Field of Science

What I Read (2012)

(Grade A-F, no E's) Title-Author Additional thoughts

A  The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell 15 short chapters discussing various aspects of knowledge, truth, and metaphysics. A great read.

C- Denialism by Michael Specter An important topic that deserves discussion. This one starts well but I found the chapters to lack focus. By the mid-point of the book, there was little direct relationship to denialism. Specter discusses important issues, they just weren't relevant to the thesis of the book in my opinion.

C-  The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead. I enjoyed Lawhead's trilogy retelling the Robin Hood myth (except for the ending) so I decided to give one of his earlier works a try. Have you ever decided a book wasn't worth finishing? This was like that for me, I couldn't relate to the characters and frankly did not like them. However, I have only completely bailed on a book once and this wasn't it. By the end of the book, I found myself enjoying it and wanting to see how things progressed. First half (F) last half (B), overall C-.

B  Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett Witty as usual and fun to read. Not one of my favorite Pratchett novels but a fun story with the witches.

B  The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Solid storytelling, but the ending wrapped up a little too easily for me.

C  The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco/ I've read almost all of Eco's books. Loved In the Name of the Rose, have not really understood any others, until this one. The narrative was interesting as it was a series of journal entries between two authors who were not clear on their identities and ended up being the same person. (Not a spoiler, it's clear to everyone except the characters.)

A  The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams. Always have enjoyed Williams stories. This one centers on angels and demons and their interactions with us.

B  The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason by Victor Stenger. Mostly things I knew but a good summation of many scientific issues and their effects no religious thought.

B  Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks. A good Shannara story, reminds me of the original books more than some of his other recent trilogies. 

B  The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin. A solid sequel (see below).

C  Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer. A short book of great essays on viruses, emphasis on short. Too short for my taste.

C  Robot Visions by Isaac Asimov. A reread from childhood. Enjoyable short stories.

A  The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin. Set in an Egyptian like world. Great story.

B+ Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett. Gun regulation in Discworld.

C+ The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Never been much of a soap opera fan, book form is not much better. I can see the interest in the book from a historical perspective, but it certainly didn't move me. Better than Crime and Punishment though.

A  The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. My son loved this book and is not happy with me that I won't take him to the movie.

B+ 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Not horror by any stretch, but a great implementation of a simple plot device.

B+ God and the Folly of Faith by Victor J. Stenger. As above, not much new but an easy and compelling read. 

A  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson. Great conclusion book!

B  The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson. The first book was a story in and of itself. This one is clearly a part 1.

C  Sourcery by Terry Pratchett. Meh, this one just didn't do much for me. Pratchett is clever as usual.

A- Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris. Great sequel covering the presidency years of Roosevelt.

B+ Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett. Fun! My first book with Cohen the Barbarian.

23 books this year, down from the last couple of years. Only 1 was to my son, we've graduated from our evening story (This saddens me somewhat, but he loves to read and does it everyday and we have so many other things we do together). Of the 22 other books: 16 were fiction for fun (and 4 were Terry Pratchett, which makes up for last year),  1 was biography/US history, 4 were philosophy/religion, and 1 was science.

No comments: