August Reading

For August I got back to book books.

Wordplay: The Official Companion Book (Will Shortz)

I really enjoyed the documentary Wordplay and thus picked this up. Honestly, it doesn’t tell you much that the movie didn’t already say (though I don’t remember all the juicy Eugene T. Maleska sniping being in the movie!) The big draw here is the crosswords themselves. So this really shouldn’t count as the text was pretty minimal.

Hollow Earth: The Long and Curious History of Imagining Strange Lands, Fantastical Creatures, Advanced Civilizations, and Marvelous Machines Below the Earth’s Surface (David Standish)

Dave T. loaned me this and it was a pretty neat read. It is pretty much what the title says: an examination of hollow Earth stories, both fictional and “real” (well, believed by someone to be real.) I’m sure that with our newfound interest in All Things Woowoo there are still some people who believe in the Hollow Earth, but let’s be realistic here, folks. How can the world be hollow if it’s flat? That just makes no sense!

Myth Adventures (Robert Lynn Aspirin)

I had forgotten about this series until I saw it on my shelf again (and yeah, this is a scan of my copy — I couldn’t find a good picture of this cover). Hadn’t read it in probably about 20-25 years. It’s a pretty cute series — people will describe it as a fantasy version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but it’s not nearly as zany as that. It plays a lot with fantasy tropes, but was a lot fresher and funnier before the last 20-25 years, where playing around with tropes has become a cliche in itself. This volume contains four books: Another Fine Myth, Myth Conceptions, Myth Directions, and Hit or Myth. (See what they did there?) I got through the first two and about 1/3 into the third one was like, “Okay, yeah, that’s enough. Time to move on.”

So that’s it for August. Pretty poor work on my part, but I’ve started off September all right, I think.

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One Response to August Reading

  1. BillJ says:

    Hollow Earth is actually pretty lousy as hollow Earth books go. If you’re up on this sort of stuff, it’s just a shallow skim over the usual stories. The classic book you should look for if you’re still interested in the topic is Subterranean worlds : 100,000 years of dragons, dwarfs, the dead, lost races & UFOs from inside the earth by Walter Kafton-Minkel.