Ben Crowder / Blog

Robert A. Caro’s The Power Broker is finally available as an ebook! (On the Kindle store, anyway. I haven’t checked other places.)

Recent nonfiction reads

  • Terry Pratchett, by Rob Wilkins. Quite liked this one. The end is sad, but that’s usually the case with full-life biographies. Probably about time to read another Discworld novel.
  • Chokepoint Capitalism, by Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow. Maddening. I really, really do not like big, hungry capitalism, and I hope we as a society can push things back to a healthier level. Job guarantees sound amazing.
  • Human Errors, by Nathan H. Lents. So fascinating! I jabbered about this book to my wife and coworkers ad nauseam — the RLN, throat structure, wrist bones, DNA copy rates, sickle-cell disease, retinal wiring, I’ll stop now. For me the takeaway that I think I’ll remember most was that animals in the wild are constantly on the edge of starvation and so we’re evolutionarily wired to eat as if it’s our last meal before winter, which also leads to it being really easy to gain weight but really hard to lose it.

Recent fiction reads

  • I tried to read China Miéville’s The City & the City, but the central conceit — two cities interleaved in the same space where each city’s residents straight up ignore the other city — just wasn’t doing it for me. Probably because I went into it expecting there to be a magical/supernatural reason people couldn’t see the other city (a ghost city of sorts that occasionally leaks through).
  • The Expert System’s Brother, by Adrian Tchaikovsky. A novella. Enjoyed it, and looking forward to the sequel. And to the rest of Tchaikovsky’s books (including City of Last Chances, which came out today, I believe).
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle. A novella. Quite liked it. A bit graphic at the end, which reminded me that this was horror and not just dark fantasy, and that horror isn’t my thing most of the time.
  • A Mirror Mended, by Alix E. Harrow. A novella. Really liked the variations and folktaleishness.