Books of the week

I love books… I’m usually reading several a week, so I though it might occasionally be fun to review what’s been on the bedside table this week :)

feynman.jpg Perfectly Reasonable Deviations (From the Beaten Track) – This is another one of those books about Richard Feynman that I can’t seem to get enough of. He was a Nobel-Prize-winning physicist who was also one of my professors at Caltech. I think I enjoy reading these books so much because he was such an interesting man, with a creative, sexy, and engaging mind, and when I was there he was in his last few years and was already suffering from intestinal cancer. Nevertheless, I was able to get to know him a little, enjoy a few of his lectures, and performed in at least one musical with him (playing the bongo drums, of course). This book compiles his letters over the years, and he was such a character that his personality and force shines through the letters. It’s a bit long, but quite a fascinating account of the world and its changes throughout the era when he was working on the atomic bomb, teaching at various institutions, winning the Nobel Prize, protesting cold war politics as it affected science particularly, and serving on the Challenger review committee. A+ (if you enjoy such things).

marriage.jpg The Marriage Diaries – This one I read in an afternoon when I was starved for some time to just read. The story revolves around a married couple who have more or less lost the thread that binds them and are beginning to realize it. For various reasons, they both begin to journal, and the book is entirely composed of journal entries. For a while, the wife is reading the husband’s journal on their computer network, and realizes he’s close to having an affair – though she never gets to find out if he actually does it, as he changes operating systems and passwords just at the crucial moment. She ends up having a brief affair more or less pre-emptively, and comes to regret it. I won’t say what happens in the end, except that it involves mermaids :D B – entertaining for an afternoon.

candy.jpg Strange Candy – This is a book of short stories by Laurell K. Hamilton. I’m pretty into her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series :) so I thought this would be interesting to pick up. She writes possibly the most erotic fiction I’ve ever encountered in print, and has an interesting noir take on a world where vampires, shapeshifters, and necromancers are legally protected classes but only just barely tolerated in society. The short stories include a few set in that world, but also some excellent fantasy work set in worlds from her earlier days of writing. I am only half-way through the book, so who knows what interesting new facets will reveal themselves. Strange candy indeed – reads like dark chocolate with a hint of espresso and orange peel. A for originality and a fine writing technique.

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