Books read.

I’ve had the Kindle Touch just over three weeks now and, stealing a few minutes, decided to post what I’ve read thus far.

Completed:

  • Broken (Extrahumans)
  • Fly Into Fire
  • Curveball
  • The Wedding Gift
  • A Christmas Carol

In progress:

  • The Scarlet Letter

I’m not going to give too much of a review of the books because others far more capable than me have done so, but I will record my own thoughts of them.

Broken (Extrahumans) by Susan Jane Bigelow Is set in a war and politically torn future and adds superheros to the mix. While I had known about its release a year ago I hadn’t read it. “I lack a usable electronic book reader,” I claimed, but the real reason was that I wasn’t interested in it, mostly for the genre, due to decades-gone experiences with it.

Then my lovely wife gave me a Kindle and I, for whatever reason, decided to purchase Broken. By the time 24 hours had passed I had finished it; never before had  book so engaged me that I hated to put it down and do other things, such as assist in Christmas dinner preparations for my parents’ visit.

Fly Into Fire The sequel to Broken and every bit as well done. I received a copy of this last week as a backer of the Kickstarter project and devoured it with the same zeal. There were a couple moments I found rather uncomfortable, though that has more to do with connections between one character and my own history. At the end, I first felt it to be a ragged edge that seemed a bit out of place in the story, but I then realized it had a strong emotional value for that character and emotions simply don’t obey logic in that way – it was an aspect of that character which was, undoubtedly, every bit as emotionally powerful for her as it is in my own life.

At this point I need to take a moment for propriety: the author of the above two books, Susan Jane Bigelow, and her wife are close friends. I cannot speak for their cats – I had only the briefest of meetings with any of them in October.

Curveball About Toni Stone’s experiences as a woman playing professional baseball.

I’ve come to enjoy baseball in recent years, particularly AAA minor league ball (we have season tickets to the Durham Bulls.) I heard about this book over the summer and decided it sounded interesting. My curiosity was rewarded. In its pages is history of the sport forgotten by so many, inexorably bound to the horrid racial injustices of those days which are not so long ago as many might like to imagine.

The Wedding Gift Based on a 19th century court case, it tells a story from several points of view (it varies by chapter; clearly noted at the start of each,) all of intertwined lives. It primarily takes place on a cotton plantation in Benton County, Alabama (modern day Calhoun County; it was renamed shortly after the time period of this book) but with some sections elsewhere. Within it are the brutal treatments of enslaved people in the South, plus much about the social status of women. Rape and abortion happen within the pages and the accounts were, if anything, brief. I read this book during my commute via the Text-To-Speech capability of my Kindle, connected to our car’s audio system.

A Christmas Carol – I doubt anyone has not seen at least one movie based on this; I certainly have! However, it occurred to me that I had never read the book. I was impressed by some differences between the book and the popular representations. This was also read via TTS.

The Scarlet Letter – I’ve lost count how often I’ve heard (and, I must confess, occasionally made) references to this book, but I never read it. My beloved remarked, “weren’t you tortured enough as a kid?” when I told her I was reading it. To each their own… I’m about half-way through it, having both read it and via TTS. I could have done for the introduction about Custom-House to be reduced – the status line indicated I was over 20% through the book when I finally reached chapter 1, and not because the remaining chapters are excessively short!

I think this is the truly great thing the Kindle has done for me – awakened in my a joy of reading. I had it once, then the events of my youth extinguished it. The above list, read in about three weeks, is easily as many as I read from the day I finished college until the final week of 2011.

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