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text 2017-08-01 09:20
July: Colophon
Please Mr. Einstein - Jean-Claude Carrière
The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time - Keith Houston
Dangerous To Know - Renee Patrick
Lincoln as I Knew Him: Gossip, Tributes, and Revelations from His Best Friends and Worst Enemies - Harold Holzer
The Secrets of Wishtide - Kate Saunders
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World - Andrea Wulf
Other-Wordly: Words Both Strange and Lovely from Around the World - Kelsey Garrity-Riley,Yee-Lum Mak
The Dead Witness: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Detective Stories - Michael Sims
Unseen City: The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness - Nathanael Johnson

colophon: a statement at the end of a book, typically with a printer's emblem, giving information about its authorship and printing.

 

I don't have a printer's emblem, unless you count my gecko, but otherwise colophon seems to fit our monthly wrap ups pretty well.

 

I read 24 books this month, mostly in a the-game-is-almost-over rush to squeeze as much in as possible.  It's no longer practicable, sadly, to easily keep up with the number of pages read, because of at least two anthologies I only dipped into, rather than reading completely.

 

I had a great quality reading month with 2 Five-star reads and 7 four-and-a-half star reads. Far and away my favourite was Please Mr. Einstein by Jean-Claude Carrière.  

 

I had just one 1-star read, Assault and Beret by Jenn McKinlay  and it's already in the black box and a distant memory.

 

How was everyone else's reading month?

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review 2017-07-24 09:27
Please, Mr. Einstein
Please Mr. Einstein - Jean-Claude Carrière

I feel like I hit the book lottery.  I hate hyperbole, and perhaps after the book hangover has faded I'll find myself backtracking or offering qualifications, but as of right now, this last minute impulse buy, at a used book sale for $1, might be the best book I've ever read.  

 

Ever.

 

I didn't think so when I started it, because the back-cover had me expecting an historical fiction; a what-if look back. I was not pleased to start that first chapter and find myself confronted with a speculative fantasy told in first person omnipresent POV.  I found the narrative voice a bit condescending and supercilious and I didn't see how this was possibly going to be anything other than a pretentious attempt at literary fiction.

 

Thankfully that only lasted for 4 pages or so, before it became obvious what the author was setting up, and I suddenly found myself totally hooked.

 

Imagine the chance to step outside of time and place to have to opportunity to speak with one person in history; not only about themselves and their work, but about their entire field as it spans time and events; to be able to learn and explore ideas with a hero of the discipline, someone who changed the world.

 

This is the setup for the book.  A nameless young woman 'finds' Einstein in a place that transcends time and she is gained admittance to his study for an 'interview'.  What follows is a conversation to which we are invisible observers.  This conversation spans all of Einstein's theories, what his work started; its repercussions; the emotional fall-out and the consequences of his overnight celebrity and the cost of his Jewish background.

 

What can I say?  It's beautiful, this odd what-if of a book.  The science isn't for those disinterested in physics but it isn't incomprehensible either.  The personal element is ... the author made you feel like you were there and made you feel Einstein's wonder, amazement, melancholy, regret, betrayal and pensiveness; the 'doors' were an incredibly vivid way to bring the times and events to life, and a drop-in visit by Newton was both funny and heart-wrenching.

 

I loved this book, I loved it so much.  It's so good I'm overlooking the times the author tried to argue against concepts by using the very same assumptions that he claims makes those concepts false.  Everything else was so overwhelmingly good that the fallacy isn't worth a 1/2 star demerit.  I closed the book wanting to hug it.

 

It's obviously a work of fiction but only in its construct; 85% of this book is factual representation of Einstein's and his contemporaries' theories, so if you're partial to science, philosophy, and think Einstein is a legend, definitely check this book out.  I honestly just wanted to stay in that room with him forever.

 

(This is a English translation of the book Einstein, s'il vous plait.)

 

 

 

 

 

Pages:  185

$$:  $6.00  (location multiplier)

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quote 2017-06-18 20:08
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

― Albert Einstein

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review 2017-04-28 17:51
EMILY AND EINSTEIN by LINDA FRANCIS LEE
Emily and Einstein - Linda Francis Lee

Audiobook

3-1/2 out of 5 stars. Cute and kind of sad book. I have a little barker who single barks "Let me in!", "Pick me up!", "I want some!", etc. He's so demanding it cracks me up. So Einstein's little exclamations and Emily understanding them was believable to me.

The "old man" part I didn't understand. The quitting and not accepting paying jobs in New York for a career as a writer I didn't understand. She's not Nora Roberts and she's just starting out. That wasn't responsible especially living in the Dakota. And the marathon race didn't seem very pivotal to me even as much as the author was trying to portray it as such. Those are the reasons for my lower rating.

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review 2017-04-27 17:49
Einstein's Beach House - Jacob Appel

 

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

This is the third collection of short stories I have read from this author and once again I loved it. All the stories were so good. I could not put the book down. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a good short story collection. 

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