Monday, November 19, 2012

Galileo's Dream

Galileo's Dream is one of Kim Stanley Robinson's more interesting works, paying homage to what may be the first science fiction book - Johannes Kepler's book Kepler's Dream. The story tells a detailed history of Galileo's life in Renaissance Italy, interwoven with brief periods of time in the Jovian moons in 3020. Like many of Robinson's books, this one is long and filled with dense tracts outlining Robinson's theories about science, politics and history. While these can be somewhat heavy going at times, in general this book flows well and leaves you feeling profoundly moved by Galileo's long life and the contribution he made to human history. Recommended.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Godfather of Kathmandu

The Godfather of Kathmandu is the 4th installment of John Burdett's Bangkok based series of detective novels.

In this episode, Sonchai juggles investigating the grisly murder of a Hollywood film director who has gone to seed while having to grapple with the latest task that Colonel Vikorn has set for him in his eternal struggle with General Zinna to see who is the most corrupt individual in Thailand.

Both plot threads take Sonchai to Kathmandu, where he falls under the sway of a Buddhist guru who wants to reverse the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

Its not the best book in the series but it is entertaining as always.

Wanting: A Novel

Richard Flanagan is the Tasmanian equivalent of Tim Winton - one of Australia's truly gifted modern writers.

"Wanting" interweaves the stories of novelist Charles Dickens, Tasmanian governor Sir John Franklin and an aboriginal girl called Mathinna in an interesting although slightly unsatisfying story that illuminates a period of history that I didn't know much about.

Not one of Flanagan's best books but worth a read nevertheless.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Good Reads

I've been using "Goodreads" a lot lately - its like a Trip Advisor for book readers - worth checking out.