makai: geek glasses (stock: geek)
1. The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
Ridiculous set up. Hilarious. Lovable characters. Read in one day on January 1, 2012. Highly recommended.

2. Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Well done final book in the Leviathan series. Picks up after Behemoth and is quite an interesting alt history. I didn't realize until afterward how true some of the details were, even while yes of course many were changed. And it was a great ending, not disappointing in the least. Read January 4, 2012.

3. Star Wars: Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
4. Star Wars: Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
5. Star Wars: The Last Command by Timothy Zahn
Star Wars trilogy with Grand Admiral Thrawn in it and introducing Mara Jade. I believe I've read this once years and years ago (maybe ten?), so some elements were familiar, and I was able to remember a few things, but it was still mostly like reading it for the first time. And while they are Star Wars books, Timothy Zahn is a great author, and it is quite an interesting story with twists and turns. It's 1300 pages (altogether approximately) and very addicting. Bad for sleep. Read January 5 - 6, 2012.

6. Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
It's the only Discworld novel I've read (apparently it is one?), but even not having read those, this book is incredibly hilarious and not simply because I enjoy vampires. The characters are a delight and really grew on me. The "modern" vampires were fun, and I liked how the little parts all came together. That it isn't really separated into chapters but only has line breaks and sometimes three asterisks to separate sections made it very hard to put down...ever. Read January 7 - 9, 2012.

7. I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan
Narrator: Lucifer. Premise: temporarily in human body, considering an offer from God as to how to get back in heaven and telling his side of the story. Warnings: quite vulgar, in many ways possibly triggering, and mildly depressing. I had to watch something to cheer myself up a bit afterward. It also doesn't have true...chapters. There are breaks, but it's very Lucifer stream of consciousness in some ways, in that there are tangents and tangents from those tangents. It is really good. But it's not just lighthearted or anything. Read January 10 - 12, 2012.

8. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Oh. My. God. Such an incredible book. So so so so so so amazing. It's written in basically all first person pov with questions occasionally asked by the "writer" of the book. It goes through what happens all over the world, with incredible nature of many nations acting in character, while individuals were still incredibly unique and well characterized. It's moving and at times easy to forget it's fiction despite the zombie premise. I want to read this again soon. Read January 16 - 20, 2012.

9. Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel by Jonathan Morris
I started reading this Saturday evening and read about half of it until I went to bed. Then last night I couldn't stop reading until suddenly there was no more book. It has a relatively small cast, who you really get to know. There is some time wimey wibbly wobbliness (including the return of the egg boiling device Ten had in Blink). It moved so quickly and wonderfully. Read January 21 - 22, 2012.

10. Doctor Who: Paradox Lost by George Mann
Again, a Doctor Who book read in two days. These two are both page turners. I read much faster than usual while reading it and found them difficult to put down. This book has a few "episodal" characters, and I love them. Love love love them. It's not as timey wimey in regards to trying to figure out what's going ON with the timelines. However, as the title suggests, there are time paradoxes. A good portion of it is from Rory's point of view, which is interesting. It's not entirely how I think Rory might think all of the time; however, a good portion of it felt entirely spot on to me. The Doctor, Amy, and Rory did feel entirely in character, and it truly felt like an episode of Who. Read January 23 - 24, 2012.

11. Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove
AU History novels! It's a remarkable set of books. The narrators are incredibly genuine to me in their choice of diction, world views, etc. There are times that they have remarkably forward thinking ideas/one off thoughts (ie wouldn't it be nice if... but that'll never happen, but it has). The world is built slowly with many similar elements, especially at the beginning, to our history. However, the farther the novel develops, the more organic differences based upon the way things are in this world develop. Oh it still similarly develops. But idk, I love it. The first book goes through three sections, each over a period of many generations. Read January 25 - 31, 2012.

12. The United States of Atlantis by Harry Turtledove
The second in the trilogy. This one goes into the AU version of the American Revolutionary War. In some ways this book impresses me more, as we stay with one narrator the entire time. It also starts debates about slavery, even more into racism, and an exploration of how those views evolve for the narrator. There has by this point been a relative lack of major female characters compared to male ones (narrators have all been male, and with the war focus here even less female presence). But the way it deals with race impresses me. I really liked it. Read February 1 - 6, 2012.

13. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
14. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
15. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I originally read this series last year, and there were parts of Catching Fire and Mockingjay that really angered me. So after I finished The Hunger Games (before seeing the film), I was hesitant at first to reread the other two. I got to the end of Catching Fire and loved it, without the problems I had before. It made sense, overall. And I found I had the same reaction with Mockingjay, liking it even more this time than last time. I also really love Joanna and Finnick as characters. ♥

16. Doctor Who: Hunter's Moon by Paul Finch
Beautiful, heartbreaking. Some stuff is predictable, sure, but I really liked the use of Rory, Amy, and the Doctor on their own and together. Good story.

17. Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson
Okay, such a long book. It's pages are so thin I didn't realize it, but wow. There's a lot of religion/whatnot in the book (the future is somewhat dominated by the church in this book), but while it's critical of what can happen in something that has too much power, it isn't insulting to faith or those that are religious personally. There's a great deal more in it about power than not, with religion being one way power can be wielded. Overall, it's well written, interesting, and I always wanted to keep reading it.

18. Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA by Richard C. Lewontin
It's on the older side now, originally published in 1991, so some of the science is on the older side, but it's a really well-thought out, well argued with detailed examples book. It's also a bit on the depressing side when you realize how true a great deal of the stuff he's saying in. It's looking at how politics/society shape biology and how biology is used to justify the social situation, etc. It looks at how the ideas used to shape research/thought processes show certain assumptions, etc.
makai: Echo fallen (dollhouse: fallen)
So, Mark Twain's autobiography has started to get published (volume I of III), and I read the introduction to it (rather long) for free on Amazon. Mark Twain mentioned Casanova's autobiography, which I had already thought about before from having watched the BBC series Casanova (with David Tennant as a young Casanova and Peter O'Toole as an old Casanova).

As it turns out, Barnes & Noble is pretty good about letting you read at least some books online. So I've read the first three chapters of vol. I of the abridged English translation by William Trask, which is still 1500 pages. Note, that cuts out HALF of what Casanova wrote, and he only made it until 1774, not 1797, as he originally intended (death got in the way). Man, it makes me wonder how long it WOULD have been had he not died before finishing it.

Also amusing to me is that the version Mark Twain read was the official French version for over 130 years. Note, Casanova wrote it in French (as it was more widely known than Italian), but there was still an official version made that made it more...French French and less Italian French, as well as the editor adding in new smut scenes apparently (lol). Also, it removed most of his religious references, as well as some of his political statements. Poor Mark Twain didn't get to read a truer version. And it's sort of ironic given that multiple versions of Mark Twain's autobiography have come out slaughtering his orders for how he wanted it arranged. And that's essentially how he got Casanova's.

I'm not sure when heliocentrism was accepted, but Casanova claims to have *realized* it's possibility from traveling by boat. He woke up on the boat, which was moving so smoothly he didn't realize he was traveling. He could see out a window, and in it he saw the trees "moving" - aka running past. He commented on this, and his mother explained that the boat was moving, not the trees. And he claims to have then realized the same could be true about the earth/sun (this is at like...age eight-ish).

It's definitely an interesting read. I'm like....65 pages in, and I might just get it.

Also, there is an audiobook version that is narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

February 2013

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