I’ve just started reading this book by Mitchell Zuckoff, a professor at Boston University, who was a reporter for the Boston Globe and covered 9/11.
Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11
“This is a 9/11 book like no other. Masterfully weaving together multiple strands of the events in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Fall and Rise is a mesmerizing, minute-by-minute account of that terrible day.”
When I was on my marathon road trip last weekend I started The Guns of the South by Harry Turtledove. It’s an alt history story about civil war era US and what would have happened if the CSA had been victorious. With a touch of time travel in the mix. It’s really, really long. 561 pages, or 25 hours in audiobook form.
It’s a snoozer, kids. It’s really long, not all that well written, and it makes monumental plot leaps. If not for the primary subject matter of antebellum slavery and South African prejudice, I suspect this one would have evaporated from literary memory without a blink.
I’m reading Zucked and finding it fascinating. Roger McNammee does an excellent job of explaining what Facebook has been doing, why he thinks it’s wrong and the role it played in the 2016 election. He also puts Facebook in context in the tech industry.
I know of McNammee through poster artists. McNammee’s band Moonalice commissions posters for its gigs and gives them away free at its shows. It’s great for the poster artists.He’s very supportive of rock posters as an art form.
I have been doing a lot of road trips and just finished Shogun by Clavell on Audible. It was over 53 hours and I really enjoyed it (I read the book maybe 30 years ago). I use an Amazon Tap in the car which works out well because I had to rewind a lot.
Right now I’m reading Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay. It’s pretty good so far.
And I’m listening to The Fireman by Joe Hill which I’m really sick of but I paid for it so…
@f00l I was on a road trip last weekend and I had The Fireman downloaded on my fire tablet on Audible. I desperately need to finish that book because I hate it so much. I pulled it out and my tablet said there were no books on it. What, there were yesterday? I tried to stream it on my phone and Audible told me to fuck off.
Then I remembered I had a few Chirp books on my phone. They are the same versions that Audible sells as far as I can tell. They worked nicely. Stupid Amazon.
Just finished lots of United Kingdom history. Somewhat more than 70 hours of listening?
This Sceptred Isle was a series originator broadcast on BBC radio 4 I think.
First, more or less 30 hours on the history of the UK from the Romans (earliest written accounts we know if I think) through the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Available from audible, split into two audiobooks.
I liked this much. Sometimes seriously too much overview and not enough detail (the English Civil War, the wars with France, the Protestant Reformation issues, the lost War of Independence in the former American Colonies, the Wars of the Roses, and the time of Elizabeth I, in particular, went by too quickly.)
Winston Churchill is listed as an author due to the series having extensively used his long and detailed History of the English-Speaking Peoples.
Next up for me was 15 combined hours of twentieth century UK history in 5 audiobooks.
Not so good (for me) when on strictly internal-to-UK issues. (This series was done for an internal UK domestic audience of course)
Excellent if far too brief on issues that affect all of us more directly. I found this history somewhat less interesting because I already know a lot about the stuff I care about, it’s common knowledge to many. Still well worth the listening.
Wish they had made it longer. Particularly regarding the World Wars.
Next up was about 22 hours on the Empire, which starts in very early, in Ireland (which turned into the perpetual graveyard of British political ambition and of hopes for peace, until the parties finally came together in the 1990’s).
The series takes the other through the Elizabethan pirating and exploring years, the years of trying to catch up with the French, Dutch, Spanish, and the Portuguese, thru Australia, India, Singapore, China, Africa, and the final empire in its greatest extent; and then the devolution of the empire into independent states.
The series gives much time to the economics of empire, and much well deserved time to genocide, massacre, internal slavery, and UK merchant and pirate participation in the slave trade. And much time to racism and the fairly rigid class structure.
And to the patriotically sentimental attitudes associated with Empire
Last was 1 Audiobook of about 12 hours on “Dynasties”. This covers some of the great families: Churchills, Mortimers, Cecils and so forth.
There are curious omissions. No section on the Nevilles, for instance. And the discussion of the Churchills rushed past the problems with Queen Anne; perhaps it’s because editors of the series knew the had to reserve time for discussing Winston. This was all originally a radio broadcast, so they had to edit for time.
This was also quite good, tho at times perhaps confusing for someone does not already know something about it.
A keto book
A cookbook by Trisha Yearwood
A bio of Feynman by Gleick
A book by Richard Kadrey in the Iron Druid series The Searchers by Alan Le May The Lords of Discipline by Pat Conway
A book on Proust and neuroscience
Some other stuff that looks entertaining
And something called
Sherlock Holmes vs Cthulhu
(I find the title irresistible.)
I just finished Paradise Sky by Joe Lansdale. It’s a work of fiction based loosely on the life and exploits of African American cowboy and former slave Nat Love. It was a very amusing adventure story set in the post-Antebellum west. Not a literary masterpiece, but as I said, loaded with humor.
Today I started book 2 in the Slough House UK spook series Dead Lions.