German Reading Project: Der Kleine Prinz, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, translated by Grete and Josef Leitgeb

A whole book this time, and not just chapters! Der Kleine Prinz is both short enough and simply written enough that I managed it without too much heartache.

My general German skills update: I’m improving in some ways and stalling in others. I can almost contribute to iai conversations (depending on what they’re about). I’ve stopped freaking out so much about not being able to express things, and will try (in friendly situations…). My writing is abysmal. My listening is not horrendous. My speaking (on a good day) can get away with a lot. My reading is trundling along, but I should read more. I’ve come up to the point where I basically just have to sit and learn grammar points. It’s the first plateau and the easiest one to overcome, but urghhhh articles are stupid and cases are stupid and why is everything.

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Alternative Thoughts: Stories of Your Life and Others, by Ted Chiang – plus a short story

Dove also wrote her thoughts on this one, and hers are better, but here’s mine.

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Thoughts: Stories of Your Life And Others, by Ted Chiang

I don’t read many short story collections, so this will be another collection of thoughts without much wider context for comparison, I’m afraid. It has been a while since I indulged in some proper sci-fi, though, and I enjoyed myself. Spoilers as usual, and be careful this time – one of the short stories was turned into the film Arrival, so if you don’t want that spoilered, stay away.

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Short story: Messier

A short story, loosely inspired by Tabby’s Star. Fun fact: when Messier was first categorising galaxies, he actually hated them. He was a comet hunter, and galaxies really annoyed him because they looked like comets (at least with the small telescopes they had the time) but weren’t. His list of galaxies and nebulae was originally compiled to warn other astronomers away from mistaking them for comets. It was only much later that people realised what galaxies were, or that they were actually located a long way outside the Milky Way. Anyway, story time.

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Thoughts: Kipps, by H. G. Wells

This is the part of the holiday when I’d run out of books. I downloaded the sample of Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky because I wasn’t sure about reading in French on the Kindle and I didn’t know whether the version would be readable because it was by some random tiny publishing company (just for the e-version I think?). So I started reading the books Spuggy had brought and finished.

True confession: I’d never heard of Kipps before reading this book.

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Thoughts: Your Inner Fish, by Neil Shubin

The third and final book in my Non-Fiction Run! Your Inner Fish is about all the features of the human body that are leftovers from our seagoing ancestors. Lots of evolutionary fun. I’ve had a pretty busy day today, so forgive the shortness of this one. Let’s call it “short but sweet”, like the book itself.

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Thoughts: Kitty Saves The World, by Carrie Vaughn

Oh my goodness, this is the LAST ONE. I can finally rest easy knowing that the werewolves and assorted characters of supernatural Denver aren’t going to get into any more scrapes. I really shouldn’t need to spoiler warn for the last book in a 14-book series, but here’s your warning anyway.

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Thoughts: Why the West Rules – For Now, by Ian Morris

I’m back from a holiday which means I have a pretty huge backlog! We begin with a beast of a book I was in the middle of before we set off, and strap yourselves in, people. It’s going to be a gusher.

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Did Wikipedia hint at the Labour surge?

Fair to say, most people did not predict the result of the election. A few pollsters were correct – Survation and YouGov, take a bow – but most thought that even if May didn’t get the landslide she wanted, at least she’d gain and Labour would lose, right?

Then came shocks as safe-safe-safe Tory seats like Kensington and Canterbury, which have been Tory for decades, fell to Labour. The result was a hung parliament. Who saw it coming?

Maybe, Wikpedia.

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Thoughts: Low Midnight, by Carrie Vaughn

So, maybe you thought I’d turned some kind of classy corner in my reading material. Maybe you were wrong. Time to review the penultimate book in the Kitty Norville series! We’re well over halfway there!

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