On episode 48 of the To Be Read Podcast, our topic was: “What’s So Funny?” We delved into what works and doesn’t work for us when it comes to humor in print.
One day into the week I finished The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, and translated by Ken Liu. Again, it’s one of the bestselling Science Fiction books in China, definitely hard sci-fi. I found the detailed physics interesting enough and accessible, but really enjoyed the grounding in the Cultural Revolution in China, and how it affected everyone, but especially academics. (Especially interesting given my background studying China and Chinese, and travels in the country.) The story was interesting, but my only complaint is that it often felt a bit detached with the storytelling style and academic characters. But I’m sure it would be a hit with those who really enjoy hard sci-fi.
After that much heavier hard sci-fi story, I started on the light-hearted Greenstar Season 2, by Dave Higgins and Simon Cantan. I quite enjoyed season 1 of this comedic space opera that reads as Douglas Adams writing Star Trek in the style of Hitchhiker’s. Season 2 was even better. More on it next week, and I did reference some of why I found it funny in the podcast.
My son and I read a random Disney-published graphic novel we found at the library, Space Mountain by Bryan Q. Miller. Yes, it’s named after the roller coaster. But it’s actually a cool little story about two kids getting a chance to go on a timey wimey adventure. The story and the artwork were better than the two kid characters, otherwise I’d give it another star. But it was still more than solid if you like time travel graphic novels.
Speaking of which, I also read Hope Larson’s graphic novel adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle in Time. I’d never read the story (sorry Mum, who loved all those books), but quite enjoyed it, and thought the pictures told the story well. It was less than a wow production after the gorgeous full color artwork of Amulet, or the awesomeness of Bone, since this one was all done in black/white/blue, but it was still very solid.
Yes, bizarrely, I’ve only read sci-fi the past few weeks. But that will be changing very soon…
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.