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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson - Review

Astrophysics does not need to be filled with the unexplained technical jargon that only specialists or very keen readers can decipher. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the finest astrophysicists who, like another prominent astrophysicist before him named Carl Sagan, has mastery in explaining complex astronomical concepts and mysterious cosmic phenomena in a tone and accessible language that most readers can grasp.

I am glad I have read his "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry". The title kind of indicates that it's written for a quick review of astrophysics. It's true, but it also gives an illuminating glimpse of our mysterious universe and an urgency, like the word "hurry" to have some sense of our very existence.

From the very start, the 0th time of big bang to all the way of 21st century's era of technological marvels, Tyson gives a good synopsis on how everything came about that surround us every moment but most of us remain oblivious to its origin. Ty…

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Huval Noah Harari - a Review

"Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow" is a very well written book, a sequel to Yuval Noah Harari's magnificent "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind". The writer's accessible way of explaining the technical and societal trend and unmistakable destination where humanity is heading to I found to be exhilarating but sometimes frightening too. It is fearsome to think about a world where humanity as we know of does not exist, but supplanted by unconscious intelligence, far superior than human beings could ever imagined to be.

To reach his striking conclusion Harari showed how we treat other animals with utter indifference toward their pain and sufferings, even farm animals for food as if only for that reason their existence is justified. Humanity boasts its pureness, its love toward goodness, but these goodness does not apply to the animals as we treat them having lesser intelligence. As the writer argues, when we reach that inevitable point when artificial…

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey - Review

This is the second novel I've read written by Eowyn Ivey. Like her "To the Bright Edge of the World", The Snow Child is a memorable story based in Alaska's snowy wilderness. The pain and anguish of a childless couple in Alaska's cold winter, their yearning for a child in the depth of wintry chill leaps out of the early pages of this empathy filled novel.

It has the mystical elements along with its detail description of Alaskan lively nature. At first it seemed it would be a novel filled with magic and fantasy, but it turned out to be celebrating the life's joys and also facing the inevitable griefs. So good the writer's description of Alaskan natural world that I felt I was right there in early 20th century, beside a stoked fireside where chopped woods were crackling in fire.

The gist of this mesmerizing story begins when Mabel recollects a memory of her father reading her a book when she was a child, it was the story of a Russian snow maiden that came a…

Omar El Akkad's American War - Review

It's a novel predicting a grim future where climate change and internal conflicts have caused tremendous damage. North and South are divided, not by the racial lines, but by the usage of fossil fuel, so severe the division is that a second Civil War starts in 2075 and ending in 2095, costing millions of people their lives in the process.

Omar El Akkad's American War is written well, has good characters development, plot and fast moving story, and I felt while reading it that the writer has written this novel as a metaphor, pointing to the eerie similarities between our contemporary world in early 21st century with the mere six to eight decades in the future.

The story of an innocent girl named Sara T. Chestnut (Sarat) and her family, suffered from the war's violence. A born curious and exploratory girl, who might in better condition could have become a great scientist or a writer, Sarat gets manipulated by war veteran man named Gaines, who utilizes his charm and eloquence to…

The Lost City of the Monkey God - A True Story - by Douglas Preston - Review

I thought it would be a very different sort of book, like adrenaline pulsing adventure story. The Lost City of the Monkey God - A True Story by Douglas Preston turned out to have more nuanced actions but more thoughtful observations about the archaeological exploration, Honduran politics, academic squabbling and the terrible parasite based disease called Lieshmaniasis, a disease that the millions of people in bottom rung of the economic ladder have to face without generating much interests from the big pharmaceutical companies as less money to be made from researching and developing vaccines and other medicines combating this "poor" world disease.

The author's exploration of the lost city in the La Mosquitia region of Honduras, along with archaeologists, film makers, photographers and military proctors, are well described, including the tremendous daily struggles that all of them had to go through. Historic accounts were given about the lost city, and earlier explorers, t…

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch and The Dark Net by Benjamin Percy

In November I finished reading two books. First was Benjamin Percy's The Dark Net and the second one was Blake Crouch's Dark Matter.

Both of them are thrillers, well paced, good story plots.

The Dark Net felt like a science fiction in the beginning but it turned out to be a super natural story. Not bad as a page turner, but I think the author Benjamin Percy has much more potential than he displayed in The Dark Net. He pointed some of the darkest corners of the web and how it can spirals out of bound, ushering in the dark ages of future. Plausible.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch has a good story plot, that unfolds fast and furious. The quantum mechanics based theme, the Schrodinger Cat theory, alive and dead at the same time, the multiverse, the intense longing to return to the loved ones made the reading memorable.

Blake Crouch's writing was fluid, some of the words and sentences I found to be profound, quoting a few below:

"And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic.…

Origin by Dan Brown - a Review

Dan Brown's latest novel "Origin" is an entertaining book. Like his previous novels, the author has created a page turner, though the main plot of the book I found to be not too shocking as I could deduce it from the very early on, however, I found this as an absorbing reading because of its presentation of two very basic questions of humanity:
Where do we come from?Where are we going? Like the other classic Dan Brown's novels, the protagonist professor Robert Langdon embarks on a whirlwind adventure finding out the puzzle left by a brilliant scientist and futurist Edmond Kirsch and his progeny the artificial intelligence entity called Winston. What is a bit different in Origin than say from Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons is that unlike the more narrower scope of previous stories, this one tries to answer the existential questions of humanity. Some of the pros and cons presented regarding life's origin, it's undeniable future progression and the rise of t…