When I go into someone’s house or apartment for the first time, I find myself especially drawn to their bookshelves. I want to see the books that they read and the ones they have on display. I like to know which ones have mattered enough to keep, which ones are dogeared and worn, and which are on the stack to be read next.
This week I read two books (still slightly behind on where I should be to read 100 books this year, but I’m catching up)!
First up was The Key by Simon Toyne. It’s the second book in a trilogy. This is another of what I could call a “religious thriller”. I don’t want to say too much, since this is a series and there would be a lot of spoilers, but the basic gist is as follows: There is a mountain citadel in Turkey that no one has left for centuries. The first book begins with a monk climbing to the top of the mountain and throwing himself off, thus setting into motion an ancient prophecy. This book picks up almost immediately where the first book ends. It’s pretty much non-stop action.
I appreciate the mythology behind the prophecy in these books. It’s interesting, and so far, it’s pretty well done. This isn’t high literature by any means, but it’s definitely a fun read.
Next up was Homeland by Cory Doctorow. This is the sequel to his book Little Brother. A book that is part new activist, part hacker manifesto, and mixed with good old teenage angst. I really enjoyed this book. It gave nods to the Occupy movement, the student debt crisis, Burning Man, and more, and kept the story interesting and moving. I appreciate having a young adult novel tackle this stuff in a really honest and interesting way. I will say that I was disappointed by some abilist and homophobic language at various parts in the book; completely unnecessary and distracting. In spite of that I feel like it’s still a book worth reading. The afterwords were by folks involved with wikileaks and by Aaron Swartz, the co-founder of Reddit (who tragically killed himself after being harassed by the government for trying to make knowledge more accessible). The inclusion of the essay by Aaron is a stark reminder about how high the stakes are in challenging the system.
What are you reading these days?
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