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.

May 29, 2014

The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius by Nancy C. Andreasen

Filed under: Science — Randolph @ 7:43 pm

The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius by Nancy C. Andreasen

This book is on the neuroscience of creativity. The author is researching creativity, what makes people creative, how to recognize it, and how to enhance it.

There wasn’t enough information for this book. Although interesting, the author spends a lot of time talking about people in the past who are considered creative. This content is available in many other books, I felt there was too much and it just didn’t add to the intended content. She finished the book with advice about helping children.

A lot of the content in the middle was very interesting, but there was too little of it. The book is short and a pretty quick read, but doesn’t have much to offer.

May 18, 2014

Blood of Wolves by Loren Coleman

Filed under: Fantasy,Series — Randolph @ 8:00 pm

Blood of Wolves by Loren Coleman

Set in Cimmeria and closely following the setting established by Robert Howard in his Conan series, Loren had created a new Cimmerian hero, Kern who sets out to defend Cimmeria from invasion. He gathers several followers in his quest as he chases a small group holding prisoners.

Loren set out to create a character similar to Conan, this book did not feel that much like the original series. Conan was mostly a loner, occasionally gathering one or two friends for an adventure. Kern feels more like a leader of groups. His followers are more like members of his clan than his close friends. To me, that is a big difference.

The setting does feel like Conan’s world. Conan is still alive, King of Aquilonia, and the characters frequently talk of his exploits. Even to the point of exaggerating their own adventures and retelling them as if performed by Conan. I found this fun.

The book has a lot of battles, described in moderate detail. It includes the supernatural and giants. Very much in the style of Howard.

The book was enjoyable, maybe I was expecting too much. Perhaps it if actually was Conan, I would have liked it more. I think Kern will grow on me. If you like the individual adventurer style of sword and sorcery, you should enjoy this book.

May 4, 2014

Scatterbrain by Larry Niven

Filed under: Science Fiction — Randolph @ 6:43 am

by Larry Niven

This is a collection of short stories, some good, some not. Several were excerpts from other books and were not meant to stand along. They felt like the chapters at the end of books that were to entice you into buying the next in a series. For this, I felt cheated.

As the title suggests, scaterbrain, there is no theme to the book. The stories are random and varied. Even the introduction, which fit the theme, was lacking and of no value, even as literature in my mind.

This is ok if you’re a Niven fan, otherwise skip it.

May 3, 2014

Brightness Reef by David Brin

Filed under: Science Fiction,Series,Uncategorized — Tags: — Randolph @ 7:24 pm

Brightness Reef by David Brin

This book takes place on an abandoned world intended to be natural and develop its own races, who would hopefully be available for uplift. A small population of each of six races, in turn, have landed small colonies on the world. Their intent is to devolve and be re-uplifted, and hopefully to avoid attention and possible punishment from the stellar community. Humans are one of the six.

These races have ancient antipathy for each other. And each brings unique skills and histories. They have overcome their differences, and their are pieces of culture of each that has worked its way into the others, yet they do maintain separate communities.

The story revolves around the arrival of a spaceship or renegade humans. Their intent is unknown, and seems sinister. They aren’t an official envoy, so they shouldn’t be here, either.

This story shows us a different side of each of the races, including the humans. It maintains its suspense on the invaders, and latent tension among the six races.

Unfortunately, this book mostly sets up the series and doesn’t resolve much of anything. The story is interesting, and a must read if you’re interested in the Uplift series.

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