Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart and Other Voodoo

Finished Jodi Picoult's latest novel, Change of Heart, this week. As disappointed as I was with her two previous works, this one is a definite top-three list nominee. It is as rich and detailed as My Sister's Keeper, but rather than what felt like forced literary devices or a plot that rushed to get through difficult turns, this one moves smoothly from start to finish. I didn't guess a single surprise (which makes them surprises), and her new lawyer type is a wonderful character with a neurotic Jewish mother, neither of whom venture into stereotype. Most of all, her treatment of religion and belief is fantastic, in both the fantasy and exemplary use of the word. I think the book should be required reading for anyone who shapes their personal conduct framework on an element of faith.

On the heels of a recommendation, I picked up Neil Gaiman's American Gods next. The themes are similar; but Gaiman deals in non-mainstream religions while also making me question exactly what constitutes true home-grown religion in America -- something faith based, or something consumption oriented, or something we construct? And I'm reminded of William Gibson's Mona Lisa Overdrive that asked some of the same questions (using some of the same phraseology) in a very different way.

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Hal Stern's thoughts on software, services, cloud computing, security, privacy, and data management

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