Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - January 2023 edition

Finished Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, which was outstanding.

Now I’m reading What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe.

I’ve been jonesing to re-read The Rook by Daniel O’Malley ever since Blitz was announced, I just didn’t have the time … until now.

As You Wish by Cary Elwes.

Finished What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe, which was unsurprisingly very funny and interesting.

Now I’m reading Eight Mules from Monterey by Patricia Beatty.

Not far from finishing Fairy Tale, by Stephen King. Enjoying it.

Finished Eight Mules from Monterey by Patricia Beatty. Not recommended.

Now I’m reading Deaf Utopia: A Memoir–and a Love Letter to a Way of Life, by Nyle DiMarco.

Started today on The Fiends in the Furrows II: Tales of Folk Horror, an anthology of, you guessed it, folk horror. There is a long and scholarly foreword which defines folk horror as composed of four elements: a landscape with adverse effects on the social and moral identity of its inhabitants, isolation, skewed belief systems, and a happening. So now you know!
It’s just okay so far. I’d have started with the first volume, but my library has only this one. :woman_shrugging:

Done. You know, I don’t dislike short stories. However, I’m never entirely pleased by a collection. Just by the nature of the beast, there’s good parts and bad parts, usually summing up to a pile of “meh”. Furthermore, I read for the mental escapism, and I can’t really immerse myself in something piecemeal like this. This was a decent anthology. But I hope I will remember in future that I find them ultimately unsatisfying.

I have the same issues when reading an anthology. I just start getting attached to a character or set and the story is over.

Finished listening to this book. A decent read/listen which kept me entertained throughout. Huge plot twist at the end which I certainly didn’t see coming.

Finished Deaf Utopia: A Memoir–and a Love Letter to a Way of Life, by Nyle DiMarco, which was okay.

Now I’m reading Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps, by Seirian Sumner.

Started today on Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk. Pretty great so far.
Fantasy noir about a magical detective who has to solve a case in three days. If she succeeds she lives happily ever after with her wife, if she fails her soul goes straight to hell.

I’ve finished three books so far this month.

  1. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor was an interesting look at how different breathing techniques can help or harm your body. I think the author inserted himself into the narrative a bit much, but I suppose when you’re trying to turn a basic biological function into a full-length book, that’s what happens. It’s still a short read at a bit over 200 pages.

  2. Dark Money: The Hidden History Behind the Billionaires of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer. One of those books that I’m glad to have read but didn’t really enjoy reading. There’s a lot of useful information about who is funding what political movements and why, and which politicians are beholden to which businessmen. But in many places, the book felt like a recitation/regurgitation of facts and research, which was often educational but not really interesting.

  3. The Passenger by Lisa Lutz. This was a great book. It’s a thriller, but had enough plot twists and excitements to keep me interested the whole way through the book (as opposed to some thrillers where the entire plot is riding on the final twist). It was my first book by Lutz, but I intend to read more by her.

Just downloaded The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Certainly not a title that I would normally look into, but it comes highly recommended by a friend. I haven’t started it yet, so the jury is still out.

As I mentioned upstream, I just read this, too. I found it interesting – lots of stuff I hadn’t heard before (and the Kochs are one messed-up clan). The most interesting thing to me is that, in a book as late as 2016, Trump is only mentioned four times, and never at any length.

Yes, I had forgotten just how thoroughly he was dismissed as a joke/non-threat during his campaign until I read this book.

Finished Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps, by Seirian Sumner, which was very interesting.

Now I’m reading Castles from Cobwebs by J. A. Mensah.

Still working my way through the entire Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout. Just started Triple Zeck, a 3-novel series which features Wolfe’s most feared opponent, Arnold Zeck. Working on A be a Villain, to be followed by The Second Confession and In the Best Families.

Timbuktu: The Sahara’s Fabled City of Gold Marq de Villiers and Sheila Hirtle

The long, glorious history and current precarious situation of the famously remote city. I’ve long had an ambition to visit Mali and especially Timbuktu. Alas, it will probably be too dangerous to do so anytime soon.

This well-written and interesting book is a good substitute, I guess.

The Ottomans: Khans, Caesars, and Caliphs Marc David Baer

Looong, comprehensive history of the Ottoman Empire, from the early Turkish kingdoms to World War One.

A lot of it was rather drily written, but I did learn a lot.

Just finished. Five stars. Man, I’m glad I finished it at home, so I could cry in peace!