Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This Week at the Library (20 October)

This past week at the library was a productive and enjoyable one. I'm caught up on the Voyager relaunch, having read Unworthy, and I also read a collection of short stories featuring the old Voyager family. Beyer's best work for my money is still Full Circle,  but her humor and character drama continue to stun me.

Rapt's one of the better books I've read recently, touching on attention's role in personal happiness, morality, creativity, and personal relationships. I picked it up because of my interests in psychology, but found it more interesting from a mindfulness point of view.

Edith Hamilton's Roman Way is her sequel to The Greek Way, and I read it to follow up on Caesar and Christ. Hamilton's a writer from the old school, but Roman devotees will enjoy her attempt to find the Roman character via Rome's plays, letters, and histories.

I also followed up on a recommendation from a friend and read The Good Guy. The opening plot -- a man who is mistaken for a hitman by a murder contractor, and then mistaken for the contractor by the hitman -- seemed interesting enough, but Koontz tells the story in chapters that alternate between the Good Guy and the hitman. The hitman is a sociopath, and being in his head creeped me out.

On a whim I also picked up The Worlds of DS9 volume 2 to touch base with the DS9 Relaunch. Years ago I thought the book unreadable, but I clipped through it in a couple of days. The book contains two novellas, one set on Trill and the other on Bajor. Trill's plot was most interesting, being a political/crime mystery that gives Ezri room to become her own character. Bajor''s novella was interesting, but mostly sets the stage for further novels.

I had intended to combine the weekly recap with selected passages from the books, but I...forgot to write any down before I turned the books to the library. I've been losing interest in the weekly recaps as of late, and would be interested in knowing if anyone finds them of any use -- I now only look forward to the recap post for the quotations and introduction of next week's list, myself.

Potential Reads for Next Week:

  • The Seventy Great  Mysteries of the Natural World. I've been gazing at this book hungrily all week, picking it up and putting it back down again because I know it will be magnificent, so much so that I don't want to spoil the anticipation by actually reading the book. It's a bit like wishing I could have my cake and eat it, too. 
  • I'm finally going to finish The Good that Men Do by Martin and Mangels. The poor book has been twice preempted by other book series, but I'm a hundred pages away from finishing it. Even if a stranger knocks on my door and says, "Hello. Would you like this box of Trek Relaunch novels, none of which you have read?" I'm going to finish it. 
  • A teacher of mine mentioned that she's reading Charles' Portis True Grit, a novel that inspired the John Wayne movie of the same  name. I started reading it in the library, and it appears to have some  of the film's more memorable scenes included.
  • Finally getting around to The Devil's Punchbowl by Greg Iles. Should be a doozy, if it's anything like Iles' previous work.
  • The War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells is a "classic" that I'm revisiting: I don't think I've ever read the actual work, just abridged versions for kids.
  • The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley,  which explores the effects of Teddy Roosevelt's "Cruise of the Great White Fleet" and its impact on foreign relations....especially with Japan.
  • I may extend my recess from the Story of Civilization for a week more, and I may try to read a chapter or two from The Age of Faith

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