Book Bleg Followup

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


A few days ago I asked for reading recommendations that wouldn’t tax my brain too much since my chemotherapy regimen has left me more fatigued than usual. Light, multi-part fiction was my primary request. There were loads of ideas, and I figured some readers might appreciate a quick summary. Here are the five that got the most positive comments:

  • Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series
  • Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series
  • Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series
  • James Corey’s Expanse series
  • Alan Furst’s Night Soldiers series

I probably made this thread harder than it needed to be by not mentioning stuff I’ve read or genres I don’t like that much. Pure genre mystery stories, for example (Christie, Hillerman, Leonard, etc.), have never done much for me. On the flip side, I’ve read lots of 20th century science fiction (Asimov, Heinlein, Willis, etc. etc.), so there’s not a lot new to recommend there. Among specific recommendations that popped up several times:

  • I’ve read James Clavell’s Asia series and loved it. Maybe I should reread it!
  • I’ve read Red/Green/Blue Mars. Meh.
  • I made it halfway through Wolf Hall and finally gave up. That doesn’t happen often.
  • I’ve read everything by Neal Stephenson. Big fan.
  • I’ve read lots of John Scalzi, and all of the Old Man’s War series.
  • I’ve read Roger Zelazny’s Amber series about, oh, a dozen or two times. It begins with maybe the best first chapter ever written. Obviously I’m a big fan.
  • I’ve tried a couple of Iain Banks’ Culture novels and I’ve just never been able to get into them.
  • I’ve read most everything by John LeCarre. But it’s not a bad suggestion. I’m sure there are a few I’ve missed.
  • I’ve read Charlie Stross’s Merchant Princes series but didn’t care for it much. Ditto for the one Laundry book I read. It’s too bad since I like most of his other stuff.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, and I hope everyone enjoyed it. I also got some good nonfiction recommendations, including several by email that didn’t end up on the comment thread. Much appreciated.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate