Ben Macintyre * Tony Tetro * Robert Harris * Hannah Sward * Kaoru Takamura * Stephen King * Cat Rambo * Kerry Dolan * S. A. Chakraborty
Tag: book lists
K: A Novel, by Ted O’Connell (Santa Fe Writers Project, 2020)
Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster, 2011)
Like Water and Other Stories, by Olga Zilberbourg (WTAW Press, 2019)
Your Nostalgia is Killing Me, by John Weir (Red Hen Press, 2022)
The Accomplice, by Joseph Kanon (Atria Books, 2019)
How High We Go In the Dark, by Sequoia Nagamatsu (William Morrow, 2022)
Self will aim to read 38 books.
Her 2022 Reading Challenge was 37 books, and she overshot that by a mile. Well, just by 11 books. But it is only November.
Here are her five-star reads, so far 2022:
- K: A Novel, by Ted O’Connell
- Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
- Circe, by Madeline Miller
- Like Water and Other Stories, by Olga Zilberbourg
- Your Nostalgia Is Killing Me: Stories, by John Weir
Elly Griffiths sure writes fast. She has published a new Ruth Galloway mystery every year for the last 14 years. I love, though, that I can watch her characters grow. As of this installment, # 14, Ruth Galloway is almost 52, and the daughter she had after a one-night-stand with Nelson — a very fortuitous one-night-stand, because Nelson turned out to be the love of Ruth’s life (even the fact that the feelings are not reciprocated is okay, it is better to have loved and lost etc) — is eleven.
Both mother and daughter are managing quite nicely. And that’s when covid hits. Boris announces mandatory lockdown. After a few days of this:
Ruth is particularly grateful when the postman knocks at the door with a delivery. It’s an Amazon parcel from Simon (her brother). Ruth usually tries to avoid ordering from the online retailer, preferring to shop at local bookshops, but there is something very comforting about being sent a book. It shows that her brother is thinking about her. Maybe it’s a crime novel, something by Ian Rankin or Val McDermid? Fictional murder is oddly soothing in troubled times. Ruth tears open the cardboard. Government Conspiracies and How to Spot Them. Hmmm.— the locked room, pp. 132 – 133
Ruth Galloway sounds like someone I would like to have for a friend, or a next-door neighbor. I am sure we would have lots and lots to chat about: mystery novels, for one. I could tell Ruth about a writer named Elly Griffiths and her MC, a dumpy, fifty-ish academic. I could tell her about Ann Cleeves, my other 2022 discovery. I could tell her about Richard Osman, whose Thursday Murder Club series makes me laugh harder than any mystery has ever done before. Or I could tell her about Chris Offutt’s The Killing Hills, whose mournful Appalachian mysteries have domestic angst to rival that of Elly Griffiths’.
A Colvari is a kind of bug-for-hire that can go through masses of data (gobbledy-gook) and snag the threads that are potentially useful to an employer. Haever, who’s a private investigator (he works for the equivalent of the CIA, in this future universe), doesn’t have much time to go through reams of data. Hence, the need for a Colvari. Oh, and Colvari are plural, because there is not one giant bug — a Colvari is masses of bugs, all writhing together in one ugly mass, constantly shifting, with a ‘translator’ box for a voice.
Haever has a secret meeting with his former boss who may (or may not) be selling him down the river, and when he gets back to his quarters, he senses immediately that something’s different about his Colvari.
“You’re a lot more businesslike than you used to be,” he commented quietly.
“We have undergone a partial reinstantiation,” Colvari confirmed.
“Do I get the old ‘you’ back? I kind of liked the way you were starting to talk.”
There was an odd pause, as though he’d said something in bad taste, but he couldn’t read anything in the way the Hiver stood. In the end they told him, “That won’t be possible, Agent Mundy. That version of ourself has been overwritten. These things are unavoidable. It is how they made us.”— eyes of the void, p. 352
You will notice, dear blog readers, that self has been reading Eyes of the Void at a scorching pace, much more scorching than the pace she set while reading Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. And that is because, in Eyes of the Void, self can’t believe she is halfway through the series, and Solace and Idris have yet to kiss.
How superficial of you, self! This is Adrian Tchaikovsky, not Georgette Heyer! Nevertheless.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.
So far this summer, self has read 13 books.
Six of those were Dr. Ruth Galloway mysteries (Thank you, Elly Griffiths!)
