Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - September 2022 edition

Hey! Sorry to be late with the thread, it’s probably already September for some of you… I got distracted watching Wierd Al videos :smiley: So it’s September and going to be 100F all week (about 30 for the rest of the world) I’ll be in the freezer thank you!

So Whatcha all readin?

Audiobook: Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi. It’s pretty funny but Wil Wheaton’s overenthusiastic narrative is getting a bit exhausting.

Kindle: The Railway Man by John Dean. Police procedural and trains in Northern England

Print:** We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence** by Becky Cooper. Really good but the book is HUGE and is killing my arthritis, however, propping it against the steering wheel while waiting for the groomer to finish with my dog, seems to help.

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.

Last Month: Wait a minute! Where did this month go?!

I’m now more than halfway through and still enjoying Stephen King’s The Dead Zone. The hero has just, with great reluctance, agreed to help out an embattled Maine sheriff with a particularly bad serial rapist/killer investigation.

Nearing the end of The Battle of Midway, a collection of essays about the 1942 carrier battle from Naval History magazine over the years, edited by Thomas C. Howe.

Haven’t got much deeper into Dreaming the Beatles by Rob Sheffield, about the world’s enduring love for the Fab Four.

I’m reading The Anthropocene Reviewed, John Green’s first non-fiction book after writing a bunch of fiction books that I have read and loved. It’s a collection of essays, and I’m impressed. I knew he was a good writer, but I can tell he’s done his research for these essays, rather than just writing off-the-cuff.

Also reading The Magnolia Palace, and I am thrilled with it so far. It’s a dual timeline book, which is my favorite genre of books (there are two stories going on that are related to one another, one fifty years later than the other one). If the rest of the book is as good as the beginning, this is wonderful news, because the author (Fiona Davis) has a whole list of dual timeline books that she’s written, and she’s new to me, so it’s like I’ve discovered a whole pile of presents under the Christmas tree just waiting for me to unwrap and enjoy them.

I’ve only just started it but I am reading The Glory of the Empire by Jean d’Ormesson which is basically a historical text about an ancient empire that never actually existed but the book plays it very straight.

About to start Allison Montclair’s 4th in series The Unkept Woman.

The current state of the book pile:

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde - Still. It’s a long book.

Alexandria, Lindsey Davis - The second-to-last book in the Falco series. He finally gets to Egypt. He’s visitied just about every other province in the empire, now it’s time to complete the set!

Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry - I did not expect this book to be a brick.

Amongst Our Weapons, Ben Aaronovitch - The latest in the “Rivers of London” series. Lesley’s still causing trouble for the Metropolitan police, magic is still being weird, Beverley’s about to have her twins, and I still have a crush on Thomas Nightingale.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Padmasambhava
Twenty Years After, Alexandre Dumas - I just started these two so I have no opinions yet. Except I did like The Three Musketeers so I’m looking forward to seeing what the intervening two decades have done to them.

I just finished Old Country, a horror novel by Matt and Harrison Query, and really liked it. It’s about a couple that moves to a secluded valley which is haunted by an ancient spirit that manifests in different ways in each season of the year. I found it wonderfully creepy. My main issue with the book is that it wound up too abruptly, leaving some unanswered questions. But I enjoyed the journey a whole lot. Also (spoiler) the dog lives!

I read this a while back and it is compelling and I’m glad I read it, but IMO it peters out a bit at the end.

I’m not surprised, she does seem to go off on tangents a lot.

Finished Plumage from Pegasus by Paul Di Filippo. It’s a collection of short stories, of which the best is “Have Gun, Will Edit”.

Now I’m reading Hay, a collection of poems by Paul Muldoon.

The Amur River: Between Russia and China - Colin Thubron

A travelogue along the Amur, starting in Mongolia and then along the Russia China border (mostly in Russia) to the Pacific Ocean.

Nice book about an interesting part of the world. The author has a very serious writing style - like Bill Bryson, except completely the opposite. He also seems to prefer the natural world to urban areas. Every city in Russia is described as either “bleak”, “decrepit”, or “charmless”. Maybe they really are all that bad, or maybe that’s his take on them, it’s hard to say.

I got 200 pages into Lonesome Dove and realized that it was reminding me of The Hateful Eight. It was moving real slow–molasses-like. Also I wasn’t going to finish it. Back to the library it goes.

Finished Hay, a collection of poems by Paul Muldoon, of which “Hopewell Haiku” (a collection of haiku) the most.

Now I’m reading Lassie Come-Home, by Eric Knight.

Normandy '44: D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France, by James Holland
The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942-1944, by Ian W Toll
Gangsters Vs Nazis: How Jewish Mobsters Battled Nazis in Wartime America, by Michael Benson

Coming soon:
Round Up the Usual Peacocks, the 31st Meg Langslow mystery by Donna Andrews
And No Birds Sang, WWII memoir by Farley Mowat



What? Doesn’t everybody read two or three books at a time?

At least… I have the attention span of a grasshopp-- oo that book sounds interesting!

I think my husband reads more than that.

On topic: Finished Lassie Come-Home, by Eric Knight, which I enjoyed. (I was surprised to learn that Lassie is a tricolor collie!)

Now I’m reading The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World, by Lewis Hyde.

This sounds intriguing. What’s the empire called? When did it supposedly exist? Did it bump up against any real empires?

Have read four fifths of The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family, another epic tome from Ron Chernow. A fascinating read. I should finish it this month. While I try to read for at least an hour each day, so many days even that proves impossible.

Just finished a classic YA novel I had never read before, Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene. It didn’t tell quite the romance story I was expecting from the title. I didn’t enjoy it much though. The main character was such an idiot. I also didn’t care for the writing (one example that stood out was when the German hid under the bed, then next moment was sitting at the table, with no transition). After reading the book, I had to look up why it was on the list of banned books. Answer: racist language, profanity, and “subject matter that gives students negative views of life.” :roll_eyes:

Anyway, I have now cleared the deck for Stephen King’s newest, which will be here tomorrow!