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May 31, 2011

Pattern Recognition

Pattern Recognition (Bigend, #1)Pattern Recognition by William Gibson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I couldn't help but think this book influenced "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" even though Gibson wasn't mentioned by Larsson. In any case this is by far the most contemporary story of Gibson's that I've read. His protagonist is a quirky female trend recognizer that finds herself pursuing the creators of the biggest phenomenon to hit the Internet. All of the science is well within the realm of believability but is frequently twisted through the perceptions of the characters. An enjoyable read albeit fairly predictable at times.



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Tags: books

May 10, 2011

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on EarthHot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A well researched and cleanly written survey of the current state of knowledge and action concerning global warming and climate change. The book explores the topic from many different perspectives including political, economic, personal, with a focus throughout on the growing scientific body of knowledge. A key concept throughout the book is the dual roles of adaptation (reducing our vulnerability to climate change) and mitigation (reducing our emissions). The book addresses the potential gloom and doom if the world doesn't address the issue but also presents change communities are already making and a Green Apollo proposal of how to make a great leap forward. The author's repetitive use of sound-byte phrases like "avoid the unmanageable, manage the unavoidable" throughout the book is one of my biggest gripes in an otherwise wonderful book.



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Tags: books climate

Oryx and Crake

Oryx and CrakeOryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I delightfully dark tale of a mastermind using bio-engineering to create what he hoped would be a utopia told from the perspective of an unwilling participant in the events.



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