Archive for the ‘Friday Fragments’ Category

FF: Finding Time

March 1, 2019

Kel Asks, “What Is Truth?”

Reading is taking something of a backseat to writing.  However, since I’ve learned I write better when I am making time to read, I’m cheerfully finding time.

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:

Making Money by Terry Pratchett.  Re-read.  Very much enjoyed.

Tales From The Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan.  Audiobook.  Short stories set in the “Magnus Chase” world.  Amusing, but mostly lacking the emotional punch of the novels.  Each story had a different reader to go with the different POV characters, a mostly successful element.  Possibly the best element was the framing device.

In Progress:

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  We finished India with the – at the time the book was written – contemporary figure of Mahatma Gandhi.  Fascinating additional element.

The Truth by Terry Pratchett.  Re-read.  This one moves me back in the Discworld timeline from the books I have been reading, but belongs to what I think of as the “Pratchett moves the Discworld out of the Fantasy Middle Ages” arc, so sort of fits.

Also:

I’ve been writing fairly steadily, so not much additional reading.

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FF: Collaborative Reading

February 21, 2019

Persephone Makes Money Under the Table

This week I read the entirety of the first issue of DreamForge Magazine.  Now Jim is reading it, and we’re having a lot of fun discussing the stories.  I think of this as collaborative reading or at least a reading group of two.  I also very much enjoy seeing comments on what you’re reading.  Often it influences what I start looking for to read next.

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:

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.  Before bed.  This is one I enjoyed much more on a second reading than I did on a first!

In Progress:

Making Money by Terry Pratchett.  Re-read.  Before bed.

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audio.  We’re now to music and art in India.  This book was written in the mid-1930’s, before George Harrison of the Beatles made sure everyone knew what a sitar sounded like.

Also:

Reading a combination of short fiction from various sources and almost, almost catching up on my magazines!

FF: It Was a Good Week

February 15, 2019

Kel Stole My Bedtime Read!

This was really a good week for reading.  I wanted to read a T. Kingfisher book that didn’t have a kid as a protagonist, and wasn’t disappointed.  I also found that the Cleese autobiography went from side-rippingly funny to poignantly thoughtful.

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:

The Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher.   Not steampunk, despite the title.  Closer to sword and sorcery with the “sorcery” replaced by demons and ancient technology.  Complex multi-level characterization, a touch of romance, and dry humor make this unlikely tale work beautifully.

The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher.  Part two of the story begun in The Clockwork Boys.  Satisfying if bittersweet conclusion.  I really like that there are consequences.  And gnoles.  I liked the gnoles a lot.

So, Anyway… by John Cleese.  Audiobook, read by the author.  Intensely detailed, sometimes very funny autobiography focusing on Cleese’s formative years.  Don’t read this if you’re hoping for a lot about Monty Python.  Do read if you are interested in the complex journey of John Cleese.

In Progress:

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.  Before bed.  Generates weird dreams and a strong desire for bacon sandwiches.

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audio.  Doing medicine in India.  Some amazing things here.

Also:

This week I should finally see the first issue of DreamForge: Tales of Hope in the Universe.  It will definitely move to the top of my TBR pile!

FF: Singularly Mixed Up

February 8, 2019

This Cover IS Representative

My current reading is a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, with more new to me material than I have been perusing of late.  The mandatory pet picture will appear at the end, since I couldn’t get one of them to digitize and merge with the cover of Summer in Orcus.

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:

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett.  Re-read.

Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher.  A quirky portal fantasy with a varied cast and an unusual quest.

In Progress:

The Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher.  Despite the title, I have been assured that this is not steampunk.   It may become my new pre-bedtime read.

So, Anyway… by John Cleese.  Audiobook, read by the author.  Intensely detailed, sometimes very funny autobiography focusing on Cleese’s formative years.  I find myself wondering if I remember this much about early teachers and jobs…

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audio.  We’re touring the complex cultural heritage of India.

Also:

Sampling a heap of National Geographic magazines that lay fallow.

The Late Pryderi With Ruby the Tiger

FF: What I Didn’t Want To Read

February 1, 2019

Persephone Considers Devouring a Good Book

When the January/February issue of Smithsonian arrived, and I saw that the focus was “America at War,” I didn’t think I’d read much of that issue.  However, one reason I subscribe to Smithsonian is because I want to push my limits, especially as to subject matter. Turns out that a magazine I didn’t think I wanted to read I finished very quickly because  it was nothing like what I expected.  Interesting how that can be.

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:

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.  Much more transparently pedantic and so much less to my taste.

In Progress:

Maskerade by Terry Pratchett.  Re-read.  Before bed.

Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher.  Lyrical and visually lush.  “Summer” is the name of the main character.

