Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This Week at the Library (9/6)

This week...

I started off with Michael Jan Friedman's Death in Winter, the origin of The Next Generation's "relaunch" in novelizations. With the Enterprise still being repaired following Nemesis, Picard is tasked with carrying out a secret mission in Romulan space that his dear -- and beloved -- friend Dr. Crusher was captured in attempting to  accomplish. The novel pushes Picard and Crusher closer together while giving the reader a healthy dose of adventure and Romulan politics. Enjoyable, as I would expect from Friedman.

Next up, Around the World in 80 Days, a classic tale of Gilded Age adventure. Following a bet with his friends that he could -- in 1872 -- circumnavigate the globe in less than three months. Mr. Phineas Fogg sets off to travel the world by sea, by train -- and by elephant, if necessary. He does this while being chased by a detective who's pinned him for a bank robbery, and must face the perils of nature and angry Indians. It's a delightful little read that's brimming with 19th century optimism in technology and the future.

I also read Dinosaur Lives, a memoir of sorts by Dr. John Horner that recounts his experiences in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in which he began pushing the conception of dinosaurs beyond cold-blooded "big lizards" and placed them more accurately within their evolutionary context. The book also gives readers an idea as to how paleontologists do their craft.

My last read for this week -- finishing up after three weeks -- was Charles Dickens' classic A Tale of Two Cities, a story of revolution and redemption. Thick with language at times, but worth wading through given my interest in the French revolution and my shared horror with Dickens at the inhumanity of it.

Pick of the Week: Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days.

Upcoming Reads:

  • The Other Side of Selma, R.B. "Dickie" Williams. This is a short little collection of real-life stories about my hometown of Selma in its "glory days". I read it once years ago and am rereading it in conjunction with my summer project -- exploring downtown Selma on foot and taking pictures of its more interesting sights. 
  • The Roving Mind, Isaac Asimov. A collection of essays on diverse subjects.
  • Tales of the Dominion War, a multiple-author short-story collection set in Deep Space Nine's epic war. The book is written to show the war from the perspective of various ships and people throughout the Alpha Quadrant, which should be fun. 
  • Memories of Old Cahaba, Anna M. Gaylor. "Old Cahaba" is a nearby ghost town, once a booming river city and the capital of my home state of Alabama. I visited recently, and wanted to read this memoir to shed some light. 
  • Hornblower and the Hotspur, C.S. Forester
  • The Magicians, Lev Grossman. Spotted this in reader Joy's "Tuesday Teaser" and thought it interesting.

This weekend should be fun-- I've many choices.

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