Iron Council is such an incredible book, its odd because prior to reading it I had heard it described as the weakest of the Bas-Lag trilogy but I found it to contain some of his most beautiful and powerful writing. The sections describing Judah’s time in the swamp amongst the Stiltspears are something I still think about regularly. The whole final act too. I need to reread that trilogy one of these days, I think I’d get even more out of it now that I’m a bit older and more aware, and would likely have a better understanding of the themes Miéville is working with.
I need to read this!!
Finished this a few days ago. In some ways this reminds me of classic King monster yarns like IT, where a team gathers together to fight a supernatural horror. Overall this feels like a much more optimistic book than the classics as well, I’ve noticed that as he gets older the theme of overall good balancing out or overcoming evil gets more prominent.
There’s also a reacurring character from his Mr. Mercedes series, who I liked but it still feels weird that there’s a “Kingverse” like in DC or Marvel comics. Was the most severe in the Dark Tower series where he wrote himself as the author of the book into the story.
Was the team also a bunch of teens?
Nope, middle aged adults. So the second half of IT.
I’m around 600 pages into Cucumber Quest and am gonna be so sad when I get caught up!
Cat’s cradle Kurt Vonnegut
read it 2nd time, awesome book
Just finished Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi I mentioned above. It’s very, very good! I liked the characters a lot more, than I expected them to. Their motivations are always very understandable. The world remains fascinating the whole way through. Can’t wait for part 2 of this trilogy.
This is on my bedside table (based on your previous recc). Need to finish Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century first, but then Children of Blood and Bone is next at bat.
Inspired by my deep dive into teaching myself D&D as well as access to free monthly books through Audible, I’ve been reading the Legend of Drizz’t series of books. Just finished Homeland, Exile, and will start Sojourn as soon as I finish up listening to the E3 episodes of Waypoint and catch up on Critical Role.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
I thought I had read this, but turns out I hadn’t. Impossible to not think about Blade Runner, which as you might expect only uses the bare bones of this books’ story as a basis. Not that I’m complaining; the best book adaptatations are usually the ones that take a lot liberties with the plot.
Anyway in this one there are some strange ideas like an empathy box where people can join a kind of mutual hallucination and share all their emotions. There’s also a box that lets you set your emotions like changing the channel on a TV.
A major subplot is the obsession of the humans still living on earth with animals, actually anything from spiders to horses that’s managed to survive the nuclear fallout. Owning a pet is a major status symbol and also a kind of psychological buffer against despair of living on a dying planet. So artificial animals are a huge thing, but not as much a status symbol of people find out its a fake. Possibly the inspiration for the very cool artificial owl in Blade Runner.
I read They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera which is about two boys who, well, you can guess.
I got slightly hung up on The Nature of Prophecy - the world of this book is one where everyone receives a call shortly after midnight on the day they’re going to die, telling them that, and… there are multiple instances of people who die because they know they’re going to die, and this isn’t addressed at all.
But, generally speaking, I really liked it! I love tragic gays, I’m very problematic, sorry. It mostly alternates between the points of view of the two main characters, but also jumps round multiple other people, who all sort of loosely interconnect in a way I really enjoy.
I also read History is All You Left Me by the same author and I didn’t really like it much at all in the end.
It is about a boy grieving his ex-boyfriend, and hanging out with his ex-boyfriend’s also grieving current (well,) boyfriend. It alternates between the present (starting at the funeral) and the past (starting at the start of their relationship) and all that is great! It’s just the last third or so of the book I wasn’t into, really, I guess.
I also read! Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Which I liked! It’s a sci-fi thing, the protagonist is a person who used to be a spaceship AI (it’s, a bit more complicated than that) and she’s going to Kill The Space Emperor.
It does some neat bits with language. Mainly that her native language doesn’t distinguish gender, so she uses ‘she’ for everyone and often trips up when speaking other languages - but also it talks about how certain words have certain implications in these languages. Not in depth, just in passing, but it’s very neat!
There’s sequels I guess we’ll see how they go.
