Let's do lightning reviews III

Since wrapping up H+MC, I've been doing a lot of reading! It's really bizarre to not be writing, but I've been making progress through my many book piles. Expect another lightning reviews post within the next week. 

Without further adoo, the lightning bento III:

Cats by Kuniyoshi
by Kaneko Nobuhisa
PIE books, 2013

Do you like cats? Do you like pictures with weirdly informative captions? Do you like cats doing odd things in the background, or wearing people clothes, or helping samurai? Are you on the Internet? If so, you will probably delight in this collection of Edo Period woodblock prints. Pictures can be removed from the book and framed, or you can just read them. Good gift book. 

 

Silk Road: A New History
by Valerie Hansen
Oxford University, 2015

Hansen analyzes the Silk Road based on recently discovered archaeological finds, but the book shines with her analysis of newly found texts. Full of maps and photographs to help the reader. 'Is there something new about the Silk Road?' a doubtful friend asked me. Well, we've found new legal documents and receipts wrapped around corpses. And that's just one example! Library. 

 

 

Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future
by John Scalzi
Tor Books, 2015

A disease locks fully aware people into paralytic bodies, and society develops androids for them to run around in. Scalzi builds a wholly believable, timely world full of scheming tech moguls, health care providers, and a newly minted FBI agent android dude who's trying to catch a killer. The writing snaps along. Not the sort of thing I usually read, but golly, I enjoyed it!  Library. 

 

 

The Man in the High Castle 
by Phillip K Dick
Mariner Books, 1962 (2012)

What if the Axis won World War II? What if Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan divided North America? What if the Japanese were obsessed with junky American pop art and Civil War relics and black markets emerged to fuel this weird gift-giving economy, and something big comes out of a bunch of random men straining against the system? For me, crazy stuff like this is what true dystopian is all about. Read it.

 

The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan
by Ivan Morris
Tuttle, 1964 (later editions)

Despite being in the Japanese history world for a while, I just recently discovered this book at a secondhand store and fell in love. This is the best introductory text to the Heian Court: its aesthetics, fights, loves, and poetry.... It's easy to read, and Ivan Morris was one of the best. If you've enjoyed my work, buy this book too. Used copies are cheap. Buy it.