22 August 2010

I Read

I am an avid reader of anything whether it be theories about general relativity on Wiki, the latest breakthroughs in the world of science on NewScientist.com, the latest in the news on news.com.au, research for my Thesis, and of course blogs.

And when I am not on a computer, I go through a yearly cycle of being obsessed with books for a while then never touching one for months at a time.  I am currently in my obsessed stage and simply can't get enough of it so as you can guess, this post is about books.  And yeah... I am extremely bored at Uni while I am meant to be writing a report... but just can't bring myself to do it so I decided to write this post instead ha.

Let us begin.

In the last few months I have read a few new, completely random books of which I would never normally read. I'd like to throw in my summary of what I thought of the book overall, without giving away what the story is about that is.  You'll just have to read them for yourself =P

-Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris
Before even going into this book I already had a general idea of what this story was going to be about, but thankfully there was quite a few important details that were new to me so the book was still an enjoyable read, mostly.  The story was indeed pretty awesome, Thomas Harris goes to great length painting the scene and does so quite well, at times I really did feel like I was living within the snowy west Germany World War II era country side that the story takes place in.  One of my favourite aspects of the book was how the characters were depicted, I found that unlike countless stories and movies I digest I actually felt a connection with Hannibal (the main character) and could agree with his reasoning behind his actions.

Although on the downside the language and writing style present I found to be quite cryptic, at times I could go nearly an entire chapter only scarcely understanding what is going on and why.  Also to add, the end third had a bit too much of a James Bond feel than I would of liked, overall it was an alright read.

-Alchemist by Peter James
This book was amazing!.. between pages 1 to 450 out of the total 530 or so that is...  sigh.  The story was incredible, constantly conjuring questions that I just had to know the answers to kept me reading hordes of chapters each sitting.  Every time you think you've figured something out or have an idea on where the story is heading... bam!, something completely unexpected and intriguing (my favourite aspect) happens and you have to view the entire story at a completely new angle.

The best part of all was the constant climactic slope the book travels along, reading it felt like an awakening volcano, the pressure climbing, the heat rising.  The entire time I had the sense that at any turn of the page the story was about to explode into chaos. The pieces of the puzzle constantly falling into place, the long drawn out plans ready to deploy, the unknown questions about to become answered... then pow!, there were car chases, plane trips across the Atlantic, lives in danger!  Were the main characters I had grown quite fond of going to prevail, were they even going to live!?  All these long weeks I am finally going to discover what everything means!

...only to find that the ending made absolutely no sense and left story wide open with core questions unanswered...


-Rangers Apprentice by Jon Flanagan
This is apparently a 9 part series and alas I have only read book 1 thus far but I am confident that I get the general idea.  A rather typical underdog-boy-defies-odds-to-become-great-warrior-in-time-for-the-impending-doom-that-will-threaten-the-world-as-we-know-it story... which I am a sucker for so I was happy to give it a go =P

However the book was filed under 'young adult', something you could understand from the language and the tone the story took.  The book was well written, there wasn't any fancy paragraphs or over descriptive scenes (I find redundant sentences frustrating), my gripe however is that the mood of the story was far to 'light' for my liking, everything just seemed to 'work out' for the characters. I got the same level of adrenaline out of the 'intense' scenes of battle as I did for when they were eating supper... which is to say low to none.

An awesome book (series) for younger readers.

-Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
This guy is one of my life idols (but I will refrain from dwelling on that fact... for now).  While not a 'story' by any means it is much rather a thought provoking philosophy on some of the fascinating things about life and the inter-connectivity within it between humans.  In this particular book (he currently has 4) he talks about the ideas and forces of what makes something an international market hit and what does not.  Those times when, for reasons unknown, a product,service, location... such as a certain type of shoe or a certain chain of stores, all of a sudden (it would appear) becomes 'trendy' and the 'must have' of the time.

Is it just the fact that the product is good?  If that was the case there are countless products that should be a huge hit but are not, while other products are bestsellers of their field.  The 'Tipping Point' of when something goes from unknown to the norm, and more importantly (and interestingly) the how and why, is discussed in absolutely stunning and highly impressive detail, this is a book that goes beyond the ordinary.

A fantastic read for anyone who likes the more intellectual aspects of life.

-Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Absolutely hilarious from start to...nearly finish as I haven't quite finished it hehe.  This book has had me cracking up laughing whilst reading it within a crowded bus far too many times to remember... embarrassing times I made add too. (I believe I have become known to my fellow frequent bus commuters as 'that weird guy who laughs and smiles to himself' hehe).

There have been times I have had to put the book down for a moment so I can compose myself because I was laughing so hard I couldn't read the words anymore.  This book is just epic, to put it simply.  Whilst I am currently only half way through the book my favourite scene thus far has been on page 203 in regards to the 'state of the art' Wasabi automobile owned by Newt.  When you read it I am sure you will agree =P

Funny stuff indeed, reading it puts me in a good mood every time.

Alas, that is all the books I have had times for over the last few months... far too busy with my Honours research to be reading as much as I would like, although I can feel the obsession slipping lately so I doubt I will be reading anything again for some time.

Enjoy life!


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