Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Books Read in April

This past month was a busy one in the books.  Besides Tacitus and Thomas Aquinas, I've dug into some other stuff as well.

  • Childhood's End, Arthur C Clarke - I think I last read this about twenty years ago.  It's the story of a superior alien race coming to Earth and helping humanity transform into a 'next step'.  I don't think Clarke has a good feel for what people would really do in such a situation.  He seems to think that in a post-scarcity world, trade would disappear and people would become artists and scientists.  It's not convincing in Star Trek and it isn't convincing here.
  • The Upside of Down, Megan McArdle - This is a fairly new non-fiction book and I heartily recommend it.  McArdle writes about how our society deals with failure in various situations (education, business, law) and what lessons we can take from it.  She argues for more forgiveness, not less.  Very good book.
  • Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell - The highlight of my reading month.  Mitchell has written six short stories and then nested them together.  The stories all take place in a different time era and each has a different tone.  All six of them are very good.  Simply a great book.
  • Dragonsong, Anne McCaffery - This is a science fiction book about a young girl with musical talent who is having a hard time finding her place in her world.  I absolutely loved this book when I was in my teens and it turns out I still do.  I was inspired to reread this after some discussions about how much we want to read about protagonists who are like ourselves.
As I said, a busy month.

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