8th, 2010

books 7-21

i've been a bit slack in posting. so here's a brief catch-up :)

7. 'pride and prejudice and zombies' jane austen and seth grahame-smith
8. 'gumbles in summer' s.a. wakefield
9. 'under the dome' stephen king
10. 'murder most royal' jean plaidy
11. 'the other boleyn girl' phillipa gregory
12. 'the diary of anne frank' anne frank
13. 'the last 7 months of anne frank' willy lindwer
14. 'the search for omm sety' jonathan cott
15. 'the carrie diaries' candace bushnell
16. 'eli' livia e. bitton jackson
17. 'phantom' susan kay
18. 'the son of the light' christian jacq
19. 'the temple of a million years' christian jacq
20. 'eyewitness auschwitz' filip muller
21. 'the battle of kadesh' christian jacq

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Books 31-35

Book 31: Before I say goodbye - Mary Higgings Clark

Genre: Suspense/Murder Mystery
Plot: After Adam dies in an explosion on board his yacht, his loving wife wants answers. As she digs further into the matter it seems that what killed Adam just might kill her too.

My thoughts: Not sure what I thought of this one.

Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)

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Book 32: The Second Time Around - Mary Higgings Clark

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Plot: When the scientist who discovered the wonder-drug that is going to cure cancer's plane crashes questions must be asked. And the enevitable conclusions are leapt to when it is discovered that money is missing from the company behind it and the results from testing were not good. But what is truth and what is not? The step-sister of the scientist's wife investigates and it becomes the proverbial rabbit hole...

My thoughts: One of Higgings Clark's better murder mysteries. I enjoyed the twisting and turning and wondering if Nick was honest or a charleton.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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Book 33: Summer Knight - Jim Butcher

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: When the Summer Queen of the fairies (Titania)'s earthly knight is found murdered, the fairies automatically think of Queen Mab as being the culprit. The thing is, she swears she's innocent. And, when you want something that's just a bit strange investigated, you should definitely call Harry. Harry Dresden.

My thoughts: I love Jim Butcher's style and the way the bigger plot is unfolding.

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5) - it's light and fluffy.

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Book 34: Death Masks - Jim Butcher

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: Those pesky red court vamps are out to get Harry (surprise!) and there are other bad guys on the lose - demons. Who do you call to tie up the lose ends? Harry of course!

My thoughts: Shiro! Shiro! And it was a damn good read.

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)

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Book 35: Pretend you don't see her - Mary Higgings Clark

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Plot: Real estate agent witnesses murder and is forced to go into witness protection as the killer was one of The Bad Guys (pro hitter). If that weren't enough, it seems that Lacey's family are nearly as dangerous to her well being for one of them inadvertently (?) tips of the killer...

My thoughts: Good read...easily devoured in an evening.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

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I had to finish Paul J. Nahin's An Imaginary Tale: The Story of i, reviewed here, to set up a review of his Dr. Euler's Fabulous Formula: Cures Many Mathematical Ills, a much delayed Book Review No. 9. Fabulous Formula is more technical than Imaginary Tale, and it might benefit by looking more like a textbook, with a few equation numbers so as to enable the reader to follow the frequent changes of variables Professor Nahin makes, generally with the end result being an equation of the form e = cos(θ) + i sin(θ), which can then be conveniently integrated, or split, or differentiated, depending on the result he's trying to derive. The formula turns up in a number of places, including Fourier series and Fourier integrals, and these transformations enable a practitioner to model phenomena such as pulses (the simple ones are a finite force over an interval of time, but more challenging ones including an instantaneous infinite force also lend themselves to modeling) and vibrating strings in a tractable way. The book is heavy going in places (keep a pencil with an eraser handy and take a lot of notes if you really wish to learn the methods) and more likely to appeal to the rocket scientist or electrical engineer than to the armchair mathematician or historian of mathematical thought (the biography of Euler in the final chapter notwithstanding). There are some results involving complex time that might repay careful study, if you're contemplating velocities that exceed the speed of light. If it's the history of mathematics you're after, Imaginary Tale is probably the better book for you.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
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