A Brief History of Seven Killings

Couldn’t do it. 

This book is too abstract. Too confusing. More than 75 characters.

And too violent.

I gave up about a third of the way through.

A Brief History of Seven Killings is the third novel by Jamaican author Marlon James. …

The novel spans several decades and explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in Jamaica in 1976 and its aftermath through the crack wars in New York City in the 1980s and a changed Jamaica in the 1990s. …

The book was awarded the 2015 Man Booker Prize. This marked the first time that a Jamaican-born author has won the prize. …

Trevor Noah – Born a Crime (2016)

Kate recommended this book. I’m glad she did. It’s a fantastic insight into growing up in South Africa as Apartheid was ending.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood is an autobiographical comedy book written by the American comedian Trevor Noah. …

Noah has been the host of The Daily Show  on Comedy Central, since 28 September 2015.


The son of a Xhosa mother and a Swiss-German father, Mr. Noah recalls that “the only time I could be with my father was indoors”: “If we left the house, he’d have to walk across the street from us.” It was dangerous, as a light-skinned child, to be seen with his mother as well: “She would hold my hand or carry me, but if the police showed up she would have to drop me and pretend I wasn’t hers.” …

In the end, “Born a Crime” is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa …, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother …

NY Times – ‘Born a Crime,’ Trevor Noah’s Raw Account of Life Under Apartheid

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin (1974)

Though I was a huge science fiction fan in my teens, I never became a Le Guin fan (aside from her brilliant Left Hand of Darkness). Though a skilled writer, Le Guin’s plots are too complex to be great storytelling.

Heinlein was better.

I still feel that way. This book has a terrific plot: Shevek (a physicist) is the first from his planet in ages to travel to the supposedly utopian mother planet, Urras, in order to share an astonishing discovery.

It does not go well.  Nor does the book. It’s too wordy, too complicated.

The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia is a 1974 utopian science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin …

The book won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1974 won both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1975 …

It achieved a degree of literary recognition unusual for science fiction works due to its exploration of many themes, including anarchism and revolutionary societies, capitalism and individualism and collectivism. …



I’m not smart enough to read Louise Penny …

A Fatal Grace (Dead Cold), by Louise Penny, is the second (2007) novel in the Three Pines Mysteries series, which feature Inspector Armand Gamache.

CC de Poitiers, a sadistic socialite, is fatally electrocuted at a Christmas curling competition in the small Québécois town …

CC, who had a “spiritual guidance” business based on eliminating emotion, was hated by seemingly everyone, including her husband, lover, and daughter. …

There is NO WAY I could guess the murderer. Great writing. And very complex.

Chief Inspector Gamache tells new agents four sayings that can lead to wisdom – four sentences his own mentor taught him:

I was wrong
I’m sorry
I don’t know
I need help

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Kingkiller Chronicle is a fantasy series by Patrick Rothfuss, telling the autobiography of Kvothe …

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick RothfussThe first two books, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear were released in 2007 and 2011, respectively. A third is planned to fill out a trilogy, but a release date has not been announced. …

I loved the first two books.

Rothfuss is a superb story teller.

When will we get book 3? The author says … soon.

The Name of the Wind novel by Patrick Rothfuss

The Name of the Wind  is a fantasy novel by Patrick Rothfuss, the first book in a series called The Kingkiller Chronicle. It was published in 2007 . …

Rothfuss wrote The Name of the Wind during his nine-year advance toward his B.S. in English. …

I listened to the audio version by Nick Podehl. He’s excellent. And the book is very well written. Rothfuss is a masterful story teller. 

His protagonist is Kvothe:

You may have heard of me.

So begins the tale of Kvothe—from his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-riddled city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a difficult and dangerous school of magic. In these pages you will come to know Kvothe as a notorious magician, an accomplished thief, a masterful musician, and an infamous assassin. But The Name of the Wind is so much more—for the story it tells reveals the truth behind Kvothe’s legend.

“The originality of Rothfuss’s outstanding debut fantasy, the first of a trilogy, lies less in its unnamed imaginary world than in its precise execution…As absorbing on a second reading as it is on the first, this is the type of assured, rich first novel most writers can only dream of producing. The fantasy world has a new star.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)

“New fantasy authors are usually overhyped, and it’s rare to find one who writes with such assurance and narrative skill right from the start. I was reminded of Ursula LeGuin, George R. R. Martin, and J. R. R. Tolkien, but never felt that Rothfuss was imitating anyone. Like the writers he clearly admires, he’s an old-fashioned storyteller working with traditional elements, but his voice is his own. I haven’t been so gripped by a new fantasy series in years. It’s certain to become a classic.” (Lisa Tuttle, The Times)


“Waterside is where people are poor. That make them beggars, thieves, and whores. Hillside is where people are rich. That makes them solicitors, politicians, and courtesans.”-p160

Presbyformed review

I’ve already downloaded the second book in the series — The Wise Man’s Fear (43 hours)

There have been rumours of a Movie and TV version.

Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die

I downloaded Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die by Chris Santella from the library.


It’s not nearly as good as the title might suggest. And wasn’t what I was looking for.

I want to know the best cycle touring routes with the LEAST traffic. Santella’s book is not that.

But I did add a few of their recommended cycling destinations to my life list:

  • Icefields Parkway Banff Jasper
  • North Rim Grand Canyon
  • Natchez Trace  (Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Crater Lake, Oregon
  • Mickelson Trail out of Rapid City, South Dakota
  • White Rim Trail out of Moab, Utah

Texas hill country cycling out of Austin or San Antonio sounds great too.