01 February 2014


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 82

We shaved it really close this time, but we finally have another winner! Apart from the two Michael Crichton novels I picked at the beginning, there was a popular suggestion I counted as a "write in": and although it didn't make it, I'm happy to give it an honourable mention.

Congo = 4 votes
State of Fear = 5 votes
The Andromeda Strain = 2 votes

Thanks to Bob, Christopher, Melanie, LTG, Mrs. Darwin, Noel, Pennyyak, R, and Sully for voting, and to Bat and Shaz for chiming in although they abstained. =)

I'll start reading tonight, so I can have the first post up by the middle of next week. My current reading plan, which I may or may not stick to, is:

Meeting 83 -- Introduction and "Akamai" Part 1
Meeting 84 -- "Akamai" Part 2
Meeting 85 -- "Terror" and "Angel"
Meeting 86 -- "Flash" and "Snake" Part 1
Meeting 87 -- "Snake" Part 2
Meeting 88 -- "Blue"
Meeting 89 -- "Resolution"
Meeting 90 -- Author's Message and Appendices

"Akamai" and "Snake" are the two longest sections. I forsee having to stop about a hundred pages into each one in order to get a post up in a timely manner. But if, while I'm reading, I see that it would actually be better to keep going so that the discussion follows the way Crichton organised his ideas, then I'll blog accordingly.

Similarly, the sections "Terror" and "Angel" are both so short that it seems more efficient to make them share a post; but if I come to realise that the ideas in each should stand alone, then we'll be discussing them separately.

I hope everyone else is good with plans written in the sand! =P But one thing you can count on is that I'll be racing to get done before Ash Wednesday. See you at the next meeting!

Image Source: State of Fear by Michael Crichton


DMS said...

I read this one a while ago and will be interested to see what you think. I didn't vote- but I have read many of his books and especially enjoyed Sphere. I was so surprised when I read Jurassic Park because it differed from the movie in so many ways.

Happy reading and good luck with your plan in the sand. :)

love the girls said...

A old topic, comes back to life :

Rowling says that she should have put Hermione and Harry together in the Harry Potter series instead of Hermione and Ron


Belfry Bat said...

Rowling should read more of Tolkien's letters instead of sifting his books' magic tropes: the characters must do what is natural to them. If Strider shows up in the shadows of the Prancing Pony common room and turns out to be the Hidden Future King, it's nobody's business to go spoiling that.

But what has that to do with a fun new book to read?

I'll go keep my chimes polished and as tuned as sensible; see you later, En!

cyurkanin said...

'Bout time I came out on a winning team :)

love the girls said...

Belfry Bat writes : "But what has that to do with a fun new book to read?"

Tough question.

This book appears to be more of an exposition, so I don't see a connection to the strider kingship issue.

But then again Miss E, is rather particular in not wanting her future fun reads to be given away before she reads them, and perhaps that likewise includes expositions. So I suppose it has to do with who the reader is.

love the girls said...

Miss E,

Have you read Unwind? It's rather good. Given my experience in the right to life movement years back when these types of issues were actually on the table being discussed, it has a nice, and horrifying ring of reality to it.


btw, I just listened to Cinder and Scarlet. Cinder is a fun book.

Enbrethiliel said...


Jess -- Thanks! State of Fear is officially my gateway novel, so I'll definitely be reading Jurassic Park in the future. =)

LTG -- We're touching on the biggest problem I have with Rowling's storytelling. If readers are constantly talking about what might have been instead of what is, then the story can't have been well put together in the first place.

Of all of Hermione's prospects, I still like Viktor Krum the best. And I was insulted on his behalf when we finally get to hear them having a conversation and J.K. Rowling made it all about his inability to pronounce her name. *facepalm* Incidentally, my second biggest problem with Rowling is that she seemed content to let the majority of her characters be totally two-dimensional. At least she was content to leave them so in the texts themselves. But then she fleshes them out in interviews. That doesn't seem right. An author should be able to say, "Quod scripsit, scripsit."

I have not read Unwind, but I will someday. I love Neal Shusterman!!! <3

Bat -- Characters don't seem to be her strong point, but then again, it can't have been easy to write Harry Potter with the entire world watching and readers feeling entitled.

Christopher -- It was statistically inevitable! ;-)

Belfry Bat said...

While I'm pondering your reply, LTG, I can't help but thinking that one non sequitur leads to another velociraptor. Of course.

Entitlement, oh yes, Oh noes! Much like the way Harry himself is one of the most-watched characters in (young-reader accessible) writing, and it doesn't help him much. But what I was trying to get at is that there's knife-edge to walk between telling your story and telling the story; and haste, of course, helps not at all, either.

In other matters, Central Limit Theorem, hurrah!

love the girls said...

Miss E. writes : "If readers are constantly talking about what might have been instead of what is, then the story can't have been well put together in the first place."

While I do find it amazing how Rowling could write so many pages with almost zero character development, nevertheless, I still care enough about the characters to want to change them which actually speaks well for the story. Somewhat like I was not happy with War and Peace and where the characters, or at least Sonya and Natasha end up in the end even if it was a more true to the ways of the world.

love the girls said...

Belfry Bat,

It all depends on what 'that' signifies. Somewhat like spelling railroad crossing without any 'R's

amy said...

Very late vote for State of Fear! So glad you didn't read Congo.

Enbrethiliel said...


I'm happy to be reading State of Fear, too! =)