Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This Week at the Library (11-8)

This Week:

  • Provenance of Shadows, a novel of Doctor McCoy split in time. While one thread of the novel follows McCoy from The City on the Edge of Forever onward to his death, in part novelizing the third season of TOS and its movies, the other thread follows McCoy as a man lost in 1930s America, forced to create a new life  in the American south amidst the Great Depression. Definitely of interest to Trek readers.
  • The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written may be more properly titled Ranting While Reading.  Essays, though readable, tend toward the disorganized and often fall apart completely when the author begins ranting about unrelated subjects that struck his fancy. The rants grew repetitive and childish quickly. 
  • Give Me Back my Legions, a short but disappointing work by Harry Turtledove detailing one of Rome's worst losses in the field. How Rome is lured into the ambush is made obvious at the outset, and the battle itself only comprises two chapters (one of confused Romans dying, the other of happy Germans  quartering Roman corpses). The rest is characters talking back and forth and adding nothing.
  • The End of the Beginning redeemed Turtledove for me,  telling the story of Hawaii's occupation following the successful Japanese invasion of it in December 1941. With enjoyable characters,  an interesting setting, and few of Turtledove's weaknesses, it's easily one of the strongest Turtledove books I've read.



Quotation of the Week, from Provenance of Shadows
"Do you know I don't believe in Heaven?" McCoy asked.
"I'm not surprised to find out," Lynn said, "But even if there is no heaven, doesn't that make this life even more precious?"

Potentials for Next Week:

  • Working IX to V, Vicki Leon
  • Heroes of History, Will Durant
  • Alexandria, Lindsey Davis  (Historical fiction, novel)
  • Don't Know Much About Geography, Kenneth Davis
  • The Good that Men Do, a sci-fi/political intrigue work about a man who hears himself declared dead.  


Future Reads:

  • I've decided to go ahead and read the Destiny trilogy, as reading through the A Time To... and Titan series will take too long. They should be arriving in the post this week.
  • The sequel to Hitler's War, West and East, is finally out. Although not too much impressed with the first novel in Turtledove's new six-part series, the ending ensured that I'll read West and East at the very least. 

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