First Monday-ish Book Day – Good Intentions

I didn't feel like hassling our normal stable of Book Day authors, so here's a halfassed post:

I put this book on hold at the library after hearing an interview with the author while in traffic. Sounded interesting to me. My turn came, I picked it up, placed it on the table, racked up about $3 in late fines (and we have low per day rates), and then brought it back unread because that's just kinda what I do.

Anything you managed to crack the cover on?

32 thoughts on “First Monday-ish Book Day – Good Intentions”

  1. I read The Redemption of Time, which is a follow-up to The Three Body Problem trilogy (also translated from Chinese). Interesting to note it is actually fan fiction, but the original author gave it the thumbs up and it was published as part of the storyline.

    I was recommending Jack McDevitt's "Alex Benedict" series to a friend, and when I went to get the link to send him, discovered a new book had been published. Needless to say, a quick jump to the library app and I was able to read it as well -- Octavia Gone

  2. I'm working on "The Dangerous Summer", Hemingway's travelog of a summer in Spain following two bullfighters around watching their fights.

    I also started Gaiman's "Sandman" series because we've been really getting into Lucifer on Netflix lately.

  3. While on a trip to D.C. this past weekend, my son wanted us to check out the Library of Congress (which I'd regrettably never been to when I lived out there). While there, we discovered that the National Book Festival was on Saturday. So we went to that, since he loves to read. It was awesome. Ton and tons of authors, exhibits from publishers & museums & such, a giant sales floor, book readings, and a Hall of States where each state had a booth to feature their authors. We had a blast, and found a number of items that we're going to encourage our local librarian to look into (and our librarian will also be pleased to know that he is apparently on the leading edge, judging by how familiar we were with a number of the "new" books various publishers and states were featuring).

    I also managed to finish The Lightning Thief - the first Percy Jackson novel - which I told my son I'd read as an inducement to get him into a new series (he tends to revisit his old favorites, and takes a little encouragement to start new things). It was a solid read. Not amazing, not awful. Just solid. Certain good enough for a recommendation if someone liked similar stories.

    1. Follow up: small town libraries are the best. Our librarian was immediately looking up everything we mentioned to him. It was less of a "we'll have to see what we can do..." and more of a "ooh, can I order off of this list?"

  4. I’ve been reading Michale Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind. I’m in need of a reset, not sure lsd is the answer, but he does a pretty deep dive into the science (and lack there of -thanks the government). He’s also got a voice on the page that makes it easy reading.

  5. Finished Against the Day. Wow. A slog.

    Also, finished Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. That was from one of you. I liked it - long but quick read. Kinda fantastiche.

      1. Sorry, yes Slogtastic.

        Also, just finished Roosevelt and Churchill, Men of Secrets. Kinda cool after visiting the Churchill War Museum in London, underground bunkers from WWII. Was recently in Berlin but there is nothing like that there.

  6. Well I completely missed that this was here. Anyway, I read, and highly recommend reading, On the Clock by Emily Guendelsberger. I think, regardless of your politics, its an important reading. Its fascinating and horrifying all at once.

    It was a non-fictiony month for me, as I also read The Socialist Manifesto by Bhaskar Sunkara. Its a good, quickish history of socialism, but more gives a nice, succinct description of it. Forbidden zoney: the last third of the book is a case for why socialism would be good for this country.

    After that, I've been finishing up the Bring Down Heaven series by Sam Sykes, which I started reading because there was a sale on the first book in the series, The City Stained Red</em>, awhile back and he posted a picture of his adorable dog on twitter as a way to try to convince to buy his book. They're enjoyable, fantasy romps with demons and wars and such.

    1. Along the line of "The Socialist Manifesto", I read "Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World" last month by Rutger Bregman, who you might have heard of for his video of him calling out the megarich at Davos this year.

      His work made it seem so straight-foward and simple that it made me think "WTF? Why isn't the the norm?"

  7. I read two Elmore Leonard novels after realizing I had never read one before: Maximum Bob and Killshot. I enjoyed them both enough that I'll probably read a few more down the road.

    I also read The Last Stone by Mark Bowden about how law enforcement got someone to mostly confess to a horrific, unsolved crime nearly 40 years later.

    I'm currently about halfway through Barbara Tuchman's biography of Joseph Stilwell. It's very good, and I've still yet to read anything that portrays Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in a particularly good light.

  8. Ha, I put a book on hold after reading something about it somewhere, but by the time it came in I'd forgotten the reason I wanted to read it. So I likewise held onto it until it was overdue without reading it.

    A book I did actually read last month:
    On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. This is a really, really good book. Vuong is also a poet, and his writing is beautiful. The book is a compelling coming-of-age story, written as a letter a Vietnamese American young man who came to the U.S. as a young child (just as Vuong himself did) to his mother, who has had very little schooling and can't actually read the letter.

    There were lots of sentences that amazed me, and here's a passage I loved from near the end of the book:

    "All this time I told myself we were born from war--but I was wrong, Ma. We were born from beauty.

    "Let no one mistake us for the fruit of violence--but rather, that violence, having passed through the fruit, failed to spoil it."

  9. Reading for August (I had written these out before with more detail, but that got eaten, so this is the more list-y version).

    TITLE AUTHOR DATE FINISHED PGS STARS/5
    The Calculating Stars Mary Robinette Kowal 8/31/2019 431 3
    Scooby Apocalypse 1 Keith Giffen 8/31/2019 168 2
    Friday Black Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah 8/29/2019 192 5
    My Year of Rest and Relaxation Otessa Moshfegh 8/23/2019 289 4
    Record of a Spaceborn Few Becky Chambers 8/21/2019 360 4
    The Cost of Living Deborah Levy 8/18/2019 134 3
    Fox Dubravka Ugresic 8/14/2019 308 4
    Semiosis Sue Burke 8/12/2019 332 4
    Mostly Dead Things Kristen Arnett 8/7/2019 356 3
    Rogue Protocol Martha Wells 8/6/2019 158 3
    Flowers of Mold Ha Seong-nan 8/2/2019 212 4
    1. Friday Black was my favorite read of the month. Short stories that all put their characters in intense, sometimes ugly situations, and you find yourself wanting them to bust out of the system that put them there, but that can't always happen. Lots of social commentary here for sure, in affecting, strong stories.

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