Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - January 2021 edition

I’ve read a lot of Ed Hoch’s stories, Mother and I used to compete to see who could get the mail in when EQMM arrived and who got to read the Hoch story first. :smiley:

Started this morning on The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson, a sci-fi novel about an epidemic that causes the infected to act out in murderous rage. I’m liking it so far. There has been one incident of animal abuse, but it was telegraphed enough so I could skim it, and I don’t get the sense that it’ll be an ongoing problem.

Finished Challenge the Impossible: The Final Problems of Dr. Sam Hawthorne , by Edward D. Hoch, which I enjoyed. In short story collections I normally try to choose one or two favorites, but I really couldn’t do that this time. Quality work.

Now I’m reading How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems, by Randall Munroe.

Finished it. Often fun, but I’d forgotten just how polemical it is. Heinlein’s libertarianism and sexism are on full display; he writes a lot about how evil taxes are and how most beautiful women secretly want to be spanked and bossed around by strong men.

I’ve now begun an audiobook of the sf thriller Firestarter by Stephen King, about a dad with mind-control powers and his little girl, who can start fires with her mind, on the run from government goons. It’s as good as I remember.

It’s my favorite, of two, King book. The movie was so awful it was fun to watch…

The Family Medici: The Hidden History of the Medici Dynasty Mary Hollingsworth

A history of the Medici from their origins in the 1200s as bankers in Florence, Italy to their demise in the 1700s. In between, they became the rulers of Florence, married into the royal families of Europe, and ascended to the Papacy. And helped kick off the Renaissance as patrons of the arts and sciences.

I quite enjoyed this book. The author has done a lot research digging into old letters and archives, the prose is straightforward, there are lots of beautiful photos of buildings and paintings, and there is a helpful geneology chart to help distinguish the various Lorenzos and Cosimos; not to mentions the Giulios, Giulias, and Giulianos.

My one quibble is that the trying to cover 500 years of history in a relatively short book leaves little room for detail. Even the redoubtable Catherine de Medici, who was the queen of France, gets only a few pages.

Finished How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems , by Randall Munroe. It was a lot of fun.

Now I’m reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow.

Finished Demolition Angel, by Robert Crais. Not part of the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike LA noir series. Former LA Bomb Squad technician Carol Starkey, now with the Criminal Conspiracy Section, hunts for a mad bomber who targets Bomb Squad technicians. While the book is a one-off, Starkey will go on to make appearances in the Cole/Pike books.

Have started Hostage, another one-off by Robert Crais.

Currently reading “The Bear and the Dragon” by Tom Clancy - taking a long time to get to the fireworks factory.

Finished The Ten Thousand Doors of January , by Alix E. Harrow, which was very good.

Now I’m reading Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, by Damon Tweedy, M.D.