Khadaji's Whatcha Readin' Thread - February 2016 Edition

February! For thse of us in the Northern Hemisphere the days start lengthening! YAY! I’m getting old, I was done with winter on December 26th:p

Haven’t decided what I’m going to read next, something short, I do believe.

Khadaji was one of the earlier members of the 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, and he started these monthly book threads. Sadly, he passed away in January 2013, and we decided to rename these monthly threads in his honor.

January is a month without much excitement

I had read Alice Morse Earle’s Home Life in Colonial Days a couple years back, and it was enough to be getting on with at the time. Just this week I realized she wrote about a dozen other books on Colonial domestic history, and most of them are free for Kindle. So I did a binge download and am now doing a binge read. Deep into Tavern and Stage-coach Days right now. Curious Punishments of Bygone Days is next.

I LOVE this woman. It can be so hard to get a flavor for everyday life in historical eras. She was so much closer to the time than we are, yet still removed enough to observe and explain it as an outsider. So, so pleased.

A third of the way through Wizard and Glass, by Stephen King, volume IV in his Dark Tower series. Very good. I’ve really become drawn into the story.

Still reading Arthur C. Clarke’s 1957 short-story collection Tales from the White Hart, a bunch of sf tall tales and shaggy dog stories, all told in a British pub. Mildly amusing, but not as funny as Clarke probably intended.

Better is The Kennedy Wit, ed. by Bill Adler, a short 1964 collection of JFK’s funnier quips, zingers and observations. He had a better sense of humor than anyone running for the White House this year.

Just this morning, coincidentally enough on the day of the Iowa caucuses, I started the audiobook of Collision 2012 by Dan Balz, about Romney v. Cain, Gingrich, Perry, Santorum etc., then Obama v. Romney, and everything else in that crazy election year. So far I don’t like it as much as Game Change: Double Down by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, but I can’t be sure yet if it’s because I’ve heard most of Balz’s stories already or if it’s just not as well-written.

Oops, accidentally posted this in January:

I started and finished “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London. It was short and sweet. Okay, maybe “sweet” is the wrong word to sue for a book full of scenes of dogs killing other dogs, dogs being worked to death, etc. But I can see why it’s a classic of the adventure genre.

Posted this in the January thread. I’m blaming hogarth! :wink:

		 			I read about 60 pages worth of [A Head Full of Ghosts](  by Paul Tremblay before tossing it aside.  It's got all kinds of good  reviews, even from Stephen King (!), but I just found it a hot mess.

Today I started Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Reserving judgement, but I’m liking it more than I expected to.

Heh, if you liked that, check out White Fang by the same author - it has the exact reverse plot trajectory! :smiley:

Call of the Wild = pampered pet dog from California turns into wild animal in the Yukon.

White Fang = wild animal from the Yukon turns into pampered pet dog in California.

Be warned though: lots of nasty dog abuse happens before that happy result is reached. :eek:

I’m most of the way through Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. I highly recommend it, it’s both informative and engaging. Going into it, I didn’t have too strong of an opinion about the war on drugs, because I didn’t know too much about it. After reading about the history of how it started, and how alternatives to outlawing drugs seem to produce better results for everyone involved (less people dying from drug overdoses, less violent crime, less people being incarcerated – essentially everyone is safer and richer), Hari has done a great job of pushing me towards choosing a side and holding strong, supported opinions on the subject.

I’m 70 pages into The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. The premise of the book was that it was following the lives of six friends from when their friendships first developed as teenagers on through their adult lives. The opening chapter drew me in, but the subsequent chapters tend to focus mainly on just half of that group of friends, and I’ve only read from the point of view of one friend so far. It’s not the book I thought it would be based on the synopsis and opening chapter.

On audio book, I’m listening to The Quaker Cafe by Brenda Bevan Remmes. I don’t find it particularly engaging, but I often don’t like audio books as much as written books, so it could just be the format.

I liked it very much. The movie is different but also worthwhile.

I bought Tai-Pan by James Clavell for my Kindle, but that’s on hold as I continue with my Lisa Unger kick (I can borrow the books from my library on my Kindle too.)

I picked up a Sidney Shelton book too, but I must have matured, because I find his writing trite and he’s overly fond of the info-dump.

