The Light Fantastic (Discworld #2, Rincewind #2)

0552128481-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Returning to Discworld in The Light Fantastic, Terry Pratchett drops the reader right into the action as well as Rincewind and Twoflower, though rather unceremoniously into an enchanted forest.  The inept wizard and tourist head back to Ankh-Morpork in a roundabout fashion including a quick stop to talk with DEATH, while being chased by competent wizards, mercenaries, and religious fanatics sparked by the big red star the world turtle is heading towards.

The magic of Discworld is better understood as well as the society of wizardry.  But the most outstanding part is the humor that Pratchett spreads throughout the book from the subtle to the outrageous.  Given that the book was first printed almost 30 years, the humor still holds up as Pratchett twists tropes and situations that any fantasy reader knows.  By the end of the book you just want to see what Pratchett will do next in Discworld.

Henry V

0517092948-01-_sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Henry V by William Shakespeare
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The play of England’s celebrated warrior-king is at best disjointed and at worse tedious. Although Shakespeare breaks his word by keeping Falstaff out of view, it was probably for the best as the comedic elements of Henry V wouldn’t have been any better considering the flatness of that same element in Henry IV Part 2. The drama of the play was alright, but nothing stellar. The play is best known for two speeches by King Henry during his French campaign and they are the highlight of the play. Overall Henry V is an okay read and depending on the adaptation a stellar work on stage or screen.

Me and Ted Against the World: The Unauthorized Story of the Founding of CNN

0060197463.01._sx450_sy635_sclzzzzzzz_Me and Ted Against the World the Unathorized Story of the Founding of CNN by Reese Schonfeld
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story behind the founding of CNN is an engaging page turner written by the man who conceived it, but is never really given credit by the “official” history.  Reese Schonfeld, a veteran in the news service for almost 25 years before CNN, gives a detailed account about what led him in the direction of a 24-hour television news channel and how it came to be that he joined with Ted Turner to found CNN.  Schonfeld goes through the pains and joys of creating an entire news service from nothing that stretched all over the world then experience the ups and downs of first 2 1/2 years of operations before being fired and watching his dream steadily decline.

Part biography and part first-hand account of how a medium reshaped society, Me and Ted Against the World could have descended into a bitter rant but Schonfeld gives a balanced account not only of others (most notably Ted Turner) but himself as well (several times admitting where he erred when heading CNN).  Although the book was published before the fallout of the AOL-Time Warner merger was known, Schonfeld’s thoughts on what the merger could do the channel were interesting and pretty good.  Overall the book is must read for journalism students and those interested in the evolution of medium of television.