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spoko

spoko

Currently reading

The Oligarchs: Wealth and Power in the New Russia
David E. Hoffman
The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, Diana Burgin, Katherine Tiernan O'Connor
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Arun Gandhi, Marshall B. Rosenberg
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Eric Metaxas, Timothy Keller
Parting the Waters: Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement 1954-63
Taylor Branch
The Path to Power
Robert A. Caro
The Nature of Nebraska: Ecology and Biodiversity
Paul A. Johnsgard
Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
Robin D.G. Kelley
Cutting for Stone
Abraham Verghese
First Light - Charles Baxter An interesting novel. I decided to read it based on a recommendation from someone in an online book group. They said it was remarkably well written, especially in how he developed his characters. It was pretty good in that sense, but throughout most of the book I found the characters to be less than believable.

They didn't mention the novel's central device, though, which is that it's written in reverse. It begins at the death of the main character (Hugh), and moves backwards in time, chapter by chapter, until he is a toddler at the birth of his sister (Dorsey). This is tied pretty closely with the Big Bang/Big Crunch theory of the universe (Dorsey is an astrophysicist), and in that sense it works quite well. That, actually, became the most interesting aspect of the novel for me.

As I said, the characters themselves were often not that believable. But there was something compelling about them. Their relationships were interesting at times, and it was interesting to speculate on what would "happen next"—that is, on what had happened to bring them to this point. But I have such a bad memory that I ended up forgetting details I wanted to remember, which would probably have made it a much more interesting book for me.