Friday, November 13, 2015

Q: A Novel by Evan Mandery (Read 10/6/15 to 10/18/15)

This is my October book for BOTM.  This is the story of time travel.  The protagonist is met by his future self and is told not to marry the love of his life.  It takes some convincing, but after much sou searching he listens to his future self.  But of course the future is never what we expect it to be.  So the man is constantly visited by different versions of his future self giving him advice on what he should do to be happy.
I didn't really like this book.  It was an ok read, by that I mean it was readable, I didn't dread my weeks reading so it wasn't all bad.  I feel like the writer, i.e. the man, was pretentious and Q was perfectly bohemian.  I just didn't connect to the characters.  I felt the man was jerked around by his future selves quite a bit, they kept changing what would make him happy.
There were these were these awful parts were Mandery inserted whole chapters of the Man's writing and it was just tedious, it really annoyed me.  I wanted it to stick to the story.  It felt lazy and as storyline filler to me.
So in the end the old man, goes back to tell his original self not to leave Q.  There he meets old Q and they go off into the sunset.  The ending really pissed me off.  It was a pointless story, they end up together in the end and wasted all their youth and missed so much time with each other.  In my mind after the book ends, like within a week or so one or both is hit by a bus, because that seems fair for wasting the life they could have had even with the tragedy.  The whole reason the man didn't marry Q is their son has a horrible genetic disease and it destroys both the man and Q.  I'm sorry, but the solution is called birth control, and if Q doesn't want to agree to that a vasectomy could easily be obtained and the whole problem avoided, then they could adopt!   I was just a annoyed at the stupidity of the main character.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Harness the Sun: America's Quest for a Solar-Powered Future by Philip Warburb (read 9/30/15 to 10/28/15)

This is an early review book I received through Early Reviewers. The description says that it is a book about America's solar revolution. The early reviewer blurb said"Solar power was once the domain of futurists and environmentally minded suburbanites. Today it is part of mainstream America—and the solar industry is absolutely booming, as it adds workers almost twenty times faster than the overall US economy. Beginning in his Boston-area home, where a rooftop solar array meets most of his family’s power needs, Philip Warburg travels the country and introduces readers to a surprising array of pioneers who are spearheading America’s solar revolution, from conservative business leaders and politicians to students and professors committed to greening their campuses. Pollution-ravaged urban industrial areas and Native American groups alike are finding that solar offers the key to revitalizing their communities—all while weaning the country off of fossil fuels. In Harness the Sun, Warburg argues that solar offers a realistic solution to the urgent problem of transforming our energy sector in a way that meets demand and is technically and economically viable."  It sounded so fascinating and when I realized I won it, I was really exciting.  The same week it came we had a scheduled appointment with a representative from SolarCity to look into putting solar panels on our own home, it seemed very timely and relevant to my own life at the time.  Then I began to read the book and I was disappointed.
The first three chapters were very tedious for me to get through, and took me almost two weeks to read. There were so many facts about business using solar, which was great to know.   But the facts were not really about the company's journey to solar as much as it was about the cost benefit and the details of the business themselves.  It felt like a sales pitch to me, look we are using solar because it is cheaper, and it is great PR that we are going green, buy from us.  I was dreading the thought of reading 7 more chapters of this.
Then in Chapter 4, it finally got interesting. Warburg began talking about the politics and controversies behind building solar fields on brown fields. Brownfield is a term used in urban planning to describe land previously used for industrial purposes or some commercial uses. Such land may have been contaminated with hazardous waste or pollution or is feared to be so. Once cleaned up, such an area can become host to a business development such as a retail park. It made a lot of sense to me to re-use this land in a positive way.  Finally here was some meat and some interesting controversies and benefits of solar energy.  I began to enjoy the reading.  But then it petered out again, and I couldn't finish i.   I wanted to, but I just couldn't do it.  It was too dry and it just couldn't keep my attention.   I found myself resenting it for the time it was taking away from books I could be enjoying.  I left my bookmark it, but I just wasn't willing to force myself to slog through it anymore.