Recent Books 6-19: Mini-Reviews

 The Stand by Stephen King – This bloated monstrosity (1348 pg) starts as a disturbingly contemporary post-apocalyptic novel.  A deadly virus escapes from a lab and kills almost everybody. The few survivors start finding each other, but since this is a Stephen King novel, a bunch of Satanic hocus-pocus quickly becomes the focus.  Aside from the fact that this novel is about 1148 pages too long, it is otherwise forgettable.  Even the devilish villain is pretty boring.

The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman – Another good Navaho country mystery by Tony Hillerman.  An historic Navajo rug thought destroyed in a fire shows up in an architecture magazine and retired lawman turned detective turns up dead.  Retired Navajo Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn gets in involve.  Lots of nice scenes from Navaho country. Leaphorn and Jim Chee.

The Sun: A Very Short Introduction – Another book in the very short introductions series.  All about the Sun in 184 pages.  I read this for background on several more technical solar physics books.  It is excellent and detailed but accessible to non scientists.

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge – A pretty good space opera.  Humans probing an ancient archive loose a terrible evil out of the ancient past.  One ship escapes to a planet of dog like creatures who somehow have accomplished medieval technology working with just their prehensile lips.  Two children survive and have lots of adventures.  A rescue party sets out to find a defense against the menace loosed.  First of a three novel series and good enough that I intend to read at least the next one.

Premonition by Michael Lewis reviewed elsewhere.

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