2022-12-01

In Which I Read Stuff on Fancy Modern Devices: Fiction

So, yes, I caved in and asked for a Kindle for my belated birthday. Before this I read the first Book of Thrones volume on D’s Kindle, to see if I liked it: hell yes. I can hold this little thing in one hand and flip pages with a slight touch of a finger, vs. holding a 1000-page paperback and wearing out my arms. No contest. It fits in my purse without pulling my shoulder out of its socket! Also, for those of us who eat while reading, you don’t have to wedge a Kindle under your plate to keep it open while you eat.

Bonus: It not only remembers my page; it syncs across devices. I can leave off reading something on the Kindle and then if, say, I get stuck in a grocery lineup and I don’t have the Kindle on me, I can take out my phone and pick up where I left off on the Kindle app. Brilliant. And the books take up no shelf space.

I am a total convert*.

A few things I’ve read electronically:

The whole George RR Martin Game of Thrones series (so far). They’re fluff and while they’re not especially good (he’s better at character than plot), they are certainly involving. Excellent beach reading, and I can see how they’d make good TV.

A few Georgette Heyer novels, which are apparently “Regency romance” but which, if you can get past the extreme classism of the time and the odd bit of anti-Semitism, are quite funny. For example, this bit from Grand Sophy:

“Mama, I hope I am not an unnatural daughter, but I had rather be dead than married to James!” declared Cecilia, raising her head. “He thinks of nothing but hunting, and when they do have company in the evening, he goes to sleep, and snores!”

Daunted by this disclosure, Lady Ombersley could find nothing to say for a minute or two. Cecilia blew her nose, and added: “And Lord Charlbury is even older than James!”

“Yes, but we do not know that he snores, my love,” Lady Ombersley pointed out. “Indeed, we may be almost certain that he does not, for his manners are so very gentleman-like!”

“A man who would contract the mumps,” declared Cecilia, “would do anything!”

Lady Ombersley saw nothing unreasonable in this pronouncement, nor was she surprised that his lordship’s unromantic behaviour had given Cecilia a distaste for him. She had herself been sadly disappointed, for she had thought him a man of sense, certainly not one to be succumbing to childish ailments at inopportune moments. She could think of nothing to say to palliate his offence, and as Cecilia had apparently no further observations to make, silence reigned uneasily for a time.

I’ve been plundering the free stuff on Amazon for the Kindle. There’s quite a bit, although a lot of the recent stuff looks pretty bad. There’s an excellent selection of public-domain classics, however, so I’ve been plowing my way through Les Miz which somehow I’d never read. It’s excellent, of course. The language is lovely even in translation; it’s making me wish my French was up to reading the original:

Having neither opium nor hashish on hand, and being desirous of filling his brain with twilight, he had had recourse to that fearful mixture of brandy, stout, and absinthe**, which produces the most terrible of lethargies. It is of these three vapours, beer, brandy and absinthe, that the lead of the soul is composed. They are three grooms; the celestial butterfly is drowned in them; and there are formed there in a membranous smoke, vaguely condensed into the wing of the bat, three mute furies, Nightmare, Night, and Death, which hover about the slumbering Psyche.

And because I have an ongoing love for the library, and the library still provides me things mostly on paper:

Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions

I wasn’t wild about this book, which is an account of her son’s first year. I think she’s one of those parents who are destined to bring up feral children for fear of ever imposing limits and dampening the kid’s Speshulness. And she was far too religious for my taste. Still, the rougher bits are good:

We watched Mr. Rogers this morning. He was in an ebullient mood. When he was changing from his street shoes into his sneakers, he tossed the first one into the air with a much wilder sort of jauntiness than usual, and then caught it, and then acted so pleased with himself that he actually looked crazy. Pammy says he must have gotten laid.

And Seth Mnookin, The Panic Virus. Very, very good. He takes apart the vaccine danger hype piece by piece, with lots of solid data but still retaining sympathy for parents of autistic kids looking for a cause and a cure. This should quite possibly be mandatory reading for anyone who thinks vaccines are for other people and not their precious Snotleigh.

* Except for the DRM issues, which annoy me greatly. If I buy a book, I should be able to do what I like with it. But that’s another post.

** Brandy, stout, and absinthe. Together in a glass. Ponder that for a minute. Ech, ptui.

1 thought on “In Which I Read Stuff on Fancy Modern Devices: Fiction

  1. Even dad has started reading books on his iPad. He enjoys the bookmarking too. Progress!

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