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Pretty Good Hat

Tag: books

I finished reading How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu. What a fascinating novel: Told in interconnected short stories and read compellingly by more than a dozen performers, it’s the story of a global plague discovered in melting permafrost that ultimately spans beyond the entirety of human history. Despite that scope it’s intimate; each story is a vignette of loss, grief, love, loneliness and carrying on. Amid it all, Nagamatsu imagines what capitalism would be like in a world devastated by a new plague and climate change at the same time: an economy of death-related services, weird cryptocurrencies, and skyscrapers converted to cemeteries that tower over flooded cities and failed crops. It’s vividly realized in the details of everyday life in this hypermodern and changed world while tracking across centuries, and so compelling.

I’m happy to find that calibre worked overnight as I hoped: after a few days of tinkering with setting it up on my little Ubuntu NUC, it’s pulling a couple of news and reading sources into daily digests and sending them to my kindle via email. I wish that kindle were more flexible with ad hoc reading (and it’s one reason I’m thinking about a kobo), but this is a nice, effective step toward how I would like it to work.

I always like Jason Kottke’s end-of-year books recommendations. His list for this year has a few that I’ve read, a few I have wanted to read, and several that weren’t (yet) on my list.

I finished my listen of Harrow the Ninth today. Its predecessor novel, Gideon the Ninth, was a sort of haunted house puzzle box body horror costume drama comedy of manners; Harrow maintains much of that, but sharply changes the narrative structure, shifting between narrators, perspectives, and points in time, in addition to stretching out to a massive, universe-wide scale. It’s disorienting and byzantine and I think it’s kind of brilliant, not only in its own right, but in the abrupt pivot in style that Tamsyn Muir pulls off in writing it.

edit: Oh! How could I have forgotten to call this out? The reading of both novels, by Moira Quirk, is absolutely wonderful.

Screenshot of Libby showing a sync code to be entered in a new device

Today I learned that Libby has this fantastic sync feature that lets you copy library cards and info to another device. I wanted to read a book that Libby can’t send to Kindle, and this worked elegantly to make it available on an iPad.

📚 The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. Often gory adventure in a mysterious fantasy world that reminded me of the Dishonored setting. CW for violent treatment of women in particular that makes me reluctant to recommend, even though I enjoyed the intricate heist-like plots.

📚Finished The Stars are Legion. It’s a wild, inventive story of warring factions of women aboard giant living spaceship-worlds, weird organic everything (including monsters and cephalopod cannons), and an intriguing plot.