Two were Gone novels.
One was Becky Chambers’s latest, a continuation of her Wayfarers series.
One was biography (self’s current read, Steve Jobs)
She read Where the Crawdads Sing because of the movie (which she still hasn’t seen)
Oh, what fun. It is summer, self’s favorite time of year. It is hot as all get out, self is wearing a muumuu, she even wore it to go to a dentists appointment, and her dentist complimented her and asked where she got it.
This is wildfire season in California, and as a matter of fact there was a fire quite near her, just off Edgewood Road. But that was handled in three days. There’s another, bigger fire in Yosemite which is hopefully on its way to containment. There is a drought, so everyone’s been asked to limit watering to two days a week. Other than that, it’s been a good summer. Self has raised three new rose bushes and a bougainvillea in her backyard. And she’s been reading, a lot. In the past month: four Dr. Ruth Galloway mysteries, two Gone novels, Book One of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Final Architecture trilogy, and Where the Crawdads Sing (she’s still not sure if she’ll see the movie).
The guest host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is solaner, and the prompt is SUMMER VIBES:
- Show us your favorite activity (yes, chilling is also accepted as an activity in this context) in summer. In my gallery below, I have some of them as inspiration: biking, mountain climbing, hiking, swimming, diving, sailing, surfing, kite-surfing, beach sailing, chilling, bbq-ing, beach partying, traveling, sightseeing, reading, dreaming, loving, dancing, and I’m sure, you’re finding lots more like i.e. Midsommar in the Scandinavian countries or the White Nights
Here are three little glimpses of self’s Summer of 2022:
- Her backyard — Roses are blooming!
- Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, which has such beautiful gardens! The bougainvillea is gigantic.
- Café Wisteria — She celebrated her birthday (Bastille Day) there last Saturday, seated in the courtyard. That’s the best thing about having a birthday in July: you can celebrate outside!
Self finds that so many of the books she’s read this year have a bearing. For instance, the book she started the year with: My Heart, a translation from the Bosnian by Semezdin Mehmehdinovic. The author is one of those displaced immigrants who cannot feel at home, not here in America, even though he has raised a son who is so very American in his nonchalance.
And All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days, by Rebecca Donner, about Donner’s great great-aunt Mildred Harnack, who was part of a plot against Hitler and was executed in 1942.
Essay # 1 in her current read, Benjamin Labatut’s When We Cease to Understand the World, is about Fritz Haber, the brilliant Jewish chemist who directed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry and is credited with the invention of Zyklon.
- Haber had converted to Christianity at twenty-five years old. He identified so closely with his country and its customs that his sons knew nothing of their ancestry until he told them they would have to flee Germany. Haber escaped after them and sought asylum in England, but his British colleagues scorned him, aware of his instrumental role in chemical warfare. He had to leave the island not after arriving. Thenceforth, he would travel from country to country in the hope of reaching Palestine, his chest gripped with pain, his arteries incapable of delivering sufficient blood to his heart. He died in Basle in 1934, clutching the canister of nitroglycerine he needed to dilate his coronary vessels, not knowing that, years later, the Nazis would use in their gas chambers the pesticide he had helped create to murder his half-sister, his brother-in-law, his nephews and countless other Jews who died hunkered down, muscles cramping, skin covered with red and green spots, bleeding from their ears, spitting foam from their mouths, the young ones crushing the children and the elderly as they attempted to scale the heap of naked bodies and breathe a few more minutes, a few more seconds, because Zyklon B tended to pool on the floor after being dropped through hatches in the roof.
Last night, she decided to leave off How the Word Is Passed. Even though it began strong, there was a scene where a white woman who’s just finished touring Monticello comes up behind a black member of the staff and hugs her, crying and saying, “I’m sorry for slavery.” Too much. That scene was just too much. While it’s all very well and good for white people to feel the burden of guilt and shame, she doesn’t think they need to go on and on about it. Because it’s not about How White People Deal.
She’s sticking with Conquering the Pacific: An Unknown Mariner and the Final Great Voyage of the Age of Discovery, by UC Davis Professor Andrés Resendéz, about a Portuguese mulatto whose naval exploits outdid Magellan’s but who never received the recognition he deserved.
She’s tempted to get Bewilderment from Gallery Bookshop. Her local library has about 86 holds on it. She perused the first few pages and it seemed interesting. Not overtly “message-y” (She hates message books)
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.