Monday, February 14, 2011

On Books: Recent and current reading

In addition to True Grit, I've wandered through several books in the past month or so. Some are my normal day-to-day trash, others are better, at least in the eyes of critics.  I'm liking most of them.

What I've read:

Assegai by Wilbur Smith:  I've read almost everything Smith has written over the years and enjoyed almost all of them. A fine book.

Once a Spy by Keith Thomson:  A current paperback.  A new author and very good with a little different approach.  Lots of fun.

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow:  I read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time many years ago and have reread it several times. It edged me into the quantum world and gave me a lot to think about. Time has passed since 1988 and there is a lot that is new or better understood.  We are getting a little closer to understanding the whole picture, but issues have been clouded by an onslaught of those who prefer to think of our universe and existence as they want it to be rather than how it demonstrably is.  This new book explains where we are, what we know to date and how we know it. In a non-confrontational way it addresses and explains why we  are as we are.

It is recommended reading, but if you are one of those that really believes that the Earth is 6000 years old and that the human race popped up ready to go in some Garden of Eden then it won't make much sense to you.

What I'm Reading:

The Buffalo War by James L. Haley:  Subtitled: The History of the Red River Indian Uprising of 1874.  The subtitle tells it all. This is an older book that I found in a bookstore still wrapped and in new condition. After reading Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne last year I have wanted to get more detail and a different perspective on the final times of the Plains Indians. This book looks definitive.  I'll have more say after I've finished with it.

Decision Points by George W. Bush: I seldom read "political" books written by or about US Presidents. I think the last one was about Teddy Roosevelt.  Autobiographical books especially are treacherous.  I received this one and started in on it because it seemed different.  And it is. Apparently it was written by George Bush without a visible ghost at hand. There is  a notable lack of ego and legend building so far. I am enjoying it and  I can understand why it is selling to such a wide market. Unless you are one of the sad ones bound up in far left or far right ideology, I think that this book would be good to read.  I'll' tell you what I think in more detail after I finish it..

Drood by Dan Simmons: I'm just getting started on this big paperback and it looks like it will be fun..

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