Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This Week at the Library (28/4)

This week at the library...

I began with Young Hornblower, a collection of three Hornblower novels set during Horatio Hornblower's early career. C.S. Forester's novels are fast-paced naval adventures with plenty of variety, often including political intrigue and shore-side missions. I'll be continuing in the series.

I re-read John Grisham's The Brethren accidentally, having picked it up with no intention of reading it through wholly. Brethren is one of Grisham's extra-legal works, involving plenty of politics when an extortion racket run by three imprisoned judges nets the CIA's hand-picked presidential candidate.

I next read a Star Wars novel, Tatooine Ghost, set early in the extended universe -- early enough that Thrawn is a simple ship commander assigned to procure an object from a Tatooine auction. This object, a rare surviving artifact from Alderaan that contains a chip with the New Republic's communications protocol, cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of the Empire. Leia Organa and Han Solo labor to prevent the painting from being captured while at the same time Organa struggles with her father's legacy.

Although academic concerns have kept me too busy to offer full comments on it yet, I also read Sir David Attenborough's The Private Lives of Plants, an excellent documentary-in-a-book that I expect to share in full tomorrow.

Pick of the Week: The Private Lives of Plants.

Quotation of the Week: "I must remind you of one salutary regulation of the navy, to the effect that no junior officer can challenge his superior to a duel. The reasons for it are obvious -- otherwise promotion would be too easy." p. 31, Young Hornblower.

Upcoming Reads:

  • I'm trying to read Republic Commando: Hard Contact by Karen Traviss because of my affection for the game that inspired it. We'll see what becomes of that.
  • Commodore Hornblower by C.S. Forester. I'd like to continue reading about young Hornblower, but I wanted to see what becomes of the good captain's relationship with a certain noblewoman.
  • The Iron Heel, by Jack London. I've read The Call of the Wild, and London's one of those authors on my "Read More From" list. From appearances, it's an alternative history novel that for London would have been set in the future and which depicts drastic political changes in the US.
  • The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World by Tenzin Gyatso, since I enjoyed the original book so much. 
  • Annnnnd Iron Coffins, which I started last summer but never finished. I'm writing a paper on German submarine strategy and thought I might use it as a primary source, it being the memoirs of a WW2 U-boat captain.  Whether I do or do not, it was shaping up to be interesting.


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