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Reading Roundup: Heating Oil Fraud, Ancient Fire & Ice Volcanoes

Micro-reviews from my recently-read pile: ancient marriage politics, Mediterranean dyes, Hittite architecture & whales throughout the ages.

Eleanor Konik
Written by Eleanor Konik

I teach (& research) ancient civilizations, then write stories & articles inspired by all eras of history... which involves a fair amount of notetaking ;)

4 min read.

I like to keep track of and reflect on the various things that I’ve read over the course of a month. Then I select the most interesting of those things and share them in hopes that others get value out of what I’ve learned.

BOOKS

  • I read House on the Cerulean Sea and it was exactly what other reviews have billed it as: a heartwarming story about societal tolerance and a gay man who lets down his walls and finds love and belonging with a family of magical orphans and their caretaker.
  • I also finished the Gunnie Rose books by Charlaine Harris. They made for a fun weird west alternative history story. The granddaughter of Gregori Rasputin is a Texas gunslinger who falls in love with a Russian prince whose family rules California after the Spanish Flu topples America. It reminded me a bit of The Train Job episode of Firefly.

ONLINE ARTICLES

JOURNAL ARTICLES

NEWS

  • It’s an older article—2015—but I recently learned about how mafia involvement in heating oil fraud shows that they’re still active, just driven “underground.” It’s fascinating from the perspective of trying to understand how organized crime works.

REDDIT THREADS

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I mostly don't create these kinds of collections anymore, because I have a new method of organizing my reading notes that leverages my research newsletter and my new Readwise subscription. If you want to see more examples of how I maintain a habit of reflecting on what I read each month, check out the Iceberg, where I write about the obscure history & weird science that underlies my fantasy fiction.

Note: There are a couple of affiliate links & codes scattered around, but these always come from links I was already recommending and usually I share them because they benefit you too (i.e. getting you extra time on trials).