Book Review: The Elegant Universe

The Elegant Universe book jacket

The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

  • Author: Brian Greene
  • Year: 2000
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN: 0375708111

I’m adding a little blurb now (November, 2003) to comment on the “Nova” TV version of this book, which recently aired.

I have to say, if Brian Greene will pardon me, that the subject matter was much more digestible in its TV format. That says more about my scientific density than it does Greene’s intelligence. He takes it slow, channelling Mr. Rogers a bit… he uses excellent special effects representations of bizarre concepts, which definitely helped me out in understanding some of this weird shit….

I wish I could have even a glimmer of the mathematics of all this theoretical physics…maybe I’ll study math to fend off senility….

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Book Review: The Two Towers

The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, Part 2)

  • Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Year: 1988
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
  • ISBN: 0395489334
Like the rest of the world, I was inspired by the films to revisit these books. Not only fun, but extremely intelligent.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Prisoner of Azkaban: book jacket

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)

  • Author: J.K. Rowling
  • Year: 1999
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
  • ISBN: 0439136350

I bought this book in the airport in Munich. I had finished Gödel, Escher, Bach in Switzerland and this was the first book in English I was able to find. As I’ve noted to several people, I was impressed by the prickly refusal to speak English and “americanize” everything in Switzerland. However, it made it impossible to find anything to read. I resorted to “reading” the Swiss equivalent of “Martha Stewart Living” in the lobby of our little hotel. Well, not so much reading as looking at the pictures (and memorizing design tips, fag that I am).

Anyway, I was snowed in at Munich, and later had to spend about 10 hours in Frankfurt thanks to a terrorist threat. So …The Prisoner of Azkaban was, like all Harry Potter books, as welcome and comforting as a big piece of chocolate cake.

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