Sunday, May 16, 2004

Books I Read on the Switzerland Trip

Travel is always a good time for me to catch up on my reading, especially with long transatlantic flights. I read the better part of the following three book on our recent trip to Switzerland.

The Speed of Dark




The Speed of Dark is part of my new Nebula reading project. It's the most recent winner, and the 12th Nebula I've read.

It's a near-future story about an Lou, an autistic man, who, with the help of modern therapies, has found a functioning role in society. His new boss, however, wants to start him on a new therapy to "cure" him of his autism.

That's the source of some of the conflict in the book. The interesting part, for me, however, was the point-of-view. Most of it is told from the standpoint of Lou, through all of his lack of understanding of "normal" human nuances of emotion and behavior. It's thought-provoking about what really is "normal" or "correct" behavior.

The Diamond Age




I had started The Diamond Age during my now-defunct Hugo project. I knew I needed to grab another book before taking to the air, so I picked this one up. It was mostly enjoyable, although it did get a little bit weird during the end. The political/scientific mumbo-jumbo towards the end got laid on a little thick, but some of the characters were very compelling. I'm generally not a fan of "nanotech" fiction, so this is probably as much as I could be expected to enjoy this book.

Fear of Wine




I picked up Fear of Wine on the same having-something-to-read principle. It wouldn't be my first choice in wine books (indeed, Christina got me a wine book that I've been enjoying). But it's nice to pick up a few tips (like the difference between the Wine Spectator and the Wine Advocate) from different sources. This book went into a little bit too much detail about the different regions (in that way, it might work better as a reference work), but it had a lot of stuff I was glad to read.
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