Khadaji's Whatcha Readin' thread -- September 2018 Edition

If I were more into erotica, I’d pick that up in a hot minute.

The “sex” is all off camera, at least so far and terribly coy. Overall it’s quite readable…

I also recommend The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher, more straight up horror than Clockwork Boys and some of the visual imagery will stick with my nightmare for awhile, but a damn good read nevertheless. (It’s nor gory or gross out, but she know how to hit my squicks.)

Finished Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History, edited by Mike Pesca.
This was a fun book, and I suspect sports fans would enjoy it even more than I did. My favorite chapter was about what could’ve happened if the World Track and Field Association had gotten a lot of money in 1952. A famous sports rivalry in reality would’ve changed to a different sport. Wilt Chamberlain vs. Bill Russell in the high jump!

Started The Princess and the Goblin/The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald.

Finished Typree: A Peep at Polynesian Life, by Herman Melville. Very good. His first book. Melville lived kind of a Ripping Yarns-type life, especially in his younger days. This book is a slightly fictionalized account of his living among the Typee cannibals in the South Pacific’s Marquesas Islands for a few weeks after he jumped ship in Nukuhiva. Published first in Britain, he had to bowdlerize the American version to remove a lot of the anti-missionary thoughts and sexual descriptions. This is an unbowdlerized version I read. The American reading public still could not believe this was a true story. He insisted that while he stretched his few weeks into a few months for the book, it really was all true. A shipmate who jumped ship with him and then suddenly disappeared while with him among the Typee cannibals suddenly reappeared after publication of the book. Each had thought the other dead. Melville shortly afterward added his friend’s story to the end of future editions, and it was included here. After having lived alone in rural Thailand, I could definitely relate to his confusion about what the hell was going on around him, what with all the strange customs. He ultimatelt thought that while cannibalism was an unfortunate character trait, the Typees were not bad folks as far as cannibals went. Recommended.

Neext up is Under the Dome, by Stephen King.

Just finished Finders Keepers myself, on audio. I’ve checked End of Watch out of the library, but it will have to wait until I go out of town next week; it’ll be my “vacation” book. Cool to see that there’s a TV series, but I don’t have either AT&T or DirecTV, so no idea when or how I’d be able to see it.

Also rereading a couple from my youth, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death and The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror.

The TV series actually skipped over all the stuff in Finders Keepers and moved on to End of Watch, (where things start getting weird). So I should re-read that one too, but I won’t have time, with all the new stuff coming from the library.
Such awful problems I have…

I was reading and enjoying a book, went to add it to my “currently reading” list on Goodreads, and discovered that I have read it before and remember NOTHING. In my defense, I read it in 2009, which was the year my first husband died and the first three quarters of that year was a bit of a fog. But still! I would have told you there was no way I could so utterly forget an enjoyable book. (The Partly Cloudy Patriot, by Sarah Vowell, for the record.)

I finished Paul Doiron’s latest Mike Bowditch book Stay Hidden. Not the best one in the series, but still good when starved of mysteries.

Because the local library is so inadequate, and we’re too broke to buy books, I am trudging through Jerusalem Interlude from Bodie Thoene’s Zion Covenant series. You would think a book about Jews, Christians, and members of the Resistance attempting to flee Hitler’s progress would be a little more exciting.

I finished reading the book The Ladies’ Paradise (Au bonheur des dames) by Emile Zola. It’s about a man who obsessed with building Paris’s first mega-store in the 1860s, and the effect it has on society. The novel was partly inspired by the true story of Aristide Boucicaut and Le Bon Marche.

I was impressed by the parallels with modern companies like Amazon or Walmart in terms of the impact on competitors, suppliers, shoppers, etc. The love story felt slightly tacked on, but otherwise I thought it was a real page-turner.

The English translation I got from Project Gutenberg was a little odd in places. For instance, the word “ballon” was translated as “air-ball” and “caoutchouc” was translated as “gutta-percha”, so instead of talking about red rubber balloons it talked about red gutta-percha air-balls.

i finished Breakdown by Jonathon Kellerman yesterday and snarked the hell out my review on Goodreads. :smiley:

It wasn’t his worst by far, but certainly not his best either.

Wouldn’t that be a ball, not a balloon? Gutta-percha wasn’t quite what we think of as rubber. I know they used to use it on golf balls, but I don’t know much about the other uses.

Page 49, and I’m ditching Severance. I feel no kinship with this character, and in fact, don’t even think such cardboard people exist.

Fittingly, I finished a book called The Breakdown by B.A. Paris this weekend. I wouldn’t recommend it. It was a neat idea for a story, but a bit poorly executed. The middle dragged so much that I skipped a hundred pages of it and just read the ending. Which was disappointing, as the authors debut novel, Behind Closed Doors, was fantastic.

I read part of Blameless by Gail Carriger, the third book in a steampunk series I enjoy. Then I abandoned it because it dragged too much. Again, a pity considering how much I enjoyed the authors previous books.

I DO, however, recommend Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil. It had a lot of interesting insights on how various algorithms and systems in place can create self-perpetuating cycles that make it hard for poor, disadvantaged, or just plain unlucky people to dig themselves out of a bad situation.

I’m reading Stephen King’s On Writing. I don’t think I’ll ever make any money from writing, but it’s a valuable book nonetheless. Strangely enough, this is only the second Stephen King book I’ve read and both have been nonfiction. The other was Faithful, a book about the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Maybe someday I’ll get around to his fiction works, but most of it has been released as movies that I’ve seen and I just can’t get motivated to invest time in a book where I’ve already seen the movie.

That one was a terrible slog indeed. Though I enjoyed it after Alexis got to Italy.

Finished The Wonder Engine, the sequel to Clockwork Boys. T. Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon is great.

Now I’m reading Armored Saint, which is so far a by-the-numbers fantasy about a plucky young peasant girl and her dour-but-loving father and their evil Emperor. I’m 50/50 on whether I’ll finish it: it’s telegraphing its intentions so heavily that if a major plot twist doesn’t come soon, I’m gonna fall asleep.

Yes she is!

Finished Omerta by Mario Puzo, another Mafia drama. Okay, but not something that makes me want to rush out and read anything else by him. The characterizations aren’t particularly complex - there are only so many times he can write Michael Corleone into a novel, and his views of police and FBI are cartoonish. I would have liked to see him write about the main FBI character with the same moral complexity as he brought to the Mafia. And the one-eyed black police detective who kills people at a whim and others cover up for her as a matter of routine was unconvincing, to say the least. “Yeah, yeah, I shot him. You guys clean things up - I have to be somewhere” and then she waltzes out, even when the others have never met her, don’t know her, and don’t work for the NYPD. :rolleyes:

Just started 12 Rules to Live By, so it is too soon to tell. So far, at least there is a little more science behind the self-help. We shall see.

My dog-walking audio book is The Art of War by Sun-Tzu, just because.

Regards,
Shodan

Started today on French Exit by Patrick DeWitt. Described as “a darkly comic tragedy of manners” :dubious: but I have enjoyed this author in the past.

Sadly, Twain couldn’t write a mystery to save his life. I offer as evidence all the mysteries that he ever wrote. I think he didn’t really like the form, with its rules about what you could and couldn’t tell the reader, if you were going to be “fair”. Twain hated rules and restrictions.