FF: Slowing Down

Jingles in the Magical Forrest

Happy New Year’s Eve, folks…

This past week, holiday cooking and house guests seriously cut into my reading time.

So has spending my work time proofreading, which I started almost as soon as I got home from putting my mom on her plane.  Therefore, I don’t think I have anything new to offer this week.  Therefore, we offer you a picture of one of our Christmas decorations: the Breyer pony “Jingles” and his sleigh load of misfit toys.

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.  Two of the series I’m trying right now are due to FF reader mentions.


Written in Stone by Christopher Stevens.  Non-fiction on Indo-European root words.  Interesting, but not very scholarly, almost more like stream of consciousness association.  I’d love a recommendation of a book that was similar to P.E. Cleator’s Lost Languages, in that it would be partially about the deciphering process, partially about the people who took on the challenge.

In Progress:

The Liar’s Knot by M.A. Carrick.  Sequel to The Mask of Mirrors.  Very good so far. 

Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch. Audiobook.  Great fun so far.


Finished the most recent Smithsonian and almost all of the most recent Vogue.  Human culture is certainly varied and complex.

10 Responses to “FF: Slowing Down”

  1. Beverly Martin Says:

    Jingles is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

    This week I read Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness #5) by Rhys Bowen. In this story Georgie is sent to the French Riviera on an assignment for the Queen. Of course, there is a mystery, danger and smoldering glances. Fun series.

    I also read Kill City Blues (Sandman Slim #5) by Richard Kadrey. Stark gets involved in the hunt for a powerful weapon that will kill the celestials. Lots of action and good dialogue.

  2. Louis Robinson Says:

    Hmmm… Have you read Empires of the Plain? Primarily about Henry Rawlinson – but since he’s really only of interest for deciphering Cuneiform that and his competition with Hincks and others are major features. Well, I found his goings-on in Qajar Iran interesting, but that’s another matter.

    As for me, it seems that isolating with COVID can do wonders for your reading when it’s a mild case. Finished Geomorphology in the Anthropocene, which turns out to be mainly a review of how human activity affects the main processes rather than a study of the results. I’ve also made it 2/3 of the way through The Nature of Middle Earth – turns out Tolkien had actually scrapped chunks of the underlying mythos by the end of the 50s, despite it being included in LotR when it was published in ’55 – and have my hands on Uruk again. I also just picked up Nine Nasty Words, a study of profanity by John McWhorter. Looks like a lot of fun; McWhorter is the linguist Alan was listening to audio of a few months ago.

    • Louis Robinson Says:

      PS: Happy New Year!

    • janelindskold Says:

      How are you feeling? I haven’t read Empires of the Plains… Do you recommend?

      • Louis Robinson Says:

        Pretty good, now, although I’m expecting the cough to last a while – they always do for me. OTOH, since I have a steroid inhaler I have to use to treat the cough I get with even minor colds, and started using it before it even occurred to me what I was really sick with, I avoided the lung inflammation that gets a lot of people in trouble.

        Empires of the Plain is a good book, IMHO. I would recommend it.

  3. Harried Harry Says:

    I’ve been rereading a few books since they are nice to read. I’ve read a couple by Reeman which were sea stories of WWII. Another book is “Young Miles” by Lois McMaster Bujold which contains three of her books from the Miles Vorkosigan series of stories.

    Jane, a while back you mentioned you never know what to say when people ask you how to write a story. Ms. Bujold has a very nice epilogue in “Young Miles” where she discusses how she writes. I think you will find it very interesting to read since, I believe, your method of writing is very similar to hers. She provides lots of insight into her methodology along with references to other authors/people she has followed in her writing career.

    To everyone, enjoy your New Year’s Eve and have a very Happy New Year.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Thanks for the information on the essay. I have read the novels, but I may need to look for the collection so I can see the essay. I’ve crossed paths w/Ms. Bujold over the years and always found her a wonderfully kind person.

  4. James Mendur Says:

    Finished re-reading:

    The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross (book 2)

    a few short stories in that universe

    The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross (book 3, and the point at which the two main characters have leveled up so much they are no longer the lovable, in over their head, geeks they once were, but terrifying, in over their head, killers; Stross was moving into alternate universe bureaucratic horror instead of ultra-secret bureaucratic horror shenanigans after this book).

    No idea what’s up next. That’s a decision for NEXT year.

    Happy new year.

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