I haven’t posted a reading update since the summer, so now seems like a good time to check in on what’s playing out of my speakers or sitting on my nightstand.
Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
This list must have the mandatory update on where I am in Pratchett’s Discworld books. I’m only a little ways in, so not a huge update here. Thus far, it’s a Witches story, sans Granny Weatherwax and involves vampires appearing to try and usurp a kingdom. In other words, awesome.
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
I’ve drifted more towards memoirs as of late, choosing to distance myself a bit from the animated bibliography and instead listen to the stories by people reflecting on their life and either providing insight in retrospect or attempting to provide an explanation for why things unfolded (also see Catmull’s book below and my recent completion of Knight’s Shoe Dog). As with many of us here in North America, I watched the US elections in 2016 with interest, and was disappointed in the results. I was interested to hear Hillary’s story of what happened and am not disappointment by what I’ve heard so far.
Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull
Another memoir, this book is from one of the founders and heads of Pixar. What I love most about this book is that he’s discussing the behind-the-scenes decisions and goings-on of creating the films that I grew up on, which adds a new layer of awesome to my childhood memories. The values and lessons he learned from their failures and successes are incredibly interesting, and I find the book captivating.
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
Junger starts with an interesting observation from the American Frontier: if “advanced civilization” is so wonderful, why did so many white American settlers abandon their communities to join and live among the indigenous peoples that were so backwards and savage to them? Junger’s speculation is that it comes down to how people feel accepted within their communities. To Junger, this is an example of how “civilization” and technology can be so alienating to a person, which diminishes their sense of worth and place. I’m not very far into the book, but it’s quite a good read so far.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I’ve been watching the Outlander series on Netflix with my wife and have been loving the story so far. It didn’t hurt that the first season took place in Scotland, which reminded me of my trip there in 2016. Fun fact, the scenes of Inverness in the series were actually filmed in a small town called Falkland, which I visited on my travels, long before we had started watching the show. The book is huge (over a 800 pages!) so it’ll be a long read.