Book 396: The Oxford Murders – Guillermo Martínez

Martínez, Guillermo - The Oxford MurdersAfter reading Tropic of Capricorn I needed a break from reading anything remotely difficult and this had been on my shelf for quite a while (June 2013) and I figured it was pretty short and murder mysteries are usually a quick read and thankfully it was both quick and interesting.

What really stood out to me was how excellently written and easily flowing the text was. Similar to Blindness and some of Paulo Coehlo’s works (Witch of Portobello Road and The Alchemist) I wonder if it is the translator, this is a different one, or if it is just the beauty of the Spanish/Portuguese language and the translation that results. I wish I would’ve read Martínez before going to Spain because I would’ve looked for one (or more) of his books in Spanish!

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Book 124: The Man Who Knew Too Much – David Leavitt

Overall this book was ‘meh’. I couldn’t get into it and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. With the title and the blurb I assumed the book was about Alan Turing and his life and not the history of inventions which led to modern computers. I was clearly wrong.

The book was interesting, but I just didn’t enjoy it. There was too much math and science (sometimes explained nicely so that a non-mathematician could understand it) and not enough biography. Again, this was apparently my misunderstanding. The one thing I took away from the novel about Turing was that everything that is known about him has to come with a grain of salt. He sounded like someone I would love to talk to and find out more about. What I found most fascinating was that

“Turing had displayed a remarkable degree of self-confidence and comfort in his sexual identity. That he saw his sexuality as part of his identity in the first place put him at odds with the prevalent thinking of his age, and reflected, no doubt, the years that he had spent in the privileged corridors of King’s College.” (195)

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