Boomerang, Tree of Codes,The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods, The Broken Kingdoms. Catching up on the blogging, again. Somehow I always seem to get further behind on the blogging than I ever would on the reading.
So Boomerang is by Michael Lewis, and is a spiritual sequel to Big Short, which was an in-depth view of the crisis on Wall Street. In Boomerang, Lewis travels to various countries (Iceland, Greece, and Ireland) to talk to folks about what went wrong with their economies. Overall, it’s insightful and well written, although it occasionally falls into stereotyping when confronted with the various nationalities. I wouldn’t rush out to recommended this to folks, but didn’t dislike it.
Tree of Codes is the coolest formatted book I’ve ever read. See this photo:
It’s a book/sculptural object made of words that are cut out from the book “The Street of Crocodiles.” It’s more poetry than novel, and most of the time spent on it was just me trying not to rip the pages. I wasn’t familiar with the underlying text, but enjoyed the experience of reading it.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Kingdom of the Gods and The Broken Kingdoms are three books in a fantasy trilogy by NK Jemisin. Hands down the best fantasy I have read this year, and possibly the best fantasy I’ve read in five years. Jemisin is no Tolkien, in the best way - her characters are complex, her writing readable, and most of all, her world is weird, quirky and downright fantastical. It almost reminds me of good sci-fi in the way that it forces the reader to confront abstract concepts in a realistic setting.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is wonderful from a world-building perspective, and has strong, relatable characters and a interesting mythos. It reminded me of a book called Crown Duel, which followed a similar “outsider adjusts to court life” narrative, but Kingdoms has the advantage of introducing genuine strangeness into the world.
The second and third books are in the same world, but follow different characters, and they all tie together nicely without being repetitive. Books like this were why I read fantasy when I was younger, and like when I read then, I devoured the entire series in the course of 24 hours. Read this now.