Authority is the second book in the Southern Reach trilogy, the first being
Annihilation. I would classify these both as literary
science fiction, if that is a thing. Altogether very different from the first, but stylistically the
same. We get to experince the story from a different character's perspective and this made the pair
of books much more fulfilling. Sadly this did not make the movie any more comprehensible.
From the author of The Martian, Artemis is a great heist story set on the moon in
the future. Once again he strikes just the right balance between getting the scientific details
right and telling a great story. Just like his other book, I had trouble putting this down until I
was through with it.
I saw a review for Rise and Kill First a month or so ago and immediately put it on my
reading list. I decided to read it after I picked up about ten books for my next batch of reading.
This is a tremendous piece of history. The subtitle is "The Secret History of Israel's Targeted
Assassinations" which is basically all you need to know.
The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee was recommended by our future pediatrician. In many
ways it is a book about living a Jewish life and how that applies to situations involving children.
In other ways it is just a pretty good parenting book that uses Talmudic thought to ground the
reasoning behind certain ideas. Overall this was a very interesting book when you take from it what
you want even if you don't want to go too deep into Jewish theology.
Another suggestion from Amazon's list of best books, Station Eleven is a story about
humanity and civilization. The setting is before, during, and after a pandemic that wipes out the
majority of the population and therefore brings our modern world to a halt. The narrative jumps back
and forth across time and between narrator in a style that worked for me. Overall a good book that I
would certainly recommend, but which I found lacking due to the span of time and potential to
explore this future world.
In trying to keep the sources of my books diverse I pull from some lists periodically just to keep
an eye on what other people are reading. Dark Matter was the Amazon best book of July
2016 for whatever that is worth. A science fiction thriller driven by some hand wavy quantum mechanics.
Shoe Dog, the autobiography or memoir by Phil Knight, is a thoroughly engaging and
entertaining account of the rise of the most iconic brand in sports, Nike. I found myself desparate
to find out what happened next even though I already knew the broad strokes of most of the story.
Horns is a wonderful dark comedy by Joe Hill.
This one was recommended to me by my wife while we were walking in Washington D.C. and came across a
free library on the sidewalk. I can't remember if this book was in there or not, but I think
possibly one of his other books, NOS4A2, was in there. It led to this discussion about Horns,
Stephen King, the movie based on the book, and the entire genre of american horror. I am really
quite pleased that I got around to reading this as soon as I did because I am for sure going to add
the rest of his books to my reading list.
The Left Hand of Darkness was recommended to me by Taya after she read this as well
as The Dispossessed which I understand to be in the same universe. This was quite the interesting
read, although my bimodal reaction to fantasy worlds made it hard for me to get into it until I was
halfway through. That is, I either fully accept some world and get immersed in it and the reading is
a breeze, or for some reason I just hate all the weird names and find it hard to slog through.
Overall this was a good book, not my top tier of science fiction, but very close.
Continuing in my reading trend of all things about inequality, The Great Leveler is
a history book attempting to find causes for how income and wealth inequality have been reduced in
the past. Ideally this would be some noble cause that leads to a policy recommendation for how we
can address the current state of increasing inequality. But alas he finds that the only consistent
causes of reduced inequality of any noticable scale were the result of violence. The more violent