Linus Torvalds's picture

Two books this week: "Survival of the Sickest" by Sharon Moalem, and "The Hero of Ages", the final part of Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy.

The first one is a fairly light read on disease and genetics, and was really quite enjoyable. It's the kind of book I tend to read when I decide I want to read something intelligent, and it's a lot more modern about genetics in that it discusses genes as being much more dynamic than you'd find in more traditional ("older") books on the subject.

It's a bit unorthodox in other areas too. I like the aquatic ape hypothesis that the book brings up as much as anybody, but I guess that's not very mainstream. But whether mainstream or not, the book is a very enjoyable read and definitely merits reading.


As to Hero of Ages, I'm happy to finish the trilogy. It was a worthy finish, and I like Sanderson (both in Mistborn and in Elantris).

My only real complaint is that I just hate being forced to buy hard-cover books - they take up too much space in our already cramped bookshelves, but more importantly they're also much harder to read. I like reading lying on my back, and since I don't do any sports my muscles have atrophied to the point where holding up a hard-cover book for hours counts as more exercise than I really consider enjoyable.

(I keed, I keed. I can bench-press a hardcover book all day long. But it's true that they're less convenient)

So if you haven't already been suckered into the Mistborn trilogy, I'd suggest holding off until you can find it as mass-market paperbacks. I didn't have that choice - as usual, I had made the mistake of starting the series too early, and I'm not big on the whole "delayed gratification" thing. Which is why publishers do that whole hard-cover thing, of course.

But maybe you like hardcover books. Some people seem to think that it's a status sign. I'd personally much prefer that publishers just came out with a (more expensive, by all means) paperback initial printing, but I guess I'm odd. I pay for the words, not for the bulk.