Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Reading List - November 2015

...door creaking...
...chair knocked over...
...light switch...
...sweeping and dusting...

OK, the cobwebs are cleared, the floors swept and we're back in business. I've not posted in over a month so I'm going to start with something simple, November's reading list. I'm gonna follow with December's reading list, and then get back to mostly baseball cards.

The Woods by Harlan Cobin

This is the 3rd Harlan Coben book I've read. I liked the first two, which happened to be his latest. This book is from 2009 and I liked it well enough but the action of the main character at the end was so flabbergasting that I was sorry I put in the time.

The End of All Things by John Scalzi

The latest in Scalzi's "Old Man's War" series. When Earth expanded into the stars it found the galaxy teeming with aliens who were not friends. Earth's colony planets banded into The Colonial Union to battle the aliens and pretty much keep Earth in a backward state. The series title refers to the Union's practice of recruiting from Earth's older population for troops, first turning them young again. This latest edition is more like a selection of interrelated short stories. It's like Scalzi had some good ideas for a novel but couldn't work any of them into a full book.  Not my favorite of the series.

Zero World by Jason M. Hough

An interesting take on parallel worlds. One parallel Earth is trying to keep the secret of travel among the worlds from all the others. It sends out agents to brutally suppress such knowledge. Peter Caswell is one such agent. In order to keep him sane, the terrible things he does on his missions is deleted from his memory when he returns His latest mission is to an Earth very close to our own Earth (the zero world). While there, he learns that his missions have not been what he thought they were. Pretty good, and certainly the first in a series.

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
Detective Harry Bosch of the Open Unsolved unit in the Los Angeles police force has a new partner, a young woman, on her way up in the force. Harry, 60+, is on his way to retirement. Their new case involves a 10-year-old shooting where the victim just died of his injuries. His young partner, Soto, has her own motive for being in the Open Unsolved unit. She's interested in an arson case from 20 years ago where several children in an unlicensed child-care facility were killed in the fire. She convinces Bosch to help her. I've read a couple of Bosch novels without realizing they were the latest in a long series, going back to 1991. 

The Devil's Eye by Jack McDevit
Alex Benedict and his partner and pilot Chase Koplath buy and sell ancient artifacts. The stories are set about 10,000 years in the future when humankind is spread across the galaxy. In this one, they go to a planet beyond the edge of the galaxy trying to solve a mystery. This plant is so remote, only one star is visible, the so called Devil's Eye. This pair is pretty much causes trouble where ever they go. Here they discover that the planetary government has been keeping secret for hundreds of years that the Devil's Eye has gone nova and the expanding wave front will hit the planet in within the life time of the current inhabitants. I have a love-hate relationship with this series. I generally like the stories but the writing is sometimes juvenile.

Humankind by Alexander H. Harcourt
The subtitle says it all. The author traces humankind's journey from Africa to around the world in many different ways, culture, language, body shape, artifacts and genes. This was one of the hardest books I've read recently. It's packed with information.

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