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66) Feynman, by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

I'm a bit overdue in posting this; Worldcon ate my brain and my time. This is a new graphic-biography of Richard Feynman, written by the always-great Jim Ottaviani, and drawn by Leland Myrick. Because I've read Feynman and Feynman bios in the past, the broad strokes were familiar to me, but I learned new info, too. It's a mostly-chronological (but sometimes thematic) overview of his life and achievements from childhood on, including highlights from several of his lectures. I understand Feynman diagrams much better now than I did before!

I was lucky enough to read an early copy; it releases Aug. 30th. Check your local independent comic shop or bookstore, or order online!

Update: tor.com is posting excerpts here: http://www.tor.com/stories/2011/08/the-five-faces-of-feynman
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65) The Broken Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin

It took me a little longer to get really in to this one than it did the first one, I think because I don't really like knowing big things that the POV character doesn't, because it's harder for me to identify with that character then. (I'm not sure "identify with" is quite the right phrase, but especially in first-person narratives, I need to put on the character a bit like putting on a role in a play, or something. It's hard to explain, but I can't do it when I know the Big Important Secret and the character is mystified by it.) Once she learned that thing, or enough that she could possibly have figured it out, it was easier for me; I stopped feeling like I was reading in the wrong order.

This happens 10 years after the previous book, and deals with the consequences of the ending of that book. The most-purely-evil people are also deluded madmen who believe they are serving their god. I don't want to get too specific, for fear of spoilers.

As a side note, N.K. Jemisin is also the author of my second-favorite favorite short story so far this year: Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters. Recommended listening. (My favorite so far is Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son which does amazing things with quantum existence. Read it.)
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There's a potential anti-viral in tests, which targets RNA. There's a potential treatment for at least one kind of cancer in tests, which is based in part on HIV. Am I the only one who read _Feed_ and is now very afraid? :)
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64) The Magicians, by Lev Grossman

Darker and grittier than Harry Potter, by quite a lot. Not comfortable in places, but I know people who went through similar burn-out after school; just didn't know how to deal with the outside world. I think I need to see where the story goes before I can decide whether I like it or not; I'll be reading the sequel after I finish The Broken Kingdoms, I think.
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63) Hominids, by Robert J. Sawyer, via Audible

I was not impressed. Too much heavy-handed philosophy lecturing, too much them-good / us-bad, and they never thought to use a key piece of evidence in the defense in the trial, apparently. Kind of surprised it won the Hugo, frankly.

ETA: Also, not sure how I managed to forget to mention this initially, but there's a semi-graphic rape scene fairly early on that feels gratuitous to me. Its main role in the novel seems to be so that the female victim will not pair off with the visitor from the parallel world, with a secondary role being yet another example of how awful our society is compared to theirs.

(I created a DW account a while back to snag my name. Given LJ's recent Issues, I decided to import my entries to DW as a backup, and it's easier to xpost DW->LJ than vice versa. If you want to actually keep up with me, FB is where I post and read most, though I still read some people on LJ occasionally.)
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62) All Clear

Now that I've read both halves, I can comment on the work as a whole. I have to say that I did not like it as much as I was expecting to, based on past experience reading Willis and on reviews from other readers. It just seemed too long, too slow to me. This is 100% a matter of personal taste, and I might like / have liked it better reading at another time, even. I don't want to get too specific for those who haven't read them, but I wasn't crazy about the time travel theory element, either.

Which is not to say it's a bad book, but, of her novels, I prefer Passage, and I think she really shines brightest as a short story writer.
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?.32) Joel
?.33) Jonah
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59) The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, by N.K. Jemisin

Wow. I'm not going to have time to read the full text of all the Best Novel nominees before the deadline, or the novel-length works for the Campbell nominees, so my plan was to do more-or-less what I did last year -- read the first three or so chapters of each and decide on that basis. (Although it's not really possible to judge Connie Willis that way; I'll read as much as I can over the next couple of days and then decide, I guess.) Anyway, I had to tear myself away from this one, so once I'd had a taste of the others, I came back and devoured the rest of it -- SDCC lines are great for reading, and the phone's a lot easier to wrangle than a hardcopy.

This is a story of family, politics, gods, and power. I don't think I can write about it in a way that will do it justice. You can read the first three chapters on the author's website; if that grabs you the way it grabbed me, you'll want to keep going. This isn't a thousand-page behemoth of an epic fantasy; I found it a fairly quick read. I've picked up the second as a ebook, but I won't start it until I finish my Hugo ballot.

60) Forever Peace, by Joe Haldeman, via Audible

I didn't like this as much as The Forever War. It seemed confused about itself, what kind of story it wanted to be, etc., and I found it hard to get in to. It won a Hugo, so clearly some people liked it, but it didn't quite work for me.

61) Blackout, by Connie Willis

Now reading All Clear, which is the second half of the story. If you like Connie Willis historian novels, this is the kind of thing you'll like. If you haven't read any of the preceding ones, I suggest starting with a shorter piece -- the novelette "Fire Watch" or the novel Doomsday Book, perhaps.

Went ahead and submitted my Hugo Ballot last night; if I change my mind over the next couple of days, I can resubmit, but at least I won't forget this way, and I probably won't change my mind.
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?.30) Jude
?.31) 1 Kings
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?.29) Philemon
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?.28) Titus
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?.26) Ecclesiastes
?.27) 2 Timothy
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?.25) 1 Timothy

I've been working through the short fiction Hugo nominees and catching up on podcasts, thus no recent entries for longer works of fiction. Lots and lots of short stories, plus novelettes and novellas.
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?.24) 2 Thessalonians

It's only three chapters -- books like this are why I'm not counting each book as a stand-along book in this reckoning.
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?.23) Song of Solomon
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?.22) 1 Thessalonians
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?.21) Proverbs

58) Perpetual Light, ed. Alan Ryman

A collection of SF/F stories with religious themes. [livejournal.com profile] ozarque's was my favorite.
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?.20) Romans
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