shiny things in messy little piles

Category: reviews (Page 10 of 10)

#fridayreads 1.jun.2012

Picked up The Jew­el Hinged Jaw, Samuel Delany. Because Delany came up in a con­ver­sa­tion recent­ly and then I came across this lit­tle screed on io9:overmind
Typ­i­cal­ly shal­low but hits a pain point of mine about how many authors have suc­cumbed to the pro­duc­tion line via ghost writ­ers and co-authors and how the prod­uct has suffered.

In the midst of Gods with­out Men, Hari Kun­zru. Mixed reviews on Ama­zon but rec­om­mend­ed by a cou­ple of peo­ple I trust. I’m glad I start­ed it. Yes, the nar­ra­tive struc­ture is a bit odd and there does­n’t seem to be a cap­i­tal ‘P’ plot, but not every­thing in the world has to fol­low the three act arc.

Sand­man Slim, Richard Kadrey. Read because I found the sin­gle phrase “like God’s tiny tyran­nosaurus rex” in an excerpt amus­ing. I’m not a hor­ror fan but it was fun­ny enough to send me look­ing for anoth­er Kadrey. (and it went well with migraine.)

Hebrew­Punk, Lavie Tid­har. One of my favorite writ­ers of the moment dis­ap­point­ed me. Admit­ted­ly one of his ear­ly efforts. Not worth the time even if you like Yid­dish myth and leg­end. Sigh.


Wind Through the Key­hole, Stephen King.  A fairy tale. I like fairy tales. This made up for the last 2 Dark Tow­er books.

A bunch of dog train­ing books. Because the world moves on and the pup­py rais­ing books that I leant some­one so long ago and nev­er got back are out­dat­ed any­way. The basics nev­er change. The tricks of the trade are refined. The research updates enough to make the sequence of assigned tasks a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. I have yet to find my replace­ment for the nice­ly bal­anced approach of “Moth­er Knows Best.”

PS When you bork the Kin­dle app on an iPad because you are switch­ing iTunes from one com­put­er to anoth­er you lose all of the sam­ples that you have down­loaded and thus lose all of the books queued for pos­si­ble inclu­sion in your read­ing list. Is that hell­ish­ly annoy­ing? Or a fresh start?

#FridayReads — 3.feb

This week was all about the short sto­ries. Many avail­able free on the ‘net

From the World SF blog. The City of Silence by Ma Boy­ong. A lit­tle too easy update of 1984 for the web ruled city. I sus­pect that there is bet­ter mate­r­i­al by the same writer.

The House of Aunts. Zen ChoTo at GigaN­oto­Saurus. I don’t usu­al­ly read hor­ror. I loved this one. A teenag­er hemmed in by a pas­sel of nosy, inter­fer­ing, undy­ing­ly loy­al aun­ties. A girl’s first crush and a lot of humor.

I read a cou­ple of sto­ries writ­ten by some­one I sort of know that dis­ap­point­ed me great­ly. There is zero chance that he’d find this lit­tle post and yet… I can’t bring myself to point you all to an instruc­tive exam­ple of flat writ­ing. Con­flict avoid­ed by writ­ing about the con­flict rather than the sto­ries — whew.

I’m read­ing a lot about the act (crime?) of writ­ing. Most­ly web stuff — most­ly lost in space.

On the longer form front.

An Ever­last­ing Meal — Tamar Adler. A cook­book worth read­ing for both the ideas and the prose. I’ve just start­ed. Pleased with it.

Tons of stuff land­ing on the Kin­dle and in the post office box. A Dorothy Park­er bio, Fran Lebowitz (smart ass girls — could it be a theme?) Osama — Lavie Tid­har (alter­nate present polit­i­cal), Palimpset — CV (how cities grow — folk­loric.)  Sam­ples of a hand­ful of things.

It was a week for hunt­ing and gath­er­ing and plun­der­ing oth­er peo­ples’ read­ing lists. Next week — cook­ing and eat­ing my haul.

Hap­py Fri­day my dears.

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