Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Reading Envy 063: Desolation Road

Jenny does another round of book speed dating to meet her 2016 reading goals, and decides to go with the #scifijuly theme. Then she shares books on grief, death and dying, a theme she has been following through literature lately. Jenny is visited in her office at the very end by a future guest!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 063: Desolation Road.

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Part 1: Book Speed Dating Project #4 of 2016

Books discussed:

Nekropolis by Maureen F. McHugh
Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson
The Bug by Ellen Ullman
The Colony by Jillian Weise
Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston
Desolation Road by Ian McDonald
The Peripheral by William Gibson
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Other mentions:
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Reamde by Neal Stephenson
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Part 2: Books on Grief

Books discussed:

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times edited by Neil Astley
The Ark by Ed Madden
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Joan Halifax
When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
The Holders and The Seers by Julianna Scott (I called her Julianna Holden on the recording)
The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Other mentions:
"How to Lift Him" TED Talk with Ed Madden
Book Riot: "How to Read when the World is Terrible"
"Late Fragment" by Raymond Carter

Stalk us online:
Jenny at GoodReads
Jenny on Twitter


  1. Another great episode. I really like the speed dating episodes.

    And I love that you discussed so many books on grief. I am sorry for the difficult journey you have taken with your parents and cancer. I, too, gravitate to books for answers. You have given me many worthy titles.

  2. I'm catching up with your podcasts and found this one very useful. Loved the speed dating. You talked a lot about sci-fi which is not always for me to read but I like the sound of Nekropolis and will check that out.

    The discussion between you and your friend, Tracy about grief and how books are used to heal in sad times was helpful. This is a subject that interests me and I'm always looking for new books to explore. Tracy nailed it for me when she said that she was prepared for the first year after her father's death but it was the second and even after that she found hard. We all handle grief differently so talking about the subject and the books is a plus and can be soothing at any time.

    1. Thank you for your note. I still need to do another speed date before the end of the year!


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