Tag Archives: so much math

Lists: Worst Books Read in 2011 – # 3

Worst Books Read in 2011

3. Sequence by Adrian Dawson

To quote myself, boring and an affront to scientists everywhere.

Original Review

4. Leaving Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
5. The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner
6. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
7. Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith
8. The Black Company by Glen Cook
9. A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
10. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale

Lists: Best Books Read in 2011 – # 5

Best Books Read in 2011

5. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

For the first hundred or so pages of this book, I did a lot of complaining about the amount of math and the detail into which Stephenson goes about mathematical theory. Somewhere along the way, I managed to be drawn into this many layered story that is at times, humorous, at times tragic, and at times WTF. I ended up loving it.

Original Review

6. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
7. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
8. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
9. A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
10. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

Review: We

WeWe by Yevgeny Zamyatin
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Yevgeny Zamyatin described We as “my most jesting and most serious work.” Having read nothing else by the author I cannot completely concur with the statement, but serious and jesting it certainly is. We describes a supposedly utopian society based on mathematics and a petroleum based food substance. (If the latter seems an odd choice, keep in mind that the book was written in 1920.) This society is the result of a two hundred year war in which all but 0.2% of humanity is wiped out and the remainder go to live in a city surrounded by a glass wall where even the weather is rigidly controlled. Schedules are king, they have a Benefactor who is unanimously elected each year, and every aspect of life is controlled. We is the story of a mathematician who begins to realize, with the help of a woman he falls in love with, that perhaps all is not well in this alleged Eden.

Ultimately, while I enjoyed this book, I had some problems with the writing. It ended up being highly disjointed and frequently confusing. This is partially explained by the fact that it is written as a series of journal entries. Nevertheless, it could have been executed more skillfully, in my opinion.

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