Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mother of all backlogs

I think I may give up on writing book reviews on here, and just stick them straight onto goodreads instead. I'm reasonably diligent about keeping that up to date with what I'm reading, but I just can't be bothered to write anything here. I suspect that is because I don't think my reviews are particularly useful ("it was good, read it. it was not good, don't read it"). That does mean I'll have to come up with something to put on this blog, otherwise it will fester and rot. In the meantime, here is a a set of one-line reviews for the 8 books I've read in the last 8 weeks or so.

The Fantasy Writer's Assistant: Collection of Jeffrey Ford's older stories (up to about 2003), one of my favourite authors, mixture of unsettling, weird stories and uplifting fables. Great stuff, but if you've not read anything by him before, try him out here: Empire of Ice Cream.

McSweeney's Issue 18: short stories for hipsters and poncey fans of "literature". Some great ones, some strange ones I didn't understand, and a couple of crap ones. Still worth reading (especially because McSweeney's were having a sale when I bought this for $2).

The Better of McSweeney's: best of collection, another sale purchase. Some great, some odd, not so much crap.

Everyone in Silico, by Jim Munroe: ebook read on my phone about near future transition period between Rapture of the Nerds, we all live in a yellow substrate of the global hive computing environment, and the economic collapse of the rest of the world. Kind of good, some interesting things in there. Definitely worth a read if you pick up the freebook.

Maps and Legends, by Michael Chabon: Essays on childhood and storytelling from the Pullitzer-prize winning author, wrapped up in an awesome three-layer dust jacket. Another McSweeney's sale item.

Poets Picking Poets: McSweeney's sale item, ten poets choose one of their poems and one of someone else's, to make ten chains of ten. A couple of these I understood and liked, the rest made me feel stupid because I didn't get them at all. Stupid poetry.

The Gone-Away World, Nick Harkaway. Despite working out the plot after the first chapter, this was still awesomeness and chips, with a side order of hot awesome sauce.

The Public Domain, by James Boyle. All about copyright, and how the laws being proposed and enacted today, if we'd had them in the past, would mean no World Wide Web, no Jazz, no Disney classics. Grr, big incumbent media companies, grr. I'm shaking my internet fist at you, can you see?