Saturday, July 19, 2014

Saturday Reading Room: What I'm Reading this Summer

The news is all crap this morning, and I refuse to share any of it.  I don't want to talk about the jet--you can read about that everywhere--and while the NYT has an interesting article about part-time employment trends, I have no idea how to summarize it effectively.  This morning's Saturday Reading Room is therefore actually what it claims to be--a reading room.

Here are four books I'm planning to read in the next few months.

This is the second book in Robert Galbraith's "Cormoran Strike" series.  Strike is a former British military police detective who lost a leg in Afghanistan and now works in London as a private detective.  The first book, The Cuckoo's Calling, was intended as a kind of hard-boiled detective piece, and it is that, but it also has quite a lot to say about the entitlement, intelligence, and general snobbery of London's upper class.  Considering that Galbraith is a psuedonym for J.K. Rowling, that critique comes across rather pointedly.

I loved the first book and can't wait to read the next one.

Author Dan Abnett wrote my favorite version of the Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) comic book from 2008 to 2010 alongside former writing partner Andy Lanning.  I don't know much about Lanning's background, but Abnett was a prose writer before he came to comics, and he was originally hired by Marvel to write the novelization of the GotG movie.  Instead, he wrote this book, which (I think) is from one of his old unused storyarcs from back when his GotG comic was a going concern.

Regardless, Abnett is a fantastic writer.  His Warhammer 40K books are so much better than I'd have ever believed possible, and I've liked nearly all of his comic work.  Besides that, this thing looks like the greatest summer beach-reading experience available right now. 

3.  Artesia (on sale!)
Okay, I confess that I have already read Artesia a time or two.  I met author Mark Smylie at the NYC Comic Con a few years ago, read the books shortly thereafter, and have had an abiding love for them ever since.  I gave my copies to a friend a couple of years ago after he and his family put me and my family up in the wake of a flood that very nearly destroyed our house.  Now these things are on sale at Comixology, and I may well go over there and pick up some new copies to take with me when we go to Maine.

The books themselves are amazing fantasy on a truly mythic scale.  I just can't say enough good things about them.

Patrick Rothfuss's "Kingkiller Chronicles" is another excellent, amazing, mythical piece of storytelling, but it is not what you'd call fast in coming out.  The Slow Regard for Silent Things is a novella due out in October, and if that's all we can get while we're waiting for the third part of the trilogy, I'll take it.

We're riding today.  It's not the TdF or anything like that, but I think we're gonna do this route or something similar:

Map of today's proposed route
Proposed elevation profile
I confess that I like climbing, especially in my workouts and not so much in my races, but it's hard to find decent climbs in Coastal Connecticut.  We have a lot of short, sharp climbs, but very few long, grinding climbs of the type you see on the pro tour.

I wound up going 49.4 miles.  That was a little further than I meant to go, but we had fun out there.


  1. It's funny, I used to turn my nose up at cosmic Marvel, but I wanted to get familiar with the franchise and supporting characters when Brian Michael Bendis started writing it, so I went back to the Abnett/Lanning issues, and it turns out, I like them better than Bendis' run (so far).

    I follow Patrick Rothfuss on Facebook, but when he mentioned Slow Regard, I didn't realize it was his work (just thought it was another recommendation of his). I love the Kingkiller Chronicle. I'll also have to read the Galbraith books. Thanks for the recommendations!

    1. That's what I'm here for.

      Everybody likes the DnA Guardians better than Bendis's. I like a lot of what Bendis does, but his Guardians have only recently gotten interesting to me.