Books finished in July:
(Warning: reviews are unpolished and quickly written.)
Reamde: A Novel (2012) by Neal Stephenson. Not what I expected from the author of Cryptonomicon and the Baroque cycle. It starts off promisingly with modern, hot topics like a bitcoinlike virtual currency, the mmorpg T’Rain and its gold farmers, and ransomware, but quickly develops into a simple action story packed full of unbelievable coincidences, with a conflict between evil, largely unidimensional Muslims and others. Disappointing.
The Book of Daniel: A Novel (1971) by E. L. Doctorow. Novel based on the story of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were put on trial for espionage and executed for treason in 1953. In the book they are called Paul and Rochelle Isaacson, and the story is told through their son Daniel. From his viewpoint, the pair, and particularly the father, come off as self-righteous and somewhat narrow-minded, though harmless, and likely innocent. According to Wikipedia, in the real world the children also believed in their parents’ innocence for a long time, though were convinced otherwise in the end. Finished the book a few days after the death of E. L. Doctorow. Interesting to learn about the people executed for espionage against the US in recent times, but I would not really recommend the book. (Trivia: The story ends in Disneyland, where Cory Doctorow‘s novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom takes place, but apparently the two are not related.)
Ratings and old books are in the library.