Current Reading

I've been doing a lot of reading recently and not all of it is dusty old biology journals. The last book was Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" which was very enjoyable. His summaries of physics and astronomy really helped me catch up on those subjects that I enjoyed a lot as an undergrad--but hadn't paid much attention to for nearly 20 years. He seemed to have a good grasp of his subjects which is impressive for someone that isn't a science writer. I did notice some mistakes in the biological parts of the book so it could be that I just don't know enough about physics to have noticed some mistakes in those parts of the book. Regardless, Bryson's voice makes for very enjoyable reading and for anyone that wants a quick (approx 500 pages) summary of science this might be the best book out there for that purpose.

The book I'm currently reading is "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova. It was just published last week and has gotten a lot of press due to the huge ($2.5 million, I think) advance and movie deal. I started it on Tuesday and have read the first 150 pages so far and am quite impressed. While I doubt it's worth a few million dollars, Kostova has a wonderful and delicate touch--especially for a vampire yarn. The tension grows slowly yet quite palpably. So far it's been a largely bloodless tale unlike authors like Rice yet it's very effective. You have to pay close attention to the story line since it's told from the perspective of the narrator, a 50-something woman that comments from the memories of herself at 13 as well as her father and earlier still her father's academic adviser. It is often jumping from person to person with little or no warning. Be awake! The style is so clean and apparently effortless that it's quite difficult to believe that this is Kostova's first novel. I highly recommend both these books!

I think the next book I'll be reading is a very light mystery. The new book by Janet Evanovich, "Eleven on Top". For anyone that has read a Stephanie Plum novel--this series needs no introduction. For anyone that hasn't read one, if you like mysteries that are fast and easy to read--look no further! These are 11 amusing and fun novels. Perfect for that little beach trip you've been meaning to go on! See you there. :-)


Nukapai said…
Ha! I had the Bill Bryson short history as an audiobook when I was in hospital last year. His voice kept me company. It was actually read BY the author.

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