Saturday, May 31, 2014

Books Read in May

It seems like this was a busy month of reading.  The following is a list of the things that I read outside of the various projects with which this blog is concerned.

  • Dragonsinger, Ann McCaffery - This is the sequel to Dragonsong and another that I've read at least a dozen times.  This takes place at a school for music and deals with the trouble Menolly has in fitting in with a place that isn't used to dealing with talented young women.  Love it.
  • Hard Magic, Larry Correia - A new one to me.  This book is an alternate history style story where people started to develop super powers around 1850 or so.  The book itself is set around 1930 so it has some noir elements.  Very enjoyable.  (I picked this up because it is the first of a series and the third one is, rather controversially, nominated for a Hugo this year.  If book three is of a similar level of quality, it will be a fine Hugo nominee.)
  • Monster of Florence, Preston and Spezi - A fascinating book that I picked up at a garage sale.  It details a serial killer that was active in Florence Italy in the 70's and 80's and the ensuing investigation.  The Italian police procedures are a bit different than in the US and fairly horrifying.  Evidence can be withheld, the police routinely leak info to the press to try people in the media and there seems to be no bar from tapping phones and computers.  Several lives were ruined and no one has confidence that the killer was ever caught.
  • Popular Crime, Bill James - A reread for me.  Bill James is known as a baseball guy and no one has done more to revolutionize the use of statistical analysis than he has.  It seems that he has been a fan of true crime novels for some time.  This book is a) a review of those books, b) a short history on various well known crimes/killers and c) an interesting set of opinions about what our justice system does well and what it can improve upon.  Highly recommended.
A heavy amount of reading about legal matters then, but I couldn't tie much of it back to Aquinas.  We simply don't have the same set of questions about the law that he did then.  In part, I'm sure, because he helped settle his own disputes.  I wish that I could give him about thirty questions that are of more concern to we moderns.

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