Friday, October 20, 2017

Book: N. K. Jemisin's "The Obelisk Gate"

My twelfth book of the year was the second book of the Broken Earth series.  Like the first book, "The Fifth Season" which I read earlier in the year, N. K. Jemisin's "The Obelisk Gate" also won a Hugo award (best novel in 2017).  While I had some mixed feelings about the first book, the sequel was a very solid second book.

The book starts where the first ended.  Instead of following only one main character, the book follows two: the main character from the first book and her daughter.  They were separated early in the first book and they took very different paths as the world around them was coming apart.

Like the first, this book sucked me into the story while fleshing out more details of the volatile world.  I'm not sure where it is going but I suspect the mother and daughter will end up on opposite ends of a war.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads.  I am looking forward to reading the third book soon.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Fourth Caminoversary Of My Second Camino

Four years ago Gv and I ended our second Camino on the rocks of Cabo Fisterra.  The sunset was not the most spectacular I've ever seen and the wind was cold but that moment, as the setting sun marked the end of our Camino, will always be precious to me.

Gv's Mom walked part of the Camino last month.  She left a little of Gv in Fisterra.  This would have made her very happy and this makes me happy too.


Photos taken by Bruce H.
(Music is "Walk on the Ocean" by Toad the Wet Sprocket)

Saturday, October 07, 2017

A Reversal

In the past rainy days have often given me the blues.  It's less the rain than the gloomy, cloudy lack of sunshine.  The past few days have been drizzly and rainy and I have found myself feeling comforted.  Hunkering down under a blanket, listening to the falling rain, has calmed my mind.  A total reversal of what normally happens.

"Hibiscus with raindrops"
by Bruce H.
I hope this reversal continues on into the winter when I often suffer the winter blues.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Tonight Is The Harvest Moon

Enjoy.



"Harvest Moon"
Neil Young

Sadly it's raining here in Omaha so I will not be able to enjoy it.  I hope you all have better luck than I.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Book: Yuval Noah Harari's "Homo Deus"

My eleventh book of the year was Yuval Noah Harari's "Homo Deus".  The book attempts to project how Homo Sapiens will transform in the coming decades and centuries.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book.  Most of the book talks about humanism and how our beliefs have transitioned from animism to deism to humanism.  The author then suggests that the rise of evermore powerful algorithms will supplant the human in most decision making thus making humanism moot.

The author seems to believe that we have solved our traditional problems of hunger, disease, and violence.  He thinks the next goals will me immortality, happiness, and divinity.  I'm not sure we have solved the old problems yet (we have improved in all of them) and I'm not sure about the new goals.  He puts a lot in the hands on algorithms to fix everything.  It's like when steam was the new tech everything was steam powered including the human body.  The highest tech is always used to explain our greatest mysteries.  Most of the time these analogies are way off the mark.

I can't say the book was not well written.  It was and it flows well.  I just can't say I agree with all the conclusions.  But difference of opinion is what makes the world go round.

I gave the book four stars out of five on Goodreads since it did make me think of other possibilities.

Friday, September 29, 2017

A Little Spark Of Positivity

I went for a short walk yesterday (13.28 miles - 21.37 km) and I saw something unexpected that brought a smile to my face.

On a corner, in a residential neighborhood of the Florence area of north Omaha, a woman stood on a corner holding up a sign.  The sign said "have a great day".

The street she stood on wasn't very busy and I doubt few saw the woman and her sign but I'm sure everyone who drove or walked by smiled.

For a few minutes my day was a little more positive.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Reaching The Summit ... Or Not

Today, if I'd stuck to my original Appalachian Trail (AT) plan, I would have been summiting Mount Katahdin right about now.  But who am I kidding?  If I'd had the heart to keep pushing on I most likely would have hiked shorter stages and taken more zero days (i.e. rest days in towns).  Around now I would be somewhere in New England trying to decide how much farther I would go before I walked off the trail and I would be thinking about completing the AT in 2018.

Not staying on the AT has left me a little lost right now.  I never really expected to be home most of the year doing the things I would have done if I'd never heard of the AT.  What an odd,unexpected outcome.

P.S. The AT, the seven days I was on it anyway, resulted in one physical loss.  Two weeks ago I lost the big toenail on my left foot.  I don't think I've ever done any hike of any substance without losing that nail.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Autumn???

I was going to write a post wishing everyone a happy first day of Autumn but it's


96℉
36℃

outside and that's just wrong.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book: N. K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season"

After seeing the Hugo awards winners this year, I decided to check out last year's best novel.  N.K. Jemisin's "The Fifth Season" is the first book of a series. Not only did it win the 2016 Hugo award for best novel but the second book of the series won the 2017 Hugo award.

The book is a fantasy book set in a world where seismic activities periodically wreaks havoc on the world.  The turmoil caused by supervolcano eruptions and earthquakes is referred to as fifth seasons.

The book follows three characters who have the power to control the seismic activity.  They remind me of earth benders from "Avatar: The Last Airbender".  In this world they are second class citizens feared by the 'normal' population and controlled by the leadership.

In the end the three storylines come together and we find out that the three characters were one and the same and each storyline is a different time of their lives.

The book was interesting.  I'm not sure about the world being built by this series but, by mid book, I was sucked in and looked forward to read more.  There are enough loose ends at the end to pull me along to the second book of the series.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads and I will be reading the rest of the series in the near future.