C: Currently Reading…
The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman
Postman regards childhood as a social construct, one which arose due to changes in how Western society passes along information: the printing press drastically expanded how many books were published; more information was shared in print rather than orally; thus an emphasis on literacy and the creation of schools to make children literate. Postman maintains that schools segregated children from adult life in an unprecedented way, and further, that printing enabled adult knowledge to be a secret thing. The secrets and shames which had defined adulthood, however, are now increasingly open to younger and younger people, as electronic media make them available to anyone. This expansion of what children can know, in turn, changes both how children act and how they are treated.
Agatha Heterodyne & the Hammerless Bell by Kaja Foglio
Agatha and company (including Gilgamesh Wulfenbach and Tarvek Sturmvoraus) attempt to repair the fractured Castle Heterodyne, while others in Mechanicsburg and Sturmhaltan attempt to figure out what’s going on, and whether Agatha is possessed by the (eeeeeeevil) Other. Featuring my very favorite mysterious BAMF, Airman Higgs (are you human? A construct? Half-Jäger? WHAT ARE YOU, SIR).
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Re-rereading. I think I started this a couple weeks back when I was in need of catharsis. It’s very, very good for that.
Spirits in Bondage: A Cycle of Lyrics by C.S. Lewis
Taking my unread Lewis off the shelf the other day reminded me of this book’s existence. It was Jack’s first published work, which means that the poems were composed when he had abandoned his childhood faith. Walter Hooper’s introduction includes snippets of several letters to provide a comprehensible background to the poems’ composition and publishing. “A cycle of lyrics” indicates that the poems are not meant to be read in isolation, but are to be taken together and understood as one work:
In my coracle of verses I will sing of lands unknown,
Flying from the scarlet city where a Lord that knows no pity
Mocks the broken people praying round his iron throne,
– Sing about the Hidden country fresh and full of quiet green,
Sailing over seas uncharted to a port that none has seen.
Mr. McFadden’s Hallowe’en by Rumer Godden
A friend recommended Godden’s China Court to me, but though I’ve gotten a copy, I started this book first. So far, an untrained horse named Haggis is running around and getting into trouble.
Not pictured, because I’m reading it online: I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
So far I have learned that one must take care in how one instructs or commands a robot. Also: “Mathematical squiggles on paper were not always the most comforting protection against robotic fact.” I expect to be both amused and troubled by QT-1, the skeptical robot.
Not pictured, because I’m listening to an audiobook: Changes by Jim Butcher
I really don’t want to be spoiler-y about this, so I’ll just say that Harry Dresden is on a unique new quest with a tremendously exciting magical GPS. Also, the Red Court vampires are up to something.
What are you reading?