[I've been 
reading]

Coin-Operated Americans: Rebooting Boyhood at the Video Game Arcade   book icon  
by Carly Kocurek (2015)

read: 24 April 2017
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Mixed feelings about this book which I enjoyed but wasn’t totally sure where it was coming from. It reads like a set of disparate essays sort of grasping for a way to all be put together into someone’s dissertation. I recognized myself in the era she describes, as someone who frequented arcades before the crash (in fact I just got back from Funspot last week) but otherwise found some of her discussion a little too academic. This book was strongest when it was referring to things I had a connection to (the iconic Life photo of the gamers, the Gamer Gate stuff of modern day, books I’d read) and less when it’s just sort of waxing poetic about ideas of masculinity that don’t really seem rooted in theory as much as idle musings. Enjoyed but was not enthusiastic about.

Vortex   book icon  
by Robert Charles Wilson (2011)

read: 17 April 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Enjoyed this sequel to the trilogy. Had a little more continuity than the second book in terms of seeing characters you recognized. This was true despite some of the book taking place 10000 years in the future. I thought Wilson did a good job with this huge leap and liked the way this story tied up fairly neatly.

A Dangerous Place   book icon  
by Jacqueline Winspear (2015)

read: 14 April 2017
rating: [0]
category: fiction

I would be stopping reading the Dobbs novels at this point except that I have been told they improve. This book is a radical departure from the previous books in a few notable ways 1. many of the major plot points happen before the book (the main character has many HUGE life events that happen before the novel takes place, this is weird 2. Maisie is sort of a jerk to the people who care about her. This wraps up by the end but it’s weird seeing the character be a jerk 3. there is a lot of expository “Let me tell you what I think happened...” sort of lazy writing that I’m not used to in the other books. So, not terrible but not great either. I’ll check out the next one and see if it improves.

Orfeo   book icon  
by Richard Powers (2014)

read: 14 April 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Powers clearly has such passion for his subjects. I loved the Gold Bug Variations but was a little more adrift in this one because there were a lot of descriptions of musical stuff that I just couldn’t picture in my mind. Enjoyable but the main plot (guy is trying to do something hinky merging science and music and is maybe going to get in big trouble) gets interwoven with backstory enough so I really wanted to just read one linear story and not the intermerged one. This is the failure of me as a reader and not Powers but it made this book less awesome than it could have been.

The Housekeeper and the Professor   book icon  
by Yoko Ogawa (2009)

read: 6 April 2017
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Really enjoyed this short poignant story about a lower class woman who takes care of an older man with a serious memory problem--he can only remember the last 80 minutes of his life, and things that happened before 1975. The older man is also, was also, a mathematics professor and his mind still engages with math problems even as he has to keep slips of paper attached to himself to remember who his housekeeper is. Lots of levels to this book including baseball and, of course, math.

« top »