January Book Log

February 1, 2017

Welcome to yet another year of book logs. Here we go.

  1. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (3.5/5) – I read this book because it shows up as important for lots of writers I really admire and respect. My feelings about it are mixed. It is a philosophical and nearly plotless novel. I don’t mind the plotlessness a bit and quite enjoy watching the relationships develop between the characters. However, far, far too much time is spent giving voice to various philosophical viewpoints. I’m glad I read it, but I very much doubt I’ll ever consider reading it again.
  2. Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space by Janna Levin (4/5) – This book deals with the narrative of the quest to detect gravitational waves and provide experimental confirmation of an aspect of Einstein’s relativity. It is a VERY well written book and n intriguing read, especially because gravitational waves were, in fact, detected as she was finishing the book, resulting in an additional chapter being added. There are a couple of spots where I could have done with less detail regarding the petty in-fighting that breaks out between some of the scientists, but it’s an interesting read all the same. Excellent book for the right kind of nerd.
  3. Fox by Adrienne Rich (4/5) – A very enjoyable collection of poetry. I’m under-read on Rich and trying to fix that. If one were to cut a few poems where she is perhaps a bit over-fixated on anatomy, this would be a perfect collection.
  4. All my Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (5/5) – This book was great. I’d been meaning to read it for a while and I’m glad I finally got to it. It deals primarily with depression and sadness between siblings, but also paints an evocative and realistic picture of the confusion of adult life with children and how complicated everything can be. Early contender for my end-of-year list.
  5. Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith (4.5/5) – This book uses the octopus and other cephalopods to discuss consciousness and what it means to be sentient. The best nonfiction books, alter or enhance how you see the world and this did both of those for me. I understand some things better now and, as a result, I have more questions.