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Full title The Alchemist [permalink]
Original title Alquimista, O
Language English
Authors Paulo Coelho (author) and Alan R. Clarke (translator)
Publisher HarperCollins
Category Novel
Publication year 1999
Original publication year 1988
ISBN 0-7225-3293-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 177
Synopsis

An allegorical story of a boy who follows his dreams and heart and eventually discovers his true self and finds his treasure.

Review

I found it a little too naive to be entertaining, but it's a cute story nonetheless.

Images Back of The Alchemist.Spine of The Alchemist.Front of The Alchemist.
Full title Bad Science [permalink]
Language English
Author Ben Goldacre (author)
Publisher HarperCollins
Category Science
Publication year 2009
Original publication year 2008
ISBN 978-0-00-728487-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 370
Synopsis

Bad Science is a book almost entirely dedicated to the exposition of poor and damaging science reporting in the media, especially medical science. (Another major point of the book is focusing on specific people in the media who Goldacre thinks are doing a poor job or a disservice to the public.) This isn't all of the book, however: some chapters (The Placebo Effect and Bad Stats stand out) go into how medical science is actually done and what methods are used in clinical trials.

Review

I found the book both entertaining and enlightning, although the book is heavily focused on the UK. If you're from the UK then you'd probably enjoy this book much more than I did, being from Norway.

Images Back of Bad Science.Spine of Bad Science.Front of Bad Science.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Matter
  • Chapter 2: Brain Gym
  • Chapter 3: The Progenium XY Complex
  • Chapter 4: Homeopathy
  • Chapter 5: The Placebo Effect
  • Chapter 6: The Nonsense du Jour
  • Chapter 7: Dr Gillian McKeith PhD
  • Chapter 8: 'Pill Solves Complex Social Problem'
  • Chapter 9: Professor Patrick Holford
  • Chapter 10: The Doctor Will Sure You Now
  • Chapter 11: Is Mainstream Medicine Evil?
  • Chapter 12: How the Media Promote the Public Misunderstanding of Science
  • Chapter 13: Why Clever People Believe Stupid Things
  • Chapter 14: Bad Stats
  • Chapter 15: Health Scares
  • Chapter 16: The Media's MMR Hoax
  • And Another Thing
  • Further Reading and Acknowledgements
  • Notes
  • Index
Full title Dandelion Wine [permalink]
Language English
Author Ray Bradbury (author)
Publisher HarperCollins
Category Novel
Publication year 2008
Original publication year 1957
ISBN 978-0-00-728474-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 319
Synopsis

Originally a series of short stories, this novel is about quiet Middle American life in the fictional Green Town, Illinois. The story mainly follows twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding and his brother, Tom, with minor characters scattered about. The novel is about nothing in particular, except the musings of Doug about rather adult themes like life and death.

The title is a metaphor for good summer memories, and in the story it's a real beverage that Doug and his grandfather actually tap into bottles for the long winter ahead.

There is a sequel, Farewell Summer.

Review

Despite being well-written, I found this novel at times boring, and I was a little disappointed that it didn't go anywhere; there's no real story here. There are a few memorable scenes, however, like the meeting between the gang (Doug, Tom, and Charlie) and Colonel Freeleigh and between the young reporter and the old woman.

Images Back of Dandelion Wine.Spine of Dandelion Wine.Front of Dandelion Wine.
Full title The End of Eternity [permalink]
Language English
Author Isaac Asimov (author)
Publisher HarperCollins
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 2000
Original publication year 1959
ISBN 978-0-586-02440-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 189
Synopsis

Mankind has opened Eternity, and a group of people there constantly interfere with the Centuries to iron out mistakes and keep mankind safe.

Review

I normally don't like time-travel stories because they're confusing. This one is also pretty confusing, but it's well-written confusion, and I can recommend it on that point alone.

Images Back of The End of Eternity.Spine of The End of Eternity.Front of The End of Eternity.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Chapter One: Technician
  • Chapter Two: Observer
  • Chapter Three: Cub
  • Chapter Four: Computer
  • Chapter Five: Timer
  • Chapter Six: Life-Plotter
  • Chapter Seven: Prelude to Crime
  • Chapter Eight: Crime
  • Chapter Nine: Interlude
  • Chapter Ten: Trapped!
  • Chapter Eleven: Full Circle
  • Chapter Twelve: The Beginning of Eternity
  • Chapter Thirteen: Beyond the Downwhen Terminus
  • Chapter Fourteen: The Earlier Crime
  • Chapter Fifteen: Search Through the Primitive
  • Chapter Sixteen: The Hidden Centuries
  • Chapter Seventeen: The Closing Circle
  • Chapter Eighteen: The Beginning of Infinity
Full title Farewell Summer [permalink]
Language English
Author Ray Bradbury (author)
Publisher HarperCollins
Category Novel
Publication year 2008
Original publication year 2006
ISBN 978-0-00-728475-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 166
Synopsis

Farewell Summer is a sequel to Dandelion Wine, and takes place the following year (another summer). It continues the theme of a boy's childhood summer, and adds in a conflict (of sorts) between two generations.

