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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, #1)
Ursula K. Le Guin
Whisper Network
Chandler Baker
Progress: 54 %
Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Progress: 28 %
The Mystery at Lilac Inn
Carolyn Keene
100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories
Gary Raisor, Richard Chizmar, Al Sarrantonio, Avram Davidson
Progress: 70/512 pages
Leading Change
John P. Kotter
Peanuts Classics
Charles M. Schulz
Progress: 66 %
The Bungalow Mystery
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 192/192 pages
The Bungalow Mystery #3
Carolyn Keene
Progress: 192/192 pages
The Mystery at Lilac Inn
Russell H. Tandy, Mildred Benson, Carolyn Keene

Fuzzy Nation ★★★★☆

Fuzzy Nation [Unabridged] - Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi


I’ve never read the original story, and I am disappointed because I was under the impression that the two books were packaged together, based on the foreword and the reviews placed highest on the Audible website, but apparently they’ve now split the two books and must be purchased separately.


Still, I enjoyed the Scalzi reboot very much on its own, without reference to the 1963 version. This is what those goofy ewoks should have been. Figuring out what’s going on with the main character, Jack Holloway, and his motivations kept me engaged with the plot, which is a little heavier on the legal intrigue than I usually care for, and I sincerely appreciate that Scalzi includes a strong, smart, independent female character who, 

in spite of having had a past romantic relationship with the MC, does not serve as a love-interest or in any way feature as a sexual object for him or the reader.

(show spoiler)


Audiobook, via Audible. Wil Wheaton provides a fantastic performance for the readings. Although he doesn’t attempt a lot of unique “voices” for the different characters, he reads with spirit, humor, and excellent pacing, and I’m never in any doubt as to which character is speaking.  


I read this book for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 12: December 23rd: Book themes for Saturnalia:  The god Saturn has a planet named after him; read any work of science fiction that takes place in space.  –OR– Read a book celebrating free speech. –OR–  A book revolving around a very large party, or ball, or festival, –OR– a book with a mask or masks on the cover.  –OR– a story where roles are reversed. I do have a ruling from the game overlords that an extraterrestrial setting counts as “in space”.


ALSO: This book would have fit a couple of other hard-to-capture squares:

  • Square 4 Thanksgiving Day (Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need)
    Because a small group of people – Holloway, Isabel, Sullivan, and eventually that other guy that hates Holloway – go to considerable risk and against their own personal interests to see that the Fuzzies are recognized as sapient beings, protected from genocide, and are given control of their own planet
    (show spoiler)
  • Square 7 International Human Rights Day (any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused)
    Because the Fuzzies are a previously unrecognized race of sapient beings whose rights to their own planetary resources are being trampled by the company that is mining there
    (show spoiler)


Previous Updates:

11/10/17 4%

11/10/17 61%