Some Summer Books

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson PS3568.O2893A14 2013

I really enjoyed the first 200 pages of this book, but got a smidge frustrated around page 201 and read the Wikipedia entry and thus ruined the rest of the book for myself.  The story involves space colonization in the year 2312 and the way the environment of Earth has been altered and made less hospitable to humans.  It’s a long work and I, you know, blew it.  Don’t use Wikipedia is the take away here.(Editors Note: There are 576 pages in this book). /JMS/

God Knows by Joseph Heller PS3558.E476G58 1984

I again read the Wikipedia entry for this book (not pictured, because there’s no dust jacket on our copy) but that wasn’t the problem this time.  Joseph Heller is the best, but the story of David, you know, the David of David and Goliath fame, is well known to anyone from the Abrahamic traditions so I got bored knowing approximately what was going to happen.  Now Heller is a good writer (maybe the best, behind Kurt Vonnegut) and the story is contemporized in a really unique way, but again I got frustrated with the familiarity of the major story points.  I’ve tried reading this book a few times.  Maybe I’ll succeed in the future. /JMS/

MammothHow to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction by Beth Shapiro QL88.S49 2015

I’m interested in mammoth (and mastodon and other megafauna) so I was expecting to breeze through this book.  I got about half-way through and then skipped around to various sections to read about the ethics and scientific basis for cloning.  It’s fascinating to consider the environmental benefits of resurrecting extinct beasts and the moral quandaries that arise therefore, but again, I got bored.  I tried to read the whole thing but really only wanted to consider the elements of the topic I’m interested in.  So, that’s what I did.  I guess I didn’t fail, per se, because I took a lot away from this work.  My suggestion is to read this and then watch any movies from the Jurassic Park franchise.  Maybe Jurassic World, that’s relatively new. /JMS/