Finished reading: Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. A classic sci-fi story. Hard to believe it was written in 1953 📚

Finished reading: Shift by Hugh Howey. I’m not sure that Wool needed this prequel. Part of the enjoyment of the first book was the mystery of how people ended up living underground after an apocalypse. That said, I’ll read the last book in the series 📚

Finished reading: Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries (The Murderbot Diaries, 4) by Martha Wells. I’ve enjoyed each of these novellas, though the first one is a standout 📚

Finished reading: A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers is a charming story about a human and a robot on a quest to find purpose 📚

Plague Birds by Jason Sizemore is quite the story: advanced AIs living in people’s blood, genetic manipulation run amok, the collapse of civilization, and a mysterious alien. A fun read 📚

Among Others by Jo Walton is very good. A celebration of SF, despite being about magic and fairies📚

The Kobo Libra 2 is great for cottage reading 📚

As a follow up to my earlier post, now that I’m on the eleventh book of my vacation, I can confirm that the Kobo Libra 2 is exactly what I’d hoped.

The screen has been easy to read in all lighting (especially bright sunlight on the dock), the page turn buttons are reliable, and the public library integration has been seamless.

Perfect for cottage reading!

holding the Kobo with the cottage lake in the background

Although the book is unfinished, I enjoyed Starlight by Richard Wagamese. The theme of appreciating the land resonates well with my cottage vacation. I also found the themes of fatherhood and adopted families compelling 📚

Tunnel 29 by Helena Merriman is an engrossing book about students that escaped from East Germany during the Cold War, only to then tunnel back under the wall to help more people escape 📚

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan was a perfect vacation read. A long and immersive fantasy story with both familiar elements and novel ideas📚

Although I was initially confused by the plot of Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki, once I got into the story I enjoyed it. A nice mix of humour, honouring your identity, immigrating, and classical music 📚

Arriving Today by Christopher Mims is a very interesting look into the logistics network that we all take for granted with an emphasis on Amazon. A fascinating mix of robotics, AI, and labour laws📚

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke is a delight. A strange and fascinating story that is unlike anything that I’ve read recently 📚

Persepolis Rising by James S. A. Corey is a solid start to a new Expanse story. Although I like the mystery surrounding the alien artifacts, Expanse is at its best when focused on the people📚

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson is a fun parallel worlds story with lots of plot twists 📚

Shipstar by Gregory Benford isn’t nearly as ambitious as Bowl of Heaven, the first book in the series. Although there are several big ideas in the book, they didn’t really connect well together. 📚

I enjoyed The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel by Helene Wecker. Great writing and interesting characters, set in 19th century New York, that explores immigration and finding your purpose 📚

The Nova Incident by Dan Moren is an entertaining mix of espionage, action, and sci-fi. I’ve enjoyed all of the books in this series 📚

Although I was already familiar with many of the details, A Series of Fortunate Events by Sean B. Carroll was a brief and entertaining overview of the role of chance in biology. Both humbling and inspiring to think about how contingent everything is📚

My annual cottage vacation is imminent and a favourite part is reading books by the lake.

In past years, I’ve packed a pile of library books. But, I average more than ten books over the break. Adding in my family (though they’re less voracious readers) means we end up with a big box of books to fit in an already crowded car.

So, the past few years I’ve switched to reading library books on my iPad. Being able to “carry” so many books on the device, plus adding more if necessary, is great. The downsides, though, include difficulty reading through the glare of sunlight and the occasional shutdown from overheating. Plus, there are so many easy distractions on an iPad.

Thanks to a good discount and a review by Jason Snell of integrating with public libraries, I’ve bought a Kobo Libra 2. This is now my dedicated library book device (although it does have other features, like a bookstore, Pocket integration, and audiobooks). The e-ink really is remarkably easy to read outside, even in direct sunlight, and I like the physical page-turn buttons.

Although I always have a general preference for physical books, the convenience of an entire public library on a handheld device can’t be beat for vacation reading.

I really enjoyed The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. A fun mix of espionage and supernatural with a good sense of humour 📚

Although surprisingly little actually happens with the plot in Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers, the characters and world building are great. Along with fascinating questions about what it means to be human and how to value tradition📚

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy Book 2) by Tamsyn Muir is really imaginative and well written. I found it rather confusing though. Lots of characters and plot points to track📚

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse is a great story about a monster hunter on a Navajo reservation after a climate apocalypse📚

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi is a fun “soldiers in space” book with some interesting ethical concepts📚