“The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi (Kaufman translation). I had to read something for my karate essay, and I had this, so I read it. I’m totally glad I read it, but wow, it was a tough read. It seemed like every sentence was quotable, and some of it was so deep that my head would periodically explode. I mean, “There is no such thing as yin/yang. That does not mean yin/yang does not exist.” Oh dear.
“Midnight Never Come” by Marie Brennan. I’ve wanted to read this for a couple of years, I think since the book entered the Scalzi household and Krissy took off with it. I got it for Christmas. It started fast and kept moving. I might have forced it on Ed when I was finished.
“The Poisoner’s Handbook” by Deborah Blum. I love the microhistories, and this one was fascinating. And it was great carrying it around, because it conferred on me all sorts of notoriety. One person told me he wasn’t eating any of those brownies I brought, because I’d pulled the book out while waiting for a party to start (I know, who does that? Except me of course).
“The other nineteenth century : a story collection : containing startling revelations of the lives of literary persons; also, truthful accounts of living fossils, Montavarde's camera, the irradiodiffusion machine, and El Vilvoy de las Islas; with heinous crimes, noble ladies in adversity, brilliant detections, imperial eunuchs, political machinations, etc., etc” by Avram Davidson. I read this because Neil Gaiman was doing a NG presents audio book of something else by AD, and I couldn’t have that, so I looked at the library for what else was available. These stories were generally good, though some of them I think I lack the requisite history knowledge to make sense of. Each story had a little note after it that often referred to some other, better story by the same author. These notes were appalling and I wish I had been able to avoid reading them.