Saturday, July 15, 2006

Recently Read

Further in my serial brain dump of apres-vacation posts, I managed to plough through a few novels in between dock repairs, paddle-boat trips, and all the other busy-ness that filled the past few weeks. What follows are not so much reviews as they are my slighly vapid impressions of the books I managed to read. I'll leave the real reviews for real writerly-types...

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is the lastest novel from Canuck SF writer Cory Doctorow. I highly recommend this book, but I'm at a loss to fully explain the story here. You'll probably dig this book dig hot babes who sport wings.... you're interested in wireless Internet access..... foul-tempered undead things are're intrigued about how a washing machine and a mountain could mate and produce offspring. While the story, itself, is pretty bizarre; the characters are compelling and touching enough to make the whole thing work.

jPod comes to us from somewhat-legendary Canuck writer Douglas Coupland. I wanted to like this book. I really did. The first few chapters were pretty satisfying and made me believe this book would kick ass.

Alas, jPod sucked ass.

Too precious for it's own good and it reads like a bad amalgam of Coupland's previous novels. I really cannot add anything else here other than to refer you to Sean Twist's spot-on review. Nuff said.

Historian David Howarth has elegantly summarized 1500 years of British naval history into just a few hundred pages in British Sea Power: How Britain Became Sovereign of the Seas. This book is simply friggin' amazing. Howarth knows his subject well and weaves the facts into fascinating accounts of the major events in British maritime history. Admittedly, I'm a sucker for swashbuckelling sea stories and any insight into the inner-workings of ship-life before the dawn of the Industrial Age, so it's pretty much a given that I'd like this book. But, in fact, I loved this book.


Kid Dork said...

Oh, thank God you hated JPod, too! I remember reading that you were enjoying it, and I was afraid you would be put off by my review. But man! That book well and truly SUCKED!

Okay..venom gone. I've not read Doctorow, but he's on my list. And that British naval book has just been added as well.

I have both 'Consider Phlebas' and 'Anansi Boys' on my vacation pile right now. That, and six months worth of Knights of the Dinner Table, a year's worth of Dungeon and Dragon, and...oh, maybe I should just have a bonfire....

Crazylegs said...

Whoa! Kismet! I have 'Neverwhere' on my pile, just waiting for the weekend. I'll be interested to hear how you like 'Anansi Boys'. I'm waiting for a softcover version, but it sounds intriguing.

Oh, and I believe it was Bart Simpson who so wisely said, "Fire is not the cleanser".

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