Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

FF: Hot Weather Reads

June 23, 2017

This week has been so unbearably hot that lows of over thirty degrees still leave nighttime temperatures above 70.  I feel like an old-fashioned computer, my processing ability slowed by heat.

Cool Cat Ogapoge

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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:

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore.  A gloriously footnoted look at the people and events who shaped the development the iconic comic book character

Black Coffee by Agatha Christie, audiobook.  This audio is an adaptation by Charles Osborne of her first stage play.  Mr. Osbourne is so faithful to the text that one can almost hear the stage directions in his descriptions.

In Progress:

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  Introducing Hercule Poroit and Captain Hastings.

The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge.  No.  The conspiracy isn’t lost, the Lost are conspiring.

Also:

I’m setting up a new adventure for my RPG so have been immersed in all sorts of resources on everything from fiber arts to desert denizens: real, exaggerated, and imaginary.

FF: Read Me a Story

June 16, 2017

I’m writing more than ever, but now that the garden is in, I’m finding little more time to read, or at least to listen to audiobooks.

Wonder Kel!

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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:

Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  Re-read.

The Return of the Twelves by Pauline Clarke.  A middle grade story about some magical wooden soldiers twisted up with the juvenilia of the famous Brontes.

The Big Four by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  Re-read.

Fleetwood Mac: The Ultimate Guide to Their Music and Legend.  Rollingstone special issue.  For all their money and fame, I ended up feeling this was a sad story.

In Progress:

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore.  A gloriously footnoted look at the people and events who shaped the development the iconic comic book character.  No.  I haven’t seen the movie yet!  This book was actually a Christmas present I’m finally getting to read.

Black Coffee by Agatha Christie, audiobook.  This audio is an adaptation by Charles Osborne of her first stage play.  Mr. Osbourne is so faithful to the text that one can almost hear the stage directions in his descriptions.

Also:

Finished the current Smithsonian and am now reading the one before.  Interesting article on the placebo effect.

FF: Secret Histories

June 9, 2017

Secrets, especially those long-hidden, are perennially fascinating.  They play a major role in all the books I’m reading this week.

Not So Secret Hideout

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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:

Gardens of New Spain: How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America by William W. Dunmire.  This is really excellent because in addition to the subject in the title, it talks about how plants spread, why, and their cultural impact.  Additional bonus: histories – going back to earliest cultivation – of various key plants.  I seriously loved this book.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  Audiobook.  Re-listen.  Enjoyed again.

In Progress:

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore.  A gloriously footnoted look at the people and events who shaped the development the iconic comic book character.  No.  I haven’t seen the movie yet!  This book was actually a Christmas present I’m finally getting to read.

Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie.  Audiobook.  Re-read.

The Return of the Twelves by Pauline Clarke.  A middle grade story about some magical wooden soldiers twisted up with the juvenilia of the famous Brontes.

Also:

Still working on Smithsonian.  Actually reading the current, hi-tech issue while waiting for Jim to finish the one before.

FF: Gardens and Games

June 2, 2017

The long weekend didn’t give me quite as much reading time as I’d hoped, but I managed some.

Reading Among the Flowers

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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:

Quartered Safe Out Here by George MacDonald Fraser.  Audiobook.   A look at the campaign in Burma during WWII, from the infantry, non-officer level – very intimate.    I think it could be subtitled: George MacDonald Fraser is not Flashman and wants you to know it.

In Progress:

Gardens of New Spain: How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America by William W. Dunmire.  This is really excellent because in addition to the subject in the title, it talks about how plants spread, why, and their cultural impact.  Additional bonus: histories – going back to earliest cultivation – of various key plants.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  Audiobook.  Re-listen.

Also:

Reading back issues of Smithsonian.  I’d gotten amazingly behind.  Now reading about the Liberty Bell’s coast-to-coast tour.

FF: Immersed

May 26, 2017

I’m still immersed in my non-fiction reads, but even more immersed in writing and researching, so I’m not reading as much as I’d like.  Maybe over the forthcoming long weekend I’ll manage a couple of good hours.

A Garden in New Spain

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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.

In Progress:

Quartered Safe Out Here by George MacDonald Fraser.  Audiobook.   A look at the campaign in Burma during WWII, from the infantry, non-officer level – very intimate.    I think it could be subtitled: George MacDonald Fraser is not Flashman and wants you to know it.

