Well, I sort of stalled out on The Skinner by Neal Asher so I could read this instead. It’s very exciting and so far it’s taking up all my valuable Zelda playing time. Just kidding–I make time for the important things, and saving Hyrule is pretty far up there. But don’t ever study for the FINRA exams, kids. Not even once. At least I have this to read for leisure, thanks to a certain Swiss Servator who drew my name in the Christmas gift exchange. It’s actually been very interesting in the first four chapters, as there has been no mention of schtupping yet, nor any guides or the like. Truly, it’s all philosophy in the first four or five chapters; namely, the importance of that particular aspect of your life. There was an entire chapter on what women should learn (and continue to learn with the consent of their husbands, once they use these skills to attract and retain one), and it was definitely not what you would expect. “Magic (sorcery), carpentry, architecture, chemistry, knowledge of war, the art of cock fighting,” and many more that you really would expect–singing, danging, playing instruments, and doing all three at the same time, for examples. I’ve not finished it yet, since is strictly “wind-down-before-bed-after-abusing-my-eyes-with-S65” material, but based on what I have read so far, I’d say it’s worth picking up. Get yourself an illustrated guide and give it a look! (Who knows, you might even read it one day.)
I’m currently reading The King in Yellow, by Robert Chambers, and The Three Imposters, by Arthur Machen. I picked up this fantastic annotated volume of Lovecraft, and was in the mood for more weird fiction. Seriously, if you love Lovecraft, this is the one you need. The annotations are so detailed you sometimes lose yourself reading several pages of run-on notes and forget where you were in the actual story. And the forward is by noted magician, author, anarchist, and complete maniac Alan Moore!
Old Man With Candy
I’m reading a slick piece of non-fiction called Metalworking Fluids, by Jerry Byers. This shows you what an exciting life I lead. The chapter about anticorrosion additives warmed my heart, but I found the chapter on contact dermatitis somewhat irritating. Beg, borrow or steel a copy.
Joe Haldeman rarely disappoints, but The Coming did. When you get to the surprise ending, you’ll think, “That’s what I figured out on Page 10.” It’s set in Future Florida, where everything is fucked up because of global warming and has a few interesting characters tossed into a totally formulaic story. Haldeman does a cute writing gimmick bypassing of the POV between characters in a sequential way (i.e., A has the point of view and interacts with B, the next chapter has B’s POV as he or she interacts with C, and so on). Not enough to rescue a limp effort.
And guilty pleasure: I hadn’t read The Sum of All Fears in about 20 years, so I thought, “Let’s see how this has aged.” Not well. Still, it’s a technical gem from an assembly standpoint that must have taken a massive effort to plot out and in true guilty pleasure fashion, I admit that I’m enjoying it.
I’ve branched out in my reading and am now including fruit juice jars. OMWC sent me a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap, but after 5 minutes or so, my lips got tired.
I’m working semi-diligently on learning Italian. HM pointed out that I already learned one language, so I can, in fact, learn a new language…in spite of my previous failures to learn a second language. I’m using Duolingo. It seems to be working. I no longer need to translate the social media posts from my Italian art-world friends and I have recently found myself dreaming in Italian.
So this month I’m reading Italian Short Stories for Beginners. The first story is about a businessman who frequents saunas after work.
I’m also tackling the chaos in the non-public areas of my home. Again. This time, I’m trying the advice of Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes A Day. It’s inspirational, really. “You don’t have to actually be an organized person to live like one.” Most horrifying tip: take “before” photos of your space to really see how bad it is since we become inured to the reality over time and block stuff out. This is eye-opening. And, did I mention, horrifying? I’m making some progress, though!
Also dipping into Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, 2nd Edition prior to starting GlibFit next week. I really like co-author Ray Cronise and read pretty much everything he writes. So, this will be my second try at a plant-based way of eating, for health reasons. Hope it sticks this time; it really did help me feel somewhat better the last time I was doing it. (This is not medical advice of any kind. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one online. YMMV.)
At the suggestion of another Glib (HT: Sour Kraut) I picked up How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe’s Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It. Sorry about insulting the Scots. Honestly, if they didn’t want to be insulted, they wouldn’t talk so funny.
Accidentally read a cursed scroll of confuse monster over Thanksgiving weekend, and will be functionally illiterate for at most another 32 turns.
I worked my way through the massive, exhaustive Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s by Kim Newman. Updated twice since its initial publication in 1984, Newman’s deep dive into horror, thrillers and hybrids like SF-horror eschews well-examined films like Alien and Halloween to focus on smaller niche moves and grindhouse fare. Newman’s prose is breezy yet not flippant and keeps the sub-genre focused chapters moving along to contextualize and critique styles like giallo and Hammer Films gothic horror well-enough for even a casual horror fan to understand. Much like his Apocalypse Movies: End of the World Cinema (1999), I came away with dozens of movies added to my watch list and just as many to re-watch. Newman does come at horror from a British perspective; for a more American (and especially grindhouse) focused work, try Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation Independents by Stephen Thrower.