Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hunter's Run

Hunter's Run, written by Gardner Dozois, George R. R. Martin, and Daniel Abraham is a hardcore science fiction novel. I enjoy science fiction to an extent, Ender's Game is still one of my favorite novels, but this was an extreme alien immersion. And I actually enjoyed it.
The language in the novel was strong, but perfect for the character of Ramon, the rough, dregs of society that he was.
I give the book 4 of 5 stars.

The Hunger Game, by Suzanne Collins

After reading all the great reviews about this novel I was disappointed that the author was a poor writer. How you tell the story is almost as important as the story itself.
If it wasn't for the fast pace and the interesting plot, I would have cast this book aside. I shouldn't be too surprised, I mean, bad writers keep making good money and getting published. "The Gargoyle" was horrid, I didn't make it past chapter one, and it got great reviews. "Twilight." Enough said.
I gave The Hunger Games 2 and a half stars, for the plot alone. By the end of the novel I was ready to kill Katness myself if she survived the Hunger Games.

Monday, August 1, 2011

On China, by Henry Kissinger

It would be an understatement to say that this was an amazing work written by the premier statesman involved in the development of Chinese and American diplomacy. "On China" is a personal account of Kissinger's many visits to China and his dealings with several generations of Chinese leaders.

Anyone seeking a clearer understanding of China and why things are the way they are needs to read this book. I will say that there are a few things I was disappointed with, he barely mentioned Sun Yat-sen and the impact he had on transitioning China from a dynastic Imperial system. The work is so focused on the diplomatic side of things he ignores any real depth concerning who the Gang of Four were and Zhou Enlai's relationship with Mao Zedong (Mao did not attend Zhou's funeral even, and Kissinger fails even to mention that there was a split).

I was always a huge admirer of Deng Xiaoping, I remember when he died. Deng Xiaoping was the leader of China when I was born, and an amazing man. Reading these behind the scenes snapshots of Deng Xiaoping altered my perception permanently, I now admire him even more, and finally understand the why's behind some of his less-than-praiseworthy moments.

I highly recommend this book, especially to any of my students representing China this year. Five out of Five stars, despite my few criticisms.