Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

FF: Linked Activities

January 17, 2020

Dandy Considers The Stars

I’m working on three projects at once, so my reading time has tapered off, but since I’ve learned that for my brain reading and writing are linked, I’m making time to read.

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 I really enjoy hearing about what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World compiled by Kathleen Ragan.  Keeper for my shelves.  Recommended that readers take it a few stories at a time, because it’s easier to think about themes.  Editors notes are usually good, but sometimes less scholarly than I would have liked.

In Progress:

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson.  Recommended by Alan Robson, my former Tangent’s collaborator and a regular FF reader!

The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  Still immersed in Islam.

Also:

Catching up on magazines…  I have a couple that came before Christmas I haven’t even looked at yet.  Sigh!  But I’ve finished American Archeology and Archeology.  Now reading Smithsonian, the cover story of which is an issue I’ve read about in the prior two mags.  Interesting to see the different take.

FF: More Fragmentary Than Usual

January 10, 2020

Fang-Glorious Persephone

This week I seem to be reading more short works, which is unusual for me.  It’s been satisfying, though.  Who ever thought a Father Brown story (“The Invisible Man”) would have distinctively steampunk elements?

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 I really enjoy hearing about what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

The Great British Detective edited by Ron Goulart.  Chronological short story collection, one per author.  I thought I’d just read a few, but I found it surprisingly addictive.

In Progress:

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World compiled by Kathleen Ragan.  I’ve been reading more than a few stories a day.  Moving up through Africa.  (The book is arranged roughly geographically, which is rather fascinating.)

The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  Having finished off the Roman Empire, Durant has swirled back to focus on other prominent civilizations of the time.  More on Islam.

Also:

Catching up on magazines…  I have a couple that came before Christmas I haven’t even looked at yet.  Sigh!

FF: Old Friends, New Year

January 3, 2020

Mei-Ling: Exhausted From Chasing The Moving Finger

We drove to the Phoenix, Arizona, area over the Christmas holiday, so a bit more fiction time.

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 I really enjoy hearing about what you’re reading!

Recently Completed:

The Making of The African Queen or How I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall, and Huston and almost lost my mind by Katharine Hepburn.  Extremely chatty, reads as if it was narrated rather than written, with numerous asides.    I wish this was available as an audiobook with the same reader who read Me.  As Hepburn might say “Great fun!”

The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers, Audiobook.  This is an old favorite of mine, especially as read by Ian Carmichael, but Jim didn’t know it, so it was our audiobook on the drive.  Magnificent in many ways, and as it starts during the winter holidays, perfect.

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  A dear friend gave me a copy of this old favorite, and I couldn’t resist re-listening!

In Progress:

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World compiled by Kathleen Ragan.  I’ve been reading more than a few stories a day.  We’ve finished Polynesia, Australia and are now into Sub-Saharan Africa.  (The book is arranged roughly geographically, which is rather fascinating.)

The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  Having finished off the Roman Empire, Durant has swirled back to focus on other prominent civilizations of the time.  We did the Persian Empire, and are now looking at the rise of Islam within the context of Arab culture.

Also:

A few more issues of Grimjack. Holding up pretty well, but more episodic than I remembered.  Oddly, the Munden’s Bar “filler” tends to have more continuity.

FF: Differently Dynamic

December 13, 2019

Persephone Says: She Stole My Autobiography Title!

My current reading is full of differently dynamic characters, just the inspiration I need to get me through my insanely busy schedule.

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:

Witchmark by C.L. Polk.

 In Progress:

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World compiled by Kathleen Ragan.  I chanced on this and plan to give it a shot with a few stories a day.  Tantalized by the multi-culturalism and that the compiler sought overlooked tales.

Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn.  I read this many years ago, and am enjoying again.  Kudos to reader Bernadette Dunne who does such a phenomenal “Katharine Hepburn” voice that Jim went and picked up the box to make certain Hepburn herself wasn’t reading it.

Also:

I’ve temporarily put on hold The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  Discussing the evolution of the early church into the medieval church, as well as the fading out of non-Christian religions and how their traditions persisted.

FF: Transforming Images

December 6, 2019

Kel Approves

This week the unintentional theme seems to be transformation of tropes and texts and time periods.

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:

Angel Mage by Garth Nix.  Homage to The Three Musketeers, more to the movies than the books, in that the protagonists are much nicer, less grasping people than in the novels.  However, this is an homage, not a retelling.  Plot, characters, and setting are Nix’s own, and so the overlap of some names is actually startling.

In Progress:

Witchmark by C.L. Polk.  Just getting back into this one.  The setting seems to be an alternate WWI.  I’ve seen it called “gaslight fantasy” for that reason.

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales From Around the World compiled by Kathleen Ragan.  I chanced on this and plan to give it a shot with a few stories a day.  Tantalized by the multi-culturalism and that the compiler sought overlooked tales.

The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  Discussing the evolution of the early church into the medieval church, as well as the fading out of non-Christian religions and how their traditions persisted.

Also:

I’ve put Grimjack created by John Ostrander and Tim Truman on hold for a bit.  The comics are somewhat fragile, and I am racing around right now.

FF:Trying Harder

November 22, 2019

Kel Sees a Camera and Poses

This has been a week for finishing up.  Next will be one for starting new.  Remember, folks, this is supposed to be fun, so don’t feel you need to report massive reading “progress.”  I like hearing from you, no matter what!

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:

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire.  Audiobook.  A regular reader of the FF asked, “Is this horror?  From what I’ve read, it sounds like it.”  My assessment is “Yes and no.”  Very strong elements of horror (with horror movies repeatedly alluded to by the narrative voice).  However, I think the novel is reaching for more.  Whether or not you think it does so will depend on the individual reader.

