What are you reading?

Just finished a rereading of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Wife brought it home from work (school library) and was rereading it herself.

Just noticed that the end of the final chapter that summarizes the whole theme of the book – to crawl into another man’s skin (or just his shoes in order to understand him – was missing from the movie (and the recent play). Scout walks Boo home, then looks from his porch at about window’s level, and she visualizes all the things that happened in the book from Boo’s P.O.V.
Movie might require a remake (or a series).

I’m kinda schizo this month with my reading.

Started Anthropocene Reviewed bc I got it for Christmas, but it’s sitting in my drawer being ignored right now.

Started Michal by Jill Eileen Smith for a challenge but I have a month so…

Started A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny, on audible.

But just downloaded Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri bc my daughter recommended it. It’s from the library and shorter than the amount Of time I have left on Curiosities, so I’ll probably listen to that first.

And that doesn’t count my multi-month reread of Atomic Habits for a discussion group.

Or the book I’m reading for church board.

I finished #2 and #3 in the Enola Holmes series, The Case of the Left Handed Lady and The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets. The 2nd one was a bit annoying in some coincidences that happen. Neither is the basis for the second movie, although one scene is in #2 and topics from the movie are alluded to, but are not the focus.

I finished #4 in the Enola Holmes series, The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan. And, yeah, if it weren’t for the winter reading program, I’d probably pause or stop here. I’m gonna read one more because 1) I need one more book 2) this book hints that Holmes may be softening a bit against Enola and it might be interesting to see if that actually happens and if they develop some sort of relationship. This one also had one HUGE coincidence that allowed Enola to solve the case.

I’ve recently finished a binge reading of about 10 novels in the Aubrey/ Maturin series as well as his first novel, “The Unknown Shore” which is very clearly a prototype for the series (friendship between a midshipman and a surgeon’s mate) It switches from a hugely funny first sixty or seventy pages to more harrowing adventure, and while each is good in its own, it doesn’t work quite so well as a whole. But if you like O’Brian’s humour, those first sixty or seventy pages are a must.

I’ve also read “Unraveller” by Frances Hardinge, at last prized from the paws of my daughter who brought it back from the UK but very selfishly first wanted to finish it herself, as if she didn’t have enough time in the plane back! (It’s only due for release in the US in February.) If you like fantasy and don’t know her, you should remedy that! She tends to be classified Young Adult but she far better than that tag suggests.

I ended up getting Everything Sad Is Untrue from audible and returning the library copy. My other daughter wants to listen to that first so I’m putting it off for now.

I listened to a lot of A World of Curiosities on Sat & Michal on Sunday.

Finished Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Weirdest book I have ever read but it was excellent. Probably only appeals to those who appreciate the weird/fantasy literature genre.

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almost done with Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk.

I usually like his books and style and this one fits within that. About the presidential transition from obama to trump and that the trump team did not seem to prepare in the way that would be expected.

Hey I just came across this book when searching for “the history of insurance”. I was expecting the usual Against the Gods since most of us know about that one, but have any of you read this one? It’s somewhat recent:

Started an intro to the Bhagavad Gita, and am reading a Wrinkle in Time to my kid (who I need to push to ever read anything new).

I like the intro to the Gita a lot. Maybe the actual book will be hot garbage, but so far it feels like Christ’s Message, but deeper and wider and without all the baggage of the old testament.

One amusing bit is that the two books seem to have almost opposite ideas. In the Gita, Krishna emphasizes that the world is one. That all people contain God, and that they are separated by their selfish desires, and habits that bring them unhappiness. You must renounce all selfish action, and let all your actions be guided by the God inside you.

Meanwhile, in a Wrinkle in Time, the big bad guy is obviously Communism. And he’s trying to convince our wayward heroes to do a similar thing: Give up their egos, and live on a planet that is happy because it is all controlled by one mind, and so there is no strife or unhappiness.

It’s not quite the same, but kind of amusing anyway.

Next genre up - SciFi.

The Mine Billion Names Of God - Arthur C Clark

I don’t know this one

You may also want to read The Perenniel Philosophy by Aldous Huxley. I first read it over 50 years ago and found it mind-expanding. It is a thoughtful discourse on the metaphysical aspects of the main religions. It is worth reading even if you are not a religious person.

Just finished “Hedy’s Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World”.

This book by Richard Rhodes focuses on Lamarr’s brilliant mind rather than her glamorous Hollywood career. She received patents in 1942 for a radio-controlled “spread spectrum” torpedo-guidance system as well as a “proximity fuse” as her contribution to the US war effort in WWII. However she was too far ahead of her time and her patents were unable to be developed into products until much later. Some of her ideas underlaid current cellphone and other commercial technologies.

It is a quick read, three hours or so, and a very interesting insight into this brilliant woman whose inventive side is largely unknown.

I’ve seen this circulating for years and did a wikipedia search on it. The wikipedia discussion on Lamarr talks about this part. From what’s in there, it sounds like her patents were not developed into products because they were a mechanical (using player piano rolls) implementation of technology that had been around for decades. This was at a time when there was a move from mechanical to electrical systems, making her patent essentially irrelevant. And since her patents talked about a mechanical implementation, it is a huge stretch to claim that her ideas underlaid cellphone technology. The pre-existing technology was what you could say underlaid cellphone technology, perhaps.

I didn’t look into it any further, though.

Thanks. It’s more complicated than the Wikipedia description.

The piano roll reference was only used to help others understand the patent but the actual idea was quite groundbreaking. It was too advanced to implement in 1942. Richard Rhodes is a very rigorous author (his “Making of the Atomic Bomb” was incredible) and he goes into the technology in some detail in “Hedy”.

I think you would greatly enjoy the book based on your posts here! Only a three hour investment. This NY Times book review convinced me to read it.

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Finished Phoenix Guards, Dragons of Summer Flame, Kushiel’s Dart, Magicial: Apprentice and Magician: Master, also read Aeschylus’s The Persians, Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and the Eumenides. Currently reading Little, Big by John Crowley, The Arabian Nights, The Three Musketeers, and Silverthorn (book 3 of the Riftwar books). Also randomly re-decided to learn Ancient Greek. Weee.

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Actually the intro to Gita I’m reading referenced that.

I guess I should read more Huxley. BNW is still the only really good dystopian novel I know. Presumably he wrote some other good stuff.

Mission complete. The 5th Enola Holmes book, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline, again hints at Sherlock reconsidering his position wrt Enola, but nothing really happens. The only argument raised against her going to boarding school is corsets.

This book is very short, even by Enola Holmes standards. In the first half, I was thinking the author, Nancy Springer, was starting to hit her stride, but the last half didn’t seem as good and I wondered if she wasn’t working against a deadline.

OK, back to longer books.

TIL: crinoline.

My “read” bookshelf on goodreads is now bigger than my “want to read”. I was thinking about whether that was good or bad, but I guess it really doesn’t mean much. If my “want to read” ever get low (fat chance), I’ll always find more.

Currently reading Michael Pollan’s “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence”.

It’s a good read but I enjoy pretty well anything that Pollan writes.