Books I’ve been reading

Life has felt … busy, lately. I went on holiday, and had time to read (quite a few books, actually; it was lovely) – but not to sit down and jot down a few thoughts about them. So, it’s been a while since I read some of these, so my recollections may be a little rusty.

Make something up

Chuck Palahniuk is a brilliant author. Make something up is a set of short stories that’s as unhinged as anything else he’s written, but starkly, ravingly beautiful. Trust Palahniuk to take a world that’s given us goatse and find something touching in the midst of it. Or to tell a story about teenage boys and their desire to game the system that stays with you for days.

If you like Palahniuk (and I know that’s an if), then this is well worth it.

The Library at Mt Char

Scott Hawkins is a first time author, but The Library at Mt Char is a cracker. It’s the story of … how to even begin describing it? Imagine if you were reading Olympian myths, except Zeus had decided that he wanted to live for a few years in a nondescript house in the Midwest. That’ll get you part of the way there.

Hawkins manages to juggle suspense about what happens next, along with mystery about what is actually going on. In the end, it comes together in a way that feels surprisingly satisfying. Granted, there’s a passage in the middle with a lot of dogs that felt as though it dragged; but overall, worth a read if you’re looking for good fiction.

Down and out in the Magic Kingdom

Cory Doctorow is a great writer, but this didn’t feel like his best work. He does a much better job of trying to write a story set in a post-scarcity society than some attempts, but ultimately he still needs conflict, and hence scarcity, to drive his narrative.

… we’ve put our hearts and souls into this place, and it’s not right to take it from us. Can’t we have one constant corner of the world, one bit frozen in time for the people who love it that way? Why does your success mean our failure?




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