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So there was first WorldCon in Finland. In Helsinki, of course.
Entrance to the Pasila Conference Center
(Entrance to the Pasila Conference Center)

Five days of Finnish WorldCon )

Programs I did not manage to go to in time )
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Samuel Hynes - The Soldiers' Tale

This is a book about war narratives - not war as such. Even if Hynes wrote one himself.

Did he study too few narratives? )
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Ben Shephard - The Long Road Home

After World War Two ended, there were still lots of people who were not where they wanted to be, where they were supposed to be or were in a situation where they would still be killed in short order if they did not move.

Post-WW2 refugee movements were bit bigger than the current ones )
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Ben Shephard - A War of Nerves

Warfare causes more than just physical wounds – but the mental side of the toll of war was really not studied for centuries (mainly because common soldiers were expendable anyway). So the study really started only around the World War One. Ben Shephard traces some of those developments, mostly based of Western European and US records.
From shell shock to PTSD )
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Torey Hayden - Somebody Else's Kids

(This is repost from LJ)

In this book Torey Hayden has officially lost her class to inclusion laws that force kids of special needs to go the classes with other children (that's sometime in the 1970's somewhere in the East Coast of USA, I presume, but could as well be Finland of the 1990s). First she does only some extra teaching but eventually Hayden ends up with a small, new class to call of her own. And in the process she ends up being accused of idealism more than once.
Kids becoming Hayden's problem )
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Pat Cadigan - Mindplayers

(This is repost from LJ, And this is just one of the first written by Queen of Cyberpunk)

Alexandra "Deadpan Allie" Haas, this world's equivalent to a drug junkie, is caught red-brained using an unlicensed psychosis and the Brain Police gives her a choice - train yourself to become a shrink or go to jail. So she goes to J. Walter Tech to become a professional.
Cyberspace the psychiatrists' way )
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Nick Pollotta & Phil Foglio: Illegal Aliens (1989)

(This is repost from LJ)

Spherical alien ship lands on the Central Park of the NYC and teleports a group of test subjects inside to test their suitability to enter the Galactic League. Or that's what they say. The humans just happen to be a gang of street thugs. And the hilarity ensues.
Not the kind of First Contact the SETI people would probably wish for )
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Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Shadow of the Wind

(This is a repost from LJ. The following books of Ruiz Zafon have not been as good as this one).

Everything begins in Barcelona in 1945 when the scars of the Spanish Civil War are still evident. Old bookstore owner takes his 10-year-old son Daniel to the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books. Daniel selects a novel The Shadow of the Wind by an unknown author Julian Carax. And thus begins the tale of tragedy, deception and passions.

Mystery of the unsuccessful author )

The Voice

May. 16th, 2017 12:04 am
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Thomas Quasthoff - Die Stimme - Autobiographies (The Voice - Autobiography)

(This is is repost from LJ. It is based of the Finnish translation)

Thomas Quasthoff is a German tenor, lied singer and thalidomide victim. There is an official site. Even if he is profiled as a classic music singer, his last record was a jazz album Watch What Happens. Unfortunately, I have never heard him sing myself.
Small man with a great voice )
"You can get pity for free but you must work for the envy"
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Christopher Moore- The Lost Lizard of Melancholy Cove

Some people have been saying for years that since I read Carl Hiaasen, I should try Christopher Moore. So when I noticed this one when putting things back to library shelves, I decided to give him a try.

I kind of wish this is not his best )
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Stephen Tanner – Afghanistan – A military history from Alexander the Great to the Fall of Taliban

War with not much peace in Afghanistan )

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Niall Ferguson - Virtual History

Niall Ferguson is an American historian.

These are not stories placed in worlds of alternate history but scholarly essays about possibilities.

Counterfactuals of more serious kind )

The Plague

May. 4th, 2015 10:14 pm
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Albert Camus- The Plague

As it happens, I respect Albert Camus more than his countryman Sartre. So I have tried to read more of his novels. They are not light reading at all - and subject matter of The Plague is actually even more serious than the disease the story seems to describe.

Insidious analogy of malady )


May. 4th, 2015 10:12 pm
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Ferdinand von Schirach - Crime

Ferdinand von schirach is a German criminal lawyer. In this book he writes about some of the cases he has been dealing with.

Guilt may be tricky business )

Bad Monkey

May. 4th, 2015 10:06 pm
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Carl Hiaasen - Bad Monkey

Andrew Yancy is a down-on-his luck policeman who is demoted to a restaurant inspector for sodomising the husband of his mistress with a vacuum cleaner. His predecessor died of food poisoning. He is horny, prone to get stoned and wants his old job back.

Yes, he is the good guy of this story.

Jaunt to the Bahamas and back )


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