2017 Reflections: Books – Fiction

To kick off my literary reflections for 2017, here are my favourite fiction books from this year. (Note that not all of these were published this year, that’s just when I read them.)

The following are abridged reviews; where there’s a longer version on the blog, I’ve linked to it. Blurbs are either from the back of the book, or from Amazon.

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Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter

While I am, in general, an obscenely fast reader, some books deserve to have an entire week dedicated to them. Metamagical Themas is one such book.

The book is a great philosophical work that spans many different subject areas, from language to artificial intelligence to Rubik’s cubes. It is an accumulation of Hofstadter’s columns written for Scientific American, along with a few lectures he gave on other occasions.

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Relativity by Antonia Hayes

Is it just me, or are books about scientifically gifted people who are emotionally somewhat inept and incapable of understanding societal norms a bit of a fad at the moment?

If so, then it’s a fad I wholeheartedly support. I’ve read several books in recent years where I’ve related strongly to the protagonist for this reason: The Humans by Matt Haig, The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion. x+y, a film I watched which had a similar theme.

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The Right Kind of Fantasy: An Evening with Roger Penrose

Roger Penrose is my favourite living physicist. He has had a prolific career to date, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

I first encountered Penrose’s work after reading In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat by John Gribbin. The book sparked my interest in quantum physics, and after a while I stumbled upon The Emperor’s New Mind and then Shadows of the Mind by Penrose.

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