Monthly Archive: September 2014

Sep 30 2014

The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Now this is how young adult science fiction should be written! The three books in this trilogy are The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men. They were wonderful. These books addressed wide-ranging topics from terrorism and tyranny to morality and how difficult love can be, all while …

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Sep 30 2014

The Powerless Series Omnibus (Books 1-3) by Jason Letts

A friend once gave me some good advice: life is too short to read bad books. She’s right. The three books in this trilogy are The Synthesis, The Shadowing, and The Stasis. I got halfway through the second chapter of the first book and began wondering if I had the fortitude to continue through all …

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Sep 29 2014

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

It is time for me to get off of my patootie and actually write up some of these books that I’ve been reading. At this point in time I am three trilogies and two novels behind, which doesn’t speak very well of my time management or my self discipline. Regardless, here we go with trilogy …

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Sep 28 2014

Journey Into the Heart by David Monagan

This is an incredible story. The daring, energy, and optimism of the men who pioneered cardiology in the twentieth century are truly extraordinary. This book focuses primarily on Andreas Gruentzig, the East German cardiologist who developed and refined angioplasty. The story becomes a Greek tragedy as success leads to hubris and hubris leads to nemesis. …

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Sep 28 2014

Names for the Sea by Sarah Moss

“It’s time for me to read Names for the Sea,” I told the friend who had sent me a copy. Some books are like that, resting placidly in the to-be-read pile for months before suddenly announcing, somehow, that it is time to read them. And indeed it was; despite a personal schedule that veers from …

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Sep 27 2014

Cystic Fibrosis by David Orenstein

Excellent book. I started this book expecting to be depressed by accounts of patients not living past childhood, but it turns out that with currently available medical care patients can expect to live into adulthood and even to old age. They will need regular treatments and may have to make many trips to the hospital …

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Sep 27 2014

The War with Hannibal by Livy

Livy is too patriotic to be completely trusted as a historian, but even he cannot help but convey a grudging admiration for the towering figure of Hannibal. He has nothing good to say about Carthage in general, and he works in some malicious gossip about Hannibal that is probably nothing more than just that, but …

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Sep 26 2014

The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France by R.J. Knecht

This book was BORING. But it was not entirely without merit. It educated me considerably on the degree to which religious strife has played a role in the history of France. One tends to think of France as a thoroughly Catholic country, but there was once a flourishing Protestant movement. It is tantalizing to speculate …

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Sep 20 2014

A World at Arms by Gerhard Weinberg

The author’s name suggests that he is of German descent, but he is one of the most anti-German WWII historians I have ever read. He does not accept that the Versailles treaty was an injustice to Germany, nor does he buy into the claim that Hitler admired the British and would have rather allied with …

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Sep 20 2014

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Walker Percy’s foreword to the book cannot be bettered: Perhaps the best way to introduce this novel — which on my third reading of it astounds me even more than the first — is to tell of my first encounter with it. While I was teaching at Loyola in 1976 I began to get telephone …

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