Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Nevermore: Typos, Money, The Peripheral, and All the Light

 Summary by Jeanne

The first book up this week was Just My Typo which, true to its title, is a collection of misprints.  The examples are both old and recent gathered from a variety of sources. The book is divided into chapters based on the type of error, from legal filings to printed books to students’ mistakes.  There’s even a section devoted to the modern scourge, auto-correct.  Some are amusing letter transpositions, such as “This crud is from the finest milk” from a cheese menu; others are sins by omission (“French widow in every room,” claims a hotel’s ad) while others are misplaced words—or omitted words.  A personal favorite involves a newspaper report about Prince Charles’ denial of an extramarital affair made, the paper explained, after “claims that the Prince has been secretly Mrs. Parker-Bowles for more than a decade…”  Not all the errors are amusing.  One lottery ticket holder spent over five years in litigation over what the holder says is a $500,000 winning ticket and what the state of Florida says is a misprint. Drummond Moir compiled this amusing little collection.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr got rave reviews from our readers.  The setting is World War II where the lives of a blind French girl and a young German man intersect. The book goes back in time to explore the background and childhoods of the two main characters.  The plot description can’t do the book justice.  Our reviewer praised the book’s structure and well developed characters.  Doerr avoids the usual stereotypes to create a very satisfying novel.  It’s a quick read with short chapters but it all works beautifully.  The book is highly recommended.

Another book with short chapters is William Gibson’s The Peripheral but our reader was finding it difficult to get into. This is SF author Gibson’s return to futuristic fiction. The story takes place at a time after ecological and economic collapses have eliminated eighty per cent of the human population, leaving the remnants to eke out a living.  A young woman named Flynne is persuaded to take over a job for her brother beta-testing a new game—or so she thinks. It turns out to be something different and possibly deadly.

Last up was Money:  An Unauthorized Biography by Felix Martin which our reader hadn’t actually started.  The book tries to trace the history of money from its ancient beginnings to the present.  He examines ancient Greece and Mesopotamia for the origins of money, and takes a look at monetary theory from John Locke to the Federal Reserve. It will come as no surprise that the author is an economist.  The book was originally published in Great Britain—in fact, the title entry card still uses the British spelling “Unauthorised.”

The Nevermore Book Club meets every Tuesday at 11:00 am to discuss whatever books the members are reading at the moment.  Join us for coffee and for doughnuts from Blackbird Bakery!

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