Ben Crowder / Blog

Booknotes 2.9

Nonfiction

  • How Big Things Get Done, by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner. This was good. Lots of food for thought here; I’ve been thinking about how to apply these concepts to my day job as a software engineer but also to writing novels, particularly the “think slow, act fast” idea. Speaking of the day job, it was fun to see Planet Labs get a mention in the section on modularity.
  • Eve Bites Back, by Anna Beer, about the lives and achievements of eight women writers: Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Aemilia Lanyer, Anne Bradstreet, Aphra Behn, Mary Wortley Montagu, Jane Austen, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Liked it, especially learning about those I’d never heard of. (Like Jane Austen.) (I jest.)

Fiction

  • In the Woods, by Tana French. First book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. I had this one checked out years ago but never got to it. Picked it up again after seeing a positive review of it recently, and I’m glad I did! Really liked it. Page turner, great writing. I haven’t been reading all that many mysteries these days, but I’m looking forward to reading the rest of French’s oeuvre.
  • Blood Over Bright Haven, by M. L. Wang. So good. Liked it even more than The Sword of Kaigen. It tied together several threads that I like seeing in fantasy novels: history of science (people doing research), dark academia, magic that’s loosely like programming, and activism against sexism and racism.
  • The Gone World, by Tom Sweterlitsch. While the science fiction ideas were quite interesting, the book was a bit too dark for me. Not entirely sure why. Still a compelling page turner, though.