Daily Bookbag: 31 Jan 2015

I finished 4 whole books during my reading marathon, and then yesterday I only read half a book. I wonder how long I could keep up a pace of 3 books per day, though as my sister pointed out this would be tough to do while reading big books like War and Peace. It is tempting to try out this long distance reading challenge in February, which has the advantage of being a shorter month. I won’t read so fast that I can’t enjoy what I read, and I consider blogging about books and looking up background images and info on Pinterest and elsewhere to be part of reading a book, so even during a long reading marathon, I will still be reading with my computer handy, and not just racing through books. The real trick is finding ways to keep the cat entertained long enough to read more than 5 pages at a sitting. Solve that problem and I could be reading 4-5 books per day every day.


Roland Cat pondering why humans take so many photos of him.

In addition to My Quest for the Yeti and Raise the Titanic!, which I wrote about earlier, I also finished Lavender Lies, by Susan Wittig Albert, and The Omega Theory, by Mark Alpert. All of these four books are from the first shelves of their sections at my local public library, and count towards my Read Your Library reading challenge as well. The book I am now reading, The Outlander, by Gil Adamson, is also a book checked out for that challenge.

Lavender Lies, Susan Wittig Albert

I like the Darling Dahlias series better- I had a hard time at first working out where this story was taking place (they’re in a small town in Texas). I am also not a wedding person, so a story set around a wedding was not really my idea of fun. At least there were characters who might sympathize with my perspective. I liked the plot, a murder mystery whose details I won’t spoil here, but I did have the mystery worked out correctly by about half-way through the book. I like feeling clever, but in this case it felt more like the characters were being dense, because they had enough information to solve the case when I did, and they needed a lot more time to work it out.

As with the other books I’ve read by this author, this book included more than just the murder mystery. This novel starts out with a recipe for pecan cookies, and ends with a bunch of recipes for foods and other stuff using lavender, along with brief notes about growing your own lavender. I am tempted to try growing some this year.

The Omega Theory, Mark Alpert

I thought the writing was a bit unpolished and flat for the first 80 pages or so, which made it tough getting into the story. I found the conclusion awfully sappy and awkward, too, actually, but the middle was good. Once the action started picking up, Alpert could get into the quantum physics stuff he really wanted to be writing about, and I liked this stuff a lot. The Omega Theory is an example of a book written as a vehicle for publishing the author’s favorite geeky science theories. In this story, an autistic boy has memorized the full set of equations for a ‘unified theory’ that completely describes the building blocks of the universe. Somehow, the bad guys can use this set of equations to destroy the universe. One must suspend disbelief a bit to accept this threat as plausible, but it kinda works. I’d have read another book during my readathon, maybe, if I had not gotten distracted with explaining my own pet theory of the structure of the universe to my cat. (In my theory, the whole universe is made up of waves, and where they intersect or overlap you get patterns of interference that we perceive as matter and energy. It gets a bit more complicated than that, but not by much, and it makes some sense that one might cause a particular vibration that could shock the whole system.)

Now I am finishing one of the books I checked out from the library yesterday, The Outlander, in which a woman who killed her husband escapes and is on the run, heading west through Canada in the early 1900’s. So far it’s pretty good.

What are you reading? Have you read any of the books or authors I’ve mentioned in this post?

About Ravenmount

Independent science nerd/writer/music blogger/arts enthusiast/theorist currently in Colorado.
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