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Booknotes 2.8


  • Indigenous Continent, by Pekka Hämäläinen, an important and fascinating history of North America that shows how much control Indigenous peoples retained over four hundred years of European colonization. Learned a lot — so much I didn’t know. More people should read this. Also: so much bloodshed. I wish it all hadn’t happened that way.
  • When the Heavens Went on Sale, by Ashlee Vance, about the new space economy. Loved it! Utterly enthralling for this (admittedly occasional) space nerd. The Planet Labs section was particularly fun to read, since I now work there, but I also really enjoyed the rest of the book. Recommended if you like reading about people building things or about space.


  • The Will of the Many, by James Islington. Oh my goodness, I loved this. A lot. One of my favorite fantasy reads in a while. Really liked the Roman-inspired setting (similar to some of K. J. Parker’s work), even if some of the faux-Latin declensions were wrong. And the twists at the very end! Very much looking forward to the future books in the series, and also to going back and reading his Licanius trilogy even if it isn’t as good. Also, when I came across scoff (in the context of scoffing down food), I totally thought it was a misspelling of scarf. Then I googled it and, well, I was wrong. Ha.
  • The Black God’s Drums, by P. Djèlí Clark. Novella. Really liked the world and characters. I don’t think the ending worked as well for me — the solution didn’t feel as earned as I wanted it to — but I think I’m being overly picky here.