LIFTOFF: Couch to Barbell – Casey Johnston, 2021. Motivating, but I haven’t embarked on the program yet. Johnston is a delightful writer.
Light in August – William Faulkner, 1932. Quotes marked, TBD.
Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard – Douglas Tallamy, 2019. Quotes marked, TBD.
The Souls of Black Folk – W.E.B. Du Bois, 1903. Quotes marked, TBD.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – Becky Chambers, 2014. I loved this and I’m glad it’s the first in a series I can continue! It’s feel-good, character-driven SF with realistic alien species working together as an oddball found-family crew on a small ship – reminiscent of the feel of Firefly but without the Whedon violence-driven tension. But it does have some deep themes about societal guilt and responsibility.
Dragonsinger – Anne McCaffrey, 1977. Comfort re-read, this time sparked by recommending it to some younger friends while discussing Tamora Pierce.
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute, 1950. According to my previous records I last read this in 2016, but I wonder if I missed a comfort re-read in there, because this is one of my favorites. The saga of Jean Paget leading a troop of other captive women and children on a forced march through Japanese-occupied Malaya is the part most people remember (the movie focuses on it, not sure about the miniseries – I haven’t seen either), but it’s the section where Jean starts a shoe factory, ice-cream shop(!), and grocery in rural Australia that I come back to. I love books about small businesses and wish there were more of them. Maeve Binchy often has a subplot about a dress shop or catering business; I might go back to those…
La Fugitive – Marcel Proust, 1925. Quotes marked, TBD.
The Word for World Is Forest – Ursula K. Le Guin, 1972. Re-read for Calmgrove’s #LoveHain.
How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind – Dana K. White, 2016. I read her decluttering book and enjoyed this too.
Lessons in Chemistry – Bonnie Garmus, 2022. So many people I know loved it that I finally picked it up. And yes, an enjoyable read, but on the lite side. I was trying to describe to a friend why I found it, and a number of other recent novels, “fluffy.” I had trouble putting my finger on it. They (this, along with The Midnight Library, All the Light We Cannot See, at least one other that’s not surfacing) have a kind of vividness that feels shallow to me; they are well-crafted and all the gears mesh seamlessly, but the narrative doesn’t seem organic and the character arcs feel predictable.
No Highway – Nevil Shute, 1948. Comfort re-read – my records last show 2006, but I’m sure that’s wrong (and I labeled it as “closest to Shute’s real life” when I must have meant Kindling; did Shute work on metal fatigue?). It’s got great suspense, and raises interesting questions about whether to trust someone in one domain when they have bizarre ideas in others.
On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory – Thomas Hertog, 2023. Read for the Massachusetts Center for the Book May challenge, “a book on nonfiction on a subject new to you.” I wrote: “Mind-melting book about the ‘no boundary’ big bang, quantum/string/M theories, imaginary time, the holographic universe, and other fascinating concepts; surprisingly accessible despite the inherent challenge of ‘understanding’ anything in it.” Makes me want to take more advanced physics classes!
Articles, short stories, etc.
J.R. Moehringer’s “The Ghostwriter” (New Yorker, 5/15/2023) reminded me of loving both his own memoir, The Tender Bar, and Andre Agassi’s Open which he ghost-wrote. Now I want to read Shoe Dog as well as Spare.