vacation reading roundup

i’m still on vacation, so if i make it to the library i may read another book or two this weekend, but i plowed through a number of books while i was away.

the plot against america by philip roth is an alternate-historic look at an america where charles lindbergh was elected president instead of fdr’s third term, preventing the entry of the united states into the second world war. it’s told from the point of view of a young jewish boy and mostly deals with the turmoil it causes to his family. it’s a great story, and really well written, but i was disappointed by the resolution.

the light fantastic by terry pratchett is the second of the discworld books, and it picks up where the colour of magic left off. unlike that book, it isn’t broken up into distinct stories that sort of stand on their own. it suffers a bit from having to wrap up the loose ends of the last book.

the snows of kilimanjaro and other short stories by ernest hemingway didn’t make me want to spend a month in cuba, but it does almost make me want to go on safari. (only that doesn’t turn out so good for any of the guys in the stories, so maybe that isn’t such a bright idea.)

equal rites by terry pratchett is the third discworld novel, and the first that really conforms to the structure that makes the series great — a standalone story that draws on the backstory of the world and previous novels, but that also talks about a more modern sort of issue through its fantasy-world lens. in this case, it’s opening up the world of wizardry to women, so it bears some extra kinship with the later monstrous regiment.

make love the bruce campbell way by bruce campbell is a fictional story about bruce campbell in a starring role in an a-list movie also featuring richard gere and renée zellweger. it’s very funny, and there are goofy little photoshop mash-ups and illustrations on almost every page. the typography is pretty awful, though. there’s a reason books aren’t normally published in a sans serif font.

mort by terry pratchett is the fourth discworld book (sensing a pattern here?), and tells the story of a boy who becomes the apprentice to death. like all of the discworld books, it is very funny, and the character of death is particularly great, but i thought the story was a bit lacking.

rebuilt: how becoming part computer made me more human by michael chorost is a fantastic book, and somehow i managed to save the best for last. it reminded me in a way of the myth of solid ground by david ulin in how it took the author’s experience and put a heavy philosophical spin on it, but also in the way in which it was not excruciatingly awful (as i found the myth of solid ground to be). chorost writes very frankly about his experience with a cochlear implant and the impact on his psyche, relationships, and approach to life.

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