Archive for February, 2011

The Ghost Brigades

Monday, February 28th, 2011

The Ghost Brigades opens with a rock. I didn’t find this the most promising of starts. If just finishing Old Man’s War hadn’t left me with the desire to explore more of John Scalzi’s universe, I would have been tempted to stop after the first page. Luckily, the importance of rocks pans out quickly so […]

Old Man’s War

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

AJM encouraged me to read some science fiction that was written a bit more recently. After all, just because I started reading science fiction in the 1970s and stopped reading science fiction in the 1970s, doesn’t mean I should restrict myself to reading science fiction from the 1970s. He suggested Old Man’s War for two […]

I Will Fear No Evil

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Spoilers Ahead The premise is much more intriguing than its execution. The brain of a dying rich old man is transplanted into the body of a young woman who has been murdered. The whole book could delve into the meaning of identity and gender but all it does is talk about sex. I don’t think […]

Life Among the Savages

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Shirley Jackson is the original Mommy-blogger. Or would be today. In her day she sold her stories to women’s magazines. Life Among the Savages (four children and small town locals) is grimly comic. Her wry observations are delivered in a deadpan tone. You can sense that it wouldn’t take much to push her into setting […]

The Mote in God’s Eye

Friday, February 18th, 2011

I pulled The Mote in God’s Eye off AJM’s stack of books to be discarded. I’d read another Niven-Pournelle novel, Oath of Fealty in the mid 1980s and enjoyed it. AJM didn’t like their style and abandoned The Mote in God’s Eye early into it. One of the things Niven-Pournelle do well in both books […]

The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

These days it seems that anything written by a woman gets lumped into the “chick lit” bin. However, I think The Girls’ Guide… truly qualifies for that label and it reminds me that I’m really not a girly girl. I’ve never seen a single episode of Sex in the City either. I like the main […]

Shanghai Diary

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

I finished reading Shanghai Diary within 24 hours of buying it. The memoir of an eleven year old girl who, in 1939, retrieves her father from the Gestapo and escapes Germany with her parents is a compelling read. In any Hollywood movie, the escape would have signalled the happy ending. However, most of the world […]


Monday, February 7th, 2011

“Settle down.” I’m frequently told. The more I seek calm in my life the more dissatisfied and restless I become. I dream of being elsewhere. Everything is mildly interesting but nothing is passionately interesting. In the last five years especially, I’ve found it difficult to muster internal motivation for new projects. I’m clearly in a […]

The surface and beneath the surface