Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Books I've Recently Read

Redshirts by John Scalzi was a fun book.  The audiobook is read by Wil Wheaton adding a neat twist to it, since his voice has some connection to the Star Trek universe.  As the title suggests, the book is about the secondary crew on a star ship who seem to die routinely on away missions.  The protagonist is one of those redshirts and he's determined to figure out why they keep dying.  I laughed out loud several times while listening to this book.  

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery
Do No Harm, by Dr. Henry Marsh, is somewhat autobiographical since it is anchored with chronological descriptions of the author's life and experience.  Many chapters are named for some particular kind of cancer that is at the center of the case described in that chapter.  I enjoyed the parts about the technical challenges of cutting out some types of cancers.  Marsh also describes the emotional challenges faced by a surgeon and the tricks he used to help himself overcome those challenges.  Those perspectives put a more human face on otherwise god-like brain surgeons.  I wasn't thrilled with the passages where he complains about the NHS.  We can all complain about some faceless administrative authority in our workplace and I would have preferred it if he had left that part unspoken.  But that's just me.

Hitler's Last Days
One of Bill O'Reilly's historical books, Hitler's Last Days was interesting.  Not a top pick for me, but interesting enough to keep me from fast-forwarding.  A lot of it is actually about Patton's march through Europe.  It does provide some interesting info about Hitler's death.  I expected more from this book because I enjoyed Bill's book Killing Jesus a lot.

Enemies - A History of the FBI
This is a long book, covering the entire history of the FBI.  It is heavy on the early years.  As you'd expect from a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, the book is quite thorough.  You will enjoy Enemies if you're interested in: the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, or national politics during Hoover's era.  If you're interested in more recent history of the FBI, then I recommend The Secrets of the FBI, by Ronald Kessler.

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