FF: Some Thought-Provoking Reads

Hollyhock Toad Borrowed My Kindle

I’ve been writing a lot this week, but I’ve still found time to read.  How about you?

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

What are you reading?

Recently Completed:

Out of the Deep I Cry by Julie Spencer Fleming.  Audiobook.  This author is showing a not unappealing tendency to intertwine close looks at social issues with her mysteries.  The historical sections in this one leave me with no doubt that I’m glad I was born when I was – especially for medicine.

The Sacerdotal Owl and Three Other Long Tales by Michael Bishop.  A forthcoming collection of three novellas.  Very much enjoyed.  The problem is writing a blurb when I want to write an academic paper.

One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters.  Audiobook.  Second book in her Brother Cadfael series.  An old favorite.

In Progress:

Leonardo daVinci by Walter IsaacsonI’ve been wanting to read this since we went to the daVinci exhibit a month or so ago.  Just starting.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss.  Enjoyable, although I admit to wishing that she hadn’t felt a need to include Sherlock Holmes.  But that’s my private bugbear and not a reflection on the author.

Also:

Almost done with the latest Smithsonian.

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6 Responses to “FF: Some Thought-Provoking Reads”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    I finished Shadowheart by Tad Williams. The last half of the book was good. Now I am reading a Harry Bosch detective book, The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly and Rex Regis by L.E. Modesitt, book 8 of the Imager Portfolio. Both are living up to my expectations.

  2. CBI Says:

    Finished:
    New Earth by Ben Bova. Reasonably good character interaction, but they all individually were a bit cardboard-y. I had difficulty in suspending disbelief that such a mis-fit and unprofessional crew would be sent on a voyage to a nearby star. The “evil humans saved by intervention of benign extra-terrestrials” concept feels stale, which didn’t help.

    Table Talk of Martin Luther. Collected by various dinner guests at Martin & Katherine Luther’s table, as he commented on various things. Although many of the selections are rather boring, I’m glad I kept to the end.

    Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo by Zora Neale Hurston. The anecdotes and recollections of a former slave who was on the last known ship to transport slaves to Alabama. (Illegally, in 1859.) Begins with his youth in his village in Africa, his village’s brutal conquest and his enslavement by the nearby Kingdom of Dahomey, and his sale to white smugglers. Includes stories how he and some other ex-slaves founded their own town after emancipation, and his marriage and life after that.
    Quite vivid examples of human cruelty (e.g., the Dahomeyans were head-hunters: those males they captured who weren’t enslaved were sacrificed) as well as of human perseverance. It was written in 1927, but not published until this year because Hurston insisted that the recollections be written in dialect. As often, it can be thought-provoking to step into other cultures (two African (most of book), ante-bellum Alabama, late 19th & early 20th C. Alabama).

    Still in process:
    Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fisher (audiobook) Circumstances leading to Washington’s crossing of the Delaware and how it fit into the American Revolution. So far very good and eye-opening.

    • janelindskold Says:

      What an interesting and varied list!

      You might prefer THE LONG SUNSET by Jack McDevitt. There’s a reason for the mismatched crew, to start with. How they manage to cope is a good element of the story. I believe Alan reviews it in his most recent wot i red on my hols (http://tyke.net.nz/books).

      • CBI Says:

        I’ve put that on my list. I couldn’t find the review, but noticed that it’s #8 in a series: should probably start with the first? Thanks much!

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