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2022 Reading Goal

76% complete! Lucas has read 29 of 38 books.

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reviewed Geometry for Ocelots by Exurb1a

Geometry for Ocelots (EBook, 2021, Cosmia Press) 3 stars

It is the end of history and all is known, or will be soon. Humanity …

Nah. Nope.

2 stars

Started with an intriguing setting, with a compelling blend of far-future, spiritual technology, giant animals, all with a Buddhist time… but quickly fell apart and devolved into a ham-handed clunker that seemed unsure and uncommitted to any of the ideas off of which it glanced. Its philosophical musings and talk of enlightenment it only drapes over a ham-handed few conclusions it has of history and civilization, around which is a ramshackle plot and dozen paper-thin characters.

I worry that the author may have a drinking problem—or perhaps only one way to communicate people relaxing or under stress.

commented on Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn

Islands of Abandonment (Hardcover, 2021, William Collins) No rating

We keep pausing to share our objections to Flyn's classist, colonialist language and her implicit defense of their past and present impact on the environment and on people.

At first, it seemed as if she was not careful with how she, say, spoke of native peoples in the Americas, or the imagery she used while describing poorer people. But this last chapter was, pretty much, a defense of imperial invasions. Yuckaroo.

Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World (2001) 4 stars

Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World is a …

Harrowing, multidisciplinary, thorough--better with maps than as audiobook

4 stars

A harrowing survey of suffering and human-led disaster. Argues that these years of famine more or less initiated what became known as the Third World; like most all famines, were a confluence of bad circumstances in which humans had a the means, opportunity, and moral capacity to greatly reduce death and suffering—but didn't, in large part because those who could were dedicated instead to empire and capital. Fascinating argument that spans economics, ecology, climate, culture, and so much more; thoroughly researched and presented.

Not great to hear as an audiobook as I had to pause and look up maps (and do so by guessing at how regions are spelled). Not knowing Indian, Chinese, Brazilian, and East African geography well sure made this harder than I expect it would’ve been in print, with maps (presumably).

Because Internet (2019) 4 stars

Good—but written for a broader audience?

4 stars

Entertaining, fun, sprinkled with factoids and insights to pocket for, uh, sometime? Seems aimed at an audience somewhat more casual about research and more reluctant to move away from traditional ideas of language and spelling and etc. Not a fan of generational analyses myself—but this doesn’t keep the book from being worthwhile.