Books I've read
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Dan Brown
Patrick O'Brian
Anthony Beevor
John le Carré - David Cornwell
Gavin Lyall
Frederick Forsyth
Michael Ridpath
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter
Andy McNab
Chris Ryan
Colin Dexter
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Torstein Bunde Veblen
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Books I've read

Giving my impressions of books I've read (or tried to read).

For sale.

Visit my Norwegian pages for impressions of books in Norwegian or Swedish.

17.10.03 Bryan Sykes: The Seven Daughters of Eve. An interesting tale of how modern genetics and DNA-analysis can reveal our ancestry, back to the Stone Age. Sykes, who is a scientist, tells in layman's language how he - by luck and by accident - stumbled across problems and found answers. Trying to find supporting evidence for Thor Heyerdahl's teory that the Polynesians came from South America, he found himself to have proved they came from Asia. The major part of the book is his story of how he came to discover that most Europeans descend from only seven different women. The popular science part is both well-written and convincing (to an absoute layman), while his attempt to personify these seven women by writing the story of their lives is less interesting. And some of the details of how he crushed his opponents, and who they were, could probably best have been left out of the book.

04.09.03 Patrick O'Brian: Post Captain. The second book of the Aubrey-Maturin series, it starts with Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin living the life of country gentlemen. A neighbour widow and her three daughters start making visits, making an impression on the two friends. Suddenly, Jack Aubrey finds himself broke, and has to flee his creditors. He finally finds himself in command of a vessel, able to start looking for prizes in order to shore up his economy.

23.08.03 Lynne Heitman: Hard Landing. An airport thriller, the story starts as Alex Shanahan arrives to take over command of the Boston operation of Majestic Airlines at boston's Logan Airport. Her predecessor killed herself, and Alex soon starts to suspect this was due to problems on the job - the problems are still queing up, and Alex feels threatened. A bit predictable, the plot seems like so many other plots and one wonders how feeble a heroine can allow herself to be.Not a bad book, but not one I'd be on the look-out for either.

20.08.03 Abigail J. Sellen & Richard H. R. Harper: the myth of the paperless office. In this slim volume Sellen and Harper analyses what functions paper have in modern offices, and how digital media functions differently from paper - making paper a useful tool if it's properties are understood properly. They rely heavily on the concept of "affordance", meaning that the physical properties of an object gives it functional qualities that offers different opportunities in different situations.

An important book giving me - at least - new insights into how paper can collaborate with other media to make the office function better.

12.08.03 Tom Clancy: Red Rabbit . Another Jack Ryan novel, but this time from Jack's younger days. As a young analyst, Jack is sent to the UK to liaise, when he gets involved in getting a Soviet defector and his family safely to the west. Good plot, but Clancy is not at his best building believable characters and intelligent dialogue. This book is also riddled with Clancy's quasi-philosophical thoughts on politics and morals, making George Bush seem like a left-winger. A must for the Jack Ryan fans, of course.

24.07.03 Patrick O'Brian: Master & Commander. This is the first book in O'Brian's famous Aubrey-Maturin series of sea novels, set in the Napoleonic age. Jack Aubrey is a career naval officer, while Stephen Maturin by accident becomes his ship's surgeon. The two become friends and explore a number of adventures together. In this first book Aubrey is taking up his first command, trying to make an impression that will take him to still larger and better vessels. There are hindrances in his way, though. Exciting plot, intriguing characters and an overwhelming mass of nautical lore and vocabulary. Recommended reading!

14.07.03 J. K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The fifth and, reportedly, penultimate book about Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwart - and their struggle against the dark Lord Voldemort. Not as gripping as previous books, and with a Harry given to tantrums and moods - he is obviously passing through puberty. Girls have suddenly become an interesting theme for Harry, but not with much success yet. Well worth the time, but I hope the remaining books pick up the pace a bit. A sad moment when one of the main characters dies, but I miss the intensity of earlier books.

08.07.03 Nick Hornby: How to be Good. Katie finds herself having an affair and telling David she wants a divorce, when suddenly David - an angry man - undergoes a personality change. From being angry and cynical, he wants to be Good! A number of hilarious situations arise, where Katie and the rest of the family have to cope with more goodness than they can bear. A bit uneven, possibly a bit too long, but a good read, a humorous look at middle-class values and life.

02.07.03 Peter Robinson: A Necessary End. The local Inspector Banks gets saddled with the tougher Superintendent Burgess from London when a peaceful demonstration in Eastvale ends with a dead policeman, stabbed to death. Riddled with prejudices, Burgess immediately points at a small community of "drop-outs", suspecting communist involvement in the killing. But is this the motivation for the killing? Well-written, nice characters and a believable plot, this book can be recommended for some quiet hours of reading.

01.07.03 Stephen Slater: The complete Book of heraldry. A beautifully illustrated large-size book, it tells the history of heraldry. All major aspects of heraldry is explored, and the tell-tale signs and details are described and explained. A book for anyone interested in heraldry, and a colourful book to make anyone interested.

30.06.03 Peter Haining: The Classic Era of Crime Fiction. A coffe table book, this is a serious history of crime fiction from the first half of the 19th century well into the second half of the 20th. It is well written and well illustrated, and will be a perfect companion for any serious lover of classic crime.

27.06.03 Chris Ryan: Greed. Ex-SAS Matt Browning, desperately broke, is hired by the MI5 to form a team to part al-Queda from some of their money. The hi-jacking goes according to plan, but then things start to go seriously wrong... Fast action, but the characters are a bit cardboard. I read it all in one setting, though, so it can't be bad.

24.06.03 Michael Ridpath: Fatal Error. This time Ridpath takes us to the murky depths of the dot.com industry. Founder Guy Jordan needs money to finance quick expansion of his leading football site, but falls out with his father. And then, in April 2000, the market for dot.com shares suddenly vanishes. Being an ex-banker who joined a local dot.com in the spring of 2000, I feel at home in this book.

01.06.03 Brad Meltzer: The First Councel. Advertises itself as a rival to John Grisham - it might be the same sport, but in my opinion not in the same league. Writing in the present tense doesn't necessarily give the reader an impression of tense action, and the plot is a bit thin on the ground. Not bad, but definitely not John Grisham, either.

12.04.03 Chris Ryan: Land of Fire. 20 years after the Falklands War, the Argentinians are stirring and a small SAS team is sent into the Tierra del Fuego to reconnoitre. From there, much goes wrong...Fast action, good plot, believable characters.

This page was last updated on 05.02.2005.


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