Useful, especially for the breakdown on what contracts are and what they do. Clear, well-written, and concise.
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (sf)
A first novel: I'm 180 pages in and I'm not sure I'll finish this one, although I might look for his next. It's got some lovely writing on a sentence-level, eyekicks and vigorous language and so forth, but there's not a lot of narrative structure to carry the story through and I don't feel as if the writer is tossing enough cookies to the reader. I'm losing interest because while he keeps adding mysteries, he's not resolving or developing the existing ones, so there's no sense of layering or continuity for me, and the narrative feels as if it moves from sex scene to fight scene to torture scene without each developing from the previous.
Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle (modern fantasy)
Wanna be Peter Beagle when I grow up. Sigh.
Okay, more seriously: gorgeous sentence-level writing and emotional depth, especially in the first third of the book. Beautiful characterization of a cast of assorted characters, and a richly developed world built with a light and masterful hand.
The resolution may be a bit thin.
Woebegon Boy by Garrison Keillor (litfic)
Not much narrative to this one--it's mostly a series of vignettes building the character of the narrator: a sort of slice-of-life of a middle-aged man who's doing all right by society's standards and not so well by his own. I admit Keillor's use of observation, fabulous reality, salient details. I thought it kind of ran out of narrative energy at the end.
Science Fiction 101Robert Silverberg (ed & commentary)
Classic SF shorts of the New Wave and a bit earlier. Some very good stuff.
Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman (Physics lectures)
Children of Cthulhu (John Pelan & Bejamin Adams, ed.) (Horror shorts)
Prisoner of Conscience by Susan R. Matthews (Sociological SF)
In addition to the reading I do in my slush and on the OWW Orkshop, of course: I'm currently following several novels on the OWW, but I'm slowing my critting down for a while, and my only writing currently is the nonfic project. And my slush just went away for three months, as A&A enters summer hiatus.
So I expect my books read pile to subside somewhat, and to have more to report come end of June.
Yay summer vacation!