Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - November 2021 edition

Here we go - new month, new (and old) books, and a new thread!

Last month’s thread: Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - October 2021 edition

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.

Over the weekend I finished Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer, a novel about an idealistic young London cop investigating art-related crimes. It’s the first of a series; there’ve been three books so far. Not sure I’ll go further with it, but I might.

I just started Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach, the current pick of my book club. She’s sometimes a bit too glib for my taste but is generally readable and interesting, and this book is no exception.

My current audiobook is The Final Mission of Extortion 17: Special Ops, Helicopter Support, SEAL Team Six, and the Deadliest Day of the U.S. War in Afghanistan by Ed Darack, about which I’d heard good things. It’s especially poignant, given our recent military withdrawal from there and the inevitable questions about whether all that blood, toil and treasure was actually worth it.

Taking a break from Hans Hellmut Kirst’s Officer Factory, a WWII satire set in a German military academy.

I’ve got a mystery thriller by an author named Sam Blake called Keep Your Eyes on Me. I got this book on a recommended list on Amazon. It has fairly good reviews and praise from some authors I have read before in this genre and whose own works I enjoyed.

I started in October, but well into the authoritative compendium of Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges. Parts of it are brilliant writing and parts impenetrably fantastical nonsense. The man was obsessed with knife duels, revenge, and quality of death rather than life.

Also reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Having read a number of other Russian classics over the summer, I have come to realize that when life is hard or absurd, Russians don’t despair, because they know it’s about to get much worse.

I finished the much-anticipated The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne, start of a new YA series. Truthfully it was just okay…but if Jonathan Stroud’s writing, I’m reading.

Started today on The Haunting of Leigh Harker. It’s off to a slow start, but I read a review that said once you get to a certain point in the book, everything really clicks…so I’ll give it enough rope to hang itself with. :wink:

Thanks for starting the thread, @Elendil_s_Heir .

Work has been crazy the last two days and I totally forgot the new thread!

Time to re-examine your priorities. :wink:

Nah, I NEED a new roof on my house.

I started it… and set it down.

Understood! I did wonder why you never posted a review.

The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination Barry S. Strauss

Everything you’d ever want to know, and more, about the events of March 15, 44 BC.

Mildly interesting book, recommended if you are really into Roman history.

I’m still reading Moby Dick, but I detoured through Richard Soini’s Gloucester’s Sea Serpent when I stumbled across a copy at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum ion Essex, MA. An interesting read, although it appears to take the view that the reader already known most of what it’s talking about. A clearer presentation, rather than a chronological one with full description of each case immediately would have been a LOT easier to read.

Interesting solution here, which is what I thought of when reading the book

On audio, I’ve interrupted my re-reading of Lord of the Rings to start Bob Woodward and Bob Costa’s Peril.

Finished Clarkesworld: Year Eleven-Volume Two , edited by Neil Clarke and Sean Wallace. It’s an anthology of primarily science fiction with a little fantasy. My favorite story was “The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer.

Now I’m reading When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller, which is this year’s Newbery Award winner.

Did you ever see Rockwell Kent’s illustrated Moby-Dick? Quite striking. One of his engravings was even featured on a postage stamp a few years back: rockwell kent moby-dick - Google Search

Oh wow, that’s the copy my parents had. My fishin’ BIL claimed it because he loves Moby-Dick. He also got my copy of The Old Man and the Sea I had to read for freshman English. He loves fishin’ stories, if that hasn’t been made abundantly clear.

Reaper by Will Wight. Book 10 of the Cradle series.

Fugitive Telemetry Martha Wells

A murder mystery set on a space station, in a rather vaguely defined interstellar setting (as science fiction goes, this one is rather short of science).

The victim is human; the chief detective is a sentient robot.

The author uses a very informal first-person style, from the point of view of the robot detective, that I didn’t like at first, but found enjoyable as I got further into the book.

Recommended if you want a short, entertaining sci-fi mystery.

Finished When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller, which was okay.

Now I’m reading The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories, by Tom Doyle.

Finished Leslie Brody’s book Sometimes You Have to Lie, which is a biography of Louise Fitzhugh, author of Harriet the Spy. I LOVED Harriet the Spy when I read it as a kid in the late sixties, not long after it came out, but I never knew anything at all about the author. Now I do!

I don’t think I would have liked Fitzhugh very much–she doesn’t come across as especially appealing, but then again there are mitigating circumstances–but Brody is honest about Fitzhugh’s imperfections as well as her talents. Brody did a TON of research and the result is often fascinating. It’s a very good book about an interesting life and worth reading if you were a fan back in the day (or are now).

Fitzhugh died in her forties, and though I don’t think much of the other novels she wrote (The Long Secret, Sport, and Nobody’s Family Is Going to Change) it would have been neat to see what else that mind of hers might’ve come up with if she’d only lived longer. Ah well.

Finished The Haunting of Leigh Harker, by Darcy Coates. And it wasn’t easy. The reader is stuck inside the head of one of the most unreliable narrators ever. Half the stuff going on is later revealed to be a dream or a hallucination. Oh, and let me tell you, this is a ghost story with a twist. Did you guess it already? I bet you did. I stuck it out because I did want to know who committed the murder, and now I’m disgruntled, having found the answer quite implausible.