Wednesday, September 01, 2010

What I read -- August 2010

"The Great Wall" by John Man. Ed had gotten this out of the library. It’s part history, part travelogue, part a description of modern China. Ed had recently read a few books about Ghengis Khan, and we both read GGK’s “Under Heaven”, and this gave a nice historical perspective. The only problem I had was sometimes I would lose track of what historical figure we were talking about. I wished he used what I think of as the Rolling Stone style – where after you mention someone, you come up with a mnemonic for that person – you know, Kublai Khan, grandson of Ghengis, or something like that. Oh, the other annoying thing was occasionally the author would say “for that story, see my other book.” Um, no.

“Who Fears Death” by Nnedi Okorafor. A book about genocide and female genital mutilation, how can you go wrong with that? People need to talk, write, think about these issues, because the alternative is even more horrific. It is a truly beautiful book. I loved the main character, the voice. I loved the mix of future and magic.

“The Weapon Makers” by A.E. Van Vogt. He wrote one of my favorite SF novels I read in high school, “Slan”. I’d also read something else about the weapon shops of Isher, and so when I found this in the cottage shed, I picked it up and read it. Wow, it was a silly book. I cannot explain the dancing girl on the cover.

OWW: August was the crit marathon, and I read 21, plus one yesterday.

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