This world is ruining my reading

I’m so tired lately. A lot of people have been saying they’re tired. It’s hard to get up every day and read about what horrible new thing has made “normal” move another step towards “intolerable”. We’re all frogs in the pot at the moment, aren’t we? (Cue Bruce Cockburn: The Trouble With Normal Is It […]

Books 2014

I just realized I never did a books post for 2014! Ah well, better late than never. Goodreads did this nice summary for me (click through the graphic for a full-size version which links to all the books), which shows that apparently I gave lots of books 4 stars and didn’t give any books only […]

Yep, that’s an accomplishment

I just got back home after being on the road for three weeks. I was in Jordan in the Syrian refugee camps, the United Nations, I was signing books in Norway and in Sweden and in Spain. And I got home, and waiting for me was the board copy of “Chu’s Day,” which they’d just […]

Books! 2013

Books! According to Goodreads, on which I track the majority of what I read, I read 114 books (give or take) in 2013. This year I diverted more time into reading magazines, since the TPL started carrying e-versions of such, and I also spent a chunk of time doing time-consuming things with my hands such […]

Dear publishers: No.

At dinner the other night a number of people were surprised to hear of the absurd phenomenon of digital (and DRM’d to boot) books being more expensive than print versions — not just paperbacks, but hardcovers. So here’s one example. This looks like an interesting book. A bunch of folks I know on Goodreads have […]

In Which I Read Stuff: Fiction

While I love them, physical books have a few practical issues for me at the moment. One, it’s trivially out of my way to pick them up at the library. It’s only a few blocks but it has to be either on my way to work (unlikely, since the library doesn’t open until 9, and […]

In Which I Read Stuff: Nonfiction

I had the feeling I wasn’t actually reading much nonfiction lately, but looking at the piles on my floor and the history of my library borrowings that isn’t actually true. I didn’t read any nonfiction in the first few months of this year since I was working really insane hours to do 36 projects at […]

Drive: A road trip through our complicated affair with the automobile

Drive: A road trip through our complicated affair with the automobile by Tim Falconer Falconer talks about the history of automobiles, Detroit then and now, car culture, the quirks of traffic, urban sprawl, and much more, all structured around a long road trip of his own. Somehow he manages to treat all the various viewpoints […]

Collins English Dictionary assesses caducity of 24 words

These are great words! It would be a shame to lose them, even if they are obscure. Abstergent: Cleansing Agrestic: Rural Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration Caducity: Perishableness Caliginosity: Dimness Compossible: Possible in coexistence with something else Embrangle: To confuse Exuviate: To shed Fatidical: Prophetic Fubsy: Squat Griseous: Somewhat grey Malison: A curse […]

Book: The Ghost Map

I just listened to the unabridged audiobook of Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map: The story of London’s most terrifying epidemic, and how it changed cities, science and the modern world. It is the summer of 1854. Cholera has seized London with unprecedented intensity. A metropolis of more than 2 million people, London is just emerging […]

Book a Month Challenge #5: Mother

(http://bamchallenge.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/challenge-5-mother) I cheerfully tossed Andrea Buchanan’s Mother shock : loving every (other) minute of it and (perhaps less cheerfully) Susan Wicklund’s This common secret : my journey as an abortion doctor on my library hold list, intending to review one or the other. Neither of them has yet turned up, but coincidentally the library coughed […]

Book a Month Challenge #4: Beauty

(http://bamchallenge.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/challenge-4-beauty/) Beauty Junkies: Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession with Cosmetic Surgery by Alex Kuczynski The initial tone of this book is wildly uncritical — she skims quickly past the notions that half the American population isn’t comfortable with their looks and are subjected to a constant barrage of images of surgically-sculpted perfection and gets right […]