Those detail-oriented readers may notice a change to the site's main menu. The "What I'm Reading" link has been changed to "Books to Read." This is part of a series of small changes I'll be implementing over the next few months to better emphasize to potential visitors what the site is all about, and what they can expect to gain by coming here.
Don’t expect a text that exists primarily to inform or tell a coherent story, because that’s not what Franklin was setting out to do with his autobiography. It was instead intended originally for his son, and eventually for a wider audience of the burgeoning America, as a moral guide, an example and explication of how it might be possible to live a moral, productive, and well-regarded life, such as Franklin himself led.
In my review for A Christmas Carol I asserted that I will read most anything with “Dickens” on the cover, and this is a good example; I cannot recall any reason for it being on my reading list except for it being by Charles Dickens.
I learned an enormous amount about naval warfare in the age of sail, the tactics and techniques involved, how the evolution from oars to sails took place, and the geopolitical context behind conflicts that I only vaguely knew happened at all.
That title is no understatement. Bloodied copies of this book have been purportedly discovered amongst the most worn possessions of failed coup leaders, which Luttwak is quick to disclaim as being evidence that they did not amply take to heart his text’s lessons, and not a suggestion that his instructions are flawed.
As promised last week, this will be our review for Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn as a whole, assembled trilogy. We’ll be talking in more detail about the story as a whole, and the writing specifically, across all three books.
It’s probably for the best that not every book I pick up seizes me in quite the same fashion that the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy did, because it would severely interfere with my writing output if that were the case.
Sometimes, when I’m writing back-to-back reviews within the same series, I find that I don’t have enough to say about each book, specifically, especially while reserving series-wide thoughts for the series review. That isn’t a concern here.
While I knew that I wanted my next few reads to be fiction, I harbored a certain degree of trepidation as I made my selections. Even when I sat down to open Swordspoint, I was cautious, approaching it like someone poking an injured monster to see if it is still alive, anticipating that I would again read through a fantasy novel and finish thinking that it was just okay, and when does the next Stormlight book come out, and why won’t Rothfuss ever finish the Kingkiller Chronicle? Less than a page of Swordspoint was all that was required to chase away my doubts and hesitations and any thoughts of other fantasy stories, because it was that beautiful.
Look at me, reading another science fiction book from this century. I’ve seen this billed as a grittier, modern take on HG Wells’ The Time Machine, and I think that’s somewhat apt. So apt, in fact, that if you’re thinking of reading The Accidental Time Machine, I suggest you just go read Wells’ original, instead.