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audio.  We’re touring the complex cultural heritage of India.

Also:

I’ve almost finished Sword and Sorceress 33.  Nicely varied.

I enjoyed Lawrence M. Schoen’s novelette “The Rule of Three” from Future Science Fiction Digest.

FF: Scattered Because…

January 18, 2019

Kel Snuggles Calpurnia Tate

My reading has been really scattered lately because after a day of reading my own stuff (I’m still reviewing what I have on Wolf’s Search and Wolf’s Soul before launching into writing the final portion), when I settle to read for fun I start analyzing…

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:

Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper.  Reread.  In my current analytical mode, I found myself thinking about those books where “destiny” takes too large a role.  The Six are far less interesting than minor character John Rowland precisely because he doesn’t have a Grand  Fate.

In Progress:

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audio.  We’ve gone through Egypt, Sumerian, Babylon, Assyria, the Phoenicians, and various “minor” groups.  Now we’re immersed in the roots of Biblical history.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.  Reread.  A historical novel with a tween character who learns about evolution and the value of knitting.

Also:

Some short fiction and non-fiction articles.

FF: Inspiration and Education

January 11, 2019

Ogapoge Strikes a Stylish Pose

I’ll be finishing my re-read of Silver on the Tree, the last of Susan Cooper’s “Dark Is Rising” series today or tomorrow.  I’ve enjoyed the re-read.  And there’s a bit in the book that just might be the subject of my WW this coming week.  We’ll need to see.

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:

Nothing except a few magazine articles,  but I have a good reason…

In Progress:

Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper.

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audio.  We’ve finished trying to define “civilization,” have taken a brief look at the Sumerians, and are into Egypt.  It’s fascinating to realize that when these books were written, Wooley was still excavating Ur and Tutankhamen’s tomb was a relatively new discovery.

Also:

As I mentioned last Wednesday, most of my reading time has been going to reviewing what I’ve written on the on-going Firekeeper novels, seven and eight, tentatively titled Wolf’s Search and Wolf’s Soul.  Not done yet!

FF: An Interesting Structure

January 4, 2019

Kwahe’e Thinks Cat Should Be On This Cover

I’m on the last book in Susan Cooper’s “Dark Is Rising” series.  It’s the only one that brings together all the main characters in one book.  Even Will Stanton, the character most often cited as “main” doesn’t appear until the second book, and could be considered a minor character in the third.  That makes for an interesting structure.

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:

The Grey King by Susan Cooper.

In Progress:

Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper.

Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization by Will Durant.  Audio.  Still trying to define just what civilization is and how it evolved.

Also:

An occasional article, but I’m so far behind on my magazines that I can hardly hope to catch up.

FF: Christmas Letters

December 21, 2018

Kel Claims the Limelight Again

Yes.  I like receiving Christmas letters.  I’ve “met” many of my friends’ kids that way, and have enjoyed “watching” them grow up.   Sure, there are Christmas letters I don’t enjoy.  The thinly veiled advertisements that some of my writer friends send aren’t appreciated.  The occasional clueless brag still happens.  But usually these annual updates are well-balanced and amusing.

Jim and I send out our own Christmas letter.  I used to write handwritten notes.  Then in one year my dad, grandfather, and several beloved pets all died.  I realized I’d slit my wrists if I had to keep writing that over and over again.  So I started a Christmas letter, and now enjoy the challenge of squeezing a year down to a single page.  And I still write personal notes.

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:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Audiobook

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper.

In Progress:

The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Audiobook.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.

Also:

Christmas letters.  See above.  I like having them in print, so I can cuddle up on the sofa with a cuppa and savor.

FF: Is It a Contradiction?

December 14, 2018

Yes. Kel’s Eyes Really Are That Green!

As I try to do too much with too little time, I found that I wanted to return to much-loved familiar places.  Re-reading can be stimulating, as well as soothing.  This sounds like a contradiction, but it isn’t – at least for me.

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.

Do you find re-reading stimulating and soothing all at once?

Recently Completed:

Always Look On the Bright Side by Eric Idle.  Audiobook.  Read by the author.  Alternately funny and thoughtful, brilliantly presented.  This one was recommended by my friend, Alan Robson, in his book review column.  Now I’m recommending to you…

Treecat Wars by David Weber and Jane Lindskold.

In Progress:

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  Audiobook.  I’ve read this many times, but I don’t think I’ve ever as an audio.

Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper.  Reread.  I chose this one because the second book in the series, The Dark Is Rising is set at Christmas, and I decided to read the lead-in.  The two storylines come together in Greenwitch.

Also:

Still some magazine articles.  I will reserve my comments on social anthropologists who build complex theories to try to explain something anyone with common sense could figure out in about two breaths…