Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

November 20, 2009

Inside Star Trek the Real Story by Herbert F. Solow

Filed under: History — Randolph @ 3:33 pm

Inside Star Trek: The Real Story by Herbert F. SolowThis is a behind-the-scenes story of Star Trek. It starts from its early concept and pitch to the studios. Herb Solow and Robert Justman (co-authors) discuss the politics and manipulations that happened to make Star Trek turn into a tv series. Years of work and three pilots later they debuted on the screen. But their obstacles never ceased, each year was a fight for renewal, there were problems with the cast, and problems with Desilu.

After reading it, I certainly have a different view of many of the people involved. My opinions of some of the major and minor actors and supporting staff has changed drastically. The authors attempt to take some of the credit normally attributed to Roddenberry and distribute it to other deserving individuals.

The book isn’t just for Trekkies, (the term was coined by the staff during the series run), but anyone interested in what goes on in a series production. My complaint is that the book is too terse. I feel like there’s a lot of information still untold.

November 19, 2009

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Filed under: Science Fiction — Randolph @ 8:45 pm

The Time Machine by H. G. WellsWe never learn much of the identity of the time traveller (op cit, it does have two ‘L’s in the book, is that a British spelling?), the beginning of the book refers to him as the time traveller. The story is told in a first-person narration. He is British, and he is male, probably in his prime. It is the classic story, a bit different from the movie versions. We meet the Morlocks, and Weena, strange creatures we encounter only briefly, and learn of man’s fate.

The story is well told and moves quickly. He doesn’t pause to build suspense, we can feel the urgency of the time traveller’s actions.

H. G. Wells suggests man is his own demise, one has to wonder if he was making a political statement, but doesn’t stress it as we would expect authors to do today. The book is around 260ish pages, but felt shorter as it reads pretty easily. It is in the public domain and available for free from Project Gutenberg.

November 17, 2009

A Most Wanted Man by John le Carre

Filed under: Mystery — Randolph @ 3:33 pm

A Most Wanted Man by John le CarrĂ©Issa arrived in Germany with no past and access to large money. He didn’t want the money as it was gained immorally according the the laws of Islam. The story unravels his past, and who he is, without providing a lot of definite answers. Issa is studied by several teams, oftenwith different interpretations of the past.

This book is set in Germany, near the current time. It involves current issues, and feels typical for Le Carre’s work.

The story moves slowly at first, in Le Carre’s style, there is little action, as subtlety and knowledge are key. The suspense builds well, but slowly. Not all of the questions are answered, but the events are clear.

November 9, 2009

Finding Moon by Tony Hillerman

Filed under: Mystery,Series — Tags: — Randolph @ 3:32 pm

Finding Moon by Tony HillermanI had expected another Chee or Leaphorn story. This is more of an adventure, than a mystery. The story is set at the tail end of the Vietnam war, the protagonist, Moon Methias, is searching for the daughter of his deceased brother. In the process of finding his neice, he also finds himself. The book is about him remaking himself through adventure that mounts, he persists in spite of himself. The reader is lead to believe the search is for the child, but much if it is about himself.

November 5, 2009

Sky of Stone: A Memoir by Homer Hickam

Filed under: History,Mystery — Randolph @ 3:32 pm

Homer Hickam grew up in a West Virginia mining town. He wasn’t a miner, nor a fooSky of Stone: A Memoir by Homer Hickamtball player, as was everyone else in the twon. He and his friends played with rockets. When he went away to study engineering, there was an accident at the mines. His father was being blamed for the death of man. Homer’s life was disrupted as he went home to try and help.

This story continues from October Sky in the story of Homer Hickam, but the book stands well on its own. We meet the characters, and understand some of the sociology of a small mining town and its issues.

The story is a mystery, unraveling the events leading to the death of one of the mining supervisors. Although, I don’t think the reader can solve the mystery himself, it is a good mystery, and an interesting anecdote in the life of Homer “Sonny” Hickam.

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