Three more books that I finished reading recently ... 1. "Revolution in the Valley" by Andy Hertzfeld <http://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Valley-Andy-Hertzfeld/dp/0596007191/> This is an account of the development of the original Macintosh, written by one of the core members of the team, Andy Hertzfeld. It consists of many short pieces chronicling some aspect of the Mac, its developers, or Apple in general at the time. The text of the stories can also be found at the companion site: <http://www.folklore.org/> The book goes beyond the web site by including interesting photos and scans from notebooks. While I admit the stories will mostly appeal to geeks and Apple fans, there are some interesting insights into the design process, teamwork, computer usability and the leading figures in the computer industry. 2. "The Well of Lost Plots" by Jasper Fforde <http://www.amazon.com/Well-Lost-Plots/dp/0143034359/> This is the third book in the "Thursday Next" Series, following on from "The Eyre Affair" and "Lost in a Good Book". Our heroine, Thursday Next, is trying to take some time out from her battles with Goliath Corporation and ChronoGuard. She enters BookWorld (the world that exists within books) and becomes a trainee Jurisfiction agent, under the guidance of Miss Havisham (from "Great Expectations". Jurisfiction is the agency responsible for policing BookWorld. Since she is pregnant to her recently-eradicated husband, she joins the Character Exchange Programme in the hope to get some peace and quiet. Things don't turn out as planned and she gets involved in murder and intrigue surrounding the forced introduction of the flawed UltraWord(TM) Book Operating System. Having her memories gradually erased by Aornis Hades doesn't help. Another enjoyable and inventive piece of storytelling from Fforde. This time he describes the inner workings of the Well of Lost Plots, where all the books ever written are kept, along with books still under construction. People communicate with each other in BookWorld using Footnoterphones. And the book-writing process itself is actually the result of ImaginoTransference. The author's web site has special features and summaries of ideas in the books: <http://www.jasperfforde.com/> 3. "2007: A True Story, Waiting to Happen" by Robyn Williams <http://www.bookworm.com.au/shop/scditem.asp?ProdID=17047> I started reading this book a couple of years ago, but gave up for some reason. Since it is now 2007, I was reminded of the book and having nothing else to read, decided to give it another go. The author is Robyn Williams, head of ABC Radio's Science Unit. It's about an apparently co-ordinated worldwide rebellion of animals against the environmental changes caused by humans. Eventually the President of the US and other world leaders seek answers to the problem. An Australian scientist and a "reformed" political advisor team up to devise a plan to solve the crisis. In the meantime, some powerful and shadowy forces are trying to take advantage of the situation to propose a more radical plan, to eradicate all non-human life and start again using genetically-engineered material. The plot is embellished with the predictable relationship that develops between the left-leaning scientist and the right-leaning advisor. Knowing a bit about the Gaia hypothesis, where "all organisms on a planet regulate the biosphere to the benefit of the whole" <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_philosophy> might help when reading the book. How the animals are working together is not fully explained, and this is a deliberate move by the author. However it appears some protagonists are aware of what's going on. I wouldn't say it's a great read, and the writing style can get a little too "wordy" (dare I say a teeny bit elitist?). There are lots of mentions of music playing in the background, probably since the author works for ABC Radio. And I'm not sure I can buy the co-ordinated animal rebellion. But given the acceptance of global warming and its effect on the environment, it's a timely story.