My favorite author hasn’t published anything new for a while (and I’ve been disappointed by some of his recent books anyway), so I’m on vacation with a stack of mystery novels. A friend asked why I haven’t shifted to one of the e-readers so I could carry a hundred books in a light tablet. ( An odd question coming from someone who used to work in publishing, and who still gets books from the library.) If I finish my stack, I found this source for reviews of good books and may find some ideas there. Maybe I’ll try this one, on the basis of the review.
Whenever the subject turns to the vastness of the universe (it happens more often than you’d think), I hear in my head the bass reverberation of Carl Sagan’s eager voice marveling at “billions and billions” of stars as he explored the foundations of exobiology in his iconic PBS series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Most of us don’t see much of the night sky anymore; in truth, ambient light from the earth makes this pastime much less vivid and so much more difficult.
Apart from staring open-mouthed at low-slung harvest moons while driving at night, my last prolonged look at the stars was accomplished by leaning back in a sling-chair, another under my feet, a bonfire roaring beside me, and a beer in my hand, to stare through the gap made by the trees stretching over my head. It was just enough, though, to make me feel wonderfully insignificant. While we may be dimly aware that the wish-granting shooting star we can’t help but look for is actually a meteor (the light trail of a meteoroid—trust me, you want to know this), we don’t think at all about its chances of hitting the earth. In his latest Wyman Ford novel, Douglas Preston introduces Abbey Straw, a twenty-year-old Princeton drop-out and astronomy savant, who witnesses a meteorite’s (a meteoroid that made it through earth’s atmosphere) spectacular fall to earth, and its apparent landing in the ocean off the coast of Maine. Her persistent search for the nickel-iron space rock she hopes to sell on eBay yields instead a greater mystery that will bring her to Ford’s astute attention. — Penny Candy Review of Impact, by Douglas Preston
What are you reading this summer?