Sunday, August 26, 2012

Books read, week of 8/25/12

Last week ended up being a slow reading week. There's a bug of some kind making the rounds of the office at my day job. While I got a mild enough case that I didn't have to miss any work, I found myself sleeping away hours I ordinarily would've spent reading, writing, blogging, and the like.

So I'm still not quite to 75 books on the year, though I should get there next week.

73) Cetaganda, by Lois McMaster Bujold. I don't always count re-reads, but in this case I read from beginning to end, rather than skipping and skimming for the "good parts." It's funny how Ivan seems like an entirely different character to me after reading Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. Now I'm a lot more alert to the intelligence he so carefully hides, and aware that in 90% of all situations, I'd be acting like Ivan--smart but kinda lazy, doing very good work but staying in the background, and avoiding danger and trouble--rather than hyper-brainy, manic, attention-seeking Miles.

Anyway, while this isn't the best of the Vorkosigan Saga, it's a fun space opera/mystery, and a welcome chance to visit some of my favorite characters and their world.

74) Hogarth's Blacks, by David Dabydeen. More research for my current work-in-progress. Dabydeen analyzes how William Hogarth and other 18th century artists used images of blacks as social commentary--to oversimplify, in contrast to then-conventional images of Africans and other people of color in their "savage" natural state, he often shows black servants observing the corruption and savagery of wealthy British society. Reading it had the interesting side effect of making me more alert to ways I could use symbolism--my own, not Hogarth's--in my WIP.

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