Gardens of New Spain: How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America by William W. Dunmire.  Jim gave me this for a gift.  Just started.

Also:

Finished my proofing of When the Gods Are Silent, and am moving on to other, mysterious projects!

FF: Transformative Biology

May 19, 2017

Every so often I go on a serious non-fiction binge, for no reason other than my brain wants more raw material to play with.  This round seems to be biology – oh, and a bit of military history.

Who Said I’m Domesticated or Tame?

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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:

How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut.  The first full-retelling of the fox domestication experiment.  Well-written and fascinating, accessible to a general audience without talking down to it.

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.  Audiobook.  A childhood favorite read by one of my favorite audiobook readers, the late Fredrick Davidson aka David Case.

In Progress:

Quartered Safe Out Here by George MacDonald Fraser.  Audiobook. Not by the author of The Princess and the Goblin. However, I came across this when looking to see if the library had the audio of The Princess and Curdie.  A look at the campaign in Burma during WWII, from the infantry, non-officer level – very intimate.  Also read by David Case.

Gardens of New Spain: How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America by William W. Dunmire.  Jim gave me this for a gift.  Just started.

Also:

Almost done with my final proof of the e-book version of my twenty-some year-old novel When the Gods Are Silent.

FF: Old Favorites and New

May 12, 2017

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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.

Persephone Reads!

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:

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester. Hadn’t read for many years…  Astonished afresh by the creative use of language.   Probably couldn’t be written today when computers would make so many of the plot devices impossible, but good if read as a sort of alternate history.

In Progress:

How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog) by Lee Alan Dugatkin and Lyudmila Trut.  The first full-retelling of the fox domestication experiment.  So far well-written and fascinating.

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.  Audiobook.  A childhood favorite read by one of my favorite audiobook readers, the late Fredrick Davidson aka David Case.

Also:

Continuing my final proof of the e-book version of my twenty-some year-old novel When the Gods Are Silent.

Starts and Finishes

May 5, 2017

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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.

Ogapoge Reinterprets the Text

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:

Whatever After by E.M. Tippets.  ARC.  Enjoyed.

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs By Derek and the Dominos by Jim Reid.  As regular readers of this Fragment know, periodically, I read rock bios.  This is a bio of an album, with fascinating material on the various people who helped create it.

In Progress:

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee.  Audiobook.  A opera diva in Second Empire Paris finds her past may be catching up with her.

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester. Haven’t read for many years…  Astonished afresh by the creative use of language.

Also:

Starting my final proof of the e-book version of my twenty-some year-old novel When the Gods Are Silent.

FF: Drenched in an Idea Storm

April 28, 2017

Still writing and brainstorming rather than curling up with a good book.   Instead, I’m doing things like sitting on the ground, weeding, while my thoughts are in another world.  I haven’t even been listening to audiobooks as much as usual.

Kwahe’e Rocks!

When I have the foundations in place, reading will actually be productive because it will let my subconscious have space to work on the next part, but right now the subconscious is tumbling out all the things that have been swirling around.

Reminder!  I’ll be at Page One Books on Saturday, April 29th, between 3:00-4:30 taking part in a celebration of Independent Bookstores.  See my website (like below) for details.

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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:

A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane.  Audio.  Book Four in the series.  She does a good job with doing novels that stand alone within a larger tapestry.

In Progress:

Whatever After by E.M. Tippets.  ARC.  About half-way through.  Quite fun.

Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs By Derek and the Dominos by Jim Reid.  As regular readers of this Fragment know, periodically, I read rock bios.  This is a bio of an album, with fascinating material on the various people who helped create it.

Also:

Back issues of Archeology and Smithsonian, because…

FF: Reduction

April 21, 2017

A chance conversation led to an idea that seems to be becoming a new novel.  So, basically, I’m immersed in writing the novel I wish I was reading.  That means I’m not reading as much as I’d like.

Kel of the Irish Green Eyes

For those of you just discovering this feature, 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:

Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith.  A re-read that, nonetheless, had me hooked.  A book that proves that knowing the basics of the plot is not a spoiler if the story is good enough.

In Progress:

A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane.  Audio.

Whatever After by E.M. Tippets.  ARC.  Just started

Also:

Lots of articles and the like for research.