Drowning in books

This is something of a catch-up post. I’ve been slowly reading The Dictator’s Handbook, an impressively cynical analysis of political science, and had hoped to finish it by Election Day so I could post an amusingly-timed review. Between the hurricane and my own fatigue of the topic, though, I’ve just been plodding. I need to finish it up, though, because I’ve had three library holds come in simultaneously, as well as two books arrive in the mail. Oh, and one of my preorders (Kindle) was just delivered.

In read-but-not-reviewed, during the power outage I finished re-reading Prelude to Foundation and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The latter is noteworthy because it’s actually the British edition. I didn’t realize how attached I was to the distinctive font and illustrations of the first American editions until I began reading that one. I bought it to see if the vocabulary was very much different in that one, but the only thing I noticed was “jumper” instead of ‘sweater” — and I don’t even know if the American first edition even used sweater! Prelude was a re-read from twelve years ago, and this time I noticed how Asimov deliberately did more world-building and sociological commentary, creating distinct regional cultures on Trantor and using it to more firmly tie the Foundation and Empire books together. New to me was David McCullough’s The Pioneers, a history of the settlement of the Ohio-Indiana region which focused on a couple of families who were instrumental in establishing its institutions. It was more biographical than topical, I thought, without much dwelling on the challenges of frontier life. Perfectly enjoyable, but not as stellar as I expect from McCullough.

And what’s up the pike? Well, I’m reading The Dictator’s Handbook and a charmingly-titled book called Un— Yourself, which mostly consists of “Stop whining and do something about it”-type advice. In holds, I’ve got Palaces for the People, on “social infrastructure”; Blood, Bones, and Butter which I will leave to your imagination because it’s more amusing that way; and Talking to Strangers. Firefly Generations is an ebook preorder that just zapped its way onto my phone, and two new books for the Pile of Doom are Big Roads (a history of the interstates) and Whole Earth Discipline, the latter a title on sustainable living that involves big cities and nuclear energy.

It’s a good thing I still don’t have internet access at home, because I wouldn’t have a chance at tackling all this were I to be distracted by youtube!

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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7 Responses to Drowning in books

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    I *so* know what you mean about drowning…… I have 11 books in my review pile and will likely be adding another tomorrow…. I piked up 4 books yesterday in a pre-lockdown trip to my local Mall. That’s to say nothing of the STACK of books waiting to be read…… [lol] I think I have a small(ish) pile of about 12 books on my sofa that I’m working through…… Reading a FUN one ATM – Just think of an adult Scooby-Doo… [grin]

    • Like, yoikes, Scoob, that should prove interesting! 😉
      I’m reasonably proud of the progress I’ve made on my TBR to date…now the Pile would not kill me if it fell on me, just maim me a little!

  2. Mudpuddle says:

    my TBR is my whole library, for all practical purposes… and i have a difficult time choosing which book i happen t be reading to write a post on altho that’s not as bad as it used to be; advancing age is ingurgitating my reading capabilities somewhat…

  3. I saw a bad review for Talking to Strangers early on, so I completely skipped it. I’d like to see what you think of it.

  4. Sharon Barrow Wilfong says:

    I’ve notice a lot of titles are adding swear words with the asterisk serving as a sort of fig leaf. It seems a bit pretentious in a “look how edgy I am” sort of way. And now it seems to symptomatic of a lack of imagination because so many people are including these kinds of words in their titles.

    • There’s an entire series of these books — and based on this one, I won’t be continuing. There’s some useful advice, but it’s highly repetitive. Reminds me much of Ryan Holiday and his reduction of Stoicism into some kind of positive-thinking self-help buzzword.

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