Field of Science

What I read (2014)

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

B+      The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Good story, can see why it was wildly popular. Not a fan of the ending though, Collins sets up issues with the system government and rebellion, but then ignores it at the end. I realize there are sequels, but it seemed to me to be an obvious missing piece.

D      Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk. Bleh. Not clear this is a sequel (to Damned) and sadly it seemed like the first needed to read to understand what the hell was happening in this story. Characters were all horrible and no reason to care about them.

C      Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett. Some amusing scenes, but not as fun a romp as many of Pratchett's other books. Also lacked the social commentary found in many of the Disc World novels. Or maybe I just don't like trains that much. 

B      It by Stephen King. A good story working back and forth in time with great character development. While the monster is horrific, the bullies are worse (like in real life).

C+      Sleeping Late on Judgement Day by Tad Williams. The last of the three part Bobby Dollar story. (Though probably not the last incarnation of Bobby Dollar or his world.) This book gets a boost from the first two, which I enjoyed more. Much gets sorted out, although not all, but it requires a "from right field" plot twist that I found a bit of a stretch. Maybe with more development I would have more readily flowed with it, but it was abrupt IMO. 

B-      The Fifth Elephant by Terry Pratchett. Pretty good read, hits on issues of rapid communication (clacks) and the intrinsic antagonism between fundamentalism and reform.

D+      Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie. Meh, unlike the Garrett PI, this was not a fun read. Good idea on a revenge story, but weak in execution in my opinion.

A      A People's History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons. Excellent brief history of the US Supreme Court, focusing on important decisions both good and bad and important.

B      The Fell Sword by Miles Cameron. Does not live up to the first book, TheRed Knight, but still a good read. A few too many characters that prevents depth. Strongly recommend the series.

A      The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Excellent book! A must read. Extensive references that support the positions taken. Thoroughly engaging and damning.

B+    V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Llyod. Because 1984 could never be rewritten as a graphic novel.

F     Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson. What the hell was I thinking? Oh wait, I was just recovering from a life altering seizure. Will take another seizure before I read the next installment.

B      The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Loved the movie, which does the book justice. In fact, I would argue the movie is better because it establishes more of the back story with the mother.

B+   Religion and Science by Bertrand Russell. I know it is only recently that atheists have become militant and clearly articulated the endemic problems with religion. Of course that viewpoint requires ignoring Bertrand Russell's 19XXX book.

A     Spillover by David Quammen. Outstanding book, reminiscent of Laurie Garret's 'The Coming Plague.'

B+   Introducing Garrett PI by Glen Cook. Funny, a blast of a read.

B     Sandman: Preludes and Noctures by Neil Gaiman. Great rewriting of the god of sleep.

17 books this year, worst outing ever, but considering I was mostly dead for the spring and part of summer I'm not too surprised. Probably my son read as many books as I did if not more (including the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Maze Runner series). Of the 17 books: 13 were fiction for fun (and 2 were Graphic Novels, which some people may not count but they should),  2 were US history/sociology, 1 was philosophy/religion, and 1 was science.

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