2021

February

This was a great month for books. I signed up for scribd (again) and went to my favourite book store (Blossoms) after nearly a year.

The Enchanter: An Adventure in the Land of Nabokov, by Lila Azam Zanganeh

An exquisite love letter to Nabokov's works. Emulates his luminous, mad style very well.

Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk

Our great depression is our lives.

Reread this. Immensely quotable book.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelli

A light overview of physics. Does not go too deep so might be good for folks who are dipping their toes in this genre.

Goodbye, Things: On Minimalist Living, by Fumio Sasaki

A light look at the minimalist movement from a Japanese blogger.

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made, by Jason Schreier

Somehow this was more forgiving than I expected, of the grind and hell folks in the videogame industry go through. The author hand waves it away as something people do out of sheer passion. I can understand that from the small indies working away for years on a tight budget, but I wonder if that holds true for the entire industry. Nevertheless this was an interesting peek behind the curtains of game companies small and large.

Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, by David Epstein

Well this was preaching to the choir as I consider myself a bit of a generalist. Most of the book quotes success stories, which makes for nice reading but I guess if you look for something you'll always find examples supporting your cause.

The larger point is that we don't know what we want to do unless we try it, so the general recommendation is to sample widely and not be afraid to be a late bloomer.

The Tangled Lands, by Paolo Bacigalupi, Tobias S. Buckell

Four short stories by the two authors, all centered around a world troubled by poisonous brambles that grow and spread whenever its people use magic.

I've read and liked Baciagalupi's dystopian science fiction before.

January

Anabasis, by Xenophon

"Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks. I must teach you. You must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta!" -- Buck Mulligan in Joyce's Ulysses.

"Warriors, come out to play-i-ay." -- From the movie The Warriors.

Well I didn't read it in the original Greek but I finally read this book. It's nice when you finally read something that has such a rich cultural history and you see all the influences it has had.