What are you reading? What was the last book you enjoyed?


The undoing Project
By Michael Lewis

Thanks to the folks here who originally recommended Thinking Fast and Slow, I was really excited to read Lewis's story about the pair behind the book. To his credit the book is a mixture of Kahnemans book in a light version plus more background on the pair. My complaint is only in how the book is put together, the time line jumps around quite a lot, even with that it's a fascinating read. I'll probably pick up Kahnemans book again due to it. Still the story of Kahneman and Tversky really does read like a superhero origin story at times. These guys led truly wild lives by the comparison of any middle class American child, and they were nerds. Lewis admitting that his whole frame of reference for moneyball was due to their work just really gives a frame of reference to how strong their ideas are and just how long it can take concepts to move pervasivley through society.
Finally read William Gibsons Nueromancer:

Tldr: it's great but unsurprising now that it's old

I picked it up to check out the form of the matrix that he'd created way back when. My copy includes a forward that he wrote which was comical and self depreciating about all the future things he got wrong, like not anticipating cell phones, or that dead channels would no longer be static. Still he creates a beautiful dystopia of ommison, including enough details for the reader to apply basically any skin they want with the few details he does include. I liked how the clean sameness of the business hotel setting was juxtaposed against the night environments especially. The concepts of the AIs were almost maguffin plus. They had just enough details to make you think, but really didn't matter to the story at hand. Again another nod to Gibsons willingness to let you fill in some blanks. The whole story holds up well even though by now the basic arc has been redone so many more times. It's fun to see the parts that were obvious homages later in the matrix movies to this novel. Good stuff all around.
Thrawn Ascendancy : Greater Good
By Timothy Zahn

I'm a sucker for Zahns greatest character. Thrawn takes a bit of a backseat in this one as more of the story revolves around the Chiss society and its structures. If you've been reading these you'll probably enjoy it, it's definitely on the verge of a guilty pleasure VS anything awe inspiring. I would not recommend this as a starting point book, unless you just want a typical Sci fi shootem up.

The Library of the Unwritten
So I picked this up just on a passing fancy since the concept of an afterworld of books that existed independent of their authors seemed neat. The unwritten book library resides in Hell while there are other libraries in other afterworlds (Elysium, Valhalla etc). The Librarian happens to be human at this point but her assistant is a cast out Muse. There's a nice mixture of well researched mythology in terms of Hell and other afterworlds. This is not a good vs evil book at all. It's just a story in a setting with lots of nice side details and imagery. The characters get developed with attention to their flaws in self reflective style which fits the existence of the hell in the book, but it is very relatable to anyone that gets down on themselves. I liked the first book enough that I blew through the other two books in the series:
Archive of the Forgotten
God of Lost words

The story arc includes fallen angels, book characters jumping their pages and of course demons, vikings and greek mythological characters to go along with ancient god worlds. Not to be too spoilery but by the end of it I'm not sure who the protaganist really is supposed to be. The author develops the other characters along their arcs really well and even in hell they have their own damming hope.
The Iron Heel
By Jack London

Inspired by Orphys high school reading challenge I decided to give this one a whirl. High school me would have been all for the revolution but old me saw a lot of the problems with the way the book advanced from selling something to history to full dystopia. It does pose some good questions, and despite what the reviews said about Jack promoting socialism I think it's pretty clear that he was more trying to tell a story about two pig headed concepts in conflict.
I did a High School Revisits Project this Summer. This consisted of books that are usually assigned in High School. Most of which I read. A couple here that for some reason my High School didn't assign (The Red Badge of Courage and 1984, but I did read 1984 afterwards).

Here is what I read for this project.

1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
3. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
4. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.
5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
6. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.
7. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
10. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey.
12. 1984 by George Orwell.
13. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
14. Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston.
15. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya.
16. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Pretty epic if I do say so myself, haha. :hockey2:

I think I generally enjoyed all of these reads. The Scarlet Letter was a chore to read like it was in H.S, but I like some aspects. Maybe my least fav of these books. I found Lord of the Flies a tricky read for some reason, but I did enjoy that novel more.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Diary of a Young Giry were my fav reads. And The Sun Also Rises for some reason even though every character in that novel is annoying, lol. I was expecting to find The Catcher in the Rye annoying this time, but I thought it was okay.

Just a general interesting experience to re-read H.S. reads as an adult. I could go on about this for a while, but I won't. ;)
Bill Bryson....Notes from a Small Island.

I hope one day I can retire to travel and write about the adventure like Bryson does.
My 2023 Book Tally.

1. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
2. Abarat by Clive Barker
3. Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
4. Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker
5. Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker
6. Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
8. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
9. Dubliners by James Joyce
10. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
11. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
12. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
13. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
14. Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
15. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
16. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
17. The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker
18. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
19. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
20. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.
21. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
22. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
23. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
24. Fall by Neal Stephenson
25. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
26. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
27. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
29. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
30. 1984 by George Orwell
31. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
32. Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
33. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
34. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
35. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
36. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
37. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet: Horror Stories by Richard Matheson
38. Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories by Algernon Blackwood
39. Unnatural Creatures edited by Neil Gaiman
40. The Great God of Pan and Other Horror Stories by Arthur Machen
41. Collected Ghost Stories by M.R. James
42. Merrick by Anne Rice
43. Everville by Clive Barker
44. Are you There God, It's Me Margaret by Judy Bume
45. Clive Barker: The Dark Fantastic: The Authorized Biography by Douglas E. Winter


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