February 3, 2006
I'm sure you've been sitting on the edge of your seat, just wondering how my reading has been going along. Here's the update. First, some books I've previously mentioned.
- Hammered : I really enjoyed this. It got a little too techy for me at points, where stuff is explained (or explained away) in belabored sci-fi terms, but it was a pretty good future noir nonetheless. And it really is the first book in a series, as it ends just when things are beginning to get interesting! Not standalone by any means.
- The PayPal Wars : I got through about half of this. It was a pretty interesting story of small, tech company madness. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. And it was also from a marketeers point of view, even more annoying to this tech guy. Still, most people from outside the software industry would probably find this pretty fascinating.
- Frankenstein : Sorry, just couldn't get through it. Made it less than halfway. Just not riveting enough for car audio.
- Drive : Really good book. Short, to the point, mystery / noir. Sharp writing, interesting characters.
- Gardens of the Moon : loaned this out, along with George RR Martin's fourth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, A Feast For Crows, to my sister. She says it is pretty good and amazingly drew the same conclusion that I did - it felt very similar to the wonderful Chronicles of Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnet - complex "historical" fiction. Early reports are, though, it isn't as heavy as the Lymond stories.
- Blink : haven't started this yet.
Update from the previous entry
Here's all the books I have currently ongoing.
- The Kalahari typing school for men by Alexander McCall Smith. I listened to the first book in this series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, a few months ago and enjoyed it immensely. The narrator of these, Lisette Lecat, is really good, and it's nice to have someone who can correctly (and lyrically) pronounce the foreign names. I just finished this one, and it is as good as the first one. Small, interesting stories about life in modern Botswana. Thumbs up!
- The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett. Saw this on the display by the checkout counter, which contain lots of "winter" books. This one is a fictional account of the search for the Northwest Passage. It seems cool enough, but I've just started it.
- Fer-de-lance by Rex Stout. As a devout mystery reader, I'm ashamed to admit I haven't ever read a Nero Wolfe mystery novel. Rex Stout wrote a bunch of them (over 70!) and the relationship between Wolfe and his action man, Archie Goodwin, is one I've actually thought about when thinking about my own nebulous detective novel. Just started this one, which is a collection of the first three books.
- The Last Best League : one summer, one season, one dream by Jim Collins. Really fascinating book about the 2002 season of the Chatham Athletics of the Cape Code Baseball League. All of these kids, on the cusp of either stardom (see Nomar Garciaparra or Jason Varitek) or failure, battling curveballs, being 20 years old, injuries and doubt. Good book!
Of course, I can't just keep the ones I haven't read yet. I have to add to the pile!
- Uncommon Clay by Margaret Maron. One of the Deborah Knotts mysteries, which I find to be very well written and nicely plotted. I'm not crazy about her other series, but this one has some nice atmosphere and a good protagonist. I've read most of them up to this one and have been usually happy with the results.
- Cypress Grove by James Sallis. Another one by the author of Drive. I'm also looking into getting one from his detective series, but my local library didn't have the first one, so I have to continue looking.
- I was reading this review in the Globe the other day, and being a big historical fiction fan, I couldn't resist picking up the first in the series, Captain Alatriste by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. And I also picked up the other highly regarded one talked about in the review, The Jewel In The Crown by Paul Scott.
- The End Of The Beginning : from the siege of Malta to the Allied victory at El Alamein by Tim Clayton. I like reading history even more than I like reading historical fiction, and one of my favorite things to read about is World War Two's Campaign in North Africa. An incredibly complex subject, it was the area where the tide finally turned in favor of the Allies, and where the American army learned to fight.
- The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin. I found The Origins of Species to be highly entertaining, and I heard that Voyage was even better, so I finally picked up a copy. You can find both of them online here.