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What'cha Reading?

Paul le Fou

Received Piranesi for Christmas and just wrapped it up. That's a very speedy read for me. I very much enjoyed it. A very comforting read.
This one is high on my list of recent releases to check out. The Starless Sea is another.

Backlog? What backlog? MORE BOOKS


The Spy and the Traitor is a fascinating true story of one of the biggest spy stories of the Cold War. If you enjoy John Le Carre books I heartily recommend you pick this up!
Gardens of the Moon was great. Can't wait to read book two in February

As a quick palate cleanser, I read The Best of the Rejection Collection edited by Matthew Diffee. A collection of cartoons that didn't make the cut to go in The New Yorker

Now, currently reading Love and Other Pranks by Tony Vigorito
Already went to my first DNF of the year. Anyway, I was browsing Amazon Prime the other day and they had Election on, which I have never seen, but before I got too far in, I decided I wanted to check out the source material first (Election by Tom Perrota)


The metal babble flees!
I read 100 pages of Gardens of the Moon 10-12 years ago and hated it. Several years later, someone--maybe on TT? maybe on GoodReads?--suggested I read Deadhouse Gates first. It felt very weird at first, but I ended up enjoying it a lot. All the characters were new to me (I'd remembered next to nothing about GotM) and that didn't seem to affect my experience with it much or at all.

And then I went back and read GotM. And, uh, still didn't like it. It was a struggle to get through and I think l could have skipped it and been happier with my choice. (Sorry.) I swear that Erikson's prose improved a LOT in between these two books.


Post Reader
I actually struggled with the books until the third but it has become one of my favorite fantasy series
I never really struggled with any of it. Maybe because I read a lot of fantasy and was used to that stuff

Turning my way to superhero/villain-ish fiction with Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

Johnny Unusual

I hope you enjoy it. Gyo is also good but the collection notably has The Enigma of Amigara Fault, a fantastic short story that gets memed a lot, and with good reason.


The metal babble flees!
I remember enjoying Tomie but my tastes have changed in the last fifteen years, so who knows?
Well, that was one of the most bizarre, bleak books I've read in recent memory, but it was good. Will definitely be checking more of his stuff in the near future.

Anyway, on to a reread 25 years in the making with To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. At the school where I work at, one of the classes is doing their yearly reading of Mockingbird, so I want to see how I like it as an adult
After finishing Mockingbird, I ended up reading The Weird Al Book by Nathan Rabin, which was fairly short, but sweet. I know he has a more full length biography out there which I might read in a few years

Now, reading Life at Hamilton by Mike Anthony, about a guy who worked as a bartender for both In the Heights and Hamilton on Broadway
Well, that was a bust. I gave it a good effort, 600 pages before calling it quits. It just got dull for me.

Anyhow, before checking out the series, I'm reading Lovecraft County by Matt Ruff

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
The Burning God, the final book in the Poppy War trilogy, is on sale today at the Kindle Store. If you haven't read the Poppy War Trilogy, it's a fantasy world based on ancient China where magic exists by communing with the gods - which is all good and swell as long as you stay sane, because sharing your mind with a god will drive you insane.

I love these books, but here's some warnings - they are grim as hell. Basically the author wondered what could drive a normal country boy like Mao to become a genocidal dictator, and she delivers. The protagonist Rin is likeable, but she's rash and impulsive and is put through the wringer, forcing her to make some very nasty decisions on the heat of the moment - she's heroic, but the books don't shy away from the consequences of those heroics. It doesn't help that she communes with The Phoenix, a powerful god whose only desire is to literally burn, well, everything. There's graphical descriptions of massacres (based on the Nanjing Massacre), genocide and executions. But I really, really loved these books.
After having watched the documentary on Netflix, I'm now reading The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez by Philip Carlo


Smol Monster
(She/her, they/them)
I've been tearing through Naomi Novik's Temeraire series this week.

If you're not familiar, it's basically Dragonriders of Pern in the Napoleonic Wars. Fantastic stuff!
Sid Meier's Memoir was *hella good*, and not just from a fan perspective. it was insightful, humble, talked about design lessons and expectations and just a lovely read overall.

Finally got this from the library and definitely recommend it. He's a really positive guy and seemed really upfront about what did and didn't work for him. A short pleasant read.

Also I'm kind of shocked that the Ghandi stat overflow thing was made up!? I love his writeup and following of the rumor, and how humbly he says "I've made a lot of bugs, but this wasn't one".


can stop, will stop
Haven't seen anyone here mention it, but P. Djeli Clark's new book Ring Shout was very, very good.
The introduction to The Time Regulation Institute mentioned a long essay called In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, and described it as commenting on the importance of light and dark in Japanese culture and how the introduction of electricity from the West illuminated entire rooms and changed how people thought about space.

That sounded fascinating so I just started reading it, but it's honestly just kind of "angry old man yells about lights being too bright". Another Goodreads author called it Grandpa Simpson and that's not too far off...

... but it is the most beautiful and poetic angry old man rant I've ever read. I'm absolutely baffled by this essay but so glad I'm reading it. Here's part of his diatribe against indoor/Western toilets:

I love to listen from such a toilet to the sound of softly falling rain, especially if it is a toilet of the Kanto region, with its long, narrow windows at floor level; there one can listen with such a sense of intimacy to the raindrops falling from the eaves and the trees, seeping into the earth as they wash over the base of a stone lantern and freshen the moss about the stepping stones.
I thought The Knight was alright, unsure if I want to read the next book, so for now I'm going to read The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis


The metal babble flees!
My first finished book of the year is The Last Wish, the first Witcher book. I remember reading the first few pages and dropping it in disgust a few years ago, but an online friend loves this series so I decided to try again. It definitely got better as it went along.
First, a milestone: according to Goodreads, I just shelved my 1400th read. Next, I definitely enjoyed The Queen's Gambit, but I don't think I'll be watching the series. On to my next adventure, they have all the Studio Ghibli movies on HBO Max, and I decided it was as good an excuse as any to finally check out Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones