Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Closing tabs

I have that uneasy pre-travel feeling that I am forgetting something extremely important, and indeed I have a ton of stuff to do tomorrow morning (including packing), but I seem to have survived the frenzy of talk-writing and lecture-writing and so forth....

Have been spoiled with some very good light reading. When I read the good stuff it makes me wonder why I waste my time with second- and third-tier nonsense! On the other hand, the hours must be whiled away some way or another - but I do think I will have a year sometime when I will only read novels I really really want to read, and that the rest of my reading should be narrative nonfiction etc.

Anyway, Deon Meyer's Cobra is superb - hard to imagine a better book in this sort of vein. Then I read a delightful trio of books on the recommendation of Charlie Stross: Max Gladstone's Craft books. I was slightly skeptical at first - it's purely personal preference, but I really always like it best when urban fantasy follows a single character as either first-person narration or third-person limited, it's part of my affinity for character- and voice-driven fiction - but was utterly won over. These books are great! Interestingly Deon Meyer is using a very similar form of narration, in terms of pacing and following a set of characters, though the books are in most other respects about as different as you could imagine.

Just now halfway through a book I have been awaiting for a long time, Garth Nix's new Abhorsen installment Clariel. The original trilogy of Old Kingdom books, along with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, were the inspiration for The Explosionist and sequel: I kept haunting the shelves of the Bank Street Bookstore looking for something like and as good as those two sets of books, and when I couldn't find them, I thought I would just have to try and make something like that myself....

Closing tabs:

Nobody knows what running looks like.

Metadata scarf and cowl!

Medieval pet names (courtesy of Rivka).

Puggle production line? (Wishful thinking edition.)

Four years later, a lost African gray parrot is reunited with its former owner:
When Nigel vanished four years ago, he spoke with a cultivated British accent.

Little is known about where the African grey parrot went, what he did — or who he was with — in those missing years. But when he was reunited with his owner, Darren Chick, in Torrance last week, the British accent was gone and the bird was chattering in Spanish, often mentioning the name “Larry.”

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