As I mentioned yesterday in my post on what I had been playing, I’ve taken some inspiration from The Shameful Narcissist, whom details what she is reading, writing, and gaming each week. I’ve decided to also expand to a weekly piece on what I’ve been reading. This will give me a chance to put some things down about what I’ve been reading, something I generally don’t get to talk about much.
So on to my week in words that other people have written.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
I’ve been a fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s public outreach on science for quite a while. When I was regularly driving my kids to school (they now take the bus), we would listen to Star Talk Radio. I’ve been eyeing one of Tyson’s other books, Death By Black Hole, for a while now but after seeing the aforementioned Shameful Narcissist write about this in a post a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would give it a go.
My take on it is that it is a fine entry to space science if you’ve never listened to Star Talk Radio or watched Cosmos. It’s all pretty rudimentary and didn’t give me much new information I wasn’t already mildly familiar with. Still Tyson writes just like he talks, in easy to understand words on a rather complex subject. Certainly worth it for those looking to dip their toes into space science.
Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
My wife and I have decided we are going to start a family book club with all the kids that can currently read. The little one will just have to wait on club entry. My nine year old wanted to get Making Bombs for Hitler from the school book fare and we decided that this would be a great entry point for the book club.
I’d guess this book is designed for kids in sixth and seventh grades. It’s pretty heavy, dealing with Nazi work camps and child slavery. Which I am 100% sure isn’t what my nine year old was expecting. I do think it is a good introduction to an important period in history and being as my grandfather came from Poland and fought in World War II for the United States, this has some familial ties to it as well. I’ll update on how the book club meeting goes at the end of June but if you are looking for a easy read on some heavy stuff, this might do you good.
All-Star Batman #9
I’ve mostly been a fan of DC’s Rebirth of their comic line. All-Star Batman has been a weird one for me though and I may be closing in on cancelling my subscription to it. For one, it is $4.99 every month. I get that I am paying $5.98 a month for books like Detective Comics, Batman, Aquaman (also on my possible cut list), and Green Arrow but at all those books seem to be moving forward in some way. All-Star Batman seems like a bunch of one off Batman storylines that I’m just not in to.
All-Star Batman #9 starts off by telling us that this isn’t a Batman story. Ras al Ghul is set to unleash a cyber terror attack on the world and throw us all in to an apocalyptic war. Of curse this being a Batman book, this is a Batman story and after some interesting tomfoolery on Bruce’s part, he takes down Ras. It feels like I’ve read this story a hundred times before and this one didn’t even try to really bring anything new to the table. The artwork for this arc was fine, albeit a little more sketchy than I generally like for Batman. And the cover is cool.
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells
Despite being a big science fiction fan, I have a huge lack of knowledge when it comes to H.G. Wells. I’ve seen some of the movies based on his works and I know the general basis for others but I haven’t read a whole lot of them. One of these is The Island of Doctor Moreau and what brought me to this one recently was having seen Alien: Covenant, in which the synthetic David has been playing god on this alien world creating new Alien creatures and the prototype for the Xenomorph. My knowledge of H.G. Wells story gave me a definite similar vibe here and I felt time to give it a read.
I’ll be done it by next week but some quick thoughts on it are that as a science fiction story it still holds up very well but having been published in 1896, it unsurprisingly doesn’t hold up in terms of social standards. Wells paints a terrifying picture of a mad scientist driven fully by his pursuit of science and not the moral implications of where he is headed. Fascinating exploration through and through.
Well, that is what I’ve been reading this week. What have you been turning pages of?