August 29th, 2011

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

Hiding from the heat after work, yesterday, I finished reading a new Niven & Barnes novel, The Moon Maze Game.

This is the fourth novel about Dream Park. Dream Park, the original book of the series, I loved, but never expected a sequel. The Barsoom Project was a fair sequel, but not as good...not as fresh. Then, The California Voodoo Game, third novel in the series, really didn't live up to the first.

This latest book is the best sequel, IMHO. However, it's not flawless. It could have been edited better. There's several times in the book where the POV shifts without sufficient warning, and one place where a speaker contradicts himself in the space of two facing pages. I was surprised at that evidence of slipshod work.

OTOH, it's a page turner. I could only put it down to work...

If you haven't read Dream Park, go hunt it down. The other sequels aren't really necessary to enjoy this. Then, after you read this one, you can decide if you want to go back to the other sequels. Have fun!
  • cat63

Book 47 for 2011

Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers. 398 pages.

A reread of this classic mystery. I'm horribly bad at choosing favourites, but this is definitely among my favourite Lord Peter Wimsey books.

Wimsey has finally married his beloved Harriet Vane but their honeymoon gets off to an unfortunate start when there's no one to let them in to their newly purchased house in the country. Before they've been married a day, Peter and Harriet are up to their ears in a murder case and embroiled in the lives of their new neighbours to boot.

Having read the book many times now, of course I already know "whodunnit" and how, but that doesn't matter - the fun of t is in revisiting the characters like old friends one hasn't seen for a while.

Books 12-14

Title: The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
Author: A.J. Jacobs
Themes/Topics: Bible, Judaism, Humor
I picked this up as an audiobook to have something to listen to on the long drive from Tennessee to Louisiana.  As someone who is exploring spirituality, I think it's interesting to explore different viewpoints and methods for understanding religion.
Jacobs previously read the entire encyclopedia and wrote a novel about that as well, so at first his quest seemed a little gimmicky, but I believe that he learned more from the experience than he possibly thought he would.
I found his experiment to be interesting, and at times, hilarious.  I would recommend this to anyone with an open mind who wants to get a unique look at the Bible and has a good sense of humor.

Title: Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person that Ever Lived
Author: Rob Bell
Themes/Topics: Christianity, Heaven, Hell, Love

Read this book on the recommendation of a friend.  Bell is controversial in some circles, but I didn't see anything heretical about his book.  I found it to be a refreshing look at Christianity because he doesn't try to give you answers or "rules" or doctrine, but just asks endless questions.  He posits answers to those questions, but at least the way I've interpreted it, he leaves it up to you to decide what "truth" you will have faith it.  I definitely think I will reread it because it is a bit of an exhausting read: Bell throws out question after question for a while without pause.  Good food for thought.

Title: The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray
Author: Walter Mosley
Themes/Topics: Death, Dementia, Closure

This book affected me greatly.  Having recently had someone close to me pass away, it was difficult to read a book about someone preparing for the end of their life.  I liked the protagonist, Ptolemy, and it was interesting to see his transformation back into reality from his dementia.  Because my grandmother had dementia/senility it was certainly a tough read, but one that I enjoyed in a bittersweet sort of way.