Reading Break


I’ve been focusing on relaxing more, so the irony of having spent the past three days in a stressed out insomniac funk wasn’t lost on me. Fortunately I seem to have warded it off by reading John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation straight through1 from what should have been bedtime into the wee hours of the morning, so, again, my advice is still to switch off, tune out every now and then and read a good book.

To give you a little boost, here are some of the ones I’ve read lately (I’m adding these to the store now, too):

Embassytown Hyperion Armor
★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★
A fascinating and intricate book that tends to drag on as characters act out complex motivations that you you’re not completely aware until they completely unfold – a staple of Miéville’s writing that relies on one’s fascination with his fantastic worlds to hang on but which doesn’t always work out for me. The way he handles language (and the way his characters regard language itself in this particular book) is thought-provoking, but somehow I wasn’t as taken by it as by his earlier work. Hyperion is the first volume in a story arch, but I’ve only read the initial two volumes so far (so my rating also applies to the sequel). My strongest impression from the first volume was that each character’s tale is solid enough to stand out on its own as a novella with individual style and flair – but the two volumes together made for a rich, powerful experience that made for very enjoyable reading, and is highly recommended indeed. I was sidetracked from REAMDE (which I haven’t finished yet, alas) into Armor due to a friend’s recommendation that mentioned it as a classic. Which it may well be, although I found that the mid-story detracted significantly from the exploration of the main character’s psyche and the inspiring twist at the end of the book. A good, but not necessarily memorable read, depending on your frame of mind.

1 It’s pretty good (as always with Scalzi’s stuff), grab it if you need entertaining and witty reading to get your mind off things.