Review

Like its prequel, I found this novel too a little boring, but the scene where the mischievous boys sneak into the clock tower was entertaining. I can't recommend this one, but if you liked the prequel, chances are you'll like this one as well.

Images Back of Farewell Summer.Spine of Farewell Summer.Front of Farewell Summer.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • I. Almost Antietam
  • II. Shiloh and Beyond
  • III. Appomattox
  • Afterword: The Importance of Being Startled
Full title Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why [permalink]
Language English
Author Bart D. Ehrman (author)
Publisher HarperCollins
Categories History and religion
Publication year 2005
ISBN 978-0-06-073817-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 242
Images Back flap of Misquoting Jesus.Back of Misquoting Jesus.Spine of Misquoting Jesus.Front of Misquoting Jesus.Front flap of Misquoting Jesus.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  1. The Beginnings of Christian Scripture
  2. The Copyists of the Early Christian Writings
  3. Texts of the New Testament: Editions, Manuscripts, and Differences
  4. The Quest for Origins: Methods and Discoveries
  5. Originals That Matter
  6. Theologically Motivated Alterations of the Text
  7. The Social Worlds of the Text
  • Conclusion: Changing Scripture: Scribes, Authors, and Readers
  • Notes
  • Index
Full title The Songs of Distant Earth [permalink]
Language English
Author Arthur C. Clarke (author)
Publisher HarperCollins
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 1998
Original publication year 1986
ISBN 0-586-06623-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 238
Synopsis

The Earth is swallowed in the explosion of the Sun in the year 3620, and the novel begins with the landing of the starship Magellan on the now-colonized planet of Thalassa, a world covered almost entirely in ocean except for three closely linked islands. They need to repair their ship for their upcoming journey to their real destination, a planet called Sagan 2, which, with their millions of colonists in cryo-sleep, they hope to colonize.

Almost the entirety of the novel takes place on Thalassa.

Review

A very beautiful novel full of memorable scenes. (The lifting of the kilometer-wide hexagonal ice blocks for the ship's shield comes to mind.) The pacing is good, the characters are well-developed, and the writing is excellent (but then again, this is a Clarke novel).

Images Back of The Songs of Distant Earth.Spine of The Songs of Distant Earth.Front of The Songs of Distant Earth.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Author's Note

I THALASSA

  • 1 The Beach at Tarna
  • 2 The Little Neutral One
  • 3 Village Council
  • 4 Tocsin
  • 5 Night Ride

II MAGELLAN

  • 6 Planetfall
  • 7 Lords of the Last Days
  • 8 Remembrance of Love Lost
  • 9 The Quest for Superspace

III SOUTH ISLAND

  • 10 First Contact
  • 11 Delegation
  • 12 Heritage
  • 13 Task Force
  • 14 Mirissa
  • 15 Terra Nova
  • 16 Party Games
  • 17 Chain of Command
  • 18 Kumar
  • 19 Pretty Polly
  • 20 Idyll

IV KRAKAN

  • 21 Academy
  • 22 Krakan
  • 23 Ice Day
  • 24 Archive
  • 25 Scorp
  • 26 Snowflake Rising
  • 27 Mirror of the Past
  • 28 The Sunken Forest
  • 29 Sabra
  • 30 Child of Krakan

V THE BOUNTY SYNDROME

  • 31 Petition
  • 32 Clinic
  • 33 Tides
  • 34 Shipnet
  • 35 Convalescence
  • 36 Kilimanjaro
  • 37 In Vino Veritas
  • 38 Debate
  • 39 The Leopard in the Snows
  • 40 Confrontation
  • 41 Pillow Talk
  • 42 Survivor
  • 43 Interrogation

VI THE FORESTS OF THE SEA

  • 44 Spyball
  • 45 Bait
  • 46 Whatever Gods May Be ...

VII AS THE SPARKS FLY UPWARD

  • 47 Ascension
  • 48 Decision
  • 49 Fire on the Reef

VIII THE SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH

  • 50 Shield of Ice
  • 51 Relic
  • 52 The Songs of Distant Earth
  • 53 The Golden Mask
  • 54 Valediction
  • 55 Departure
  • 56 Below the Interface

IX SAGAN 2

  • 57 The Voices of Time
  • Chronology
  • Bibliographical Note
  • Acknowledgements

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