Another fun week in reading, and one where I finished multiple books, and started even more new ones.
Episode #36 of the To Be Read Podcast got us talking about something on Michael’s mind: Reading Slumps. It’s not something that normally afflicts me, and I explain why, but we had some ideas for him to try. (And he really should finish American Gods.)
My son and I finished the entire series of Jeff Smith’s Bone, finishing Bone#9 Crown of Horns! The ending was a little sad, very epic, full of some twists and turns and tied everything back together, even if it wasn’t exactly how the characters might have hoped. And it featured quiche! I really can’t recommend it enough after our several month nightly journey. It’s a fantastic epic fantasy story for all ages, and beautifully done in the color graphic novel.
Now we’re back to some Magic Tree House, by Mary Pope Osborne, but I won’t be talking about it in detail. Maybe Bone 0: Rose, soon too.
I also finished Consider the Fork, by Bee Wilson, after slowly savoring it in little bite-sized chunks, often at the dinner table. It was a fascinating mix of history, technology, culture, aesthetics and function, looking at all the different aspects of what and how we eat through the lens of the bowl, knife, grinding, fire, ice, putting food into your mouth, and the kitchen as a whole. So many anecdotes and I especially loved seeing how not every innovation makes things more functional, and some even move backward or happen for purely cultural terms. Thanks to Dan Wells from the Writing Excuses Podcast for the mention of the book as their book of the week. I definitely found a ton of ideas to incorporate into my writing. Highly recommended if you like this sort of thing.
The new books I started were:
Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, by Stewart Brand, a non-fiction recommendation from author Hugh Howey. I have environmentally-conscious leanings, but come from a realistic/entrepreneurial approach. Which sound like exactly what this book is about. The first chapter freaked me out with all the science about climate change. Very interested to read more.
On the fiction side, as I mentioned on the podcast I almost started Fool’s Assassin, by Robin Hobb, and even had it out of the library. Until I realized it was the first book of a 3rd trilogy. I haven’t read her books before, so I decided to go back to the beginning. I’m about 1/3 through her mid-90s classic Assassin’s Apprentice, book 1 of the Farseer Trilogy. It’s the first person recounting of the life of Fitz, the bastard son of the heir to the throne, from his childhood through his apprenticeship to become a useful assassin for his king. Has some typical epic fantasy aspects, with some special magic that only he has as well. I can definitely see how this might have influenced Brent Weeks’ Night Angel trilogy.
Yes, if you happen to buy one of these from Amazon based on my recommendation links, they’ll throw a few cents my way as a thank you. Or go get the book out of the library (I love my library), buy it in a used bookstore, or borrow it from a friend. If it catches your eye, you’ll find a way.