Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Reading update

I had a bit of a disruption for my reading habits. First off, we had our expedition to Seattle. Then we had Christmas come and go. Also my wife's classes ended, so my reading time in the evening went away after I put our daughter in bed.

Additionally, the book I was planning on reading in Seattle got left on the plane! I got it back but much delayed me reading it.

That said, I have read three books in the mean time. The first one was on the Chinese Space Program. The second was on drilled pier foundations. The third, which I just finished, was a biography of Marcus Tullius Cicero.

The book on the PRC's Chinese Space Program, entitled China's Space Program - From Conception to Manned Spaceflight, was a very inclusive book. It had more information about the Chinese space program than I had seen anywhere else. While it covered the history of the Chinese space program, it was enamoured with the prospect of rattling off all the places and capabilities of the space program, currently or in the past. I have to say that, despite it being a short book, it was one I ahd to plow through rather than enjoy. The prose was just, well, dull. I don't go for flowery in the nonfiction books, but this should have been a fascinating read (it wasn't). It was actually quite soporific.

The drilled pier foundation book was interesting, but turned out to have two of the same authors as one of the previous ones I read. a lot of the information (and even prose) was recycled from this one to the newwer book. That was disappointing.

The book on Cicero I picked up at a bookstore in Point Reyes Station when we were up there during my Xmas break. I was giving my wife a break by setting her up to go horseback riding while my daughter and I goofed off. My wife had a good time. My daughter and I explored the town of Point Reyes Station. Avrora had a good time talking, or babbling really, at some of the children we encountered in town. I realized that it was getting close to her nap time and was horrified to find that I forgot to bring a book. I thought perhaps that I could get one, cheaply, from a local book store. Cheaply? Not really. However, I do like to support independant bookstores because I love to browse them. While briefly considering a PK Dick story, I settled on this book since Cicero, and his actions, are the essential background character for the alternate history I am writing in what is probably going to be a vain attempt to get published. We'll see. Anyways, as Avrora settled down for her nap, I began to read. it's quite engaging and I would have finished it faster if I hadn't mislayed it for almost a week.

The next book I am going to read is about the economic and demographic problems of Siberia. This is the one that I left on the plane. Doh! After that I have another construction project book.

I am putting together what I will buy next month for my books to read. One is about terrrestiral ecologies through deep time. Two are about mass extinctions. Two are about precolumbian mesoamerican civilizations. Two are about insulating concrete forms. I am also considering on on the Little Ice Age. I am wishing that there was some fiction that was catching my attention, but, alas, there isn't.

We'll see. That'll be a post NM trip purchase in any case.

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