Category: Doug

Apr 04 2020

The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key

Forgotten Door

Re-reading The Forgotten Door was a gift to my third-grade self. It’s the first book of any length that I remember reading, and the cover was still lodged in my brain after all of these years, not that I would judge a book that way, no. I remembered the barest bones of the story: a …

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Mar 27 2020

Salz im Blut by Andreas Neumeister

Salz im Blut

In the early 2000s, I am led to understand, the editors of the Süddeutsche Zeitung found that the paper had more printing capacity than was being used to put out the daily news. One way to set that capacity to productive use was with a foray into book publishing. The newspaper’s staff put together a …

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Feb 26 2020

Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs

Foreign Devils by John Hornor Jacobs

Foreign Devils continues the cowboys and Romans mashup started in The Incorruptibles, a story that will conclude in Infernal Machines. I am very glad that I don’t have to wait for John Hornor Jacobs to write the third volume, because boy howdy is Foreign Devils a middle book. As the Ruman Empire strides through its …

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Feb 11 2020

M Train by Patti Smith

M Train by Patti Smith

I loved Just Kids — it was one of my very favorite books of 2015 — so why didn’t M Train do much for me? Smith gives a bit of a warning in the book’s very first line, “It’s not so easy writing about nothing.” (p. 3) The speaker is a cowpoke who is in …

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Feb 04 2020

Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front by Serhii Plokhy

Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front

With Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front Serhii Plokhy delivers on his subtitle, “An Untold Story of World War II.” Not literally untold of course, but one that lived on mainly in the archived files, official histories, and small print runs of participants’ memoirs. Plokhy’s most useful source from a major publisher was The Strange …

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Feb 02 2020

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney by Dennis O’Driscoll

Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney

So now I want to read all of Seamus Heaney’s poetry. I want to start with Death of a Naturalist and see what set him apart from other poets getting started. I want to follow him up North to see how he both did and did not address the Troubles of his native Northern Ireland. …

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Jan 26 2020

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson has all of the receipts. Setting out to understand the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the South and into other regions of the country, she drew on scholarship, she drew on hundreds of interview, she drew on the archives of dozens of organizations, and she arrived with a great work of synthesis, …

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Jan 23 2020

Wintry Slowness

Sueddeutsche Reihe

Last February, I read 17 books in a month, which is a lot for me, if not for Doreen or Laura (or indeed Jo Walton). Now, I seem to be on the opposite side of that coin. Of the three books I finished in December, one I skimmed a great deal of, one was quite …

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Jan 14 2020

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

What’d I miss? The voters of the 2018 Worldcon awarded The Stone Sky the Hugo award for best novel, the first time in the award’s history that any author had won for best novel three years in a row, and also the first time that all three parts of a trilogy had won in that …

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Jan 11 2020

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi

How does a human civilization react to news of its possible impending collapse, with the only option for survival a major upheaval touching every person in it and changing its power structure entirely? That’s the overriding question of John Scalzi’s Interdependency series. The Consuming Fire is the second part of the story, following The Collapsing …

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