Summer Reading 2012

Here is a brief summary of three books I’ve read this summer. Somehow I did not get around to writing an entry for each one.

  • Schild’s Ladder” by Greg Egan:  This is a far out science fiction novel in which part of the action takes place down at quantum level. If enjoy reading stuff about quantum physics you’ll like this book. I found it little hard going and bit weird. There is a very cool podcast that reviews this book here – I listened to it and it was quite entertaining.
  • Songs of Distant Earth” by Arthur C. Clarke. Another science fiction novel from the author of 2001. This is a story of that occurs on planet Thalassa thousands of years in the future. The Earth no longer exists and Thalassians are human descendants from seed ships that were sent from Earth shortly before it was destroyed when the Sun exploded. Then another ship from Earth arrives at Thalassia and a group of people from Earths past meet their own descendants. The ship, called Magellan, is on it’s way to colonize a planet in another system. Through its characters the book explores the conflict between the two human civilizations.
  • The New Beford Samurai” by Anca Vlasopolos. This book is a novelized account of the life of Manjiro Nakahama, who was the first Japanese to come and live in the United States in the first half of the 19th century – before the Japan became opened to the West. As a teenager, Manjiro was shipwrecked on a small island in the Pacific when the fishing boat he was on was blown off course by a storm. He and his friends were rescued by whaling ship from New England. The captain of the ship recognized Manjiro’s intelligence and willingness to learn and adapted him as his son. Manjiro became the only one of his crew that went to United States. The others stayed in Hawaii. Manjiro was educated in new England – he learned English, he learned to be a Cooper and later ocean navigation. Ultimately he returned to Japan. The book chronicles his adventures in New England, on board of whaling ships and back in Japan. I found the story fascinating.