Author Topic: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion  (Read 45 times)

Sandra Craft

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HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« on: April 17, 2019, 06:45:57 AM »
Since we're winding down here, I added the fiction and non-fiction back together.

Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origin, by Robert M. Hazen
Life on Earth arose nearly 4 billion years ago, bursting forth from air, water, and rock. Though the process obeyed all the rules of chemistry and physics, the details of that original event pose as deep a mystery as any facing science. How did non-living chemicals become alive?

The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf
The forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world—and in the process created modern environmentalism.

Kickback:  Exposing the Corporate Bribery Network, by David Montero.
A sweeping, global investigation into corporate bribery around the world and how backdoor financial transactions undermine democracy and the free market system by lining the pockets of some of the world's worst dictators and criminals.

The Tortilla Curtain, by T. C. Boyle
A novel set in Southern California about middle-class values, illegal immigration, xenophobia, poverty, and environmental destruction. 

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon
For sixty years Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel, but now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control.
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"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 05:15:50 PM »
Some book recommendations:

Non-fiction

The Sky's the Limit by Anna Magnusson

In 2004, Vicky Jack completed the Seven Summits - the highest mountains in each of the seven continents. Whilst pursuing her climbing dream, she also carried on a high-flying career. This book tells her story.

In Search of Schrodinger's Cat by John Gribbin

Quantum theory is so shocking that Einstein could not bring himself to accept it. It is so important that it provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences. Without it, we'd have no nuclear power or nuclear weapons, no TV, no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat tells the complete story of quantum mechanics, a truth stranger than any fiction. John Gribbin takes us step by step into an ever more bizarre and fascinating place, requiring only that we approach it with an open mind. He introduces the scientists who developed quantum theory. He investigates the atom, radiation, time travel, the birth of the universe, superconductors and life itself. And in a world full of its own delights, mysteries and surprises, he searches for Schrodinger's Cat - a search for quantum reality - as he brings every reader to a clear understanding of the most important area of scientific study today - quantum physics. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat is a fascinating and delightful introduction to the strange world of the quantum - an essential element in understanding today's world.



Fiction


Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

It's bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn't a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. After all, he's been trained at Ankh-Morpork's famed assassins' school, across the sea from the Kingdom of the Sun. First, there's the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad -- a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal - not to mention a headstrong handmaiden - at the heart of his realm.

It's the seventh book in the Disc World series, but this one is a one off so you don't need have read any of the other books.

The Reporter by Scott Sigler

The Reporter follows Yolanda Davenport, a reporter for Galaxy Sports Magazine, as she searches for the truth about Ju Tweedy's involvement with the murder of Grace McDermott - the incident that drove Ju to join the Ionath Krakens. The Reporter takes place between week three and week six of the 2684 Galactic Football League season, the season that encompasses The All-Pro.

And Tank's suggestion:

Under the Skin by Michel Faber

Set in northern Scotland, it traces a woman who drives around the Scottish countryside picking up male hitchhikers whom she drugs. (Spoilers removed from description)

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Tank

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 06:27:59 PM »
Pyramids is a good little book. We find out how camels are named and that they have an unexpected talent.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
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