Friday, March 21, 2014

on book 16.

book 16 of 60: special topics in calamity physics by marisha pessl

date started: 3.11.2014
date completed: 3.20.2014
pessl's other book, night film, was good most of the way through, but fell apart completely in the end for me.

this book was so much better, including the end.

pessl's characters are so vivid--so distinct from one another. the turn in the end of the book is startling, given how well you think you know the characters by that point, but it somehow works.

the entire read is engaging, constantly leaving you wondering how exactly the narrtive will shake out.

i don't have a lot to say about this book--i really can't put why i like it so much into words, but i know i like it, and that's enough.

probable next read:  a dance with dragons by george r.r. martin

Monday, March 17, 2014

on book 15.

book 15 of 60: the maze runner by james dashner

date started: 3.11.2014
date completed: 3.16.2014


if you love repetition, flat characters, and intentionally too-long withheld information, this book is perfect. given the apparently large faction of fans the series has, there must be something compelling here, but it's lost on me. maybe i've just read too much of this genre and have ridiculously high expectations.

while the end and epilogue evoke interest, i don't think they make up for the 300 pages of shoddy-at-best writing you have to endure to get there. this book reads like an inexperienced writer's first attempt at a novel, which makes it difficult to get through. couple that with one dimensional characters who remain static throughout the narrative--only "changing" when they suddenly remember something--and monsters that, to be frank, evoke more laughter than fear, and you have a text that just doesn't work for me.

everything that was wrong with dave egger's the circle seems repeated here. it could have been a captivating take on the PA/dystopian genre, but it just isn't

probable next read:  the graveyard book by neil gaiman (i.e. i need a book that won't let me down!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

on book 14.

book 14 of 60: destination truth by josh gates

date started: 3.1.2014
date completed: 3.11.2014

fun. campy. a bit preachy at times. basically everything the television show is condensed into a book.

a memoir of the host of syfy's destination truth, this book is comprised of a collection of essays and accounts of josh gate's travels--both before the tv show and during.  it has moments of humor, sarcasm, profundity, and wit.  it also has a small amount of gates' preaching about traveling/travelers/tourists/stupid americans.

all in all it was a quick, fun read that got me through a really busy and stressful couple weeks.

probable next read:  special topics in calamity physics by marisha pessl

Saturday, March 1, 2014

on book 13.

book 13 of 60: storm kings: the untold history of america's first tornado chasers by lee sandlin

date started: 2.21.2014
date completed: 3.1.2014

i love weather. had I been better at math, i would have become a meteorologist and researched weather for the rest of my life.  after reading the worst hard time, this book felt like a natural next step.

while, ultimately, interesting, there are many monotonous sections of the book which make it a bit difficult to slog through. sandlin does a nice job of moving through the stories of the various men involved with meteorological science throughout the ages, even if some of these stories are more reminiscent of kindergarten recess than scientific inquiry.

particularly interesting to me was the section on Tetsuya Fujita, the scientist behind the enhanced Fujita scale for tornado categories.

all in all, this certainly wasn't my favorite piece of nonfiction, but I certainly could have done worse.

probable next read:  destination truth by josh gates