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Joined 4 months, 1 week ago

Hey, I like to read, because I know how.

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todb's books

Currently Reading

2023 Reading Goal

83% complete! todb has read 10 of 12 books.

Cixin Liu: The Three-Body Problem (Hardcover, 2014, Tor Books) 4 stars

Within the context of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, a military project sends messages to alien …

Ultramodern cosmic horror with loads of astrophysics

4 stars

Got a cold, so had loads of time to finish Three Body Problem. It was kind of a slog for me about 20% of the way through, but the beginning (set in the Chinese Cultural Revolution) and the mainline story was pretty darn gripping. This is about as hard of hard sci-fi as you're going to find, and I'm looking forward to being aggravated by the Netflix version. Also, many people warn that this first book of the trilogy doesn't have an ending, but I didn't see that at all -- the ending is just appropriately nihilistic, as anything set on a cosmic scale ought to be.

Anyway, this is about as spoiler-free as I can make this comment. I will say that between this and's recent posts, I'm most definitely back into #Stellaris, with pre-FTL civilizations cranked up.

Elliott Kalan, Andrea Mutti, Mike Marts: Maniac of New York (2021, AfterShock Comics) 5 stars

Great Halloween comic

5 stars

My Halloween season has been pretty slasher-heavy, so I finally picked up Elliott Kalan's Maniac of New York. Did not disappoint! I didn't know anything about the interior art (by Andrea Mutti), and was very pleased with the watercolor treatment, since it makes the whole story kind of dreamy and ethereal and spooky. Makes for a nice contrast with the gritty and bloody story, and also makes the more traditional lettering really pop out and make it easy to read without a lot of distraction. Very much looking forward to Volume 2!

Lawrence Wright: God Save Texas (Paperback, 2019, Vintage) 4 stars

Finished this out. Pros: actually made me feel pretty good about being a Texan. Cons: Spent way too much time on the 2017 legislative session. Also, the author is clearly Texas-lefty, but he seems just a little too forgiving of the Bush family. But, he's really (and rightfully) critical of Dan Patrick. Best part: It ends with a scene in Terlingua and Big Bend! Yay!

Trevor Noah: Born A Crime (Paperback, 2017, Trevor Noah, JOHN MURAY) 4 stars

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show …

'Born a Crime' review

4 stars

Pretty good! My biggest complaint is in the editing -- the time periods kind of jump all over the place, and not in an interesting, Christopher Nolan sort of way. Also, the transition from being a street hood in Johannesburg to host of the Daily Show was kind of not present at all; I guess we have to wait for the sequel to see how Trevor gets out of the country!

That said, the ultimate message of "holy shit Trevor Noah lived through some real abject poverty and abuse as a kid" was great, and something that all privileged kids should read. Also, I learned a lot more about street-level life in South Africa during the transition to post-apartheid, which was interesting and terrible.

Victor LaValle: The Ballad of Black Tom (Paperback, 2016, 5 stars

”The Ballad of Black Tom” — the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, World Fantasy, and Bram Stoker …

If you liked Lovecraft Country, you’ll like this

4 stars

Pretty great! It ended up being a little shorter than I expected, but also, I whipped through this in about four days of reading. Solid Lovecraftian fun.