Archive for Books

Sturgeon books I didn’t know about

I thought that I had read all of Sturgeon’s fiction except for one novel. But it turns out that he wrote five other books that I hadn’t heard of. Three of them are novelizations of movies: The King and Four Queens (1956) Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) The Rare Breed (1966) But […]

Parke Godwin’s _A Truce with Time_

I read Parke Godwin’s novel A Truce with Time: A Love Story with Occasional Ghosts in 1990, shortly before my college graduation. (The book had been published in 1988; it was written in 1986, and set in 1979.) What I remember of my reaction to it is that it felt to me more mature than […]

On the uses of encyclopedias

I’ve finally finished reading Andrew Brown’s A Brief History of Encyclopaedias. I continued to find it both interesting and annoying all the way through. (It’s less than 120 pages long, but it took me a few days to read it because I kept falling asleep. That’s not the book’s fault; I was inexplicably sleepy all […]

How not to describe the Cantor set

The latest book from my unread-books shelf is Fractals, Chaos, Power Laws, by Manfred Schroeder, which I am currently perusing over lunch. It belonged to my father, so it’s been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read it for 15+ years. I already knew that it had pretty fractal pictures in it, and […]

A City in Winter, by Mark Helprin

I loved Mark Helprin’s novel Winter’s Tale when I read it circa 1990, so I was disappointed to later learn that he’s a conservative commentator. His 1996 short book A City in Winter has been sitting on my bookcase for a couple of decades now; part of my delay in reading it has been hesitancy […]

Russ reviews

My pick-a-random-unread-book system recently picked Joanna Russ’s reviews-and-essays collection The Country You Have Never Seen. I’m not normally a big reader of reviews—I don’t hate them, they’re just not something I tend to be super into. But in this case, I laughed out loud half a dozen times in the first couple dozen pages. Partly […]

Braudel’s _Structures of Everyday Life_

I’m continuing to read/skim Fernand Braudel’s 1980(ish) The Structures of Everyday Life: The Limits of the Possible (volume 1 of his three-volume work Civilization and Capitalism, 15th–18th Century). I continue to find it a mix of fascinating and annoying—there’s a wealth of information here about what Braudel calls “material life” around the world during that […]

Free books again

Edited in 2022 to add: This is an old post. If you want free books, see my current version of the free-books list. I’m leaving the old version below, for historical purposes only. More books! Free to a good home. Let me know if you want any of these. Also some VHS tapes. (At the […]

Read-aloud recommendations?

Short version of this post: I’m looking for recommendations for books to read aloud that feature more character diversity and less wince-inducing prejudice than my longstanding favorite read-aloud books tend to have. (But I have more criteria than that; see below.) Longer version follows. I’m looking specifically for books that meet all of the following […]

Still more free books!

Books! Free to a good home. Let me know if you want any of these. Also some VHS tapes. (At the end of this post.) This list contains about 60 new items since the previous list I posted (in July). A total of about 230 items here (minus however many have been claimed since I […]