Here are five books that I read between March 11 and April 1, 2021, in the order that I completed them:
Dubliners by James Joyce242 pages
I know what you're thinking, and yes, I did voluntarily read another of the works of James Joyce. I did this because I figured I'd read three and I might as well finish the whole set. Plus I'd read one of the short stories in this collection for an english class and actually thought it was pretty good.
And yep, if you want to give James Joyce a try but avoid all the nonsense, Dubliners is the way to do it. That is, start here, not with Finnegans Wake like I did. Not a ton to say other than that really - I still don't get along with James Joyce, even when he's writing something that it's possible to read without wanting to scratch your eyes out.
Uzumaki: Spiral Into Horror, Vol. 2 by Ito Junji197 pages
After reading the first part of this manga in January, I decided to keep going, and picked up the second volume, which just escalates things and provides more spooky images and stories. Ick.
The Most Human Human by Brian Christian275 pages
The subtitle of this book is "What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive" and it was a book club selection. The book is a combination of tech journalism and philosophical musings on conversation much more so than a pure exploration of artificial intelligence, which is what I was expecting. It's a little bit out of date, since it was published a decade ago and obviously things have progressed a lot since then in the field of chat bots.
Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson319 pages
The trailer for the CBC show, Trickster prompted me to move this higher up on my reading list. And then the book completely blew me away, with the possible exception of the ending (i.e. I'd usually rather read one self-contained novel than a trilogy).
This is the story of a teenage boy named Jared, who has had what I can only describe as a tough go of things. I thought that the book would be YA, but the subject matter is extremely mature. Mind you I don't have a good grip on the YA genre. But basically Jared's home life is extremely dysfunctional, and the book is way way more about that than it is about the fact that he's the "son of a trickster" which barely comes up honestly.
This Word Now by Owen and Jodi Egerton283 pages
This is a book about writing, which has been on my shelf for years, that I've resisted picking up because I just don't really write anymore anyway. But I decided I needed to basically shit or get off the pot and see what I thought of it, and it was actually quite good and made me feel like maybe my writing practice could come back someday after all. Of course we'll see. But I'm going to hang onto this one for a bit. The authors, by the way, are a married couple who have done all kinds of interesting performance and writing work, which gives the book a different energy than some other writing guides that I've read.