News and Weekly Reading 4.13.12

April 13th, 2012  |  Published in Reading

First of all, a bit about what has been going on with me. I’ve finished the rough draft and first pass revision of the next Broken Shores story, so that should be posted by the end of the month, if all goes well. I’ve also started the next Horizon story, and hope to have that done by the end of the month as well. In addition, I have been doing a bit of work on the ShoStoWriMo site, which I hope to have ready sometime next week.

Books

  • Ashes, by Ilsa J. Bick – A YA book that combines zombies and an EMP pulse that wipes out much of civilization. It was fun, but be warned, it feels like a prequel. It made me want to write a story where zombies come and do a lot of damage and then die off, leaving people to rebuild.
  • Feed, by M.T. Anderson – Another YA book, this one a look at a dystopian post-literate society. The first half was fun, and the second half was depressing, mostly because I didn’t feel that the main character was making any attempt to change things that he knew were broken. The audiobook production of this was phenominal.
  • Just My Type, by Simon Garfield – A book about fonts. More fun than it sounds, really. My only complaint was that it was a bit light on the history (for example, I would like to know a bit more about the history of serif and sans-serif fonts or why the letter J was eventually added to the alphabet).
  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell – I wasn’t really expecting to like this one, but I ended up loving it. I had expected it to be a critique of socialist ideas, but in the end I took the message to be: Once you stop struggling forward, you start to slip backward. In addition, this book is a prime example of why you shouldn’t read forewords or introductions, I don’t like being told what to think about something before I read it.

Articles

  • Welcome to the New Third World of Energy, the US – Depressing but relevant.
  • Why e-books cost so much – Interesting article that argues that the main cost in books isn’t paper, but rather marketing, editing, art, etc. and therefore e-books are being underpriced. There is probably some truth in this, but until I see evidence of publishers maketing (when was the last time you saw advertisement for something that wasn’t already a huge hit?) or editing (how often do you read a new book by a popular author and wonder why an editor didn’t request a rewrite?), I’ll remain skeptical.
  • The rise of e-reading – Pew just released a study indicating that people who read e-books read more (e-books and paper books) than people who read only paper books, which is heartening.

For next week, I am in the process of reading The Art of Memory, which is just as dense as it sounds, so I may not have much for you. Be warned.

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