Whatcha Reading? (Picking it up again)

I think the previous threads fell to the wayside, but let’s try again.

Let’s start with a FREE BOOK:

I have read this book. It’s fantastic (in many definitions of the word). I gain nothing from this except that if the publisher is encouraged to keep the series going further than it has already expanded, I get more amazing books. I just finished the latest one and can’t wait for more.

Free. That’s a great way to find out if you like it or not.

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the philosophy of history by hegel

the institute by king

moog grandmother instruction manual compiled by moog music company

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11/22/63 - Stephen King

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Just finished The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher (there are at least a couple of books by that title) and it possibly wasn’t the best idea while running a mild fever.

Better than right before going to bed, but… any kind of rapping and tapping will freak me out for the next bit. Hopefully no one knocks on my door.

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A sceptical (and occasionally sarcastic) look at transhumanism.

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More free stuff:

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McMindfulness

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I’m almost done reading this one, sadly.

It took me a bit of gear switching to find the cadence of the author’s voice for me to dig in to it. It offers context for Helen throughout the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, Modern, and contemporary world. Great work by the author.

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A re-read:

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I’m continually amazed at the awful shit done by my government and also that I somehow continue find it amazing.

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I’m going through Agency by William Gibson at the moment! I kinda agree with the one here who said it’s not quite as much of a grabber as some of Bill G’s earlier work, but it’s still interesting.

Also, increeeeeedibly slowly chewing my way through Yotsuba&!. People recommended it to me (because it’s funny and cute, which is true) but it was probably a bit ambitious for my first text in Japanese.

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I think that except for things that you have already read in your native language, Yotsuba might be the best text to read first in Japanese.
All you have to remember is that it just takes a while to get used to reading a foreign language, even with a strong vocabulary and grammar it is still a different skill, and soon you will be able to develop a good pace and enjoy reading as in your native language.

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Just finished Summer by Ali Smith the other day. Concluding her seasonal quartet of novels set at the time of writing and published weeks after they are finished. She has a wonderful mix of prose poetry and folding in external material. They are in some ways experimental novels as they used to say I suppose, but I was gut punched by the final book drawing in characters from the whole sweep of the books and you finally figuring out connections which the characters, sadly, didn’t. I’m emotionally fragile at the moment so my gasping, exclaiming, and weeping are possibly not normal outcomes.

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Currently, Kate Addison’s The Angel of Crows. Recently, Elly Griffth’s The Lantern Men. Audiobook just finished, The Memory Police.
Thoughts: if adapting a well known setting/cast of characters, you do have to hit every major point (house on same street, manner of meeting the same, etc.), or can you trust your readers to pick up on what you’re doing?
When you get to the end of a well done mystery and the killers motivations seem pulled from thin air, isn’t it a letdown?
If your book is going to be about a kind of total surveillance, that lets some agency remove parts of the world from you-you can longer comprehend what one of the disappeared things was, or did, please let there be some level of explanation. Or at least some functional action on the part of your main character.
Also, don’t make characters writers or poets or songwriters. Just don’t. You aren’t good enough to bring their voices alive as well as yours-it just sounds stupid.

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Reading through the Slough House series by Mick Herron. Not really espionage, but a pretty ‘comfort food’ kinda read. If le Carre’ and Alan Furst are meat and potatoes, Mick Herron is mac and cheese. This is a good time for mac and cheese I think.

Edit: I got to thinking about it, and this was unfair. Mick Herron’s work is really good. In my head I was comparing the Slough House stuff to the best espionage writing, in terms of the espionage part. It isn’t really qualitative, Herron’s stuff is just not focused in the same direction. His wordsmithery is really good, I stop and appreciate his turn of phrase much more than most writers.

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Just finished reading A Memory Called Empire. I keep telling myself that I’m going to have to stop picking up new sci-fi series but I’m glad I read this one.

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