Sunday, September 30, 2012

Book #8- A Wrinkle in Time

Title- A Wrinkle in Time
Author- Madeleine L'Engle
Series- Book 1 of The Time Quartet
Genre- Fantasy/Science Fiction
Pages to date-2,490

The Good:
A Wrinkle in Time is a quick read and has a lot to offer. A blurb describes it as such: "Fascinating...It makes unusual demands on the imagination and consequently gives great rewards." This is a very fair description of the book. The characters are interesting and the ideas presented are thought-provoking.

The Bad:
I left the book wanting more. Not necessarily a sequel (there are three companions, though not direct sequels), but more content. This story could have done well with 200 more pages. Everything is explained, but you are taken to such amazing worlds that you feel shortchanged once you've left. The concepts are so large that the time they are given seems unjust. Most of this is because it is meant for children. It would do even better if converted to an adult novel.
A few religious references interfered with my reading of the story, but not too much.

The Verdict:
A Wrinkle in Time is a swift and easy read that is satisfying, but a tad short of that amazing, vast story you've been craving.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Book #7- Steal Like An Artist

Title- Steal Like An Artist
Author-Austin Kleon
Series- None
Genre- Creativity
Pages- 140
Pages to date- 2,279

The Good:
Steal Like An Artist is an easy but interesting read. It gives a fantastic perspective on creativity as a whole, allowing readers to apply the concepts presented to whichever form his or her work takes. This makes it feel specific, as if Kleon is just writing a letter to you.
The illustrations and occasional newspaper blackouts add to the piece as well. They are entertaining and inspiring.

The Bad:
I wish there was a bit more. Kleon obviously has many ideas to present, but some of them just seem to be scratching at the surface. While what he has to say is interesting, it's over all too quickly.

The Verdict:
Steal Like An Artist is perfect for anyone who likes to create. It is a short read that presents some thoughtful suggestions and enhances the desire to make something.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Book #6- A Universe From Nothing

Title- A Universe From Nothing: Why is there something rather than nothing?
Author- Lawrence M. Krauss (Afterword by Richard Dawkins)
Series- None
Genre- Cosmology, Science
Pages- 166
Pages to date- 2,139

The Good:
Krauss presents a comprehensive, mind-blowing look at the universe as it is today and how it came to be. His presentation is phenomenal.

The Bad:
Much of the scientific language was lost on me. While I could understand the broad concepts of what he was saying, as well as the implications of them, the specifics were hard to grasp. This is merely because it is targeted at a more educated audience.

The Verdict: A Universe From Nothing is a great choice for anyone interested in cosmology, but the uneducated reader (like myself) will have to push through until the final chapters to really be satisfied. A stellar work, just not the universal (pun intended) leisure read.

Book #5- Broetry

Title- Broetry
Author- Brian McGackin
Series- None
Genre- Poetry, Humor
Pages- 121
Pages to date- 1,973

The Good:
Broetry offers a nice sigh of relief for anyone (especially the college English student) who is constantly required to read poetry as if it has infinite depth. It is funny, straightforward, and easy to read. Additionally, McGackin frequently parodies very well known poems, which is good for a laugh.

The Bad:
The poetry all kind of melts together in one's head. While there are a few that abandon the typical subject matter, the rest just seem the same. This probably resulted from my one-sit reading of the piece, though.

The Verdict: Broetry is funny and an easy read as well as a nice conversation starter. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a break from the monotony of "real" poetry.