Taking a break from the fiction I’ve been reading I picked up a couple of books at the library that looked interesting but didn’t draw me enough to buy them outright. I started reading Logicomix last night and I’ve found it fascinating. Here’s the blurb about the book to introduce it to you:

Covering a span of sixty years, the graphic novel Logicomix was inspired by the epic story of the quest for the Foundations of Mathematics.

This was a heroic intellectual adventure most of whose protagonists paid the price of knowledge with extreme personal suffering and even insanity. The book tells its tale in an engaging way, at the same time complex and accessible. It grounds the philosophical struggles on the undercurrent of personal emotional turmoil, as well as the momentous historical events and ideological battles which gave rise to them.

The role of narrator is given to the most eloquent and spirited of the story’s protagonists, the great logician, philosopher and pacifist Bertrand Russell. It is through his eyes that the plights of such great thinkers as Frege, Hilbert, Poincaré, Wittgenstein and Gödel come to life, and through his own passionate involvement in the quest that the various narrative strands come together.

Reading the book has made me want to read more books about mathematics such as Whitehead and Russell’s Principia Mathematica. My concern is that my lack of higher mathematics will make the book frustrating and incomprehensible. Have any of you read the book? Would someone who doesn’t know much calculus be able to understand it? If not which areas of mathematics should I study first?

My wallet!

Apr. 9th, 2010 05:03 pm

Danger! Danger! Danger!

I just discovered that Cap Hill is getting a technical book store. No more will the thought of a three hour drive keep me from blowing my fun budget on shiny books. According to their blog Ada's Technical Books I have until mid-June to save up for my first foray.

Still on track with my goal of reading the LotR legendarium. One of the good things about reading the books again is being reminded of favorite scenes that had slipped from my memory. One of the bad things is realizing how much was changed for the movies. Oh well... The road goes ever on and so does my reading...

I was reading Level 26 and I was concerned that the “digi-novel” format was going to be just a gimmick that distracted from the novel. I never found out because the writing was so bad I couldn’t choke it down. I've read bad writing before (Dan Brown anyone?) but I won’t torture myself.

A co-worker lent me The Magicians by Lev Grossman. When I first finished The Magicians I didn’t like the ending because it didn’t finish the way I thought it should. However, the more I think about it the more I enjoy the ending because it didn’t tne the way I thought it should.

That's my reading goal for 2010. To read all of the Lord of the Rings “trilogy”. That's a lot of pages in there. I wonder...

Book Pages Read Left % Complete
Totals 7,875 156 7,824 1.98%
The Hobbit 276 156 120 56.52%
The Lord of the Rings 1,157 1,157 0.00%
The Silmarillion 365 365 0.00%
The Book of Lost Tales Part One 297 297 0.00%
The Book of Lost Tales Part Two 385 385 0.00%
The Lays of Belleriand 393 393 0.00%
The Shaping of Middle Earth 380 380 0.00%
The Lost Road and Other Writings 455 455 0.00%
The Return of the Shadow 497 497 0.00%
The War of the Ring 476 476 0.00%
The Treason of Isengard 504 504 0.00%
Sauron Defeated 482 482 0.00%
Morgoth’s Ring 471 471 0.00%
The War of the Jewels 470 470 0.00%
The Peoples of Middle-Earth 482 482 0.00%
The Children of Hùrin 313 313 0.00%
Unfinished Tales of Nùmenor and Middle-Earth 472 472 0.00%

That’s a grand total of 7,875 pages. To finish it during the year I'll have to average 22 pages per day. It will be a bit of a stretch but a goal I don't mind reaching to achieve. Now I just have to come up with some spiffy graphic to chart my progress.

Readings

Nov. 17th, 2009 09:23 am

Bad: Another night without sleep.

Good: Finishing The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt. I enjoyed the and I agree with the Fantasy Book Critic's review. I want more and I find that there are three more novels set in this world.

Next up is Level 26 by Anthony E. Zuiker. L26 is a “digi–novel” and according to the book jacket and website there are codes scattered in the book that unlock videos on the website. I hope that the book isn't just one large gimmick. We'll see.

While [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I were off celebrating our marriage I brought my copy of Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I can see why so many people recommend this book. I'm only seventy pages into the book and what I've read so far is going to improve my bread making skills. Somehow I don't think I'll have a shortage of volunteers to help eat my experiments.

Speaking of baking I'm planning at baking some bread, Springerles and other cookies weekend. Yes, I have a fondness for anise flavored cookies. Hmmm... Now to go make a shopping list...


Birthday Book Cover
Originally uploaded by hollyking
I received my first birthday present for this year. It is a very old (copyright 1895) German book. I'm not quite sure how to translate the title but I think it's something like "Bismarck Memorial for the German People." There is a picture of Bismarck on the end pages, but I don't read enough German, yet, to really know what it says.

Thank you [livejournal.com profile] cheesentoast!

I just finished reading Devices and Desires, the first book of The Engineer Trilogy by K.J. Parker. I found it a good solid book and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Next up is Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I found a book that contains the entire canon of Holmes stories written by Doyle. At 1,408 pages it's quite hefty.

Last night I finished reading Terra Incognita - Book 1: The Edge of the World by Kevin J. Anderson. I bought the book after hearing some music by Roswell Six which created an album to go with the book. This of course reminded me of something I learned from buying the soundtracks to Star Wars movies I hadn’t seen. Never listen or read the liner notes for an album that goes with a book before reading the book. Spoilers!

