The noughties

brought

to book

 

Michael Gross:
The noughties brought to book
Book reviews 2000-2009.
Prose and Passion Jan 2010;
pp. 153, ISBN: 978-1-4452-7240-5,
£ 19.99

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Preface:

Same decade, different books

Among all the reflections of the various cultural aspects of the noughties, I found a bestsellers list for the entire decade in the German news magazine Der Spiegel. As was to be expected, the fiction list is dominated by wizards, vampires and other fantasy fabrications, with only two or three “thoughtful” books making the top 20. Even the non-fiction list bears very little resemblance with the real world.

A very different list of books is assembled and reviewed in this collection. Most are about science – ranging from popular to academic – but there are also a few literary titles from ca. 2007 onwards, when I decided to review (almost) every book I finish on my blog.

Most of the science titles I reviewed in Chemistry & Industry, either in the “long essay review” or in a “short essay review” format. In both cases I have had the opportunity to contribute my own thoughts on the subject matter, which is the reason why I think that at least some of these reviews may be worth collecting and rereading even when the books under review may no longer be in the shops.

I believe that the main reason why I chose to read and review these books in the last 10 years, rather than those that most readers seem to prefer, is that all of these books, including the novels, tell us something worth knowing about the world we live in. I should clarify that I have no problems with magical elements popping up in fiction and I am in fact a great fan of Latin American realismo mágico. However, I believe that these elements are only of interest if the work is constrained in some way by the real world.

So, just in case that after a decade of irrationalism there is anybody else left who has an interest (scientific or literary) in the world, I’m stitching up these musings into a book, to make sure they remain accessible to the presumably very small number of readers who may be interested in them. After more than a dozen books I have published commercially, this is my first experiment with self-publishing, so any comments and critiques are most welcome.

 

 

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last update:

01.07.2010