My TBR: #37 Getting Pulled Out of a Story, Assassin’s Apprentice, Whole Earth Discipline

First a writing update:

I might finish the first draft of book III of Arts Reborn this weekend. If not, I’ll come very close.

Episode #37 of the To Be Read Podcast, heard us talking about what particular grammatical, story, or stylistic aspects pull us out of a story. We had some things in common, and others that were very individual to us. All in all, a very good episode. Give it a listen:

I had a good reading week. Read some graphic novels in the Sonic and Ninja Turtles universes to my son, along with a pick-your-path Penguins of Madagascar book as his choices, while continuing on with my own fiction and non-fiction.

In one afternoon I read through the writing book The Art of Styling Sentences by Ann Longknife and K.D. Sullivan, a recomendation from my co-host Michael LaRonn. If you want to polish up your sentence-level grammar, this is the book for you, showing examples of all 20 different types in grammar notation, examples from the authors, and examples from other works. There are exercises and explanations of related concepts as well. I felt like the refresher, and it served its purpose, even if it wasn’t particularly fun.

I continued reading a bit of Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, by Stewart Brand, a non-fiction recommendation from author Hugh Howey. The first few chapters are about he environmental benefits of urbanization, a topic I’ve always found particularly interesting, as billions of people in the 3rd world are currently moving to cities. It painted a very interesting and dynamic perspective of the creative power of slums, and how our outsider view of them and what they need to improve their lives is so wrong. Really enjoying the read.

I was a little bit sick, so read more, giving me time to finish Assassin’s Apprentice, by Robin Hobb, book 1 of the Farseer Trilogy.
This book was solidly interesting through the first 3/4, then hit a tiny slowish bit, then had a fantastic ending with lots of tension, twists and turns, and brought together all the little threads of the book. The characters were well-developed, interesting, and quirky, and there are interesting aspects of the magic system that were developed as the book developed. But most of all, I really enjoyed the ending, to the point where I’d highly recommend it, and am interested to read on in the series. Next book is #2 Royal Assassin.

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.