Book Log #4: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North [Kindle]

Loved this book.

Claire North takes a cool premise and explores it wonderfully, with an engaging plot.

The premise: Some people live their life over and over. After they die, they restart at the beginning, remembering their previous loops at age 3 or 4. It gives a time-traveler-esque feel to the story line, and the conceit is well executed.

The butterfly effect is handled ok, but there remains the Grandfather’s Sperm Paradox* which, if considered closely, unravels some of the plot.

But, there is so much awesomeness in this one, I don’t mind a little hand waving.

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*The Grandfather’s Paradox states you wink out of existence if you go back in time and kill your grandfather, but really all you need to do is bump him a little.

The only portrayal I’ve seen of this is in the very enjoyable movie “About Time”, where a man learns he can travel back along his own timeline and change his history. He discovers if he travels back further than the conception of his child, he ends up with a different child in the present.

Book Log #3: Out of Spite, Out of Mind (Magic 2.0 Book 5)

Out of Spite, Out of Mind (Magic 2.0 Book 5) by Scott Meyer (Kindle)

Decent mind candy as usual. He takes a fun premise (a secret computer file that contains reality, and can be edited, so some people find it and make themselves magicians) and plays with it in amusing ways.

I’m hoping at some point that he starts cracking into the mystery of the file. But maybe he’s going to milk this for as many books as he can before a Big Reveal. Or maybe he hasn’t thought of the Big Reveal.

At any rate, if you like the first 4, you’ll like this one just fine.

Book Log #2: The Weight of Ink

THe Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish (Kindle)

I stole this recommendation from a friend on Facebook who received it from someone I didn’t even know. I eavesdropped this rec.

And I’m glad I did.

This story jumps back and forth in time between some researchers who find a trove of writings under a stair and the people who wrote them right before the plague hit London. It’s a page turner, and a sharp historical fiction. Philosphy, history, wit… this book’s got it all.

Book Log #1: Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow (borrowed)

Cory Doctorow is one of those names that have floated around in my mind as Someone Famous who I have never taken the time to learn more about. I mostly know him because he was referenced in an XKCD comic that I didn’t understand.

At any rate, he writes a good book. Recommended by a co-worker because we were discussing the Black Mirror episode (that I also haven’t seen) about a world where people rate each other, Down and Out is about a future world where death and scarcity have been conquered, and Disneyworld is basically run by benevolent gangs.

There’s lots of fun world building, and a mystery, and sharp, amusing writing. It’s a tasty snack of a book, that you can consume in an average domestic airplane flight.