Déjà Vu by Ian Hocking
Finished reading on December 20th ,2015
Time-travel at the last minute, planting chips in people’s brains and solving murder cases plus lots of lucky escapes – those would be the important parts of this story that starts with someone in a fridge. As you might imagine, a fridge isn’t a place to stay if you’d like to stay alive. In the first pages of the book we meet a woman in the year 2023, who has to solve a murder case in a hurry.
This book has interesting twists, fascinating technology (without too many details of-course) and mysterious characters.
I found it slightly challenging to follow what was happening at every moment, there aren’t too many characters to make it difficult as such, but the unusual situations and flash-backs.
The great thing about this book- it was interesting from the beginning to the end – there isn’t a moment when you’d have answers to all the questions that the plot brings up without new ones popping up unexpectedly.
Under The Banyan Tree by R.K. Narayan
This is a short story collection by the South-Indian writer R. K. Narayan (you can find more of my reviews of his works here).
The stories vary in length from a couple to more than twenty pages. They all have great characters in quite fascinating situations – in one you can find an old man looking out for his two goats by a clay statue meeting an American who wants to buy the statue – of course neither speaks the others’ language so the end result is quite funny. In this collection there is also a story of Swami that is also in “Swami and Friends”, but that was the only one that I had read before.
The stories are perfect length for a short reading brake and they leave you thinking of the characters.
Things To Make And Do In The Fourth Dimension by Matt Parker
If you ever happen to be in the search for a book that would show the fun in mathematics, then this book is a great contender for it.
Although I’ve never doubted that maths is fun, but I was surprised how when I first picked this book up in a bookshop with no intention of buying anything, I got sucked into it and spent about an hour on the spot reading it and had to get it to finish reading it.
With a conversational style and good choice of topics, you’ll get from prime numbers and Platonic solids to several dimensions in no time -maybe not without a stop though, as you can try some of the things that are mentioned in the book yourself – I got sidetracked for the longest while with the Tower of Hanoi (you can play a flash version of it here ).
I found it fun and the topics varied enough, I might have liked a little bit more of history of mathematics in it though, but I guess that would have slowed the book down considerably.
Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass by Marvin Bolt
Finished reading on December 12th, 2015
Rating: for a telescope enthusiast: 9/10, for a general reader: 7/10
I have decided to try and get my hands on as many books about the history of telescopes and historic telescopes and their makers as possible, and this book is going to be one in a series of books.
This book was published when an exhibition of the same name was opened at Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. You can certainly tell from the descriptions of the objects – they give the basic gist of the object and/or it’s maker without going into long tales about it – although I would have liked that about equally as much as I like shorter descriptions (bite sized pieces of information on very beautiful scientific instruments).
I found this book quite enjoyable – but historical telescopes are part of my job, so I can see how it might not appeal to everyone as it functions as an exhibition catalog. In case of museums the objects I enjoy looking at the most are telescopes, so it was very interesting. The info about reproductions of some images from astronomer’s works was also quite interesting, but rather general.
Most of the telescopes in the book are very elaborate with draw-tube telescopes,that even use ivory and even platinum on the grip and most were probably never used for science – I think that shows an interesting side to this invention – it can be a professional science instrument but also a luxury item.
I had never read about trumpet-shaped telescopes before, so that was something new, and also the fact that some quite small telescopes had several integrated eyepieces that you could switch between very easily and some even enabled observing the Sun through a special filter, was fascinating.