Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More books:
Elisha's Bones: a good, fun read even if I can't suspend my disbelief to go along with a story that posits that a group of caretakers had a mural painted in Lalibela hundreds of years ago to give clues to the rich families that take turns keeping Elisha's bones. Maybe it's in case the group forgets the names of the families over a few hundred years. But they'll be sure to remember there are clues in the mural. I learned that St. George's lance had a name: Ascalon.
And Ascalon is the name of the Guild Wars book my oldest son lent me. A fun plot book with nothing of great substance. Or maybe it does, if I deconstruct it properly. It does show us that disparate peoples with disparate goals still can work together to accomplish some great thing.
Rooms: a book that is an extended metaphor for the places we need to face our sins with Christ. And the house, with a two-story tall stone fireplace and huge windows facing Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, I want that house!
The Vanishing Sculpture by Donita K. Paul. I liked it enough to give to my niece.
I read a short book about the Swazi, and then one about the Bunyoro, except the one about the Bunyoro was really about how the anthropologist went about his work and writing the book about the Bunyoro which is what I have to get next if I want to learn abut them. Well, that is irritating.
The Secret Life of Lobsters: Who could know that lobsters could be so interesting?
A whole batch of Dean Koontz including State of Fear (hilarious) and Taking, which I did not figure out was about the Rapture until the last ten pages. Ooooh. An interesting version. Full of nonsense visual effects (maybe this is a movie script?) and nonsense blood and gore such that I just skimmed the last half of the book to see what he was getting at. I am trying to remember why American Protestant Christians call it the Rapture. A Greek transliteration like baptism?
A lot of SF, that apparently did not impress me much because I cannot recall any of the books right now. Oh wait,     ILL WIND: what if somebody develops a bacterium that eats oil voraciously and everything made of oil?   Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks:  Well written with an ending I did not at all expect. He must be British rather than American. Anathem by Neal Stephenson: What a lot of fun Figuring out the etymology of the words was fun too. The word speely defeated me until this morning. This one is going to my nephew Zach who has a PhD in Philosophy and teaches in a Catholic university.
Strength In What Remains by Tracy Kidder about Burundi. Everything he writes if fascinating. Burundi has the same problem as Rwanda, except the hutus and tutsis were more even in their killing of each other.
Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet: memoir of an autistic man. Except for the math and synesthesia, nothing struck me as exceptional. I could have written parts of it.
The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong. A thoroughly depressing book by someone who did things I can't imagine doing for more than two minutes. Her Christianity was so far away from mine, I could have been reading about a Muslim mystic.
Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet: a marvelous coming-of-age story set in Mumbai. Fascinating.
Whiteman by Tony D'souza: I thought the writer was someone else. I only remember it was unpleasant and I only read a few pages.
Discomfort Zone: a comedy, but I can't seem to remember it. It may be another I did not finish. 

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