Books Read in February

Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe, by Thomas Ligotti

The dreaming, slumbering ghost of Lovecraft is alive and well in this collection of horror stories.

Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe, by Steven H. Strogatz

Fairly light reading. Does not go too deep but gives a sense of how wide-spread Calculus is. Some nice historical examples show how it has been used across the years.

Look at the Harlequins! by Vladimir Nabokov

Nabokov’s last published novel. This protagonist here feels like the one that’s the closest imitation of the author. Beautiful, lyrical prose as always.

Supergods, by Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison looks at Super Heroes across the years, and weaves in his own childhood and career. Recommended for comic lovers.

Books Read in January

A great way to start the year. I’m in Chennai and had nothing to do except read.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

This is my first Austen. I tried to place close attention to the conversations and motivations of the characters, and imagine how a less skilled author would have done the same thing.

The Witcher Series, by Andrzej Sapkowski

  • The Lady of the Lake
  • Season of Storms

With these two, I’ve now read all the Witcher books. The Lady of the Lake was quite exquisite. The entire series was leading up to this one as all the stories converge to a set of brutal, poignant and unpredictable set of events. Highly recommended.

The Season of Storms is an unrelated prequel that can be read by itself but has some spoilers about events in the last book.

Ilium, Dan Simmons

It’s the Iliad, but with post-human Shakespeare-reading robots, meddling ‘gods’ and a human society that has lost all knowledge of its past. If that sounded fun, this book is for you. I tried to go in blind and enjoyed this. Unfortunately the story doesn’t end here and there’s one more book that continues (and hopefully concludes) things.

Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre

A gloomy book about a lonely writer pondering his existence. Quite nice.

Books Read in December

Not the best month: I started Ian Stewart’s Does God Play Dice and abandoned it because it required a greater commitment of effort than I was able to give.

I’m also midway through a couple of other books but have not finished either of them yet.

I did finish an audiobook called The Art of Reading from The Great Courses. It has inspired me to tackle books that I previously considered too hard. So, I expect the quantity of books read to be lesser from now, but hopefully the quality is higher.

Shakespeare, by Bill Bryson

A slim book, what I liked most was how the times and place were brought to life.

Four Thousand Weeks, by Oliver Burkeman

A ‘productivity’ book from someone who embraced productivity tools, got burned out, and tries to give some perspective on things that matter more than trying to make the most of every minute.