What have I been reading? (October 2020 edition)

Back when I was blogging much more consistently, I was posting a book review every Friday. That itself was a luxury to me because it wasn’t until I had ebooks that I could actually read a book a week. I think I’ve written about it before, but reading ebooks effectively tripled my reading throughput—not my speed, but total number of words read per week. But writing the reviews was something of a pain in the ass. Maybe I’ll get back to that eventually, but as of this particular Friday, it won’t be today.

Instead, I’m thinking of a new Friday blogging slot that will vary a bit over the course of the month. What have I been reading? What have I been watching? What have I been listening to? What am I looking forward to? So today it’s what I’ve been reading.

Over the last year or so, I’ve been rereading the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher in preparation for his double release this year of Peace Talks and Battle Ground. I had the schedule all worked out so that I was reading one per month and that it would wrap up just in time for Peace Talks. But I fell behind on reading in the first part of the pandemic because The World Is On Fire!! (literally in a lot of places) So even though Peace Talks and Battle Ground are now out, I’m still catching up. I recently finished Cold Days (book 14) and will be starting into Skin Game pretty soon. At about 50 books per years, I consider myself a fairly voracious reader, but deciding to reread a 15-book series is a big commitment, one I likely won’t do again. Butcher said something several years back that make me think the series is going to be about 21-24 books long.

In between Dresden Files books, I have been reading other things. At the moment, I’m reading Oathkeeper by Christopher Nuttall, which is book 20—talk about long series—of his Schooled in Magic series. He’s putting these out at about two per year. I don’t know if he thinks he’s getting close to finished or not. I started back when book 14 Graduation Day had just come out, so given the series title, I had assumed it was complete at that point. Nope.

I’ve also recently started reading graphic novels, comics sophisticated cousin. I was already aware of them, of course, and even owned several of the classics (Watchmen, Sandman, etc.), but I had always struggled to read them. I think by the time I first made the attempt, I was already suffering from presbyopia, that vision problem where old folks say, “My arms aren’t long enough.” In truth, I think it was hitting me as early as my mid-30s. Anyway, even with reading glasses, the small “hand drawn” fonts in these formats were very hard for me to read, so I just didn’t bother.

Recently, however, I bought a big tablet, and I’ve been reading these in the Comixology format on Kindle, particularly enjoying “panel view” or whatever it’s called, where it essentially does all the zooming work for me, taking me around each page in the right order to be able to read all the text while also still getting the full view to appreciate the artwork. So, I’ve been on something of a binge: The Old Guard, Sunstone, some Honor Harrington stuff, Rivers of London stuff, Once and Future, and a few others. Ironically, I still haven’t gotten around to those classics I’d already know about, but I’m sure I will eventually.

So that’s what I’ve been reading.