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What'cha Reading?

Mal12345

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Review of Newton's Cannon

Newton's Cannon by Gregory Keyes.

I finished Newton's Cannon last night. It was entertaining enough to keep me reading, and even hard to put down through the last third of the novel.

The book's hero is a 14-year-old Ben Franklin - which indicates that the novel was set in the year 1720, although the year in which the book's events take place is never stated. Newton's Cannon is a work of historical science fiction. Imagine what the world would have been like if Isaac Newton, during his alchemical experiments, had found a way to communicate with the aether. Newton called his creation "philosopher's mercury," not to be confused with the element mercury. This invention is effectively the same as using magic, although with a scientific basis. Thusly, Newton becomes the greatest sorcerer of his time.

Of course, where there is one sorcerer there are bound to be others. And poor Ben, who is apprenticed to his brother in the printing business, finds himself unwittingly caught in the middle of some international intrigue involving disputes between France and Great Britain. Of course, in the presence of this new-found magic, the Franklin brothers are not merely in the possession of a printing press, they have a machine which communicates over vast distances instantaneously. These machines, called aetherschreibers, aren't terribly uncommon. Such miracles are in fact fairly commonplace, and the Franklins merely use one to print up news stories "broadcast" to them from Europe. It is somewhat like our wireless transmissions, only they occur instantaneously via the aether.

Ben Franklin, being a very intellectually-minded and curious young man, begins to experiment with his brother's aetherschreiber and finds a way to "tune" the device to any "frequency," a feat that magicians had either been working on and failed at, or considered very dangerous because it makes it possible to spy on the communications of others. The latter were correct in their fears, and after Ben's innocent discovery, all hell busts loose in the novel.

The plot of Newton's Cannon is not straight-forward, but has many twists and unexpected turns of event. It was enough to keep my interest going, and that's saying quite a lot.
 

Jaguar

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Defying the Crowd: Cultivating Creativity in a Culture of Conformity by Robert J. Sternberg and Todd I. Lubart.
 

cascadeco

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'Orlando' by Virginia Woolf. I've read a few of her other books; enjoying her writing style in this one so far; flows really nicely.
 

Rimarie

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Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

A country so frozen in time.. :(
 

Noll

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I'm feeling like a traitor, I haven't read for weeks. I must read tomorrow or I will die... no, I must study for history class. I'll read a history book. That's it! I'm reading a history book. It's called 'Perspektiv på historien 1b'. :sage:
 

Flâneuse

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Polite Lies by Kyoko Mori

I recently read Heavier Than Heaven, a Kurt Cobain biography by Charles R. Cross. It's an intriguing read, but flawed as a biography because it crosses the line into fiction at some points (for example, there are details about the last few hours of Cobain's life that no one could possibly know about) and the author presents too many of his own opinions and psychological analyses as the absolute truth.
 

Tellenbach

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Emotional Healing at Warp Speed: The Power of EMDR by David Grand. A fascinating account of a technique for relieving trauma from a psychotherapist. This technique is allegedly able to resolve decades old traumas in a single session.
 

SD45T-2

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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright.
 

highlander

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17332218.jpg
 
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Once upon a time... I used to read around 6 or 7 books at the same time. Without even finishing one !

Now I have calmed down:unsure:and so, this summer, I'm gonna enjoy "The cat..."by Lilian Jackson Braun.

From what I've just read, it makes me think of Agatha Christie's works.

I've got to improve my english, and it is never enough.

Mainly if I wanna be understood in my strange ideas and deep meanings:whistling:
 

Mal12345

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James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano by Dan Bischoff
 

Mal12345

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Review of A Calculus Of Angels

In Book II of the Age of Unreason series, author Gregory Keyes takes the reader back to a fictional world from our past in which the distinction between science and magic has been blurred. Young Benjamin Franklin has brought together a Junto consisting of various factions from the American colonies and beyond in an effort to defeat the forces of evil preparing its way for the destruction of the human race. Unknown, however, is the fate of London, no word having been heard from that part of the world in many years. Blackbeard the erstwhile Pirate known as Edward Teach leads an armada to England to make a determination of London's status. What they find there horrifies them...

I found A Calculus of Angels to be a rather long, drawn-out novel with characters that didn't hold my attention as well as those in the first novel of this series, Newton's Cannon. Matters became confusing to this reader as more and more characters with various foreign and unpronounceable names are drawn into various plot-lines. There are a few moments in the novel which draw the reader's attention. And Keyes has a way of ending each chapter with a cliff-hanger which takes back up two or three chapters later. But by the time I have finished reading the intervening chapter(s), I have to try and remember what passed before, who these people are, why they are doing these things, etc.

All in all, the thesis of this sci-fi series has raised some interesting questions and created novel relationships between people from history who never met in our reality. It's rather fun to see Benjamin Franklin interacting with Sir Isaac Newton, and to watch their character arcs advance. But it creates an environment in the novel in which I'm wishing to get through the plot-line at present in order to get back to the more interesting one.
 

kiddykat

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A few books by Dr. Brian Weiss.. not sure what I think of this guy:dry:
 
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