by Mary Saums
September has been a great reading month for me. A little fact, a little fiction, a little fantasy ... all good!
THE HUNT FOR VULCAN: ... And How Albert Einstein Destroyed A Planet, Discovered Relativity, And Deciphered The Universe
by Thomas Levenson
I absolutely loved this book. Me Geek?? :) Ninety-eight percent of the time, I prefer fiction. But I occasionally get pulled into whirling stardust/planets/cosmos stories. The Hunt For Vulcan does much more than cover what's in its subtitle. It gives an easy-to-understand sequence of events. Finally, I get why scientists worship Sir Isaac Newton. The author puts readers in the story, following Einstein through the years he worked on the theory of everything, and eventually proving that the planet Vulcan does not exist.
Right. I mean, the planet Vulcan does not exist in our solar system.
This review sums it up perfectly:
“Engaging . . . At heart, this is a story about how science advances, one insight at a time. But the immediacy, almost romance, of Levenson’s writing makes it almost novelistic.”—The Washington Post
Thomas Levenson knows how to tell a good story. It didn't surprise me when I read his bio just now - he teaches science writing at MIT, plus he's an award-winning film maker. It shows. If you read mostly fiction but occasionally get the urge for some non-, this would be a good choice.
MURDER BY MISRULE by Anna Castle is the first in a series of three historical novels set in Elizabethan England, all starring this famous gentleman - can you guess who he is?
It's B-A-C-O-N! Bacon bacon bacon. :) Young Francis Bacon is in his mid-twenties and living at Gray's Inn. He's clever but poor and dependent upon the good will of his uncle. Plus, the Queen has banned him from court. Just because he expressed ideas about how to reform English common law. Out of favor, he's desperate to get back in good graces. So when his uncle asks him to look into the death of a barrister, he wants to refuse but knows he really has no choice. He enlists the four young men he tutors at Gray's to ask questions where Bacon himself isn't allowed to go.
The writing in MURDER BY MISRULE is excellent. The scenes, characters, plot and a nice touch of wit puts the reader right into the story. Don't you love it when you find a great new series?
I found out about these books on the Crime Thru Time (yahoo groups) list. The moderators there frequently post when Amazon or other outlets have free or very cheap historical mysteries listed.
THE AGE OF MYTH by Michael J. Sullivan
Even if I didn't already love Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Chronicles and Riyria Revelations series, I would buy THE AGE OF MYTH just because of the cover. It's a beauty! It has the feel of paintings of Tolkien characters and places, doesn't it? It's appropriate because Sullivan uses similar elements in this book.
AGE OF MYTH is the first in a brand new series, Legends Of The First Empire, set three thousand years before events in the Riyria books. As in Tolkien, we have beings similar to elves, dwarves, hobbitses, men, a few brave womenfolk, plus something different, a young female seer of sorts and her faithful wolf-dog of hidden powers. There are reports that out in the lands, townships are being destroyed. Their chief for many years has died, so now a younger, less-experienced man must lead. A brave new world, if only they can manage the brave part.
What makes fans come back for more, more, more of the 400-500 pages per book? The modern style and the humor. It's still epic fantasy, but it's also updated. Lots of fun and addictive.
So, that's me. What have you been reading lately?