Talking about books

I thought i would upload holiday photos tonight … but now the time comes i just don’t feel like it. So i’ll save it for another evening, or possibly the weekend. There’s no hurry.

Instead i find myself wanting to record that i am currently reading The Whole Shebang – A State-of-the-Universe(s) Report by Timothy Ferris, and enjoying it very much. I found it in a bookshop in Budapest and managed to bargain it down from 800 to 600 Forints (which is about £1.70). Okay, the book is about 10 years old, but it is very easy to read and understand, with plenty of comparisons to things i can realistically imagine, to help me visualise the concepts that are being explained. I have learnt all about the age and rate of expansion of the universe, red shifts, space-time distortion … i am currently reading about the many fascinating aspects of black holes! :) Best of all, the book is signed by the author on the first page! ;)

I have always been interested in space, and this book works for me where Stephen Hawking’s Brief History of Time did not. I tried twice to read it and got baffled by the science. Hopefully, having read this book, i will be able to try the Stephen Hawking one again. I’m also looking forward to learning more up-to-date developments once i have a thorough understanding of what was known ten years ago.

Whilst on holiday i also read a Terry Pratchett book – The Light Fantastic. It reminded me just why i cannot stand Terry Pratchett – just ridiculously stupidly far too random for my liking – but my partner the book for me (off read it swap it) so i thought i should give it a try. Despite myself, i did actually find parts of it quite funny, and i especially liked Death as a character, so maybe i will try reading Mort one of these days.

I very much enjoyed Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, although i was disappointed that an absolutely perfect plot line i thought was coming did not. It seemed too delicious an opportunity to miss, but it almost seemed as if Sarah considered it, began writing it, then let it flop and instead devised a highly improbable plot device to replace it. There was also a particularly obvious line of contemplation that i think should have been pursued, but was not even touched upon. I’m trying to be cryptic to avoid spoiling the book for anyone else who wants to read it … but if anyone already has, i’d be keen to discuss these ideas.

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7 comments on “Talking about books

  1. The first few discworld books (which are really old) are parodies of Tolkein and epic hack and slash fantasies and are essentially nothing like ‘modern’ Pratchett. I wouldn’t recommend anyone start with Light Fantastic, Colour of Magic, Equal Rites or even Mort. Light Fantastic is also part two of a two part story. If I were you I would start with one of the stand alone books, Small Gods is my recommendation. Then read Reaper Man if you like Death, skip Mort. Oh and try Wyrd Sisters.

  2. Ah, thank you – that’s useful to know. I may try those to get a more accurate picture of Terry Pratchett’s writing.

  3. mmmm…the early Pratchetts, with the sole exception of Wyrd Sisters, are like that. I know a few people who read ‘The Colour of Magic’ and hated it, but have really liked the more recent books. I think Terry would retcon those early books if he could, because a lot of the stuff in them doesn’t even work in today’s Discworld.

  4. So. When are you going to start re-reading the seventh Harry Potter book? I’ve only read it once but I’m considering reading it a second time.

  5. I have already read it twice. It’s well worth the second read. I think i will now wait seven years before reading the whole HP series all through again.

  6. My only fear is that if I try and read it on a school night I’d end up being awake all night so I’m going to have to wait until the weekend. Hahaha.

  7. Mmmm, that sounds like a sensible plan! I can well understand the staying-up-all-night scenario – it happens all too easily, doesn’t it!

    It’s good to mention, i am reading all these other books because Harry Potter is over. I am quite sure JK Rowling will release more books, not Harry Potter ones, but different books. But in the meantime i’m enjoying exploring what other authors have to offer! :)

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