Townhouse Books

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Collapse/Greenlanders and Third Class Superhero

Kismet: Collapse and Greenlanders

I started reading Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond last night and was thrilled to find out that a large portion of the story is dedicated to the collapse of the Eastern and Western Settlements in Greenland about 500 years ago -- the fictionalized version of which I recently read in Greenlanders by Jane Smiley. The two books even cover some of the same characters, such as Thorstein Olafsson and Sigrid Bjornsdotter, who it turns out were real people. While reading the Smiley book I often wondered what historically about the settlement and decline was true. Minor efforts reading on the web didn't help much (oh, Wikipedia) so Collapse has come into my life at just the right time. More to come on that.

Failed: Third Class Superhero: by Charles Yu

I enjoyed the first chapter of Third Class Superhero, about a man whose power, "if you can call it that," is to take moisture from the air and turn it into a stream of water. The second chapter had all new characters, but I continued. The third chapter again took an entirely different turn, and I finally realized it was a book of short stories. Unfortunately, I am not in a short story reading phase and didn't like "chapters" two and three very much anyway, so I put it down.

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