Books of 2021: The City We Became

I sat down to do a quick blurb about this book, and it turned into an essay.

The tl:dr:

“It has opened my mind and expanded my literary tastes, all while forcing me to grapple with intriguing ideas and wrestle with old prejudices. This is not the kind of reading I could handle every day: the aged mind can only process so may challenges in a compressed time frame. But it is for scaling conceptual heights that I liberated my mind from the workplace, so I will be coming back for my next fix soon.”

The sequel, The World We Make, is on my must-reads list.

Books of 2021: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Expanding my reading to include the detective fiction genre after bingeing “Longmire” on Netflix – and heeding Susan Wise Bauer‘s enjoinment to approach a new subject or genre chronologically – I naturally began with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. After running through the four novels and five short-story collections composing the Sherlock Holmes canon, I can attest that I am not just hooked, I am downright fired-up.

In addition to a growing stack of books from Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Robert B. Parker, and Craig Johnson, I am working on an essay about Holmes. There is a lot of pulp out there, but in a genre known rather more for its pot-boiler tendencies than its literary chops, I am finding much to appreciate beyond pure diversion.

That said, next up is a little Jesse Stone, purely for diversion.

Books of 2021: “Ministry for the Future”

Once you get used to Kim Stanley Robinson’s multithreaded neo-Tolstoyian style and push past the first chapter, this is an unforgettable book, one that paints a gloomy picture with a glimmer of light.

I have never been more proud to be the father of a budding environmental scientist, more ashamed of the wasteful aspects of my lifestyle, and more focused on what is important. That’s far more than I had bargained for from this book, but it was worth the almost physical effort to get through such an unrelenting narrative and come out changed.

For is that not what great books are about?

Just finished: Rabbi Kushner at the top of his form: erudite, pithy, and provocative.

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