Sunday, January 25, 2009

The week's reading: vol. 3

Not much this week. I've been kind of busy and distracted, and also am coming to terms with my new subway commute. I can't say I wasn't warned, but the F train is crowded and slow and not super conducive to reading, as often I'm so mashed up against other people that I have to close my book and hold it against my chest for a good bit of the ride. So, just one:

Little Brother, Cory Doctorow
The library finally got this one to me. It's about what happens after there's a huge post-9/11 terrorist attack in San Francisco and a cybergenius/geek gets mistakenly arrested by the Department of Homeland Security, which quickly turns S.F. into a police state—intrusive surveillance all over the place, false arrests run amok. Obviously, the tech-savvy kids have to start a revolution.

It's a great read, and scarily timely and important, but here's the thing: it explains everything. Like, the story stops dead and Marcus explains all about live action role-playing games. Fair enough, he's a big nerd. Then the story stops dead and Marcus details how computer encryption works and how to get around it. Ok, very important to the plot, and also informative. Then. The story doesn't quite stop dead, but Marcus uses a lot of parentheses to define the items in a meal he orders. Did you know that a churro is fried dough with cinnamon and sugar?? Truly, this is spelled out in the book. It gets a bit exhausting. Still, I know a lot more about a good number of things now than I did when I started the book, so who am I to complain? Overall, very good stuff, especially since there just aren't enough quality books out there about cool geeks, especially ones who (**SPOILER!**) actually get to lose their virginity while still in high school. It's renewed my interest in my bad idea of going back to school for a comp sci degree.

Week's total: 1
YTD total: 9 new, 2 re-reads

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