Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oh, the books I've read ... Part II

Continuing yesterday's book catch up ...

Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
Another favorite for rereading featuring my favorite Lancre witches. I'd almost forgotten this book which is one of the most solid. When crop circles show up everywhere, the witches know that an evil force is once again trying to enter the world and dominate mankind. Problem is that this evil force is one which has a legend ensuring that no one believes they are evil. (#35)

The Status Civilization by Robert Sheckley
Read this for SFFaudio's read-along. It is available free via Project Gutenberg. It is an interesting and definitely a quick read with short chapters. A man awakens in a small sterile room with no memory of his name, his past, or even of planet Earth. Thinking he is in a hospital after an accident, he discovers quickly that he is on a prison ship and it will be landing soon. He doesn't even know what crime he committed. And "landing?" What does that mean? He discovers soon enough.

I must say that as soon as the book seems to dwell too long on a point it is making and I begin to become restless, it suddenly changes up and interests me again. It remained interesting until the end and will provide much food for thought (and conversation at SFFaudio). (#36)

The Language God Talks: On Science and Religion by Herman Wouk
Proper review coming ...
Back of the book description:"More years ago than I care to reckon up, I met Richard Feynman." So begins THE LANGUAGE GOD TALKS, Herman Wouk's gem on navigating the divide between science and religion. In one rich, compact volume, Wouk draws on stories from his life as well as on key events from the 20th century to address the eternal questions of why we are here, what purpose faith serves, and how scientific fact fits into the picture. He relates wonderful conversations he's had with scientists such as Feynman, Murray Gell-Mann, Freeman Dyson, and Steven Weinberg, and brings to life such pivotal moments as the 1969 moon landing and the Challenger disaster. (#37)

Talents, Incorporated by Murray Leinster
Listened to this on SciPodBooks and really enjoyed the concept. Kandar is going to be invaded by the cruel Mekin empire. Captain Bors is helpless to do anything to save the planet until he is approached with amazingly accurate information gathered by Talents, Incorporated. Using his strategic knowledge and their information he works his way toward keeping Kandar free. Watching Bors struggle with his incredulity as the Talents Inc. group's precognitions (and other amazing ways to gather info) prove right each time is fun. Also interesting is the fact that the king constantly wants to surrender to the Mekins, despite winning encounter after encounter with them. Certainly this says something as a commentary about political realities when this book was written. Classic Leinster and a great reading by Mark Nelson, as always. (#38)

The Uninvited by Dorothy Macardle
A brother and sister buy a house together in the English countryside right around WWII and embark on an exploration of sinister hauntings and uncovering the mystery of why the ghosts appear at all. Read aloud on my podcast. (#39)

Doors Open by Ian Rankin
Read a review saying that this is not as gritty as Rankin's usual. I've tried Rankin several times and his grittiness overcame me every time. It was not riveting but this crime caper was entertaining enough and had a twist at the end that I didn't expect. (#40)

Dimiter by William Peter Blatty
Review copy for SFFaudio. Read by William Blatty himself. Blatty is an excellent narrator, which is not always the case for authors. I thoroughly enjoyed this book (well, except for the torture scenes in the beginning). My review will go up at SFFaudio and I will link to it then. (#41)

Finding Martha's Place: My Journey Through Sin, Salvation, and Lots of Soul Food by Martha Hawkins
Full review here. (#42)


  1. Where should someone who has never read anything by Terry Pratchett begin? I've always heard good things about his Discworld books. Would one of these be a good starting point?

  2. The first book of his that I read was Witches Abroad. It remains a favorite. I'd try that one. :-)

    He has several series within Discworld, very loosely speaking. There are his books featuring the witches (Granny Weatherwax), there are his books featuring Death (one of my favorite characters) and there are books about one or two of the soldiers. There may be others