I completed my 34th book of 2014 a few days ago, and realized that I haven’t said much about my recent reading, which has branched out in many different direction. The last I mentioned was how much I enjoyed Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators. Since then, I’ve read a couple more books.
American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin
This Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the father of the atomic bomb was a great read. I’d previous read Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb, a book which I’ve cited as a great example of a project management guide, in addition to being a great history. The Oppenheimer biography filled in the details of the man who led the project. Perhaps what stood out most to me was Oppenheimer’s persecution in the communist witch hunts of the 1950s, and even more, the lengths through which J. Edgar Hoover’s establishment would go, legal and illegal to try to take Oppenheimer down. Definitely a good read.
Revival by Stephen King
I’d been looking forward to this new book by King, which was being promoted as his darkest book since Pet Semetary. I don’t about that. I absolutely loved the first four fifths of the book. The real dark stuff didn’t enter into the story until the final fifth, and while it was dark and disconcerted, I felt this was one of those times when the build-up King made didn’t deliver to my expectations at the end. I still enjoyed the book, and David Morse’s narration was fantastic. But I was hoping for a little bit more when it came to the end.
Hope by Richard Zoglin
I’ve mentioned before how celebrity biographies–particularly celebrities from long ago–are guilty pleasures of mine. So when I saw a new biography of Bob Hope, I couldn’t resist. I’m about a third of the way through the book right now and loving every minute of it. One added bonus is the voice actor for the book, Martin Hillgartner. He does a perfect Bob Hope impression, and uses it whenever there is a quote from hope in the book. Adds a nice dimension to it. It wouldn’t work well, if he couldn’t pull it off, but he does it spot on.
We head off on vacation 3 weeks from today. I’m counting the days. Looking at what I have on my list of things I want to read between now and the end of the year, in addition to finishing the Bob Hope biography. Here are a few:
- Coming Home by Jack McDevitt
- The Abominable by Dan Simmons
After that, it really depends on what I’m in the mood for while on vacation. I’d really like to read Will Durant’s The Age of Faith, which seems like a good read for the holiday time of year. But at 61 hours, it is also a pretty big time investment. I also still have John Scalzi’s Lock In, and Winston Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking People so who knows where things will go.