31 January 2007 by Published in: book list No comments yet

Crown of Stars by James Tiptree Jr. (1) [spec fic, anthology]. I checked this out of the library. A collection of short stories. I thought I would like this more than I did. The Quintana Roo book was better. While a few of the stories were really brilliant, there were a whole bunch that were heavy-handed, obvious, and dull (yes, I’m talking about you “Morality Meat”. Ugh). She did a fairy tale retelling/Romeo and Juliet story that was much better than my Egghead Kingdom, but still wasn’t all that, making me wonder if the whole concept of EK is doomed, doomed. I liked the doped up soldier story right until the end where I balked at the penultimate turn of the events (really, a body no one noticed? In the tropics? Didn’t it smell?). Wondering about the smell there made me notice how sense blind the writing was in other places. I wonder if there isn’t some dated factor to the book and whether I wouldn’t have liked it better if some of the plots didn’t seem so standard (maybe they were less so when she wrote them?). Finished early Jan, around 01/05/07 or so.

We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families by Philip Gourevitch. (2) [non-fiction]. I checked this out of the library. It was recommended reading a (long) while back on slacktivist. An unflinching but humane look at the 1994 Rwandan genocide. There were more accusations of the French government than I expected (not that anyone, internationally, was spared. As an enlightened so-called first world, we really screwed up on this one). I had no idea the French had armed the genocidaires, and even provided troops who aided and abetted in the slaughter. The book quotes Mitterand as having said, “In such countries, genocide is not too important”. I don’t know if he was evil all the time, but there’s at least one instance of evil. Kofi Annan doesn’t come out looking too great either, causing me to lose quite a bit of respect for him, though Paul Rusesabagina is still a complete hero. It’s a pretty sickening and depressing history, but the book is amazing and completely worth reading. Finished on 01/30/07.

Man, it’s only January and I’m at least two books behind on the book a week thing. I couldn’t read the genocide book much faster than I did, though. There’s only so much calling people cockroaches and hacking them up with machetes I can absorb at a single sitting. I still owe book list entries for 2006, too. Perhaps later.

P.S. Sorry to have neglected the blog lately. I’ll try to be interesting and/or entertaining soon.


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