Monday, September 27, 2010

Swayed Logic

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational BehaviorSway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There is a fair amount of correlation hiding here and sometimes it is claimed to be causality (yes, this is a peeve of mine), but the book is still an interesting read. This book is definitely thought-provoking and does, indeed, help in the understanding of why we do some of the stupid things that we do.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rounding the Disc

Sourcery (Discworld, #5)Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another wonderful romp through Discworld! This version is particularly appealing if you like Rincewind and the Librarian (and who doesn't?). The Luggage also makes a significant appearance. As with all of Pratchett's novels that I have read, there really isn't any way to describe the plot. Still, I liked this one very much and laughed out loud several times.

Before reading this one, you probably should have read Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic just to be familiar with the main characters. I won't say that it will be more meaningful having read those books, but you will be somewhat less confused. You will also have had a jolly good time!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Powerful Books for Teens and Former Teens

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! This is definitely not your average young adult series! The plot is intense and the violence far more graphic and widespread than you would expect for the intended audience. I have to agree with most of the reviews of this book that I have read that this was the weakest of the three. After dealing with the Katniss is unconscious, let's fill everyone in device for the third or fourth time I was getting annoyed. My suspicion is that Ms. Collins had more material than would fit into a single book, but not quite enough plot to stretch into a fourth book. Hence, the somewhat artificial plot device to keep things moving. Over at the blog Through the Tollbooth, there is a series of articles on making your writing believable. Do I really believe that Katniss could unite a country? Probably not. But when I was 17, I certainly wanted to be able to influence people and be strong for everyone around me. Maybe that is good enough.

I will continue to rave about this series and recommend it to others. That recommendation comes with the caveat that some portions of the books (especially this one) shouldn't be read just before bedtime if you are a sensitive reader and this really isn't a young, young adult book.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Re-Visiting an Old Companion

Presumed InnocentPresumed Innocent by Scott Turow

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my second time reading this book. I read it back in the late 80s/early 90s when I was doing a lot of traveling and this was exactly the sort of book that could suck me in and make those cross-country flights tolerable. The second time was nearly as good as the first. I was a bit concerned that knowing whodunnit would detract from my reading pleasure, but I found that not to be the case. Knowing the ending actually freed me to enjoy more of the writing style and see how the plot was set up.

If you haven't read this (or seen the movie), the premise is that Rusty Sabich, Chief Deputy PA for Kindle County, is investigating the murder of the woman with whom he had an affair only to become the prime suspect and be put on trial for the murder. The twists and turns leave you wondering all the way to the end (and maybe even after) whether or not he did it. All in all, it is still an engaging read and holds up well 23 years after its debut. I am now looking forward to the sequel, Innocent!

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