What I've Been Reading
Arctic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell
Good near-future SF about what happens when Climate Change opens up the Northwest Passage and countries fight over suddenly open resources and Canada, because of its oil, becomes one of the most powerful countries in the world.
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
I found this to be fascinating and thought-provoking. Essentially a scholar's look at the historical Jesus.
The Way of Kata: A Comprehensive Guide for Deciphering Martial Applications by Lawrence A. Kane and Kris Wilder
Although their primary martial art is Goju-Ryu, almost everything, if not everything, applies to Sanchin-Ryu and any other Okinowan and Japanese martial art that relies on katas and forms.
Cibola Burn by James S.A. Corey
SF, 3rd or 4th book in a trilogy. This one involves one of the first colonies running amuck after a gate is opened up allowing humanity access to the stars. Very political.
Sanchin: My Caffeine-Induced Endeavors Into Super Secret Karate Sh*t by David "Shinzen" Nelson
Well, fairly odd.
Dorothy's Derby Chronicles: Rise of the Undead Redhead by Meghan Dougherty & Alece Birnbach
Middle-grade book aimed primarily at girls. Yes, there was a reason I was reading this related to work.
The Heist by Daniel Silva
Another espionage novel featuring Gabriel Allon. And excellent, as usual.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
Rewinder by Brett Battles
A time travel/alternate history novel, highly recommended.
Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert
An update to her 2004 book, looking at climate change from numerous sciences, including archaeology, meteorology, biology, zoology, and other fields of study. Rather depressing, but it'll probably make a believer out of you.
Uncaged by John Sandford & Michele Cook
Supposedly aimed at Young Adults, although pretty sophisticated ones. Very enjoyable, although it has a cliffhanger ending that irritated me.
Anatomy of a Spy: A Guide for Writers, Dilettantes, and Spooks by Stephen Parrish
Exactly what is says it is. In this case my friend Steve actually worked alongside a spy while he was in the army, so he provides a lot of insight into what makes them tick.
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
The final book in his latest series featuring Greek and Roman demigods. Loved it.
Deadline by John Sandford
A Virgil Flowers thriller. A good one, but probably not the best.
Locked In by John Scalzi
SF. Noting that Scalzi has a theme going with his SF when people, in the future, have their consciousness placed into either other bodies or devices. In this novel, a meningitis-like virus sweeps the world. In a small percentage of people they become "locked in," i.e., paralyzed but fully conscious. Technology was developed to allow those people to function in society using "Threeps," which are robots into which they get interact via neural networks. On top of that, it involves a complicated murder mystery. Very good, very entertaining, very thought-provoking.
Robert B. Parker's Blind Spot by Reed Farrel Coleman
Taking over the writing of the Jesse Stone novels. I liked the first couple of Stone novels by Parker, then got lukewarm on them. Actively disliked the ones ghosted by Brandman. In this one I like Coleman's writing a lot except for his omniscient, shifting viewpoint, so I liked the book reasonably well.
Dick Francis's Damage by Felix Francis
A good, solid mystery featuring an investigator for the organization that oversees British racing. It's got a number of subplots, but the overall plot involves someone blackmailing the organization. He writes much like his father did and overall I'd say it was good.
Counterspy: A Spycatcher Novella by Matthew Dunn
Good enough to make me want to pick up his novels. An MI6 agent in the U.S. being stalked by a Pakistani assassin.