Recent reading

January 19, 2004

Comments are short today, because I had a disk crash that I’m still waiting to be resolved.

There’s quite an uproar about Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code. I read it and found it a nice quick read. But people here, here, and here are taking the book way too seriously. Undermining people’s faith in God? It’s a work of fiction. If you like The Da Vinci Code, you might want to check out Elaine Pagels The Gnostic Gospels, which is nonfiction, and, IMHO, much more interesting.

Here is a report that an astrologist predicted that the Eagles would win yesterday. I’m amazed at the number of proponent astrology has. Sagan’s book The Demon Haunted World should be required reading for all high-school students.

Finished William Gibson’s beautiful Pattern Recognition. Maybe a little bit disappointed, but only because Gibson has set the bar so incredibly high for himself. I wonder whether this will be the first book of another trilogy. When I read Virtual Light I didn’t pick up on the fact that it was the opener of a trilogy. Heck, I didn’t even realize that Idoru was part of the same world!

Am mid-way through Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy. I picked them up under the excuse of vetting them as a gift to my 10-year-old nephew (but I was really looking for some good trashy SF), since Pullman is described as a young-adult’s author. Don’t really think it’s appropriate for a 10 yo, and don’t even know whether I recommend it.

Finally, a real discovery. I’m reading the book Computational Molecular Biology: An Algorithmic Approach by Pavel Pevzner. Really nice treatment of the material. Made me appreciate just how complex some of the CMB problems are. Perhaps it’s the arrogance of a quantum chemist, but I didn’t really that CMB-ers had to deal with NP-hard problems!

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