Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - May 2021 edition

I finished The Labours of Lord Perry Cavendish by Joanna Chambers; it’s the 4th in her Winterbourne Series. A fun charming novella about an awkwardly unscholarly young man and a motor mouth artist (male) with anxiety. I love this series to pieces.

I have started The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman for the mumblety umpteenth time. I need the silliness and light thrillerness of this series right now.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

I had never read this and I am a 42 year old English teacher. I have to say, I was all over the place with this book. I hated Holden Caulfield for the first half or so. Whiny, hate-filled, bitter, hypocritical, unable to get along with anyone. By the time the second half hit, I found myself understanding a bit more about him. He had suffered loss, was obviously a combination of naive, immature, and distraught. He did not want to grow up, so he froze and just tried to shut down. The section of the book where he discusses wanting to be a “catcher in the rye” and help children maintain their innocence and protect them was actually quite touching.

It’s hard to let go of childhood and hard to see children that will go through that in the future.

I did not love the book, but the second half was much better than the first half and Holden Caulfield is highly memorable.

Next up:

Joyland by Stephen King

Oh goody, it’s in my TBR pile!

@Mahaloth , I always wished we’d been assigned Catcher In the Rye at school, so somebody could tell me what I was supposed to get out of it. Thanks for your thoughts. Maybe someday I’ll try it again.

P.S. - I think you’ll like Joyland! :slightly_smiling_face:

I read Catcher in high school and liked it, as did most of my friends; I think it spoke to our angsty teen selves. Not sure how I’d feel about it if I reread it now.

I have stopped reading things I loved as a young adult. 50+ year old me has VERY different perpectives now. It’s kind of sad, really.

The suck fairy is cruel

There are books I read as a youngster that I often go back to reread. Ransome, Boston, Enright, Jansson, Lindgren…

They are indeed!

Bone Silence Alastair Reynolds - Book 3 of the Revenger trilogy

Background: Millions of years in the future, the original planets and moons of the solar system have been destroyed and life muddles along in a collection of spaceships and space stations. A smattering of alien races now live among us. The economy is based on searching for a strange alien technology referred to as quoins that no one really understands. Kinda like Ethereum.

Into this Universe come the Ness sisters, sailing around, pursued by corrupt, greedy officials, and seeking to transport a renegade alien to safety. An alien who may have the answers to deeply held secrets.

Stylistically, the book is very much Pirates in Outer Space. It makes for a fun, enjoyable read.

I think it’s been marketed as a Young Adult novel. I’m not sure about that. It’s quite violent.

Finished it. Pretty bleak, occasionally pompous, but worth a read, I’d say, for anyone interested in BLM and racial reconciliation.

And now for something completely different: Dr. No by Ian Fleming (1958), the next as I read my way through the James Bond books in order of publication. 007 is sent to Jamaica for what’s supposed to be an easy assignment after a Soviet assassin almost kills him.

I enjoy this series too. My favorite is The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax.

Finished A Closed and Common Orbit , by Becky Chambers, which I enjoyed, although not as much as A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, to which it is a sequel.

Now I’m reading Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe, by Alan Hirshfeld.

One of my all - time favorites. And yes, I was thirteen when I first read it. It was really eye - opening as a young author to realize how deeply flawed protagonists can be. I’d say Salinger had a pretty strong influence on my own voice, too.

I finished World War Z. I really liked it, a solid four stars. The ending was a bit anticlimactic. No turning point when the tide started to turn in our favor. It just ended.

I can see the appeal to teens of a protagonist who is:

  • sick and tired of phonies
  • doesn’t like all but one subject
  • hates quirks in others
  • is very angry at the world and growing up

*Has been through significant trauma
*Absolutely no one in your life is willing to address it
*Is tired of seeing the powerful exploit the weak
*Is tired of adults pretending to care when they obviously don’t
*Perpetually alienated from peers

Just started Zoey Punches the Future in the Dick. Second book in the Zoey Ashe series by the guy who wrote John Dies at the End. The first book was Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits. Clever, funny, sarcastic, and somewhat scary about the pervasiveness of social media and omnipresent cameras.

Just Finished: Ring of Fire IV , edited by Eric Flint

Now reading: 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught , by Eric Flint

Next up: 1636: The Chronicles of Dr Gribbleflotz , by Kerryn Offord and Rick Boatwright

I enjoyed the crap out of those books. :grin:

I loved JDATE. I read it when it was serialized on Pointless Waste of Time, before it was bought out by Cracked and before Cracked became whatever the hell it is now.* I’m going to have to put these on my read list. I’ve always enjoyed listening to David Wong talk about anything.

*Holy crap that made me feel old