This is really news from June, which I forgot to post amidst the excitement regarding original fiction stuff. For the first time in years, I ordered a physical copy of a book, and of course, it’s the book. I took pains to get my hands on this specific edition, for the sake of the cover, and it meant waiting a good long while for the delivery. I didn’t expect it to be so fat! “A fat juicy masterpiece” nails it.
It’s odd to be reading a physical book. I can’t highlight a selection to save it, and I can’t click on a word for an instant dictionary definition. I’ll admit that a physical book gives better progress feedback, and is able to embody certain sentiments that you can’t really attach to a file. Otherwise, however, it’s a vastly inferior experience.
Which isn’t to say I regret the purchase or the wait. My main reason to get the physical copy, at least as far as I could rationalize it, was that the digital edition misses some words! But really, I just wanted to be able to, like, hug it. Yeah.
It’s not even June yet, and I’ve already read 25 books. If I keep this up, I might reach the unprecedented count of 50 books in a year! This is the first time I’ve had reason to split my yearly reading report in two parts, and it feels good.
Continue reading Books of 2023, part 1
This is the second post in the series about the book As Meat Loves Salt by M. McCann, which has wounded me so deeply that months after reading it, I still can’t pass a full hour awake without thinking about it. In the first post, I made some introductory remarks and then talked about the cover and the blurb. In this one, I’ll talk about the title, and what it means.
Continue reading As Meat Loves Salt: On the meaning of the title
I read As Meat Loves Salt, a historical novel by M. McCann, in December last year, finishing it (unwisely) on Christmas, so that I found myself barely able to communicate with the merry aliens around me during the family feast. The book confused me, shocked me, charmed me, warmed me through, worried me sick and in the end, shattered me. For a while I was so distraught that I wasn’t even sure if I liked it or not.
But I have since come to my senses. As Meat Loves Salt (AMLS from now on) is the best book of my adult life. No other has affected me this profoundly, nor stayed on my mind so long. Three months into this new obsession, I’m almost done reading it the second time; I’m drawing fanart, and writing fanfiction for it. Yet somehow I’ve not yet managed to put my thoughts and feelings in sufficient order to blog about it. And I may never write a comprehensive essay: there’s just too much to say, and I lack the patience, and my writing time and energy are better invested elsewhere. But there are some relatively standalone bits and pieces for a series of shorter posts.
One thing I do not plan to do in any of them is retell the book. I will also make no attempt to avoid spoilers. These posts are addressed to fellow fans.
I’ll start with front and back matter: the amazing cover and the dismal blurb.
Continue reading As Meat Loves Salt: On the cover and the blurb
The last year wasn’t as great for my reading as the previous few. Having read 30 books in 2021, I set myself the goal of reading 36 in 2022, and fell short by a dozen. Mostly I blame my Darksiders obsession, which rendered me unable to focus on most other things throughout the first half of the year. But a part of the blame lies on the poor choice of books as well. Most of them simply bored me to varying degrees, with a few striking exceptions.
Continue reading My 2022 in Books
The Golem and the Jinni, a novel by H. Wecker, achieved a fair bit of fame. I picked it up after getting recommendations from several different websites and people (though in the end, it was the marvelous cover that made me click the buy button); and I’m glad, because it’s a great book. It’s fresh both in terms of content and presentation. The wonderfully flawed lead characters and the devotion that develops between them out of kinship and mutual respect rather than some mindless instant attraction pressed all the right buttons. For the most part, I couldn’t put it down. But then, on a couple occasions, it annoyed me so severely I had to put it down and found it difficult to pick it up again.
Continue reading The Annoying Antagonism in The Golem and the Jinni