Category Archives: heart

Walter Mosley — Inside a Silver Box

I’ve read Walter Mosley novels before, usually mysteries. Knowing he writes science fiction too, I thought Inside a Silver Box was one of his SF works. But it is much, much more. I’ve posted about mixed genres; this is the ultimate mix. It probably can’t be classified. Try fantasy, SF, mystery, thriller, quest, literary, psychological, philosophical…. It also fits all of my three H’s—Head, Heart, and Humor.

Two people, black thug and rich white girl, are perpetrator and victim brought together when he saves her life. They become friends and together they set out to save the world from the Silver Box and its evil alter ego. If it sounds like a wild tale, it is. But Mosley is an excellent writer who makes you think.

The book is unique, strange, and for me captivating.

Daniel James Brown — The Boys in the Boat

Olympic rowing 1936

This nonfiction story of the Olympics-winning nine-man rowing crew is fascinating. When I lived in Boston, I always enjoyed watching the crews rowing their shells in the Charles River. What I didn’t realize was how much mental and physical work was required to make that beautiful synchronized boat skim the water.

This is a story of Joe Rantz, one of the crew of the Husky Clipper in which nine men from Washington State took the gold medal for the United States in the German hosted Olympics of 1936. But it is also the story of the whole crew, their coaches, the boat builder, a local newspaper reporter, plus the story of life in the Northwest U.S. during the great depression, the dust bowl, and the beginnings of the Nazi Regime in Germany.

I’m not usually a fan of nonfiction. I find most of it dry and boring. I’m not a sports fan, either. But a friend recommended the book and loaned it to me. I took me a couple of chapters to get caught up in the story, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. I learned a lot. It is packed with history, and it captures the effort and cooperation required of the crew in order to make the boat “swing.”

Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby, and Kevin Moffett — The Silent History

I stayed up ‘til 4AM a couple of nights ago reading a SF book – The Silent History by Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby, and Kevin Moffett. This is soft or social SF. I found the book fascinating for several reasons. One is the fact that it is a collaboration between three authors. Something that caught my attention was that the story was originally written as an iPhone app. Another reason is that they wrote in first person, but each chapter is from a different character’s point of view. You don’t see many books written multiple first person.

An interesting point is that these characters may show up in only one or two chapters or they may continue to appear throughout the book. This made the story a bit difficult to follow when I started reading. I kept thinking, “Did I see this person before?” But that didn’t last when I got into the story.

The plot: Children are born without language capability. It turns out to be a virus and more and more children are born with this condition.

I could get into the story and the characters’ reactions. I could tell you how it relates to the way people today respond to anyone who is “different.” I could tell you how the story progresses. Instead, I’ll let you read this very absorbing story.