This year has been an extraordinary one for good books. So rich have been the pickin's that during the summer I got into a reading frenzy and stopped reporting on what I had read. Fortunately, in late July I started writing down (on paper, imagine) when I started and finished the many books I was enjoying so much. In this and following posts I'll at least list the books I've been reading.
Blackout by Connie Willis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I don't read time travel books, but . . . yes, this is time travel. Scientists and historians at present-day Oxford are working together to send historians back in time to study the Second World War. But then something goes wrong with the drop off and return sites and the time travelers find themselves stuck in London being bombed every night. They have studied the period during which they expected to be traveling so they know where the bombs are going to be landing. But when they are forced to remain longer they are just as clueless as the rest of the city population about where tonight's bombs will land. And how are they going to get back to the 21st century?
2011 No 138
What You Should Know About Politics...But Don't: A Nonpartisan Guide to the Issues by Jessamyn Conrad
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book purports to be an unbiased look at politics and to describe what each side says about various issues. It is not nonpartisan. It is biased to the left. And it doesn't even do a very good job of explaining why those on the left believe what they do. A great disappointment.
2011 No 139
After America by Mark Steyn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mark Steyn is an outrageous and outrageously funny writer whose books will rate five stars with people who love apocalyptic warnings of civilization in decline and no stars at all with anybody left of Sarah Palin. Underneath all the slashing rhetoric is a good deal of common sense, however, and nobody is more agile with a pun.
2011 No 140