Ben Crowder

Reading — Prints 2.4

I’ve been reading more on my Kobo lately, after barely touching it for months. The contrast and typography are great. The physical buttons end up hurting my fingers a little, though, so I’ve just been using the touchscreen. (Honestly, I’d prefer it without the buttons, for my fingers and for the sake of symmetry. If/when Kobo releases a new Clara with the Carta 1200 screen, I’m absolutely planning to switch.)

Recent nonfiction reads

  • The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf. About the life of Alexander von Humboldt, who I had somehow never heard of before reading this. Glad to have corrected that. The book also ended up being about a number of other men (Bolívar, Darwin, Thoreau, Marsh, Haeckel, Muir, etc.), which I hadn’t expected but which turned out to be fascinating. Loved it.
  • Forgotten Peoples of the Ancient World, by Philip Matyszak. A nice overview of dozens of ancient groups like the Akkadians, the Hyksos, the Phrygians, the Bactrians, the Epirots, the Celtiberians, the Catuvellauni, the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Hephthalites. About five or six pages per group. It was slower reading because of all the ancient names (Magetobriga, Vercingetorix, Sarmizegetusa, etc.), but it was good. So much human history, and I still know so very little of it.

Recent fiction reads

  • Sourdough, by Robin Sloan. Really liked it. A bit zany at times, but lots of heart. And yes, it did get me itching to make sourdough bread.

Books purchased since last post

  • The Past Is Red — Catherynne M. Valente
  • Troubleshooting Your Novel: Essential Techniques for Identifying and Solving Manuscript Problems — Steven James
  • Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy — Jamie Raskin
  • In Theory, It Works — Raymond St. Elmo
  • The Crook Factory — Dan Simmons
  • The Secret Lives of Color — Kassia St. Clair
  • Cuba: An American History — Ada Ferrer
  • Hench — Natalie Zina Walschots
  • The Secrets of Alchemy — Lawrence M. Principe
  • Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution — Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Geography Is Destiny: Britain and the World: A 10,000-Year History — Ian Morris
  • Desdemona and the Deep — C. S. E. Cooney
  • Dark Breakers — C. S. E. Cooney
  • Legend — David Gemmell
  • The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger — Stephen King
  • Sweet Harmony — Claire North
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz — Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  • The Wandering Earth — Cixin Liu
  • A Ghost in the Throat — Doireann Ní Ghríofa
  • Thunderstruck — Erik Larson
  • A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism — Jeffrey D. Sachs
  • The Gormenghast Trilogy — Mervyn Peake
  • The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible — Simon Winchester
  • Battle for the Big Top: P. T. Barnum, James Bailey, John Ringling, and the Death-Defying Saga of the American Circus — Les Standiford
  • It’s All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels — Robert Penn
  • Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in the Gulag — Orlando Figes
  • The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust — Diana B. Henriques
  • Five Days in London, May 1940 — John Lukacs
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog — Connie Willis
  • Blackout — Connie Willis
  • All Clear — Connie Willis
  • How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World — Steven Johnson
  • Battle of the Linguist Mages — Scotto Moore
  • The Ninth Rain — Jen Williams
  • Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar — Simon Sebag Montefiore

Oh how I wish I could read them as fast as I buy them.


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