Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Book Club; What Quantum Mechanics Owes an Italian Gambler / a Family Where the Dead Live on / How to Be Cab Savvy / Breaking Bad Actor Becomes Novelist

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Book Club; What Quantum Mechanics Owes an Italian Gambler / a Family Where the Dead Live on / How to Be Cab Savvy / Breaking Bad Actor Becomes Novelist

Article excerpt

THE QUANTUM ASTROLOGER'S HANDBOOK

Michael Brooks

Scribe, $29.99

Many authors have tried to clearly explain quantum mechanics in a short book. Brooks's attempt is, at least, original. He tells the tale of Jerome Cardano, 16th-century doctor, gambler and mathematician. Cardano had an exciting life, and his work was apparently integral to 20th century physics. Brooks writes about the culture of science in Renaissance Italy, and how it compares to research today. Less time is spent on the importance of Cardano's actual work. In quantum mechanics, information relies on the observer, so it is perhaps unsurprising that Brooks keeps inserting himself into the narrative. This is really two separate stories: one about Cardano, and the other about modern physics. The connection between the two is tenuous, but they are both told well.

ELLEN PHIDDIAN

SING, UNBURIED, SING

Jesmyn Ward

Bloomsbury Circus, $24.99

The title is strange, until you understand that the dead are still part of the life of this poor Mississippi family. Jojo and his sister Kayla are cared for by their grandparents, Mam, who is dying, and Pop, who does his best while their ice-addicted mother Leonie haphazardly plans to meet her man on his release from prison. When she is high, Leonie sees her brother, Given, who was shot in a racially motivated accident that the authorities overlooked. He turns up in the car with her, looking on in judgment. Jojo sees Richie, who was in prison with Pop, and their old story is unfinished. The family's struggles, told from differing first-person perspectives, reveal a nightmare of Southern life and the wrenching truth that goodness itself is a struggle.

PENELOPE DEBELLE

CORK DORK

Bianca Bosker

A&U UK, $22. …

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