Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - Sept. 2020 edition

I have that on my KIndle. I await your ultimate opinion :wink:

Well, I found an error…the word “irradiate” was used when the word “radiate” would have been the correct choice. That kind of thing gets on my nerves and makes me not trust that an author knows what they’re doing. However, I’m finding the story interesting and I hope to journey on without any more of these little contretemps. :face_with_monocle:

Finished Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard. Written in 1988, the plot has not aged well. It also drags in parts, although some of the dialogue was enjoyable. I might read another Elmore Leonard sometime–what’s the best one you’ve read, EH?

I’ve started Three Laws Lethal, a near-future SF novel about self-driving vehicles by David Walton, and a nonfiction book of aerial photography called Life from Above: Epic Stories of the Natural World by Michael Bright and Chloe Sarosh.

I read Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen, which was pretty funny. Just started Donald Trump vs The United States, by Michael Schmidt, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the NYT.

If you want to read one of his modern crime novels, I’d suggest Raylan or Out of Sight. If you want to read one of his Westerns, I’d suggest mebbe Hombre, although I myself prefer his modern stuff.

Every five years or so I read an Elmore Leonard, and every time I’m like, why is this guy so beloved? That said, Justified is my all-time favorite cop show, so he’s good for something.

I’ve been reading a fair amount of kidlit lately, given my new job as an AIG teacher and a need to get up to speed, and also having an 11yo daughter who gives me recommendations.

A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is what the Hunger Games looks like when written during the Trump years. It’s a prequel to the trilogy, stripped of the glamour and the likeable protagonist. It’s well written, but holy shit is its outlook bleak. Hunger Games is a day in the park by comparison.

Bull Run is a children’s fictional account of the Battle of Bull Run. It’s short, like 100 pages long, and there are 16 point-of-view characters, and it’s told in chapters that are each less than two pages long. And there are piles of amputated limbs, and a dude sitting down staring at his intestines in his lap, and a guy who begs the narrator to shoot him because he lacks a body below the hips. It’s brutal, and I’m getting ready to read it with some fifth graders, and I’m a little nervous.

I listened to Nyxia with my kids on a car trip. Uh, maybe don’t listen to it with a seven-year-old around, because it also has some pretty brutal violence. There are many similarities to Ender’s Game: a group of children are set against each other in violent competition in space, in preparation for confronting aliens around a distant star. And the book’s joys derive from similar sources, as the vicious games they’re forced to play are thrillingly and masterfully described. But there’s also a huge difference: this time, the protagonist isn’t some wunderkind, some boy genius obviously superior to everyone else. Rather, he’s a poor kid from Detroit who recognizes early on that he’s being manipulated by the cynical adults surrounding him. If you’d like Ender’s Game without all the Orson Scott Card cringes, I recommend this one pretty highly.

Finished Life from Above: Epic Stories of the Natural World by Michael Bright and Chloe Sarosh. It’s a coffee table book of aerial photography, and it’s stunning. I learned a lot. For example, they have a section showing how beavers alter the landscape–well, that I knew. But they also show how hippos cut many waterways between rivers and how wombats dig vast quantities of tunnels in Australia, altering the Outback. Fascinating, and recommended.

Still reading Three Laws Lethal, by David Walton.

Picked up Engine Summer by John Crowley on a whim, I’ve read Little Big and Aegypt a long while back so I know the level he’s at, but still shocked me how good it was (I’ve not been reading much recently so prob that has a lot to do with it).

Made me think it’s sort of a shame he got so far into the Aegpyt tetralogy - I know some people love it and no doubt it’s his own grand vision, perhaps he’s completely happy with it himself. But it’s obv one for the purists and I feel marginalised a fantastic writer.

On a different tack, say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he’s got a new book coming out next week! The Trouble with Peace.

Finished Three Laws Lethal , by David Walton, which I enjoyed.

Now I’m reading Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang.

They made a good movie for Out of Sight. Starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.

Yes, and I recommend it, too. Some major differences from the book, though, as you might expect.

Thanks for the advice on Elmore Leonard books, which I’ll get around to next year, at this rate.

Finished Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang, which was an interesting follow up to articles I’ve read on the subject.

Now I’m reading Backwater, by Joan Bauer.

Finished Backwater , by Joan Bauer, which I enjoyed.

Now I’m reading a reprint of a 1937 book called Orchids on Your Budget or Live Smartly on What You Have, by Marjorie Hillis.

I finished Mexican Gothic with mixed feelings. It was a decent read, I always looked forward to picking it up again, but so much of the story was about Noemi’s dreams. Reading about people’s dreams is just as annoying as having to hear about them in real life, and it doesn’t advance the plot. Or does it? :roll_eyes: And Noemi was constantly on the verge of getting raped.
One good thing about the story is that there was no ambiguity about the evil, there is something wrong at High Place. However, I was never certain about the rules of the situation…it seemed to me that the author was apt to bend them as it suited her.

Yesterday I started on a horror novel which has gotten a lot of buzz, The Only Good Indians, by Stephen Graham Jones. It was okay until page 35, then a heartbreaking animal death and I quit. I’m not up for that.

Today I started on a YA sci-fi novel, about a space-travelling girl accidentally sent far into the future, Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson. It definitely reads like YA, but the premise is interesting.

Finished Orchids on Your Budget or Live Smartly on What You Have , by Marjorie Hillis, which I enjoyed.

Now I’m reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke.

Loved the Clarke book - I’ve read it twice. The BBC miniseries wasn’t bad, but could’ve been better, I’d say.

Holy cow. I have nine books ready to be picked up at the library! Usually they come one or two at a time. I guess this explains it:


I probably won’t get to finish Goddess in the Machine, but that’s absolutely fine. It wasn’t working out between us. :broken_heart:

Futuristc Violence and Fancy Suits: a Novel by David Wong, author of John Dies at the End. It’s quite fun.

And it’s apparently getting turned into a tv series.

I’m finally reading Dune.

So far I like it, though not totally hooked. It has a little problem that all fantasy epics do where they bombard you with new concepts and terminology rather than introducing them at a relevant pace. But Dune at least keeps the reader grounded in character as it does this. So, at present, I’m hooked enough to keep going.

I’m getting impatient about one thing, though. They need to make with the sandworms.

I loved John Dies at the End. Maybe I’ll check it out.