Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Happy News

Not necessarily in order of importance…

Writer Jill Twiss and illustrator EG Keller are collaborating on “The Someone New,” HarperCollins Children’s Books announced Wednesday. Scheduled for June 4, the book is a parable about welcoming outsiders. It tells of a forest in which a chipmunk worries that the entrance of a snail will ruin the world he knows. The publisher will donate some proceeds to a charity aiding immigrant children.

Twiss is a staff writer for John Oliver’s HBO program. She and Keller worked on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” which spoofs a picture story by the wife and daughter of Vice President Mike Pence by making Bundo a gay rabbit…

Nancy Pelosi knows Elijah Cummings is an excellent mentor for young firebrands…



Recommended Reading #4: 2018 in Review

Good afternoon and welcome back to Recommended Reading! I’ve been putting this post off all month. Now, my current short story is resting between drafts; I’m going to be hiding at home from a cold front for twenty-four hours; and I’m making myself do some writing before I start playing Octopath Traveler. It’s the perfect moment to talk about the best books we read last year.

According to Goodreads, I read around thirty-two novels last year. Here are the titles that stood out to me, in no particular order. (Many of them were recommendations by y’all, so thanks!)

  • The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks

This was my first foray into the Culture books. Interesting universe, great starship names, fun story.

  • The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi

Many authors fail to find the line between telling you just enough and being too obscure; Rajaniemi is not one of them. The Quantum Thief is a richly imaginative and wonderfully-wrought heist story.

  • A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge

This was one of the best attempts I’ve read at writing from the perspective of an alien.

  • The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester

A science-fiction classic for a reason; incidentally one of William Gibson’s favorite novels.

  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers

Absolutely brilliant characters. Looking forward to my next foray into this universe.

What did you read last year that you loved?

Tuesday Morning Open Thread: We Book People Protect Our Own

There is a rich vein of irony that Kondo’s personal habit of keeping only the thirty books that ‘spark joy’ for her has become A Thing now because people are watching her on television. (Netflix released an eight-episode series on New Year’s Day.) But of course we’re defensive beyond ‘rationality’ about our books, because a vast percentage of the American population regards books not as portable information units but as icon/objects. For such folk, having multiple books is like having multiple pairs of shoes or action figures or collectible plates — past a certain point, it’s just an issue of bad brain chemistry, amirite?

And the Yes But Actually snobs are running with the enemy…

As for me and my house, may we always remain.. bibliophibians!:

Sunday Morning Open Thread: Community Chat


Couple meet-up proposals, promoted from the comments, just in case:

PsiFighter37 says:
January 12, 2019 at 6:31 pm
It is very short notice, but I am out in Denver for business and will be free this coming Tuesday evening (1/15) after 7PM or so. I am staying in the heart of downtown and would love to get a drink or two with any Juiciers who are in the neighborhood. I don’t think I have made a meetup since July 2013 in Seattle, so would love to get a chance to see any folks!

ruemara says:
January 12, 2019 at 9:53 pm
Speaking of meetups, Seattle Juicers, Friday night good for you? Or Saturday?


And for the LMM stans…

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Eternal Problems


Around this time last year — or maybe it was 2017? — I started plowing through my alphabetically-ordered fiction shelves, determined to get rid of books I’d never read again in this lifetime. So far, I’m working roughly in the F to H zone. Always been my rule not to keep books I read that I *didn’t* intend to read again, but our new Internet Shopping Age means I no longer have to worry that the battered paperback I found in a (now long defunct) secondhand bookstore is the last copy of that novel I’ll ever see.

So I’ve donated a couple of shopping bags of books to the local library sales… but I’ve added almost as many new volumes, filling the gaps among my favorite authors. Although it’s a little depressing to realize I can now collect the complete Robert Barnard / Nina Bawden / E.X. Ferrars… if you other Olds know what I mean, and I think you do.