Thursday, July 22, 2010

What I'm Reading Now

Baby sat my beautiful granddaughter today while my daughter (her mother) spent a few hours resting and recuperating (ha!). I was happy to do so. This is my only grandchild and naturally, she is the center of the family's attention. She is a happy, unfussy baby with the sweetest smile you ever saw and already, at close to two months, sleeping through the night. I can hardly remember what the world was like without her in it.

While she napped, I read and kept an eye on my chihuahua Rocky (who is not used to being displaced as the center of my attention), making sure he found no clever way to express any lingering resentment. I needn't have worried. He was good as gold, though I did receive a couple of 'who is this person and when is she leaving?' looks. Still, he behaved.

The book I'm reading is not new except that it is 'new' to me.
Seattle author, blogger and librarian extraordinaire Nancy Pearl was right when she termed author and cyberpunk king, Neal Stephenson "too good to miss" in her anthology of book recommendations, MORE BOOK LUST. It is thanks to Nancy that I've discovered Stephenson's extraordinary 900 page novel, CRYPTONOMICON. Who knew there was this sort of rich world of writing speciality lurking within the sci-fi genre? Though in my view, this brilliant book expands the genre, any genre - if it is 'genre' at all. This is nothing less than mind-bending thriller, mystery, historical adventure, laced all the way through with a fatalistic humor reminiscent of the classic, CATCH 22.

Published in 1999, CRYPTONOMICON jumps swiftly back and forth (a bit unsettling at first, but you soon get used to it) between the WWII era, the soldiers fighting that war, the Bletchley Park cryptographers who broke the Nazis' Enigma code helping to win the war for the Allies and modern day computer nerds, hackers and oily business types looking to establish a cyber-haven empire in Southeast Asia.

The editors of the late and much lamented book catalogue, THE COMMON READER, used to have an expression which I think I will co-opt, it describes Stephenson's book exactly: a thumping good read in which I am happy to lose myself for a few hours.


  1. Thanks for the great preview of this book. I'll make sure to look for it at the library. It looks very interesting. Thanks so much for such great book reviews and recommendations. Love the blog!!

  2. You're welcome, Linda. I'm so glad you're liking it. Still working out the kinks, but so far I'm pleased - more or less. Not bad for someone who knows next to nothing about computers. Ha.

  3. Thanks for the review!! just went to the Library and got this book.. even tho you said I probably wouldn't like it , going to give it a try... Judy

  4. love your BLOG.... Continue with it...Judy


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