17 thoughts on “Weekend Reading Question Thread

  1. “the black count” by tom reiss. it’s a biography of alexandre dumas’ father, a mixed race man from haiti who rose to become a general in the french army during the revolution.
    next up: “brilliance” by marcus sakey.

  2. Tobias Jones’The Dark Heart of Italy. The takeaway so far?: Italy is still not a country, but a collection of city-states surrounded by town and villages, and, thanks to Italian state bureaucracy, the Mafia, the Fascists and the Communists, is the world locus for unresolved conspiracies. Unresolved, because if there were definitive answers to their intrigues, it would spoil their fun.

  3. Shelby Foote’s “The Civil War: A Narrative.” In real time, plus 150 years. Vicksburg has fallen, and Lee has finally gotten his Gettysburg remnants back into Virginia.
    It’s about 3,000 pages, but I have four years.

  4. Working my way through the Walt Longmire novels by Craig Johnson due to my fascination with the TV series (A & E Monday nights). Pretty well developed characters and interesting mysteries.

  5. The Wrecking Crew (LA Studio Musicians), Inferno (like everyone else), Guilt (Jon Kellerman’s latest), and I still take a stab at 1963 by Stephen King every once in a while.

  6. I really enjoyed Amor Towles Rules of Civility. It’s a wonderful novel of class and purpose set in the 1930s. I’ve got its cousin novella, Eve in Hollywood, on my Kindle, so I’ll be reading that one soon.
    Meanwhile, I’m working my way through Powdermaker’s Hollywood: Dream Factory, an anthropological study of Hollywood from the late 1940s. How little has changed. It’s a bit weak, but still fun. That’s been alternating with Cherry Ames: Student Nurse which is the classic nurse in training novel set in the early 1940s. The idea is to rest and then build up my brain enough to read Aaronson’s Quantum Computing Since Democritus, but I have to reload my Zermelo-Frankel theory first. Oh, gawd!
    One nice thing about the Kindle is that if you turn off all the social features, you and a friend with the same account can read the same book at the same time and discuss it if you go along. That’s a pretty powerful social feature, and all it takes is an off switch.

  7. “1636: The Kremlin Games” with uBooks; “Pardonable Lies,” a Maisey Dobbs mystery on Kindle (both on my iPhone); and dead tree editions of “The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend” and “The Real North Korea.”

  8. The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis.
    Democracy Now! covered it and talked with the author on the 100th anniversary of Parks’ birth. The program is archived here. If I’d won the Powerball jackpot, the second thing I’d have done was purchase Parks’ personal archive, currently locked up (with no scholarly access, even) by Guernsey’s Auctioneers.

  9. Working my way through the Discworld books (okay, I’ve been away). Right now reading “Unseen Academicals.”

  10. James Valentine’s On the Origin of Phyla. I may not be working in biology, but never gave up my love for it.

  11. “The Baby Dolls”- by Kim Vaz about the New Orleans masking culture of women (and men) as women in ‘baby doll’ clothing and race and gender equality.

  12. Wolf Hall, a historical fiction of Cromwell’s life by Mantel.
    Interesting style, but slows me down because so many uses of the pronoun “he” to refer to Cromwell completely lack the usual antecedent — at first I kept paging back to make sure I know who “he” was in the present sentence.
    Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett. One of the “witches” Discworld books; I generally like the Vimes/Carrot ones better, and so it’s proving in this case
    The Man Who Could Work Miracles, a longish story by H.G. Wells — I’m a sucker for Victorian diction in prose, so I collect Wells, and try to read even the obscure ones. The man was ungodly prolific, and was first to post with many of the tropes that have become standard in SF.
    I think more Anglophiles should read Tono Bungay, which is great fun.
    recently finished:
    Silk Parachute, some collected pieces by John McPhee
    Ready Player One Cline, which was OK
    A Dangerous Place by Marc Reisner (published posthumously)
    Destiny’s Road by Larry Niven. Meh.

  13. Spent the summer reading all five books of George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. Currently meandering through Stephen King’s “Joyland.” About to embark on Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” series.

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