a blog by Sara Farquharson

what i'm reading: August 20

Was feeling ambitious after my last post and immediately started reading more of my bookmarks. Also took the time to note down all of the books I read last week, since my Kindle failed to mark them as read in Goodreads. Technology, never as convenient as you want it to be.


  • I’m still not sure if I like the universe of Tamsyn Muir’s Locked Tomb Trilogy? But I did read Harrow the Ninth in one uninterrupted sitting as soon as the preorder downloaded itself to my kindle.

  • The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall was a fast read with some interesting gender dynamics and a different take on mermaids, but I will probably not remember anything about it in a few months.

  • Someone in a book community I’m in praised P. Djeli Clark’s A Dead Djinn in Cairo, which made me realise I’d only read the sequel, The Haunting of Tram Car 015. Read both of them this time.

  • A new T. Kingfisher book showed up in my recommendations, and I bought it on the strength of the title, The Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking. It’s a whimsical and sometimes creepy read, which the author’s note describes as a kid’s book too dark to be published as a kid’s book. Reminded me that I like the work published as Kingfisher, so re-read some that I already had, and ended up buying every other book that’s set in this world.

    • Clockwork Boys: I’d bought and read this a while ago but didn’t remember much about it, so read it again. Part 1 of a series so kind of a weird ending.
    • The Wonder Engine Part 2 of Clocktaur Wars, a much more satisfying conclusion after reading the whole thing.
    • Minor Mage Described as “My first kid’s book that was also too dark to be a kid’s book”
    • Swordheart By this point I was all in on Kingfisher books set in this world. Swordheart has all the beats of a romance novel, where one of the protagonists is a magic sword.
    • Paladin’s Grace The sequel to Swordheart isn’t out yet, but this is potentially the start of a new series with overlapping characters?
  • Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater is a Regency romance, but with magic, which means I immediately read it.

  • I’d bought Anhaga by Lisa Henry quite a while ago but didn’t have time to read it and then forgot it in my backlog. Sweet queer fantasy romance, though not much happens.

  • I like Zen Cho, so picked up The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water Not my favourite by Cho, but well-drawn depiction of a war-torn, Malaysia-influenced fantasy world.


Whimsical art


Open source

  • Fred Hebert has an in-depth piece about why inclusive language matters in open source from the perspective of explaining to open source maintainers who are not at the forefront of wokeness why this stuff is important.

  • I was pretty crushed when I heard about last week’s Mozilla layoffs, and concern about the future of Rust was a small part of that. I appreciated the Rust Core Team’s outline of the future of Rust and the reassurance that the language will keep going.

Ethical technology

Programming language wonkery


In-depth technical reads

  • I like Anit Shrestha Manandhar’s Today I Learned git repository, which is an interesting way of collecting knowledge, much of it on similar topics to what I tend to research. Perhaps something like this would be a better way of structuring my thoughts on what I learn?

  • This epic post by Catherine West about using Rust for game development was a fascinating meander through a lot of game programming concepts I was unfamiliar with, and brushed upon (but did not directly address) the reasons I started fighting with the borrow checker while working on my Rust project last week. I don’t think West ever defines “ECS” in the post, so I looked it up (entity component system).

  • Tyler Neely’s sled theoretical performance guide is a massive document that I might have been able to absorb better if it were half a dozen blog posts, but it was still funny, and insightful, and full of interesting links for more information about performance in any language, but maybe specifically in Rust.