Summer Reading Summary

Book Update

I’ve read a couple of books since the last time I wrote about them and I forced myself to write reviews of the books before I get to buy a new one (not fair, boss Timo).

First, I read a classic: “Kindred” by Octavia E. Butler, time travel story of an African American woman going back to times of slavery. This book makes you afraid, angry, and stunned how ignorant I feel. Knowing something is wrong is very different from feeling it, and this book made me feel it.

Second book is a book that I bought on a whim from Audible: “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss. Self-helpish book on negotiations. I both enjoyed it and I am a bit sceptical of its applicability. Still have to say that picked up a few techniques I have tried with my teenagers. I think I will revisit it at some point and will take proper notes.

I read as I planned also three first books of Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin: “The Wizard of Earthsea”, “The Tombs of Atuan”, and “The Farthest Shore”. This is one of those worlds that feels a whole world. I could just go there and explore and be very happy. Definitely going to sail these seas again.

Another Audible addition was “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman. I got stuck in the first chapter for couple of days, I just couldn’t get past the “nobody came to my seventh birthday”. When I did, I of course loved it, it is Neil Gaiman after all. It is about death, love, not being a child anymore. Reminded me of Jo Walton’s “Among Others” and both are very high on my list of books that I read 2020.

The next book was a novelette “To Be Taught, If Fortunate” by Becky Chambers about planet exploration, space travel and time delays it causes. Beautiful book.

As part of my exploration on how to be a better note taker I read “How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing” by Sönke Ahrens. Actionable, solid advice, will probably write more about it at the point I am ready to write about my note taking practice.

And Finally, I read “Voices from Chernobyl” by Svetlana Alexievich. It is a harrowing book on how Soviet Union failed its people and how Chernobyl changed, ended, or ruined lives of tens of thousands of its citizens. Many stories were the same that were adapted to big screen in HBO’s Chernobyl. This book made me wish I could read Russian, even the translation was very beatiful prose that made me feel how those people told there stories to the author.

Edit! Oh, no, forgot a book that has one of my favourite characters ever. “One Hundred Thousand Kingdoms” by N.K. Jemisin. It is a fantasy story about royal family that enslaved gods to rule the world. I came for the strong erotic undertones and stayed for Nahadoth. I hope to read more about them