I loved and hated The End of the World. The part of the story involving exploration and the journeys of Criston, Mateo and Aldo are very good and make me want to read the next book in the series. For me the religious intolerance and stupid demand (from both sides) to wipe out the sinners really detracted from the book. So much so that I almost put the book away a couple of times. A couple of characters could have died in the initial fire and I would have enjoyed the book more.

That being said I think that Anderson did well representing the Urecai and the Aidenists as people. While one side has more “villains” they weren’t all scheming, backstabbing, lying cheats. There are other groups of people I thought were more interesting and I hope we get some more detail about them in the upcoming books.

Next I started reading Devices and Desires, the first book of The Engineer Trilogy by K.J. Parker. I’m only fifty pages into the book so far, but I’m hooked.

Sunday I saw the trailer for Sherlock Holmes (2009) which has Rober Downey Jr. as Holmes. I know [livejournal.com profile] sirriamnis doesn't care for the film and my first reaction to the trailer I saw on the web wasn't positive. Then I read an interview with Downey where he said that his film was true to the Holmes in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books. Downey went on to say that a lot of the popular view of Holmes wasn't from the books, but rather different actors portrayals in earlier movies. This made me curious about the new movie.

When I saw the trailer in the movie I tried to keep a more open mind. It still doesn't look like the Holmes I know, but having not read the original books I admit I don't know if it was wrong. Well there's one way to know for sure. Read the books and see for myself. I'm fairly sure these will be books to keep. So does anyone have any particular editions they would recommend?

Speaking of books I have a list of other books I want to read. Yes, I know... Lots of books to read. Like you are any different? But this list was chosen because they are all epistolary novels. Have you read any of these? Are there others you would recommend?

Went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) with $little yesterday. It was a mistake for me because there's a lot more going on between Snape and Dumbledore than was in the movie and I want to know. Of course that means that I need to actually read the books. However, I don't want to buy them as I'll never read them again and the library and I are on the outs for a while. (I can't afford my fines to replace a book I can't find.) I'll have to check and see if HPB has a set on the cheap.

My paycheck! Lindsay's Technical Books has a lot of things I want!

I bought a copy of John Robbins' Debugging Applications for Microsoft .NET and Microsoft Windows but it didn't come with the companion CD. I've searched the web for the files but Mr. Robbins seems to not have placed them online. Any chance some Seattle folks have the companion CD I could copy?

Greywalker

Mar. 19th, 2009 08:23 am

Yesterday I finished [livejournal.com profile] katatomic's book Greywalker. I know I said I was going to read Foundation next, but I was distracted by the damp vampires. Greywalker is set in Seattle and involves a P.I., Harper Blaine, and her introduction to the "Grey," the paranormal world beside our own. The book was almost a hit with me, but one thing kept me from enjoying the end. If you like urban dark fantasy you should check it out. Not quite vampire porn, but that's a good thing in my view.

Now I am really going to read Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

Cut for spoilers )

I finished A Fine and Private Place at lunch today. Yep, I'm a slow reader. Well not really slow, but I don't seem to have much time to read so it takes time to finish books. I enjoyed AFaPP a lot. Which Beagle book should I read next?

The next book in my queue is Foundation by Isaac Asimov. As Asimov is one of my favorite authors I should have read this book earlier. I don't know why I never have read them. I've read all of the robot novels and I love the Black Widowers stories.

hollyking: (us)

And luckily for me I have married a good woman who knows good books! I love how we can discuss books together. We have our own favorite genres and styles that the other doesn't read but that adds to the discussion when we can show the other something that they had never considered before.

Last night I finished reading Escapement by [livejournal.com profile] jaylake. I enjoyed Escapement more than Mainspring, the first book in the series. The writing was more consistent and I found the story more compelling. There were a couple of things I didn’t like though. The book just kind of ended and I wasn’t satisfied with the conclusion. Also there was a character I really liked who was just dropped in the middle of the book and I wonder what happened to him. I hope Jay Lake writes another book in this series. There is still the mysteries south of The Wall that can be explored.

Next up is A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle. I really like The Last Unicorn, so I decided I needed to read more of Peter’s books.

hollyking: (ahead full)

In honor of Chuck Fowler and Captain Mark Freeman’s new book “Tugboats on Puget Sound,” the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society is having an event this Saturday! Come on down to the former Naval Reserve Armory in Lake Union Park to tour FIVE historic tugs: the ELMORE, the BLUEBERRY, the HENRIETTA FOSS, the GRACE, and the ARTHUR FOSS. The boats will be open to the public on Saturday February 8th from 1pm until 5pm.

You might remember me talking about the ARTHUR FOSS. That’s boat I volunteer on giving tours and answering questions. I’ll be down there part of the day and I invite you all to come see these beautiful boats. I’m going to guess we’ll have enough hosts that we’ll have the engine room open on the ARTHUR FOSS which gives you photographers access to a diesel engine built in 1934. We might even start it up and you can hear it chugging away.

I don't care if a series of novels is published in chronological order or not. The Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell wasn't but he provides a list on his website that lists the whole series in chronological and publication order. The chronological order is nice, but you can't be sure if you're starting at the beginning as the author might publish a book before the "first" one.

What I want publishers and authors to provide is to clearly mark when books are part of a series and which book is the first published in the series. I pick up books all the time from the library that seem interesting only to get home and find out that it's the third in a trilogy. It might be a great series of books. I might never know because I won't remember to look later. I have stacks and stacks of books to read. By the time I get around to looking for something new to read I'll have forgotten about that series.

There are sites like Fantastic Fiction that will list the books in a series in order. I don't have a web browser wired in my head yet. Is it too much to ask them to note if a book is part of a series and which is the first published book in the series?

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