FF: Focus

Plump and Rounded, Coco Contemplates the Moon

This week, I find myself back in mostly non-fiction territory.

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, 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.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading. 

Recently Completed:

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart.  Good but more anxious, less ironic, thus less fun.

In Progress:

The Renaissance by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Touring some of the smaller cities in Italy.  (The Italian Renaissance is the focus of the book.)

Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon by John Stevenson.  Years ago, Jim and I attended a show at the Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe that featured this series of Yoshitoshi’s later prints.  We were so fascinated, we bought the book.  I read the parts focused on each print pretty much immediately, but only skimmed the introduction.  This time I started there.  Fascinating mixture of history and biography.  Now I’m reading the text that goes with the individual prints.


Back issues of Smithsonian.  The article on Yellowstone was fascinating, even if the writer should have had an archeologist check some terminology, especially since the article was focused around archeology!


7 Responses to “FF: Focus”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    Coco is very cute and has a very plush coat – perfect for the cold weather that was in your area recently!

    This week, I finished Lord of Light by Roger Zelanzy. I can see why it won the Hugo award! It was a beautifully written myth with science fiction roots. Not being overly familiar with Hinduism or Buddhism, it was an education learning about the different deities and their attributes. I especially appreciated the resolution of the conflict in the end. It was refreshing.

    • janelindskold Says:

      I’m glad it worked for you. It is an older work, but I still think it’s worthy of the praise. Roger was neither Hindu nor Buddhist (although a lot of people assume he was Buddhist, based on this book), but he did a LOT of research. I still have some of the books.

      Coco appreciates the praise. She’s less showy than Dandy, but I think just as lovely. (And a heck of a lot easier to groom!)

  2. James Mendur Says:

    Re-reading the first five Amber books by Roger Zelazny
    Second dose of COVID vaccine

    Up next:
    Re-reading “Imaginary Numbers” (the previous Incryptid novel by Seanan McGuire) because I expect to get the new one “Calculated Risks” either tomorrow or Monday.
    And after that, trying a different series with “Dead Things”, the first Eric Carter Necromancer book by Stephen Blackmoore.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Glad you have had the second shot. Joy! Your reading sounds varied and interesting…

    • janelindskold Says:

      My favorite use of necromancy is Garth Nix’s Sabriel series, especially the original three.

      • James Mendur Says:

        I’ve found that I stay mostly away from high fantasy these days, at least for novels. I prefer having at least one point of contact with this reality.

        Kim Character can be transported to a high fantasy world on page 4, but Kim’s modern day Earth perspective is my touchstone.

        I know that makes me not very adventurous in my reading … but it’s called a comfort zone for a reason.

      • janelindskold Says:

        Absolutely. I’m avoiding dark for similar reasons. It’s outside of my comfort zone. No shame.

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