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Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Books And Rereads On My Shelves And IPad

Well, I finished the delightful new Neil Gaiman book, which will get its review very soon, and by the way, the father who has all those adventures going out for a carton of milk is definitely drawn as the author! More anon.

My birthday brought me one book from my nephew David. It's a biography of Steve Jobs, written on request by the subject, while he was already dying. He didn't require to be shown the manuscript before publication or to have control over it. He just wanted it written.

I admit it wasn't a book I would have bought for myself, although I quite like biographies, depending on the subject - usually a historical bio of someone dead for a few hundred years, though I have read quite a few of Tolkien and C.S Lewis. But I began reading it yesterday and got through 100 pages. It's a fascinating story. Did you know he was born the same year as Bill Gates? Well, I didn't, and it's a way to be able to compare. I hadn't realised he was adopted either, or that he refused ever to meet his biological father, considering his adoptive parents as his real and only ones. Which is good to know, because he gave them a lot of troubles in his childhood and teens. He wasn't a nice man, but a nice man couldn't have achieved what he did. The nice man he worked with wouldn't have gotten those wonderful computers past the hobbyists. I have left it at my mother's place,to be read in bed while I'm there, as it's a thick, heavy hardcover I can't carry in the train.

And early yesterday morning, when I couldn't sleep, I discovered, to my delight, that Poul Anderson and Gordy Dickson's Hoka stories were available on ebook. If you haven't read them, go get them NOW! The Hokas are a loveable race of ursinoids(think giant teddy bears). They simply adore Earth history and literature and enjoy playing with them. In fact, they live them. A Hoka delegation on Earth are charmed by Don Giovanni and take on all the roles, nearly causing disaster. Another bunch of Hokas become the Space Patrol of a popular children's series. On the planet itself, there are Hoka versions of everything from the French Foreign Legion to Victorian England, including a Hoka Sherlock Holmes. It's all seen from the viewpoint of Alex Jones, a young man given the job of Plenipotentiary, who keeps getting caught up in various Hoka adventures. The one I downloaded first was Earthman's Burden, but I mean to buy the others, Star Prince Charlie and Hoka! 

Star Prince Charlie has a Hoka in it, but isn't set on the Hoka homeworld. A young man, Charlie, and his Hoka tutor, who is playing the role of an Oxford don,  visit a world with a situation similar to Scotland in the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie and this inspires the Hoka to become a Scottish clansman, with his charge as Bonnie Prince Charlie. Delightful!

Time to arise, eat, clean and prepare classes. Sigh!

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