Back in the groove for August. The tally will only show four books completed for this month, but there were two more in the hopper that will close this weekend. September should reap five completions if not six.
- Apex, Ramez Naam
- Pep Confidential, Martí Perarnau
- The Expected Goal Philosophy, James Tippett
- The Consuming Fire, John Scalzi
The Consuming Fire won’t make the top of my literary style list, being a big fan of Ursula K. LeGuin and William Gibson. A lot more exposition than I usually like. But fuck if The Consuming Fire (and The Collapsing Empire as well) aren’t fun, easy reads. And damn if Kiva Lagos ain’t a motherfucking hoot!
Apex exemplifies my distate of the technothriller genre. A sprawl of plot arcs, coming and going in fits and starts. Named characters constantly being introduced, without enough room for development. Fetishizing of national security apparati. It’s been a while since I read Nexus and Crux, the other books in the trilogy, but the underlying neuroscientific principles were compelling. Glad I closed out the trilogy but probably not revisiting.
Apparently a key element of the The Expected Goal Philosophy is constantly moaning about how people who haven’t bought into the philosophy are morons. Slightly offputting. The actual details of the stastical approach turn out to be somewhat pedestrian at the end of the day, but good to know about as football evolves. Might have read better as a pure underdog story, similar to Moneyball.
Pep Confidential turned out to be less of a hagiography then I expected, which was good. As a Manchester City fan, I was intrigued by the insights from his prior stop at Bayern Munich. I’m still a newbie regarding football tactics, so Confidential was a very revealing look behind the scenes. Also, quite entertaining given that many of the names involved are still active in world football, like Thiago Alcântara, David Alaba, Mario Mandzukić, Tony Kroos, and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, with the lens of history to see their subsequent paths. Looking forward to reading Perarnau’s follow-up Pep Guardiola, The Evolution.
Apropos Elle Driver, “You know, I’ve always liked that word … hagiography … so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence.”