I do most of my reading when travelling (have to find some way to fill in the email gap), and the last three books I’ve read have been notably great. So, in no particular order…
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, by the slightly insane Oliver Sacks. I generally enjoy Sacks’ books but they always feel a bit light on science. This book is different – full of fascinating anecdotes backed up by actual research. Most astonishing is the way that music can have a radical affect on people suffering from very debilitating conditions, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Great read.
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. The cover compares Scalzi to Robert Heinlein. This strikes me as entirely unfair; Heinlein’s books are entirely populated by Heinlein talking to himself (if the character is male) and brainy bimbos that are hoplessly in love with him. Scalzi manages a much grittier and highly engaging version of Starship Troopers (which is admittedly a classic, even if Heinlein did write it).
Finally, Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis. A high speed romp through the perverts of the modern age by the world’s unluckiest private investigator in search of the lost, secret, alternative constitution of the United States of America, under the control of a monkey-crap injecting Most Powerful Man In The World. Really. Apparently it was supposed to shock me (said the back cover) but I was mostly laughing.