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally.  A very interesting read but the “complete” means a certain amount of repetition of story types.  Recommended as a read in small bites unless you’re a folklorist who wants the “compare and contrast” experience.  Excellent translation, that strives to portray the Norwegian cultural vibe, something that even the original compliers admitted was difficult to do.

In Progress:

Grimjack created by John Ostrander and Tim Truman.  Comic books.  Past the “Trade Wars” storyline and into Kalibos.  Grimjack is definitely an anti-hero, but one who tries to be more “hero” than “anti.”  Ever since “Requiem” he’s been trying harder.

The Age of Faith by Will Durant.  Part Four of “The Story of Civilization.”  Audiobook.  At a massive sixty-one and a half hours, I’ll be back and forth with this one for a while!

Also:

Dipping and delving into the three Star Kingdom novels by Weber, and Weber and Lindskold as I get ready to start writing as of yet untitled Book Four in the series.

FF: Immersion

November 8, 2019

Kel Makes a Reverse Q next to Quillifer

One reason the reading list below is so short is that I’ve been immersed in my second read-through of Wolf’s Soul.  This doesn’t leave much reading attention for anything else!

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.

Do any of you do holiday-specific reading?

Recently Completed:

Quillifer The Knight by Walter Jon Williams.  I know the author, so I scored an ARC!  The writing style is reminiscent Rafael Sabatini or Alexander Dumas, so be prepared for descriptive embroidery, as well as swashbuckling adventure.  This novel is now officially available!

In Progress:

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire.  Audiobook.

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally.  I’m reading a few of these before bed each night.  They can make for some very odd dreams!

Also:

I haven’t quite figured out what my next “fun” read is going to be.  I’m seriously considering a re-read of something I love. I’ll let you know next week!

FF: Knights, Alchemists, and Trolls

November 1, 2019

Clever Rogue Meets Clever Rogue

After reading well over half of The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, I have found myself wondering just how many family pets were beheaded by children who believed that this would release the prince/princess trapped within by evil trolls…

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.

I’m enjoying hearing what you folks are reading, too!

Recently Completed:

Sourdough by Robin Sloan.  Audiobook.  Enjoyable.

In Progress:

Quillifer The Knight by Walter Jon Williams.  I know the author, so I scored an ARC!  The writing style is reminiscent Rafael Sabatini or Alexander Dumas, so be prepared for descriptive embroidery as well as swashbuckling adventure.  This novel is a November release!

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire.  Audiobook.  Just started.

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally.  I’m reading a few of these before bed each night.  They can make for some very odd dreams!

Also:

Finished my first read-through of Wolf’s Soul.  Overall, I’m feeling happy with it, but I’m too close to it.  I’ll take a few days away from it to clear my head before going through it again.

FF: Food, Scripture, and Inspiration

October 18, 2019

Persephone Reaches Out

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.

I’m enjoying hearing what you folks are reading, too!

Recently Completed:

Mister Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  Audiobook.  Slow build based around a puzzle reminds me quite a bit of Ready Player One.  A lot fewer fight scenes, less Eighties trivia, replaced by computer trivia.

Kebra Nagast edited by Gerry Hausman.  Interesting balance of anecdote and Rastafarian scripture.

Jerk From Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style by Helen Willinsky.  Food and how it is prepared is a terrific window into a culture.  Helen Willinsky’s introduction alone would make this book a great find, but each section, sometimes each recipe, has a little write up that makes this a gem.  When winter comes, I want to try some of the recipes.

In Progress:

Sourdough by Robin Sloan.  Audiobook.  Another slow story, very introspective, but I’m enjoying the internal journey of Lois.

The Complete and Original Norwegian Folktales of Asbojornsen & Moe, translated by Tiina Nunnally.  I’ve read many of these stories in the older translation, but Tiina Nunnally’s translation removes the British interpolations and provides a greater sense of the Norwegian roots.  The various introductions include a lively foreword by Neil Gaiman, as well as the original introductions to various editions by Asbojornsen and Moe.  The latter provide a lovely perspective on the evolution of the text.

Also:

I’m not a great fan of post-apocalyptic fiction or film.  One exception is A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.  When we were invited to a post-apocalyptic themed Halloween party, I pulled out this favorite, re-read parts, and have resolved to attend as a booklegger—complete with a chest of books to share.

FF: Rich Selection

October 11, 2019

My reading right now continues to be a rich and varied selection…

Mei-Ling Considers Trying Jamaican Food!

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.

I’m enjoying hearing what you folks are reading, too!

Recently Completed:

The Bends In The Road: A Memoir by Svenn Lindskold.  Svenn is my great-uncle, half-brother of my paternal grandfather, a relative I met only after I was an adult, but whom I’ve come to really like.  This is a thoughtful look at a life of over eighty years, full of rich detail.

In Progress:

Mister Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.  Audiobook.  Slow build based around a puzzle reminds me quite a bit of Ready Player One.  A lot fewer fight scenes, less Eighties trivia, replaced by computer trivia.

Kebra Nagast edited by Gerry Hausman.  Very dense, so reading slowly.

Jerk From Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style by Helen Willinsky.  Food and how it is prepared is a terrific window into a culture.  Helen Willinsky’s introduction alone would make this book a great find, but each section, sometimes each recipe, has a little write up that makes this a gem.

Also:

Wolf’s Soul is done in rough draft, so I’m re-reading, polishing, tinkering.