Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This Week at the Library (5 Jan - 12 January)

Slow week at the library this week, in part because I'm just starting to get over a rather miserable cold and in part because the books I checked out at the library weren't what I was expecting. I went to the library hoping to start Bernard Cornwell's  Arthurian legends series, but the entire set of books seemed missing. After inquiring with the librarians, who promised to look, I decided to settle for Redcoat, a story of a presumably British soldier during the American War of Independence. It hasn't caught my fancy enough to read just yet, though.

I also checked out The Mind of Egypt after wandering about the library for nearly an hour and finding nothing of interest. (I was sick and tired at the time.) I figured this would be a cultural history of Egypt, covering Egyptian philosophy, religion, and science. Instead it seems to be about the Egyptian understanding of time -- which is interesting, but not exactly attractive at the moment.

Instead, I spent most of the week reading The Evolution of God, a brief history of the Abrahamic god and how religious beliefs about him have changed through time. Robert Wright focused on the religions' "home society's" role in influencing their development, which has a lot ot offer but which is not a complete story as he tends to ignore big-picture elements (like outside influences on a given society's religion).

Earlier in the week I read Reunion, a Michael Jan Friedman novel which introduced the Stargazer characters and had one of them try to kill the others. While Death in Winter spoiled  me for for the 'whodunit',  working out 'whytheydunit' proved to be just as  interesting for me. Fairly enjoyable.

I also read a wide swath of Isaac Asimov: the Complete Stories, volume two, and worked on The Age of Absurdity by Michael Foley. I got odd looks reading this one while watching NCIS with the advertising muted.

Reunion: 7.4
Evolution of God: 8.1

Potentials for next week:

  • To End All Wars, Adam Hochschild. For the first time ever, I am reading an advanced review copy of a book, thanks to Baley over at The Reader's Book Blog for suggesting I check out a particular site, NetGalleys.  It's a personal/social history of the Great War, featuring various pairs of individuals who were divided in their decision to support or protest the war. Quite good so far.
  • The Age of Absurdity, Michael Foley.  This is slow so far, but enjoyable. I think I'm on the outside of this cold, so hopefully my pace will pick up this week. 
  • Sex on Six Legs, a science book from NetGalleys. Haven't started reading it yet, but part of the reason I registered at NetGalleys was to see if I could use it to find interesting science books.  Unfortunately, most of them are questionable -- new age stuff and the odd book about why Jesus doesn't have science -- but this one is about a respectable subject, insect sex. 
  • Something by Bernard Cornwell. I may give Redcoat a go, or when I vist the library next I'll see if I can find Arthur or Agincourt checked in. 


  1. sc said: I decided to settle for Redcoat, a story of a presumably British soldier during the American War of Independence. It hasn't caught my fancy enough to read just yet.

    It's reasonable. Not one his best though....

  2. Sorry you were sick. I assume you must have been near-death to not have found anything interesting at the library. Now that you're back on your feet, we'll expect higher caliber work from you next week. ;)


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