FF: Mixed and Mingled

Dandy Goes To The Theater

This week my reading has been all over the place, which isn’t bad at all.  I’m enjoying hearing what you’re reading…

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:

Octavia Gone by Jack McDevitt.   A good mystery because the resolution doesn’t solve everything neatly, but instead offers some interesting moral ramifications.

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartolomew.  Sometimes it’s frustrating that writers about gardening automatically assume that anyone reading the book is in the same climate zone as them.  Still, I gleaned a few helpful bits from this, while feeling rather smug that the wheel the author seemed to think he’d invented has been in use here for centuries.

In Progress:

Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling.  Book Two in his series set in an Alternate World War I.  The first, in case you’re interested, is The Black Chamber.  Just started.

Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens and Landscapes by Baker H. Morrow.   Microclimates are fascinating.  I started reading this for my garden and continued with my writing in mind.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We’re done with the “big name” emperors and taking a look at art, science, etc.  It’s fascinating that, with so much to build on, the Romans didn’t make all that many advances.


I’ve been immersed in a lot of work toward future projects.  Stay tuned for official announcements…

9 Responses to “FF: Mixed and Mingled”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    I finished Through Wolf’s Eyes and enjoyed it very much. I am ordering Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart from Amazon because my library doesn’t have it.

    I am currently reading The Right Side by Spencer Quinn. I had read his Chet and Bernie books and liked them. This is different. The main character is a soldier who was injured in Afghanistan and lost her eye.

    I just started New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson, a sci fi.

  2. King Ben's Grandma Says:

    Ben started his three week summer break this week so my brain is too tired to do much reading by the time he goes to sleep. I’m still working my way through To Green Angel Tower by Tad Williams. I am determined to finish this book. I have about one hundred pages left. By next FF I plan to be reading something different.

    • Beverly Martin Says:

      Good luck! And, sleep well!

    • janelindskold Says:

      Sounding too much like homework. Of course, you’re tired. That can make a difference.

      • King Ben's Grandma Says:

        Well, I’ve finally finished it. It *did* feel almost like homework in the middle, but it wasn’t the story. I think my biggest obstacle with this book was the book itself. It is over 1000 pages, trade paperback so it was unwieldy to hold. Plus since it’s a library book it had hard plastic attached to the covers. Sharp edges and points. It wasn’t a hardcover and also wasn’t exactly a paperback. I would have done better with ebook.
        I actually enjoyed the story just not fighting with the book.

        I’m glad you decided to split Wolf’s Search into two books. Especially at trade size, too many pages becomes difficult to hold and that detracts from the enjoyment.

  3. Harried Harry Says:

    I’m trying to get started on the Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams. I tried to read the book “Privateer” by M. Weis and R. Krammes; this is the third or fourth time I’ve started the book but I just am not enjoying it. I read the prior series and really enjoyed it, but this one, not so much.

    For late night reading, I read a series of Kindle books by Peter Allesso called “The Henry Gallant Series”. Reading the stories has really tickled my funnybone since I can really understand the difference between poor, fair, decent, good, and great writing. At best, his writing is decent for overall plot but only fair for continuity, grammar, and character building. The overall plot is pretty good, but he needs to spend more time reading excellent SciFi so he can understand the how and why of world development. The storyline has some very interesting plot twists, but he seems to get some parts out of sequence. For example, he never really explains the real basis for part of his plot (“natural” development vs. genetically enhanced). After a number of chapters, he slowly leads into the topic, but it is like pulling teeth -without anesthetic.

    Jane, I really, really appreciate the way you, David Weber, Louis McMaster Bujold and others are able to pull together a plot with very careful character development along with development of your “world view”. Proper use of English (or American English) is critical for a smooth flow of a story. (I learned English back in the day when it was required to diagram a sentence, thus we learned how to put a fluent sentence and paragraph together. I’m not sure many have learned this as an effective way to construct paragraphs.)

    Enjoy the weekend. My tomatoes are arriving, so we are starting to eat them on a daily basis. My grass is growing very well, but my mower rebelled against working. Of course, this means I must pay it the necessary graft (new parts). I really hate it when I find I must replace parts because I don’t know enough to just pull parts off the old broken mowers.
    (I saw one of the squirrels running across the yard today. Now I know I’ll either set another trap or clear out the two cords of pecan firewood it is hiding under. Decisions, decisions. )

    • janelindskold Says:

      Enjoy the tomatoes! We’re also just getting ours, but since we can hope to harvest into November, this isn’t too late.

      Trying to explain to neo writers just how much work on how many levels putting together a novel is is nearly impossible in this day and age where instant ego and instant gratification seems to be the goal. Very hard. When I find someone who is really willing to work, I am thrilled.

      My sister uses diagramming sentences when she can. She’ll have diagramming “bees.” Oddly enough, in our highly visual age, this technique may be finding an audience.

      Anyhow, thanks for appreciating the labor of writing that goes along with our love of sharing stories.

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