Mid-week Reading 14 July 2016

What I Just Finished Reading

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll: the science of hedonism and the hedonism of science by Zoe Cormier – Interesting. There were some places I wanted more information and sometimes I felt things were dumbed down a little (as you’d expect from a popular science book) though from what I see on goodreads some people felt the opposite. I loved reading about how all three things in the title affect the brain and I think what I need to find next is some popular science books about hormones and neuroscience because that is interesting stuff. One of the best bits was Cormier musing on what music is, a thing you don’t realise is difficult to define until you try. Beautiful math is a charming way of putting it, not that I’d necessarily agree.

Liberator (Flights of Love book one) by Shelley B Mcpherson – I picked this up because it was free on Amazon and it sounded interesting. And, look, the basic plot line is interesting, it’s just that the book itself felt very infodump-y and took a long time to get to the point. Once it got there I was excited (and the sex scene was all the more swoon worthy to read for having had to wait so long for it) but then it ends abruptly. Which is probably what I should have expected for a part one sold on Amazon. It feels a bit like a pilot episode. I might pick up the next book at some point because I am intrigued to see where the story goes.

What I’m reading now

Idol by Kristen Callihan – This might just be a DNF. I suffered through the male lead’s sexism early on (why again is there something wrong with the groupies when he’s the one who goes through women like kleenex?) but I’ve gotten as far as the first sex scene and his dirty talk is cringeworthy.

The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz – My friend wrote this!

Neuromancer by William Gibson – I should have read this when I was a teenager in the 90s. I would have loved it because I was well into that sort of writing style back then. I’m only up to about page 58 right now so we’ll see how I like it. It’s interesting to look at the different conceptualisations of what cyberspace would be like that came about back in ye olde cyberpunk days, before we were all expected to be on the internet. Yeah, we don’t talk about jacking in any more. But that thing where Case finds it difficult to find people that accept cash because most financial transactions are electronic? We’re definitely going that way. And it perfectly forecasts current meme and youth culture:

Fads swept the youth of the Sprawl at the speed of light: entire subcultures could rise overnight, thrive for a dozen weeks, and then vanish utterly.
– p58

I feel like subcultures on Tumblr rise up and vanish almost overnight and memes spread so quickly that they become old news within a few days. That’s often the interesting thing about reading older science fiction (and by older I just mean, not super recent): seeing the ways in which things did or didn’t come true.

What I’m reading next

I have a to-read list several shelves deep and at least 30 unread ebooks waiting for me, and that’s on top of everything waiting for me at the library. So your guess is as good as mine.