Siam Sam, is this your first time reading the Dark Tower series?

I got off to a slow reading start this year, busy at work I guess. But, I have read:

Black Chalk by Christopher Yates, which was billed as a thriller set against a game of challenges by a secret society at Yale. It does sound like a fun read, but I think I might have aged out of this genre – there are so many layers to this secret society thing that I couldn’t stop thinking “but who would ever bother with any of that?”

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, by Danielle Evans. A book of short stories, mostly coming-of-age or reflecting on childhood/young adulthood. This was very solid, although it was the kind of collection where none of the pieces really jumped out at me.

Currently reading An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir, a YA fantasy novel that so far is a typical “dark days had fallen upon the kingdom …” adventure, and everyone is very good-looking.

Yes, it is. I generally don’t reread books. There are too many out there that I haven’t read. I am enjoying this series thoroughly.

sigh Make that three of us, you are a* very* bad influence on me, Dung Beetle :smiley:

I started The Princess and the Pirates by John Maddox Roberts yesterday. This is the 9th installment in his Decius Mettellus series sent in Rome during the rise of Julius Caesar. Decius is quite up to his usual snarkiness and I’m expecting a sarcastically good read.

I am reading **Farthest Field : An Indian Story of the Second World War ** by Raghu Karnad. I love reading history books about the tributaries and backwaters of great historical events. Few people know much about India’s involvement in WWII and the fighting, both domestic and foreign, that Indians took part in during that time. It is the story of the author’s grandfather and two of his pals who went off to fight for the allies. The only stumbling block is the Indian names. Jeez, every name, both first and last, is a mouthful that causes me to stop and sound it out over and over again.

I just finished Pickwick Papers. Dickens in a swirl of keenly-observed vignettes and comic capers. I will say I hate most of his females in this book. They’re always having hysterics to get out of something (or get into something). I haven’t wanted to slap a woman so badly since I was reading Wuthering Heights (Catherine: duck or else). :mad:

It’s my year of the BFN - Big Fat Novel - and I’m contemplating what else to start. Leaning toward War and Peace but more drawn toward Ulysses, which I have been reading off and on for months. That said, I’ve got a few shorter items on the hop, like Broken Harbor by Tana French. Her plot and atmosphere are riveting, though I don’t like Mick ‘Scorcher’ Kennedy, the detective in charge, one iota.

I just finished Runaways vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan. Love the concept of children of super-villains rebelling against their parents by choosing to do good. If Vaughan has authored a bad graphic novel, I haven’t found it yet.

OH! And I’m listening to The Road to Little Dribbling on audio. I’m disappointed that Bryson himself isn’t reading it, though whomever-it-is is competent enough. Bryson has me cackling aloud all the way to work with his precise, snarky witticisms on everything in Britain from McDonald’s (he hates it) to the National Trust (he’s generally in favor though dislikes the officious tits they sometimes employ). Bryson ever more curmudgeonly but still very fine. :wink:

Reading Honkey Tonk Samurai, the latest Hap and Leonard book from Joe Lansdale.

Has all the trademarks of a Hap and Leonard book; I’m enjoying it, but not blown away - its a formula, they have been for awhile, but a fun one.

Honky Tonk Samurai’s waiting for me at the library, hopefully I’ll start it next week!

I just finished The Silkworm, and am 25th on the waitlist for Career of Evil.

Currently reading Love You More by Lisa Gardner. I keep having the odd sensation that I’ve read it before, but I don’t actually remember any of it.

In the car, I have A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. It is the perfect hilarious car book about a hapless secondhand store owner who collects souls of the dead and fights demons in San Francisco.

My absolute favorite Moore book… his stupid puns had me randomly giggling for weeks. Cindi Lu Hu :smiley:

I finished Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson. As I said in January’s thread, the first half really stressed me out, but all in all, it’s a good book and I’m glad I read it. Malthus, I do not think The Road will be on my reading list any time soon. :slight_smile:

I’ve just started Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall. It’s a non-fiction book about a tribe of super endurance athletes in Mexico. I’m finding it to be moderately interesting but with entirely too much of a “noble savage” tone. The author seems to mostly write for magazines, and I’m inclined to think that this would have been better as a long magazine piece.