Archive for the 'books' Category
Some books that I’ve just finished up:
Witnesses of War, by Nicholas StarGardt
About children’s lives under the Nazis before, during, and slightly after WWII. Appalling, moving, engrossing.
In Search of Stones, by M. Scott Peck
Peck’s tale of a trip he and his wife took to the UK in search of dolmen and menhirs … which he intertwines […]
I’ve had some really good books out from the library … been on a bit of a history kick lately …
Here’s a selection:
Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson
Excellent book - wonderful story of 2 amateur deep-sea divers who through sheer persistence and amazing energy and effort wrote a new chapter in WWII history.
Walking Up and Down […]
Chris Forde, a documentary filmmaker, is doing a movie on Paddle to the Amazon … the longest canoe journey ever.
I’m interested in this because I read and reviewed the book Paddle to the Amazon, which is the amazing story of Don Starkell and his son Dana, who paddled from their home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to […]
Books that I’ve recently finished …
My Dying Breath, by Ben Reed
Highly recommended fictional retrospective of combat in Vietnam by a veteran.
Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson
Excellent hard sci-fi with real characters.
Heavy Weather, by Bruce Sterling
Also very good … kinda cyber-punk meets survivalist in a dystopic breaking-down world.
Tags: books, john koetsier, ben reed, […]
Recently read …
Sagittarius Whorl by Julian May
The War Mountains, by John Mannock
The Great Deluge, by Douglas Brinkley
Count Zero, by William Gibson
The Bourne Legacy, by Erik van Lustbader (I’ve always wondered if that can really be his actual name?)
Warriors, by Max Hastings
The System, by Georgi Arbatov
What I’ve been reading:
The Last Mortal Man, by Syne Mitchell: fairly good sci-fi
Where the Hell are the Guns, by George G Blackburn: very good personal history
The Triangle Run, by James B. Lamb: very good (story of the Canadian navy doing convoy duty in the Atlantic
Spartans, by Paul Cartledge
A Soldier’s View, by Blake Heathcote: WWII era […]
Recently read …
Cusp, by Robert A Metzger
Wow. Mind-altering. Awesome. Couldn’t put it down.
Belgarath the Sorcerer by David and Leigh Eddings
Yawn. Shouldn’t have picked it up - Eddings is for 12-year olds - but I have this silly thing about finishing books I start.
The Guns of Normandy by George G Blackburn
Sobering - a personal, real, dirty […]
Draco by Ian Watson
Wow. Very good can’t-put-it-down sciency fiction. Watson’s language and word-choice is extremely innovative - a succulent read for a lover of books and language.
Capital Offense by Armin Shimerman
Just OK. Ends with a fizzle, as if the author and the protagonist just plain ran out of energy.
Fools Errant by Matthew Hughes
Really super-excellently […]
A list of books I’ve read recently, along with a very short pass/fail recommendation:
Gregory Benford’s In the Ocean of Night
Pass - not up to his usual standards.
Stephen Baxter’s Exultant
Baxter is always mind-blowingly amazing.
A compilation of short science fiction stories - very, very good.
Through Gates of Splendor
The story of Elisabeth Elliot and 4 missionaries who […]
I recently read the Lord of the Rings books for probably the tenth time in about 20 years. And then I watched the movies for the third time in about five years.
Now, a few years after their release, I think I have a pretty good sense of what the highlights - and lowlights - of […]
Recently finished the second and third horsemen of the apocalypse, I mean the second and third novels in the quasi trilogy that follow Elie Wiesel’s Night.
I wonder if Dawn is based on personal experience, or just a short story. It’s the account of a Jewish terrorist who kills an English soldier in cold blood.
The Accident […]
Last night I finished Friedman’s The World is Flat.
It’s a fairly wow big idea book; following are some of my notes and thoughts. This is not a review or anything like that; it’s just things I want to remember from the book.
Ten forces that flattened the world:
Berlin Wall coming down, opening the iron curtain and […]
Why is Phillip K. Dick so hot in Hollywood?
Well, it’s not because he’s dead. Not just because he was a great writer. And not because he was even weirder than Hollywood.
But Robert Silverberg puts his finger on why Dick, whose stories are the basis for movies such as Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report, […]
I recently picked up a book from the library that completely blew my mind. I was going to start a review of it like this:
Some books are from the literary catch-and-release program: you read ‘em, return ‘em, and remember them no more.
Others are like great bloody axes crashing through your brain like some cosmic sword […]
What we often forget about good old Winnie is that he wasn’t just a politician, statesman, and leading figure of the 20th Century. He was also a prolific writer with more than 43 books in 72 volumes.
In those books - as well as in his speeches - Churchill has dozens, hundreds, even thousands of pithy, […]
Just finished Charles Sheffield’s Cold as Ice. Really, really, really good modern hard science fiction - highly recommended.
In a similar vein, I finished Planets of Adventure - old, almost antique science fiction by Murray Lienster. Definitely a little long in the tooth here and there, but the stories are pure gold.
Can’t find this book on […]
This is not a review; this is an almost stream-of-consciousness pouring out of emotion that I wrote immediately after reading Night.
. . .
. . .
I just finished reading Night, by Elie Wiesel. It was, as Goethe says, like an axe to a frozen lake.
Not that I’ve never read about the Holocaust before. Quite […]
We had an election today and nobody came.
Sorry, I just wanted to use that line for no particular reason. That’s what you can do when you have your own blog.
Actually, what happened, of course, is that we elected a lame-duck minority Conservative government that will have to battle every step of the way to […]
It’s the new year and the kids are going back to school tomorrow.
So, ironically, am I.
I’ve been taking a bit of a break from my masters program at UBC, but decided that now was the time to pick it back up again. I’m taking a degree in Educational Technology … the artsy science of how […]
I recently had the oddest experience - picking up a book and reading it, and having the strangest sensation that it was very similar to another book that I was very familiar with.
The book was There and back again, by Pat Murphy, and the book it is similar to is The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, […]
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