A Little Hatred. Latest Joe Abercrombie book, carrying forward the world of "The First Law" into an industrial revolution and an insurrection.
Plotwise it's good. Plenty of action and the usual cast of grotesque characters, in particular the amoral Clover. Some of them turn out to be more complex than they first appear. It's the first volume in a trilogy but still manages to come to a decent conclusion.
I didn't really like the politics, especially the depiction of the rebels as naive or sadistic, but that's pretty much this author's method.
Overall, worth a read.
What I'm Reading 2
Who am I again. Comedian Lenny Henry's autobiography, covering his childhood and early career.
Has some fascinating details on the world of comedy before the Alternative Comedy boom of the Eighties.
There's also an amount of angst behind his cheery stage persona,though it's not a deeply tragic story. Has some notes and advice on performance at the end.
Overall, fairly interesting but not essential. Might have been better with some cuts to what's there and a bit more of his life.
What I'm Reading 3
Your Pace or Mine by Lisa Jackson Running book on what an extroverted back of the pack runner claims to have learned from running. Has some decent anecdotes. The author wrote a guide to running previously and this feels like a bit of a forced sequel with a lot of filler.
What I'm Reading 4
How to Build a Car. Autobiography of Formula One car designer Adrian Newey.
Lots of good inside information on how Formula One works, and how to get an advantage in competitive engineering.
Also has some good stuff on Formula One. At one point it was standard practice for the second car mechanics to just copy the settings of the first since it was faster. Nigel Mansell, whenever he left the vehicle, would carefully adjust it to bad settings to give himself an advantage over the other driver in the team.
What I'm Reading 5
The IO Encounter by Brandon Q. Morris. Another decent entry in the author's Ice Moon hard SF series. The human-side plot gets a bit implausible with some underwritten baddies, but the science fiction side is fine.
What I'm Reading 6
Listened to the (free) Librivox audiobook Iconoclastic Memories of the Civil War by Ambrose Bierce. Though he's best known as a satirist this is a pretty straight account of his experiences in the American Civil War, though with some dry wit. The accounts of battles are very vivid, as is a narrow escape from a risky expedition. However it doesn't give much of a picture of the war as a whole.
I'd never heard the word "deadline" used to mean a literal line of dead people on a battlefield before. Not sure if that's the origin of the phrase.
Overall, an interesting short memoir.
What I'm Reading 7
Listened to The Rough Riders by Theodore Roosevelt, his account of the volunteer regiment he raised for the Spanish-American War. Jingoistic and somewhat racist, but quite interesting.
What I'm Reading 8
Stasiland by Anna Funder. Non-fiction book about life in East Germany under the Stasi. Tells the stories of various people who were affected in different ways.
One curious thing was that if the Stasi tried to recruit an informer and they refused, in general nothing happened to them. But fear meant that very few people refused.
Not bad but nothing that surprising in here.
Locked down by Coronavirus like everyone else. Objectively not too badly off: no-one I know has it or is particularly at risk. Both of us still have jobs and are working from home. The tricky bit is doing childcare and education while working full-time: it's not been too bad during half-term, but in school time the kid has half a day's education to fit in. Work's even busier that usual as do software in the healthcare field: we have extra work for Covid-19 and my team's missing staff. Struggling a bit with it.
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