February Reading Thread

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The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Nov 10, 2008
nearly the New Forest
I only managed to finish two novels last month, and they were re-reads -- Clouds of Witness and Busman's Holiday, both by Dorothy L Sayers. (I was on a Lord Peter Wimsey listening and watching phase while knitting baby clothes for my niece's soon-to-be granddaughter so the books were an accompaniment!)

I should have been trying to finish Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham, but I picked it up only sporadically. Instead, for fantasy I turned to Lyonesse by Jack Vance which is intriguing me and frustrating me by turn -- some wonderful ideas and magic, but I really dislike the lengthy "historical" bits and the even more lengthy side-steps away from the main plot while we look in detail at the many adventures taking place by other characters. I'm also incensed by the casual use of rape as a way of showing the baddies' evil, not least as it involves children at one point.

So my reading for February is to try and get both of those finished (or dumped unfinished).

What are you reading this month?
I'm starting this month with a non-fiction,
It's very interesting so far
NICOTINE, by Gregor Hens.2015.
Cigarettes very addictive and very dangerous.
Last month I started The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu. I had read The Three Body Problem earlier in the year, but I am finding this second volume a slog. I don't know if it is due to different translator or if I just don't like the story itself so much. I put it down for a few weeks, but will give it another go on a long train ride this weekend.
Finished "Roadkill" by Dennis E. Taylor. The Bobiverse books are my favorites, so far, but this one is right there with them. I've yet to be disappointed by one of his books and am eagerly looking forward to the next installment of the World-Lines series (and, hopefully, another visit with the Bobs).
I've just started The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan after finishing The Eye of the World a few days ago. It's a series I've put off for years because I found the sheer volume intimidating, but after finally finishing the Shannara series last month, I was itching for an epic fantasy and decided the time was right to jump in, and I'm so glad I did.
I'm starting this month with a non-fiction,
It's very interesting so far
View attachment 114537
There are some historians who can write a truly gripping account of a memorable affair, there are others who can only write a dreary and hackneyed treatise on the same issue.
Unfortunately this tale is told by a writer who falls into the latter category - DNF
PREQUEL: An American Fight Against Fascism. by Rachel Maddow.
For non-US folks, the author is a well known current affairs/politics commentator with her own show on MSNBC.
The book is a history lesson on pre-WWII Fascist groups in the USA and individuals who investigated, infiltrated and prosecuted them.
Maddow gives full credit to studies, books, academic papers and archives in the her 26 page notes and bibliography. Although she was a Rhodes Scholar and has a doctorate in political science from Oxford, the tone of the book is that of a chatty political reporter.
I am more than a third of the way through the book. Of note so far to me was the study made by Nazi officials of segregation and political practices in the US in the shaping of German Nuremberg race laws and the continuing anti-semitic discrimination and later murder of German and European Jews. Also the fight that early investigators had to get local authorities, often sympathetic to racist politics, to investigate illegal acts and direct $$$ support from Germany to what they Nazis saw as their allies in the US.
Three earlier books by Maddow made the US Best Seller lists. One on the international energy business, one on the exercise of American military power and one on the corrupt former US Vice-President, Spiro Agnew.
She is definitely an opinionated observer, but not surprisingly given her academic credentials, one who documents every detail in her account.
It would be fair to say that although there have been zero comments on current US politics, both the title and Maddow's day to day reporting make it clear that she is giving a warning about current affairs.
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Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
This was an interesting novel, which was surprisingly absorbing, despite the overstuffed descriptions and devolution into a "creature feature". The world building was really neat... in a dark and gritty (and dirty) way.
I also managed to listen to 3 Shakespeare plays over the last 3 weeks:
Pericles, Prince of Tyre (was ok)
Troilus & Cressida (meh)
️Coriolanus (bleh)
I don't think plays set in ancient times but spoken in Elizabethan English works for me. I keep expecting the Roman consul, or the Trojan prince, to haul the tea set out out his backpack and make tea. ‍:unsure:
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