FF: Singularly Mixed Up

This Cover IS Representative

My current reading is a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, with more new to me material than I have been perusing of late.  The mandatory pet picture will appear at the end, since I couldn’t get one of them to digitize and merge with the cover of Summer in Orcus.

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.

Recently Completed:

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett.  Re-read.

Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher.  A quirky portal fantasy with a varied cast and an unusual quest.

In Progress:

The Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher.  Despite the title, I have been assured that this is not steampunk.   It may become my new pre-bedtime read.

So, Anyway… by John Cleese.  Audiobook, read by the author.  Intensely detailed, sometimes very funny autobiography focusing on Cleese’s formative years.  I find myself wondering if I remember this much about early teachers and jobs…

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audio.  We’re touring the complex cultural heritage of India.

Also:

Sampling a heap of National Geographic magazines that lay fallow.

The Late Pryderi With Ruby the Tiger

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12 Responses to “FF: Singularly Mixed Up”

  1. Harried Harry Says:

    Enjoy your weekend! I’m trying to read a few books, but then I got sidetracked into reading a BookBub specialTher Aegis of Merlin Omnibus 1 by James E. Wisher. Very decent story for YA, but too much casual death (IMO). One of those storylines which sucks a person in so they can’t put the book down.

    I saw a link to obtain audio books at a low price. Now I need to figure out how to download to my iPhone so I can listen.

  2. Beverly Martin Says:

    What a gorgeous cat! Thanks for sharing the photo!
    I am late in posting because your blog didn’t show up on Goodreads, which is where I normally find you.
    I am reading Whispers Underground, (Peter Grant #3) by Ben Aaronovitch, The Sands of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke, and Sourcery by Terry Pratchett.
    My list is a little diverse, but not as eclectic as your offerings!

    • janelindskold Says:

      Probably the change in photo style meant Goodreads didn’t autopost. I’m glad you came to find us! Pryderi was a wonderful cat. We lost him to cancer at age eleven,about seven years ago. But good memories. That’s a pretty varied list, I think!

  3. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    I am sometimes surprised when I get a notification from the library that a book is waiting or an ebook has been checked out to me. I often don’t remember why I reserved the book or when. Fibromyalgia and my grandson have turned my memory to mush. The point to this is that when The Awakening by Kate Chopin in ebook form arrived I had no idea what it was. Of course I read it and enjoyed it. Written in the late nineteenth century, it stands the test of time. It was a surprise, but a pleasant surprise.

    Also Completed – The Hidden Room and Full Wolf Moon by Lincoln Child. Both stories of the Enigmalogist.

    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Another book I don’t remember reserving but I enjoyed it so much I reserved The Grisha Trilogy.

    Currently Reading – Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Sequel to Six Of Crows.

    In my TBR pile I have The Robots Of Gotham by Todd McAulty. It was with the “Hot Right Now” books in the library and caught my eye.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Six of Crows didn’t work for me, but I will be the FIRST to admit I’m a hard sell for books about thieves and/or assassins. The writing and characterization were both well-done and the setting excellent, so this is definitely a “not my flavor” rather than “a horrible book.”

  4. Louis Robinson Says:

    Finished 2 books!

    Beren and Luthien: Christopher Tolkien’s 2nd last venture into his father’s corpus. Didn’t enjoy it as much as The Fall of Gondolin. probably in part because the tale is already pretty well known, but also because there weren’t really any developed narratives of the story in it’s final form, so it was harder to illustrate it’s evolution. And that, for me, was much of the strength of Fall.

    Through Fiery Trials: latest installment in David Weber’s Safehold series. _I_ found it very enjoyable, but then I believe that my mission, when I choose to accept it, is to appreciate a book, not determine what the author should have been writing instead. It illustrates an interesting conundrum that can occur when a writer tries to jump forward in a long complex series – it actually ends with the event that we were assured, some 18 months or so ago, would be the _opening_. Himself has explained that when he got about a third of the way in, he realised that he had filled it with a series of flashbacks and infodumps because if the reader didn’t know what had happened in the 20 years since the end of the last book events and situations in the current one would make no sense whatsoever. So he scrapped it and just gave us the narrative of those 2 decades. Of course, since the previous 8 books covered a whole 6 years, that created its own set of issues – which people over on the forums have been whinging about for the last month, of course. And since the ending was supposed to be the opening, we have been left twisting in the wind. With, I’m quite convinced, Malice Aforethought.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Interesting conjectures. One thing that SF/F writers have always dealt with more than most genres is audience participation. How do you think readers would have reacted to this if they hadn’t “been assured” the book would have been written otherwise?

      I don’t think Weber actually likes leaving readers hanging. I remember his angst many, many years ago when he realized he could no longer write the HH novels as effectively “stand alones.” He is NOT a jerker of chains. He just thinks up very complicated stories that can’t be covered between two covers. You can quote me on this!

      • Louis Robinson Says:

        You clearly haven’t spent enough time hanging out in his fora. Ask him to translate ‘tum te tum tum’ some time. 😉

        Readers, perhaps not. Fans, OTOH… Himself posts snippets of upcoming books [a trick he learned from Jim Baen – the feeding frenzy generates a _lot_ of prepublication word-of-mouth], and while most are the opening chapters, in order and as submitted, he regularly tosses in out of order chunks that are carefully trimmed, and occasionally edited as needed, to send us barking up as many wrong trees as he can arrange.

        Reactions wouldn’t have been any different, I believe: as I said, he told us he’d hit a snag when it happened, and explained what he’d done around the time he submitted the manuscript. By the time the book came out, no one was expecting the original plan. In fact, I think there was considerable relief in certain quarters that he hadn’t just skipped 2 decades and taken up the story in media res. Which didn’t stop the usual suspects complaining that there wasn’t enough of whatever they’d liked best in the earlier books, and/or too much of what they liked least.

      • janelindskold Says:

        Interesting… I don’t do the fora thing. I don’t do snippets. He’s the extrovert. Not me!

      • Louis Robinson Says:

        We love you anyway. Just in a different way 😉

      • janelindskold Says:

        Uh, thank you?

  5. Harried Harry Says:

    Aaaaah! We all enjoy reading D. Weber’s stories about the different universes he has discovered and is trying to explain to us mere mortal Earth readers. Just like Firekeeper, we learn as we go along. Since my brain doesn’t work like it did when I was 20, I just enjoy the read. I’m at the stage of life where I enjoy rereading books just to find out the things I missed the first two or three times. Good books are worth rereading, otherwise they wouldn’t be good books.

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