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Book report for April 2024

Book report for April 2024
You don’t see dogs doing this, which is another reason cats are superior.

Letter No. 82: Includes a rock star, puzzling fictional physics, and atomic habits that have nothing to do with physics.

My reading this past month was monkey brained—read this book for 20 minutes, read that one for 11, pick up The New Yorker, go back to the first book... Not sure why, but there you go. My one bit of advocacy this time will be if you haven’t yet read Phillip Pullman but love an engrossing novel, track down any of his books and dive in. As good as it gets.

And what have you been reading, my dear Jogglers?

  • Eminent Hipsters, Donald Fagen. Two-thirds witty sharp-tongued memoir in essays, one-third tedious bitch-and-moan about being on the road with Boz Scaggs and Michael MacDonald. Could have been better. Fagen has a writer inside him but needs to elbow his whiny inner nerd out of the way.
  • Quarantine, Greg Egan. Quantum physics fiction by the Australian wizard of ingenious science fiction. The physics lost even me, and I can usually keep up, but the novella remains thoroughly entertaining.
  • The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman. Marvelous storytelling. Masterful in every aspect.
  • Atomic Habits, James Clear. I hold self-improvement books in low esteem, because I find most of them are bosh. But this one, which I read because I had seen it lauded so often, was a surprise. Clear is smart and measured and has done careful research, plus he writes well.
In progress
  • Best American Essays 2001, Kathleen Norris (ed.)
  • The Making of Incarnation, Tom McCarthy
  • Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto, Alan Stern and David Grinspoon
  • James, Percival Everett
  • The White Lady, Jacqueline Winspear
  • Grandiloquent Words: A Pictoric Lexicon of Ostrobogulous Locutions, Jason Travis Ott
  • The Math Book, Clifford A. Pickover