Insomnia and Book Reviews

Really, body, please, I would like to sleep at night and not during the day. Even forcing myself to stay awake after getting up early, though I am very tired, I’m wide awake. The other night I took a sleep aid. Huge mistake. I was still up all night, yet my whole body just felt heavy and weird, and not in a good way.


On a positive note, I’ll review a few of the books I’ve most recently read in these wee hours:

Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson.
False advertising. I read the back cover of this book expecting an awesome romp full of rapid climate change weather madness in this near future saga. 330 pages into it and we finally get some action.

Had the cover said it was more about individuals on the inside of NSF and government trying to work towards a better solution to who and what projects get funded, tackling bigger issues in the scientific community, centering around climate change issues, I may have approached the book with a different attitude. It’s certainly believable in its panel peer reviews, laboratory personal dynamics and political rhetoric.

I’m a sucker for punishment, Robinson has this pattern of having WAY too much detail in the character development phase of his story telling. It’s irritating, so much so you can flip through pages and pages of minutia detail and not miss anything relevant to the big picture. And his books don’t end. They’re never just a tidy stand alone story. You have to read the sequels, which this apparently has two more books following it moving at a near snails pace.

Yet, despite these complaints, I now feel compelled to at least move on to the second book since it finally got to the point and a bit more interesting in the last 100 pages or so.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.
Ah, brain candy. Here we’re in that trademark formula found in all of Brown’s books. A familiar character even, the symbologist from the Da Vinci Code is at it again. Brown writes books for geeks, as this one centers around a plot by the Illuminati against the Vatican.

Brown has a gift for writing twists upon twists upon twists in his books, twists that eventually all connect, you think you can guess where the story is going, but really you have no idea. I’m going to have to pick up his fourth book “Digital Fortress” I haven’t been disappointed yet with his writing. He tells nice and tidy stories that are entertaining and a quick read.

Started reading Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson.
Stopped reading it and have picked it up off and on. He is touring England by public transportation only and writing of his memories before he moves back to the States. This book is riddled with thoughts along these lines: “I visited this place twenty years ago and it was beautiful and charming, but now visiting it again it’s awful and nothing like it used to be.” I just got here. Everything is new and sparkly. I don’t want to read about how disappointing this place is now, despite the hilarity that ensues everywhere he goes, despite how wonderfully delightful his writing is.

Started reading The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson.
I know, I know! As I said, I’m a sucker for punishment. But the plot summary sounds so promising! It’s an alternative history, a “what if the Plague wiped out 99% of the population of Europe instead of only 33%?” We’ll see, so far it’s a little quirky.