June is upon us! Half of 2022 is nearly in the can! Why does time speed up as you get older, it’s like naps, both are wasted on the young!
I have been rereading my favorite parts of the Iron and Works series by E. M. Lindsey lately. I need squishy, cute, lovey-dovey stuff right now.
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.
Just finished Billy Summers, by Stephen King. A hitman with a moral code is hired to kill a hitman without a moral code. Chaos ensues. Very good. I tend to like King’s nonsupernatural novels better than his supernatural ones, although this one does have just a smidgen of supernatural in it.
Have started Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. I read it decades ago and felt like revisiting it.
I’m still re-reading Danse Macabre and reading The Star Kings and listening to Ghost Train to the Eastern Star on audio.
For bedside reading I’ve started Alyson Szabo’s The Re-Enactor’s Cookbook, about authentic cooking for Renaissance Fairs that I picked up at a Renaissance Fair I stumbled across a couple of weeks ago.
Between this book and How Carrots Won the Trojan War, which I read last month, I have to come realize that one of the darker parts of the Dark Ages was the loss of many vegetables that were common in the Classical World and only re=emerged in the Renaissance and later, or which were vastly different in those times. The Bill of Fare was much more restricted in those days. They had carrots, but they were very different from modern carrots and not as tasty. Peas were eaten, as were parsnips, cabbages, onions, and rutabagas. But no cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, and many other common plants. And, of course, no New World plants, so no potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, corn (maize) , or several beans.
Nearing the end of The High Sierra by Kim Stanley Robinson, which is a very readable book about the Sierra Nevada mountains and his lifelong love of them. I’ve never been to them, and probably never will, but they sound fascinating!
Not quite finished it and it is quite hefty do, for literally lighter reading; I’m 2/3rds of the way through These Prisoning Hills by Christopher Rowe. It’s a tordotcom novella which ties in with some of his previous tales about a post-nanotech/AI world (specifically Tennessee). Quite a quick read and good fun. Reminding me of Anthropocene Rag by Alex Irvine but more rural and not so manic!
I just finished standup comic Mike Birbiglia’s audiobook The New One, about his reluctantly becoming a dad after he and his wife had agreed before they even got married that they would never have kids (she later changed her mind). I like Birbiglia’s other stuff a lot; this had a few laughs but not nearly enough. Interspersed with Birbiglia’s writing was his wife’s inane, fish-themed free verse. Ugh.
I’m now listening to an audiobook of Helene Tursten’s dark comic novel An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good. It’s not as engaging as the reviews made it sound, but it’s good enough for me to keep going.
I found myself on the second floor of the library;childrens section, so grabbed a book. It was called The Pants Project by Cat Clarke. Loved it! Its about a teen who is forced by rules to wear a skirt to school because she is a legal female, but she doesnt feel like one.
Just finished: Behind a Mask: A Short Story Collection, Louisa May Alcott. As advertised, it is a short story collection. The title story, however, is more of a novella. It’s quite thrilling which is why she published it under a pseudonym.
On the pile:
Mosses from an Old Manse, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Another short story collection. Contains both my favorite Hawthorne story, “Rappacini’s Daughter” and my second favorite “Young Goodman Brown.”
Mythology, Edith Hamilton. My favorite collection of Greco-Roman myths. A bit too well loved, perhaps. The front is coming loose so it looks like it’ll go in my plastic bag collection along with most of my Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E. Schwab. A good book, but it is dragging a bit in the middle.
The Orchid Thief, Susan Orlean. Another good read, but I will never own an orchid. Way too persnickity a plant. It’s also an interesting portrait of a stereotypical Florida Man.
Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray. I had a sudden urge to reread my favorite Victorian novel. I blame Hawthorne.
Possession, A.S. Byatt. Byatt’s writing fills me with despair. I’ll never write as well as she does.
Ode to a Banker, Lindsay Davis. Just picked this up from the library. ILL has become my best friend with this series.
Notable DNF: My Dark Vanessa. I got about halfway through before the knives in the kitchen started looking tempting. It’s a good book but damn it’s a hard read!
If I may jump in here: @DZedNConfused was responding to something I posted actually. T. Kingfisher and Ursula Vernon are the same person, and DZ was agreeing with me that anything she writes is something to look forward to.
Finished Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. The horror! The horror! One of my rare rereads. I generally don’t like rereading books, because there are so many out there that I have not read, but I keep running into references to it, and it’s been awhile. Steamboat captain Marlowe journeys upriver in Africa to find the ivory trader Kurtz, who has reportedly gone native, much to the disapproval of the European trading company they work for. Imperialism and racism are major themes. The river is not named but is pretty much known to be the Congo, which Conrad himself once plied on a steamer while employed by a Belgian trading company. And of course, it was the loose basis for a small film you may have heard of called Apocalypse Now. A quick read, this is one of those books my old history prof termed you have to read in order to be a human being.
Have started The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, by Toby Wilkinson.