Ben Crowder

Reading — Prints 2.8

A good month for reading — pretty sure I’ll hit 5,000 pages by the end, at the rate I’m going. (Not that quantity matters more than quality, to be clear.)

Recent nonfiction reads

  • Clementine, by Sofia Purnell. A biography of Clementine Churchill, Winston’s wife. This was a somewhat draining book — sad family life perpetuated across three generations (so much bad parenting and dysfunctional marriage and adultery!), not to mention the weight of two world wars — but I’m glad I read it. Before this, for example, I don’t think I’d read much WWII history from the British perspective. Eye-opening. Also, I came across “rumbustious” for the first time ever. What a lovely word.
  • Here Is Real Magic, by Nate Staniforth. Quite liked this. I didn’t expect half the book to be a bit of an India travelogue, but it turned out to be a nice surprise. (India and Brazil have been in my mind a lot lately as places I’d like to travel to someday.)

Recent fiction reads

  • The Hands of the Emperor, by Victoria Goddard. I initially heard about this via Alexandra Rowland’s post and figured I’d give it a try. Ended up loving it, enough so that I immediately bought all of Goddard’s other books. It’s cozy fantasy — more calm, less action — and I initially thought it was going to be too relaxed for me, but the stellar character work sucked me in before long. There’s also enough magic to make it interesting to me (I struggle with completely mundane fiction), though the magic is not at all the point of the book. Reading about Cliopher kept reminding me (in some ways) of my time as ward executive secretary and ward clerk over the years. Fond memories. Looking forward to reading the rest of the books (of which there are many, and they’re multiplying quickly!).
  • A Practical Guide to Conquering the World, by K. J. Parker. Final installment in the Siege trilogy. This one didn’t click as much for me as the others did, sadly. Not entirely sure why, but I suspect I had trouble suspending disbelief with the central conceit. (Which confuses me a little, because it’s basically the same conceit as in the first two books.) The archery nerdery was fun, though.

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