I’m considering reading Carrie
because of Carrie the Musical in Riverdale but I might read something a bit more, ah, light-hearted first.
Hey y’all, I just found this great tribute of Ursula K. Le Guin that you might enjoy. I teared up multiple times. She was so amazing!
The Hidden Life of Trees. I’d intended to mail it to my dad, an ex-forester, as a Christmas gift. But December came and went. Then January. Then February. Until here we are today, where I’ve decided to pull it out of the shipping box and read it myself.
I’ve just finished reading The Stopping Places by Damien Le Bas.
It’s a travel memoir sort of thing of a Romani Traveller visiting various traditional stopping places, or atchin tans in Romanes, interspersed with various musings and recollections on Romanies or Traveller culture.
As a Romani Traveller this is the first book I’ve read that really captures the feel of the traveller community. It’s nice to see a book about Romani written by one for once - and Damien’s prose is just stunning, by christ the man can turn a phrase.
Growing up I was kinda just accepting of the fact that Esmeralda or AC: Revelations was as good as pop culture depictions of Romani (also, I just discovered that the g word that is present on the cover of this book is blocked by Waypoint’s filter. Not sure how I feel about that, that’s a tricky word. I’m in favour of that I think.) was gonna get. It puts a spring in my step to read something like this honestly.
If you’re been seeing the things in the news recently about the Italian Prime Minister and the Roma, and are interested in learning more about the subject, I recommend giving this a read. Whilst primarily about British Romani as opposed to Continental Romani, which tend it be a bit distinct from each other, it’s still highly relevant.
As a person of Romanichal decent, I’d be interested in checking this out.
Yesterday I finished Anthony Kenny’s A New History of Western Philosophy. It only took me 18 months but now I know everything so it was obviously worth it.
Jokes aside, it was definitely a worthwhile read. Although any such book can only provide surface level understanding, I feel that I will finally have some historical context when going into individual works in the future, and some idea of where to start.
My one complaint would be that the last volume of the book covers mainly analytical philosophy. It makes sense since the author is of that school, but I would have liked to know more about some continental ideas.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed my time with it. I liked the structure of it and will probably go back to parts of it when the need arises.
I’m also currently reading some Virginia Woolf. To the Lighthouse was a very interesting and thought provokinh read, and Mrs Dalloway seems similar in that regard.
Started the excellent Dungeon series, a French comic by Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim. It’s a parody of the fantasy/dungeons and dragons universe, follows the underlings Herbert the Duck and Marvin the Dragonkin, who work for a Dungeon Keeper/Master. Apparently it’s a huge series but I’ve only read the first two volumes so far and it’s great!
Also catching up on some Box Brown, read his autobiographical Love is a Peculiar Thing and Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman.
The Kaufman biography is particularly good, i’ve always been interested in him and it added some insight to his wrestling stuff that the movies didn’t cover.
whoops I meant to make this post in the comics thread! I’ll leave it here unless there is objection.
I love Bujold’s work, those books are so great in so many directions. I first read her because she talked about being influenced by Dorothy Dunnett whose historical novels are peerless in terms of rich, epic, detailed, beautiful, swashbuckling intelligent adventure. Those might be worth a look but I cannot be objective about them and I know as many people bounce off them as adore them. The Game Of Kings or Niccolo Rising are the starting points depending on whether a 16th century swashbuckling polymath or a 15th century chessmaster genius is more appealing to you. Both are super-fun, deftly slipped into the history of the period and old enough that they will probably show up in a second-hand bookshop.
I find Kate Elliott sometimes hits a similar mark, Guy Gavriel Kay can have a similar narrative deftness and for taught plot and charming character you could take a look at The Thief and it’s sequels by Megan Whalen Turner - the latter is worth going into blind if you can, I think it would be hard not to get spolied on the first one at least and it is a lot of fun if you can avoid that. Thinking about it, The Steerswomen has a somewhat Bujold charm to it as well. All of those rank among my favourite writers so from my point of view you will not go wrong with any of them.