Reading Matters 03

POSTED: December 7, 2021

A few months later, and I will try to list the things that I have read since September.

1. I finished the second and third volumes of Sylvain Neuvel’s trilogy The Themis Files, which may or may not end the series. By the end the whole thing seemed like a fictional coating for a series of position essays about the human condition and where we are going. The characters ceased to speak exposition and simply became they exposition that they spoke. I didn’t mind this because the argument remained reasonably interesting, or at least entertaining.

2. I raced through Christopher Brookmyre’s Quite Ugly One Morning, which apparently begins a long series of books about Jack Parlabane, a Scottish investigative journalist of international disrepute. The sheer (and deliberate) disgusting nature of the first chapter almost put me off but by the end I felt very glad it hadn’t. I will definitely look out for more of them. My problem: I will almost have to read them in chronological order since I strongly suspect that what happenes in one will affect the next.

3. I finally read The Underground Railroad by Colston Whitehead. One topic opinion: his decision to render the railroad as real plays dividends at all levels. It solves a lot of technical problems in the writing, in terms of how to get the characters from one place to another, as well as moving the book firmly out of the “historical fiction” category, and thus preventing the audience from knowing what comes next.

4. I read Olive Kitteridge and Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout and liked them both.

5. I read Byung-Chul Han’s Psychopolitics and thought other people should read it too.

6. I read Factfulness by Hans Rosling and family, and thought that it said a lot of interesting things in a way that never quite interested me.

I read some other stuff too.