Readings again

Last posted about books in April last year. Since then…

I finished What the CEO Wants You To Know by Ram Charan (a work reading assignment). Didn’t enjoy it, exactly, but portions of it were thought-provoking and it lead to me researching and learning a little bit about business finances.

I finished Dave Duncan‘s second quartet of books set in Pandemia. I really enjoyed them, too, and I’m sure I’ll be reading more stuff by him.

I finished Earthman, Come Home by James Blish. Old Sci-Fi, with only (thankfully) brief visits from female characters, with a really out-there ending (not that I dislike female characters in sci-fi, but I really dislike female characters written by male authors in the 50s). Not bad, but not great.

I finally finished the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. I was not really wowed by any of it. Most of it was OK. Some of it was pretty challenging to finish.

The Dreamstone by CJ Cherryh. I enjoyed it, but not enough to seek out more books in the Ealdwood series. I’m fairly sure the physical book I read came from my grandfather’s collection.

Chilkat and I finished The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Of course it’s really good. We started The Magician’s Nephew, but she lost interest.

I read Existence by David Brin. It’s interesting, not really great, about a weird form of first contact that is described as a chain letter or a virus.

The War of the Wing Men (apparently also known as The Man Who Counts), by Poul Anderson. A book about an engineer, a princess, and a merchant stranded on a primitive planet populated by sentient flying creatures. Not bad.

Parasite Rex by Carl Zimmer. Fascinating and terrifying, a book about parasites, both the specifics of individual parasites, and the effects they have on ecology and evolution.

I read the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Violent and fast paced fantasy. What I like most about it is how deeply flawed all the main characters are. I’m now in the process of reading three more books set in the same universe, featuring some of the same characters.

Another book for work: Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra. I liked this book, because a large part of it is about being open to being wrong and understanding the point of view of an “opponent.”

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie (I loved her Ancillary books). This was an interesting story primarily about gods but mostly told through humans, with an interesting system of “godly power” anchored upon “anything a god says must be true,” meaning that if a god says something, it’s power is used to make it true, and the god may die if what it says is beyond its power to make true. Also with a not-so-subtle tie-in to Hamlet.

I listened to the Infernal Devices trilogy from Cassandra Clare. A fantasy series wherein the “nephalem” (or shadowhunters) are the police protecting the mundane from the magical, set in the 1800s in London. It was not terrible, but I kind of resented finishing it. The over-the-top gushy emotions and drama left a bad taste in my mouth.

I read The Inspirational Leader by Gifford Thomas. This was for work, and it was probably the worst book I have ever finished. If this book had an editor, that editor should be fired. There were multiple egregious grammar errors every god damn page, and it barely even made a point beyond “Being a leader is not the same as being a manager.” At least it was a quick read.

Since I finished Poe, I’ve started reading Sherlock Holmes as my chore book. I finished the first one, A Study in Scarlet. I enjoyed it.

I’m reading Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard.

That’s pretty much it for reading right now.

I also started actively looking for new music by writing things down when I hear music or read or see something and I passively think, “Hey, I should check this band out.” Every week, I also listen to Spotify’s recommendations and dig further if there’s anything particular I really like. I’ve recently acquired music by new-to-me bands Man Man, the Swingin’ Utters, and the Pink Spiders, as well as more music by familiar bands Clutch, Johnny Cash, Our Lady Peace, and Nerf Herder.

Posted by snaotheus


I believe I gave you Grandpa’s C.J. Cherryh books, but he wasn’t fond of her series. He liked best the ones where she dumped one character into an alien environment and watched what happened.

I have an omnibus of all the Sherlock Holmes stories if you’d like that. Grandpa gave it to me for my 12th (?) birthday and I’ve read them all several times.

I’m going to recommend Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon and its sequels again, though many of the references are dated and you probably won’t get them. It’s worth it for the puns alone. He’s since won some Hugos and Nebulas and such; these were his early stories and it’s interesting to see him develop.

And my dear son. Past tense of “to lead” is “led,” not, as #*%$@)!@ spellcheck has made nearly ubiquitous, “lead.” You know this. I know you do.

“leaded” — got it.

I’m going to kick your smart-ass so hard you’ll get a speeding ticket when you pass through Phoenix.

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