Currently Reading

As usual, I’m juggling several books at the moment. It sounds crazy, but fellow book bloggers will understand the conflicting urges of the moment that make you reach for one book in the morning and the other in the evening. Sometimes I’m just picky. 😀

At the moment I’m just fascinated with a behemoth of a book – Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. It has a whopping 1139 pages, so I’m not sure when I’ll finish it. I’m a fast reader, but I’ve got other school-related projects to finish, so I’ll probably continue reading it in February as well. But it’s such a gem! I can’t keep it out of my hands. 😀  It’s also a book for my 1001-books reading challenge.

816Cryptonomicon zooms all over the world, careening conspiratorially back and forth between two time periods–World War II and the present. Our 1940s heroes are the brilliant mathematician Lawrence Waterhouse, crypt analyst extraordinaire, and gung-ho, morphine-addicted marine Bobby Shaftoe. They’re part of Detachment 2702, an Allied group trying to break Axis communication codes while simultaneously preventing the enemy from figuring out that their codes have been broken. Their job boils down to layer upon layer of deception. Dr. Alan Turing is also a member of 2702, and he explains the unit’s strange workings to Waterhouse. “When we want to sink a convoy, we send out an observation plane first… Of course, to observe is not its real duty–we already know exactly where the convoy is. Its real duty is to be observed… Then, when we come round and sink them, the Germans will not find it suspicious.”

All of this secrecy resonates in the present-day story line, in which the grandchildren of the WWII heroes–inimitable programming geek Randy Waterhouse and the lovely and powerful Amy Shaftoe–team up to help create an offshore data haven in Southeast Asia and maybe uncover some gold once destined for Nazi coffers. To top off the paranoic tone of the book, the mysterious Enoch Root, key member of Detachment 2702 and the Societas Eruditorum, pops up with an unbreakable encryption scheme left over from WWII to befuddle the 1990s protagonists with conspiratorial ties.

 599649The other book I’ve just started reading a few days ago is Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I own a second-hand copy of the book, so it was high time to open it. I just hope it won’t be one of those modern books that I will hate by the end. There’s a lot of hype around the book that I disregard completely. I only know it is a book for my 1001-books reading challenge, so I’ll trust in the list. It has proven me wrong before but still…

And the third book I’ve read on and off for a time is Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. A dystopia reading challenge book that will fully grab my imagination in the next days, I bet and then I’ll wrap it up. I just wasn’t feeling up to it these days. I guess my taste changed towards something more uplifting and sarcastic.

46756Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.

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2 responses to “Currently Reading

  1. I’ve been meaning to read The Bell Jar for literally years now and for some reason have never gotten around to it. Bumping this one back up to the top of the list. I actually JUST published a reading list on my blog, asking for suggestions so this is great timing.

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