Books and Reading, v. 2014
Continued from v. 2013.
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Life, the universe, pies, hot-pink bunnies, world domination, and everything
Continued from v. 2013.
Why no posts on this thread yet?
I finished Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie this afternoon. It’s my school’s summer reading book for first-years and anyone else who wants to read it. I enjoyed it, and I think it was a good choice. It will make for some good discussions at the start of the year about race, immigration, and privilege which are important issues on our campus right now as well as in the country as a whole. As a novel, I couldn’t put it down at times, and I liked both the characters and the argument, but in the end I wished for a little more from both.
The other book I’m currently reading is Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself by Jamie Davies, which I picked out without a plan by pulling interesting titles off the “new nonfiction” shelf at the library and deciding this one sounded best. It’s about how the human body develops from a fertilized egg on, meant for a general audience even though it definitely pulls no punches with the science. One big theme is how all of this happens from small molecules and cells receiving local signals and assembling themselves into a whole, not from an “engineer” overseeing the construction. As the author would say, it’s as though bricks and steel and pipes and wires suddenly assembled themselves into a state-of-the-art, fully-functional building. As someone who understands mRNA and mitosis but hasn’t yet seen that whole arc of development laid out from beginning to end (and in fact wrote a college essay wishing I could do just that), it’s very interesting.
The other non-school novel I’ve read recently, over spring break, was The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I’m waiting for The Silmarillion and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy to come into the library.
Do any of you use Goodreads? Though I am carefully wary about mentioning the else-Internet, this is a really excellent social networking site for readers that can help you keep track of the books you read, get suggestions based on how you rate them, and find out what your friends are reading.
I really like Goodreads, but none of my friends use it (the only people I have on my account are a few people who used it for a couple of weeks and quite, and two of my high school english teachers), which kind of defeats the purpose of it.
I’ve been reading Watership Down by Richard Adams
Also have been reading Seeds of Hope by Jane Goodall.
I finally got around to reading Daniel Handler’s grown up novels. And do you know what? I think they might actually be better then a Series of Unfortunate Events.
Especially The Basic Eight. I love The Basic Eight.
The Science of Discworld was finally published in America! Yay! It’s really good. I ordered Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson on Amazon, that’s coming tomorrow. I bought Capital and have been chipping away at that for a while. I have a bunch of Brandon Sanderson I bought and need to get around to read.
And then there’s all the comics I’m reading and why do I keep buying all these books and comics when I can’t keep up.
And my Library card is completely filled…
I recently finished reading John Dies at the End by David Wong and just started This Book is Full of Spiders. I don’t really know what to say about these books other than just… WHAT. They’re like total insanity condensed into book format and published, and it’s amazingly weird and hilarious and terrifying.
Bryan Fuller (creator of NBC Hannibal) is on board to co-direct a TV adaptation of American Gods!!!!!!!
okay so I know Oxlin recommended that I read this probably almost 10 years ago now but… on the train this weekend I finally read Someplace to be Flying by Charles de Lint, and it was so worth it, I might go far enough as to call it a better American Gods. (although it’s been a while since I read American Gods, probably time for a reread)
Ahhhh yes yes yes!!! I adored that book.
I should check that out! I’ve read Forests of the Heart and Onion Girl, but not the de Lint book that oxlin originally recommended. If it’s as good as you say, I need to stop putting it off.
POSOC – It was really good. I’m glad I waited a *little* to read it, though, as I think 20 year old me liked it and understood it more than 14 year old me would have. Then again, I could be underestimating myself…
I also read Ted Chiang’s The Lifecycle of Software Objects the other day (a novella that I’ve been dying to read for ages) and it was interesting, and it’s stuck with me so far. Full text is available online, as it turns out, and I am so glad. I think I still liked Story of Your Life a tiny bit more, but I have to finish reading Stories of Your Life and Others (the collection Story of Your Life is in), because I was too upset after Division by Zero to continue reading.
I keep meaning to keep track of the things I’ve been reading! Maybe I’ll do that here?
Here’s a list of most of what I’ve read (or reread) this summer, not in order:
- The Lies of Locke Lamora (Scott Lynch)
- Red Seas Under Red Skies (Scott Lynch)
- The Republic of Thieves (Scott Lynch)
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Cat Valente)
- The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Cat Valente)
- The Girl Who Soared Above Fairyland And Cut the Moon in Two (Cat Valente)
- The Shifter (Janice Hardy)
- Blue Fire (Janice Hardy)
- Darkfall (Janice Hardy)
- Ruin and Rising (Leigh Bardugo)
- Song of Achilles (Madeline Miller)
- The Raven Boys (Maggie Steifvater)
- The Dream Thieves (Maggie Steifvater)
- Shiver (Maggie Steifvater)
- Linger (Maggie Steifvater)
- Forever (Maggie Steifvater)
- His Majesty’s Dragon (Naomi Novik)
- Throne of Jade (Naomi Novik)
- Black Powder War (Naomi Novik)
- Empire of Ivory (Naomi Novik)
- Victory of Eagles (Naomi Novik)
- Tongues of Serpents (Naomi Novik)
- Crucible of Gold (Naomi Novik)
- Blood of Tyrants (Naomi Novik)
- Dragon Keeper (Robin Hobb)
- Dragon Haven (Robin Hobb)
- City of Dragons (Robin Hobb)
- Dragon’s Milk (Susan Fletcher)
- Flight of the Dragon Kyn (Susan Fletcher)
- The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfus)
Of these: I definitely recommend the Naomi Novik books (The Temeraire series), the Fairyland series by Cat Valente, and the Gentleman B******* series by Scott Lynch. And The Name of the Wind for suuuure it’s such a great fantasy series wow.
This is the most I’ve read in a long time, and I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch too.
wait I forgot one of the formative series of my childhood no one ever seems to know about:
- The Wind Singer (William Nicholson)
- Slaves of the Mastery (William Nicholson)
- Firesong (William Nicholson)
I remember those! I should re-read them.
Has anyone ever read Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London (Midnight Riot in the US) and its sequels? Aaronovitch wrote for Doctor Who for the five minutes in the eighties when it was fantastically good, and the Rivers of London series are his urban fantasy police books. They’re all about how great London is, with lots of history and geekiness and magic. Also, the protagonist, Peter Grant, is mixed race (white English father, Sierra Leonean mother), and the supporting cast is very diverse. They’re clever and intensely readable; I recommend them a lot.