(A few of the books I'm reading, as of today)
I don't think the premise of this post requires much explanation! So here are the books I'm reading, or in one case about to read, and why, and what I think of them so far. Alphabetically by author/editor, because that's how I like it.
The Witch Elm, by Tana French
Earlier this year, I read the six books of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series. The first one basically turned me into the sort of person who's going to stop everything to read any new book by this author, so when my pre-order of this new, standalone novel arrived at my house, you know it was a struggle for me to finish writing my short story instead of putting aside all responsibilities to make more reading time. It's not a spoiler to say that this book - unlike the ones in the series - is a murder mystery that is not about the police investigation side of things. The main character is a young man from a fairly privileged background, experiencing some significant difficulties for the first time in his previously easy life, and the book is also about his extended family and his friends. I'm not quite halfway through it, because I want to take my time and enjoy the words instead of tearing through to see what happens. As with every one of French's other books I've read, I feel confident that the whole experience will be satisfying.
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken
I haven't started to read this one yet, but I'm looking forward to it because I need an optimism boost. The content is divided into categories: Energy, Food, Women and Girls, Buildings and Cities, Land Use, Transport, Materials, and Coming Attractions. In each category, there are articles of one to several pages that cover specific approaches, with a summary at the end of each to describe its potential impact. It's the sort of book I can envision reading in small bites, maybe one or two of the approaches daily. I hope to learn a lot of general ideas, and then look for more detailed information on the ones I want to prioritize. The truth is that we need to be working on a lot of things at once, but no single person is likely to be able to get involved in all of them, so it will be important to find the ways I can be the most useful.
The People's Republic of Everything, by Nick Mamatas
Nick is a writing convention buddy of mine, and I also enjoy his fiction; it's pretty rare to get both of those things with an author, so thanks, Nick! I go in and out of wanting to read short fiction, so it can take me a while to finish a collection of short stories even when I'm enjoying the stories. I'm maybe two-thirds of the way through this one, and definitely enjoying both the stories and Nick's commentary about how he came to write each of them. If you're bored with predictable plots and mainstream ideas, check this out.
Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Joseph Romm
This is a highly-rated overview of how climate change works, what's going on, and what's likely to happen in the future. I'm reading the 2018 second edition in ebook format, so I can read a section on my phone here and there. The truth is that even the introduction of this book made me cry, although to be completely transparent I was already feeling fragile that day and I had no business reading that material. I just thought an introduction should be pretty safe. NOPE. Don't get the wrong impression. The author isn't going out of his way to make it sad. The information itself is sad. We still need to know it if we're going to have any kind of chance to do something about it. That's why the other climate change book, above, seems like a good way to balance myself out, since it focuses on what we can do to improve the situation. I'll be writing about what I learn from these books, eventually, in my EcoAnxiety Club project, which you can follow for the free posts, and get notifications if you want them. There's even a free Patreon app you can use!
That's my book load for now! I may do another bookpost later this month if I start any others, but I want to finish some of these before I do that.