Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - August 2022 edition

Show of hands who’s ready for cool autumn evenings, chilly mornings and comfy hoodies? I’m absolutely done with this year’s Helliconia Summer…

What I am reading:

Off-Duty by Gregory Ashe. This is his first collection of extra stories relating to Hazard & Somerset.

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell. I had to slow down the reading speed in the Audible ap because the narrator sounded like she was going to leap out of my speaker and start shouting in my face. :smiley:

Khadaji was one of the earlier members of SDMB, and he was well-known as a kindly person who always had something encouraging to say, particularly in the self-improvement threads. He was also a voracious, omnivorous reader, who started these threads 'way back in the Stone Age of 2005. Consequently, when he suddenly and quite unexpectedly passed away in January 2013, we decided to rename this thread in his honor and to keep his memory, if not his ghost, alive.

Last month: Who thought fireworks were a good idea during a drought?!! Happy July!

Thanks for the new thread!

I recently started on a horror anthology, Screams from the Dark: 29 tales of monsters and the monstrous, edited by Ellen Datlow. None of the stories are particularly good so far, but I expect some will be.

As mentioned elsewhere, our summer has been mild so far, with still-cool evenings. That may change in August. Although it can feel hotter, Hawaii has never once recorded a temperature of 100 degrees or greater thanks to the mitigating effects of the vast Pacific Ocean.

I just started The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family, by Ron Chernow. Very good so far. It’s just now getting into the 20th century after briefly outlining the family from the 16th-18th centuries and detailing them in the 19th as background for what will come.

I like Robert Crais’ books. He has a new one coming out this fall, so I decided to reread, in order, the books he’s written so far.

I finished The Monkey’s Raincoat and Stalking the Angel and just started Lullaby Town.

I recently finished the series and was left wanting more. Can’t wait for the new one as well as the new one by Michael Connelly, also coming out about the same time. The wife is reading Crais now and just finished Indigo Slam.

A good one, #7.

I forgot to post this last month, so here’s the Current State of the Book Pile:

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde - self explanatory

Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder and the Battle for Modern New Orleans, Gary Krist - Good so far. I’m only about a hundred pages in so the murder hasn’t really started yet but there’s plenty of sex and jazz. I’ve been listening to WWOZ as I read it.

Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer - Again, I’m about a hundred pages into it and I really want to smack the McCandless kid upside the head. Who goes into the Alaskan wilderness with just a 10-pound bag of rice to live on? Idiots, that’s who.

North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell - I’m on a Gaskell kick right now. She writes Victorian chick lit with a Message about class differences and the breaching thereof. Not bad, but very VERY melodramatic.

Scandal Takes a Holiday, Lindsey Davis - #16 in the Marcus DIdius Falco series. Falco goes to Ostia to find out what happened to Infamia, the guy who writes the scandal column for the Roman Gazette. Since that was the most popular part of the gazette, it’s imperative that Infamia return.

Ripper, Isabel Allende - I saw this on the library book sale shelf and immediately bought it simply because it was by Allende. It’s a murder mystery which is out of her usual wheelhouse, but I’m eating it up.

So much about McCandless makes me want to smack him. For one thing, mate, learn how to read a map.

I finished listening to Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Excellent story, and beautifully narrated by Cassandra Campbell, whose Southern accent puts the listener directly in coastal North Carolina where the story takes place.

Next up: Better Off Dead by Lee Child and Andrew Child.

She is one of the better narrators I’ve heard over the last couple of years.

I finished the first of Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm series Death of a Citizen which was very good and much more serious than those movies were. In fact it is a much more dark spy thriller than most I’ve read from that “golden age” era. Makes the Dean Martin movie portrayals look even more silly!

I shall move onto the next book in the series shortly but first I plan to read a locked room mystery book written by Anthony Horowitz called A Line to Kill. Was published last year and I’ve been meaning to get a copy for a while.

I started reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

Finished The Shadow of the Empire by Qiu Xiaolong. Meh.

Now I’m reading Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years, by Cathy Guisewite.

A previous thread that may be of interest: Into The Wild

Ah! I liked that a lot, although I found the ending… implausible, for reasons I’ll be glad to explain when you’re done.

Over the weekend I zipped through On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder, a short but engaging book about how we can all, forewarned and forearmed, help preserve democracy.

Now I’ve begun Putting the Rabbit in the Hat, the actor Brian Cox’s autobiography. He’s good in everything I’ve ever seen him appear in, most recently Succession. In the early pages of the book he’s telling me more about his impoverished Dundee childhood than, truth be told, I really want to know, but for now I’m just enjoying his Scottish accent and looking forward to learning more about his career.

Finished Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years, by Cathy Guisewite. Meh.

Now I’m reading Machine Man by Max Barry, which is science fiction.

I guess I was wrong about this collection. I’ve gotten through about 75 percent of it and it’s all been a waste of time. Moving on.

Currently reading This Time Tomorrow, a time-travel novel by Emma Straub. It’s about a forty-year-old woman who is at the bedside of her dying father, but then wakes up to find she is sixteen again. The first quarter of this book was about as compelling as eating an unflavored rice cake, but now that the time travel has happened, I’m mildly interested in seeing how that goes. It’s hard connecting with the main character, who is an extremely privileged teenager living in New York.

Finished Lullaby Town and Free Fall. Started VooDoo River (where Elvis meets Lucy Chenier).

Finished Machine Man by Max Barry, which is science fiction/horror. It’s the best novel I’ve read so far this year. Highly recommended, although not if gore is a problem.

I’m not sure if I’d call this a spoiler or not, but I will err on the side of caution. I am about to compare it to another book. Although it was written by another author and I don’t know if Martha Wells even read it, this book reads as if it’s the origin of Secbots and Combatbots from her Murderbot Diaries series. The “voice” of the protagonist is very similar to Murderbot’s, I thought.

Now I’m reading Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You, by Sam Gosling.