Far into the future, Hari Seldon predicts the end of the Galactic Empire and comes close to being executed for his views. He is the creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory. He convinces those who wish for his death to allow him to preserve knowledge and save humanity, The best minds in the Empire are gathered and taken to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls this sanctuary the Foundation. The novel takes us through a series of crisis as the Empire falls apart and Hari’s followers work to save civilization.
Neuromancer by William Gibson is described in the Amazon page; “Neuromancer was the first fully-realized glimpse of humankind’s digital future—a shocking vision that has challenged our assumptions about technology and ourselves, reinvented the way we speak and think, and forever altered the landscape of our imaginations.” I read this as part of my desire to read more classic novels. Having read this, I still have a hard time writing about what the book was about. That’s why I relied on Amazon’s description. I even had a difficult time pulling quotes from the book for my review.
A prayer for Owen Meany mostly happens aroung the early 1950s. A boy’s best friend, Owen Meany, believes he is God’s instrument. An event in 1953 becomes life-changing and what happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary. What should have been an end of a friendship only strengthen this bond between two young boys; one from a family of wealth and the other a son of a granite quarry owner.
The Templar’s Revenge is the 19th in the James Acton series (I’ve only read a handful). In this novel Acton and his wife are convinced to travel to view a mysterious artifact. The trip seemed unusual and when they have serious trouble trying to get to their host’s house their misgivings are realized.
“Acton’s eyes narrowed as he processed what had just been said. “You’re a Templar?” There was no hiding the skepticism in his voice, and if it weren’t for the fact there were men on the other side of the wall with guns, he would have turned on his heel and walked back to the airport. But that fact, and something about the man himself, gave him pause. “Yes.” “That’s preposterous.” Laura was the one who voiced his opinion for him.”
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore is the story or the saga of hundreds of young women lured by glamour and high salaries into a job that would ultimately cost many of them their lives. In the early 20th century, illuminated dials were vogue and even more became necessary for pilots flying missions at night and able to see their instruments. The illumination came from painting the dials with luminescent materials and in many cases that element was radium. Most of us now know the potential health affects of radioactive materials, but back then they didn’t; it was even marketed as having health benefits.
I thought this would be a book criticizing Google and its many sinister practices of gathering, albeit legally since we all “accept” the Terms and Conditions, of our personal information for profit. Just this morning I had to re-sign in to my Google email account and the only way Google would allow my emails to download was to agree the allow Google peer at my PC. I’ll need to find a new account at some point. The book was not really about Google per se, but about American companies in general; the author gets way deep into specifics. The subtitle is; “How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity”.
The Rescue in the first in the Ryan Decker series by Steven Konkoly. Decker, a former CIA operative, and colleagues started an organization to help recover kidnapping victims. When a high profile case goes awry and he is convicted, he loses everything, including his family. Just trying to survive in prison, he is suspicious when he is suddenly released. Relying on his skills and help from an unlikely source, he survives the first hours after his release…allowing him to investigate the case where everything went wrong. He is pitted against very powerful and wealthy people.
Riley Ellison is a young librarian (actually only a library assistant) in Tuttle Corner, Virginia. Riley’s penchant for reading obituarys started because her grandfather was rather famous for writing them. When she is asked to write one for an old, estranged friend who committed suicide things go off the rails. Her friend seemed to have everything going for her and never seemed like the type to take her own life.
As she digs into the suicide, things get messy and dangerous. this was a very enjoyable novel.
My love of Monty Python was born of trying to pull in the show on the 12 inch television in my bedroom, late at night (at least it seemed that way to me) using rabbit ears antennae and gobs of aluminum foil. During these formative years, there were only three network over-the-air, network channels and at night we could pull in the local PBS station where Python was aired in the evenings. I sat there grasping the antennae in very odd angles to get the best reception. Cable TV is waaaay easier, but I wouldn’t change my experience or my love of Monty Python.
“Most of the kids didn’t know the surfer’s first name, which was Darby. But his last name really was Pope. They all simply called him by his nickname. The Pope of Palm Beach.”
The Pope of Palm Beach is the 21st in the Serge Storms novels. I’ve not read any of the other books, but the theme seems to be Serge and his sidekick, Coleman, searching for Floridian lore. This trip takes them back to Riviera Beach where they spent some of their youth. The Pope is a legendary surfer who is beloved. He takes a troubled kid under his wing until a tragic accident changes everything. The Serge/Coleman portion is them taking a literary tour of that part of Florida.
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