November 30, 2016

Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur, November 2016

Attention conservation notice: I have no taste.

Ian Kershaw, To Hell and Back: Europe 1914--1949
An absorbing history, emphasizing politics and social change. (Overlap with Kershaw's two-volume biography of Hitler is appropriate, but surprisingly limited.) Beginning it the day before the election was... not conducive to optimism.
ObLinkage: Interview with Kershaw about his career as a historian.
Miyuki Miyabe, Crossfire
Mind candy, at the police procedural / psychic vigilante / shadowy nefarious conspiracy triple point.
Bruce Sterling, Pirate Utopia
In which Chairman Bruce takes one of the weirdly consequential episodes of the 20th century, the occupation of Fiume by Italian paramilitaries under the leadership of a decadent poet, and spins off an engaging little alternative history. You have to step back a bit from immediate engagement with the characters and the story to appreciate just how sinister the scenario is, which I think is deliberate.
Laura Lippman, Baltimore Blues, Charm City and Butchers Hill
Mind candy mysteries. I read these back in 2001, and was prompted to revisit them by Lippman's excellent Wilde Lake. They're still fun, but she's gotten better.
Walter Jon Williams, Investments and Impersonations
Mind candy science fiction: two short novels, following characters from Williams's excellent Praxis series. These can probably be read separately, especially Impersonations, which is billed as the first of three. They are not quite as good as the old trilogy, but since those are some of Williams's best books, that would be a very high bar.
Peter Straub, Magic Terror: 7 Tales
Mostly horror, though some of them (e.g., "Isn't It Romantic?") have no supernatural elements at all. They're very good.
David Wong, John Dies at the End
Mind candy comic horror. Wong writes for Cracked, and if that sort of humor appeals to you, you will probably enjoy this. (I confess it's a guilty pleasure.)

Books to Read While the Algae Grow in Your Fur; Scientifiction and Fantastica; Pleasures of Detection, Portraits of Crime; Writing for Antiquity

Posted at November 30, 2016 23:59 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth