Book 58: The Fault in our Stars by John Green

PIMG_4576The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Finished reading on July 17, 2013

Rating 9/10

If you want to make a girl (or maybe a boy) cry, give them this book. So I blame my boyfriend for making me cry even before lunchtime because he gave me this book.

I liked this book quite a lot. The characters were awesome. Smart, ironic and sarcastic teenagers having to deal with cancer and death, but mostly life.

It was interesting, since the main characters were smarter than average.

There wasn’t much going on in the book (except having cancer), although Hazel and Augustus (two main characters) did spend some time in Amsterdam, mostly it took place in the US.

It was sad. The two last chapters were the saddest, I caught myself thinking that it would be quite awful to read those final chapters over a long time, just a few pages at a time, because then you’d be crying every day for quite some time…

Otherwise, if you look beyond the sad parts and the inevitable ending, it was great.

Book 57: The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy

PIMG_4572The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy

Finished reading July 16, 2013

Rating 8/10

This is a book about the building blocks of mathematics – prime numbers and the mathematicians who have spent their brainpower on trying to figure them out. Mostly it’s about the people who have tried to attack the Riemann hypothesis. It gives a short overview of the mathematicians, which is nice, there are some short anecdotes, some maths, quite a lot of graphs, but it all leads up to quantum physics and public-key cryptography.

However I found it enjoyable since I got to know a bit more about a lot of mathematicians whose names I have previously heard in my higher mathematics lectures at university.

So in conclusion if you’re into maths or physics, it’s a good book to pick up and read.

Book 56: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

PIMG_4570The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

Finished reading July 15, 2013

Rating 5/10

Suddenly the Earth starts to rotate a lot slower…. Hmph… Just apparently because it wants to 🙂

I found the main premise interesting: indeed what would happen if the Earth were to rotate slower? Unfortunately the physical changes were just a backdrop to a family drama / coming-of age story. The book was quite enjoyable if you dismiss all the science that’s missing or just plain wrong or impossible.

For me one of the biggest failures in this book was that there was no cause mentioned for the slowing of the Earth’s rotation and another one was that for some mystical reason gravitational force on Earth increases. Whaat? As for the slowing of the Earth’s rotation, it is happening because of the existence of the Moon and the tidal forces between them, but very slowly. What could make the Earth rotate slower? An impact with a rather large object, but that would probably not carry on for months, unless there are several impacts. However that wouldn’t be possible here, because these objects would be problematically large for this books plot. Though that might explain the increase in gravity, otherwise it’s just fairy-tales and pigs flying etc.

So gravity and the slowing itself were some of the problems for me in this otherwise lovely story.

The main character is a likable eleven-year old girl Julia, who has to deal with a changing world, losing friends etc.

I can’t finish this post without mentioning two other little thought that kept bugging me – one was that it is described that by the end of the book the days are up to 80 hours long. Fine by me…. However that’s just for where Julia lives (I think it was somewhere in California?), near the poles there would be more problems still, and although there are  news mentioned throughout the book, then the biggest problem there is the slowing, radiation and what time to use.

The idea was good, the story itself was nice, the science fell out of the sky like a dead bird…