Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

02 Mar 2010, 22:45 p.m.

Some Books

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2010 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Recently read, don't want to forget:

A Year Without "Made In China" by Sara Bongiorni: a quick read, finished in a few hours (long after receiving it as a gift, I'm embarrassed to say). The author gets caught up in edge cases and logistics, as you always do when you make a rule-based change to your lifestyle (sometimes that heightens your appreciation of the intention you're manifesting, and sometimes it fogs it). She makes it engaging, but don't look here for recommendations on finding non-Chinese-made alternatives. Much more a memoir than a how-to.

World War Z by Max Brooks: I started reading this before bed and had to finish it before going to sleep, or else zombies would haunt my dreams. Hard horror (like hard fantasy), first-class worldbuilding, grim satire, chills, thrills, relentless inevitability yet surprises and twists on every page.

The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach: seems to start out a family-scale fantasy, expands into space opera, epic in scope but always personal and believable. Empires fall and rise, investigators work on eons-old mysteries, and you see bits and pieces from several perspectives. Very good. Translated from the German.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, as I mentioned a few days back.

I've also reread most of Bury the Chains and The Left Hand of Darkness. (Jo Walton's book reviews make me feel better about spending time rereading for pleasure or curiosity.)


03 Mar 2010, 16:36 p.m.

Moss and I read an ARC of World War Z aloud while driving on lonely back roads through Northern Texas. Every once in a while we'd pass through towns with no people, but signs pointing the way to the cemetery. It was one of the more awesome and terrifying reading experiences either of us has ever had.

03 Mar 2010, 20:22 p.m.

I thought my experience (trying to sleep on someone else's couch near a window that loomed larger and larger as the book went on, reading till 3 or 4am) was creepy. Julia, Moss, I am both envious of your experience of World War Z and glad mine was less immersive!