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First list for 2009. Being sick for two weeks has meant lots of reading. I skipped over the next serious book because Becoming Batman in addition to being interesting, is likely to motivate me at the gym. Since I can't exercise right now, it seems a waste to read it before I recover.


1 Anathem by Neal Stephenson

The first quarter of the book slogs. I was getting ready to track down Stephenson and pummel him for making me push through all of his made up jargon. After a while, though, it all starts to make sense as the brain figures out where he's pulling references from, and for the most part, the plot overrides the annoying bits. The premise and science are interesting, and done in a way I don't think I've seen before, which is always nice. And, for a Stephenson book, it actually has a reasonably satisfying ending.

2 Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman

Mwa Ha Ha HA! *ahem* A solid deconstruction of the superhero vs. supervillian genre. More serious, but with less social commentary than From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain.

3 Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow (eBook)

I got less out of this than some might - I have no nostalgic fondness for Disney, and I've never been to one of their theme parks. The whole whuffie idea is interesting, but I found I wasn't terribly emotionally invested in any of the characters.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
corbet
Jan. 18th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
Psssst...I strongly recommend Max Brooks' World War Z to you. Zombies! Not your standard plotted novel, but engrossing.

(I need a zombies icon.)
curgoth
Jan. 18th, 2009 10:43 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah! I'd heard about that and meant to add it to my list of books to get, but then forgot when I did my last buy.

(How do I not have a zombies icon either?)
curgoth
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
Sorted!
neeuqdrazil
Jan. 18th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
Speaking of, we need to get From The Notebooks of Doctor Brain back, because I'd like to read it.
curgoth
Jan. 18th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
I'll remind the folks who have it on loan when next I see them.
mycrazyhair
Jan. 19th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Okay, I'll bite. What's a whuffie?
curgoth
Jan. 19th, 2009 02:06 pm (UTC)
The "Bitchun Society" that has taken over the world in the book is both post-death and post-scarcity; traditional economy is gone, and if you die, you're just restored from backup.

Whuffie is a score that reflects your reputation. Everyone has built-in computers, and they vote on people they meet. If your score is high, people like you, and you can act like you're rich. If your score is low, you lose access to perqs. Everyone has the basics needed to live, but your whuffie determines how well you do beyond that.
the_doughboy
Jan. 19th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed Down and out in the magic Kingdom, it was kinda neat how everything was run on perception of what was good. The other two books look interesting
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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