Planet Exherbo

January 25, 2023

Wulf C. Krueger

Slow Horses (Slough House #1), by Mick Herron

Slow Horses by Mick Herron My rating: 2 of 5 stars Slow Horses by Mick Herron was excessively true to…

by Wulf at January 25, 2023 04:56 PM

January 16, 2023

Wulf C. Krueger

January 11, 2023

Wulf C. Krueger

The Housemaid (The Housemaid #1), by Freida McFadden

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden My rating: 3 of 5 stars Meh! I was so looking forward to reading “The…

by Wulf at January 11, 2023 04:49 PM

January 09, 2023

Wulf C. Krueger

January 01, 2023

Wulf C. Krueger

2022 in Books

I always look back on the previous year of reading at the start of the new one. 2022 turned out…

by Wulf at January 01, 2023 01:25 PM

December 30, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Lovelight Farms (Lovelight, #1), by B.K. Borison

Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison My rating: 3 of 5 stars I wanted a holiday romance and with “Lovelight Farms”…

by Wulf at December 30, 2022 03:39 PM

December 26, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Anomaly, by Hervé Le Tellier

The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier My rating: 2 of 5 stars With “The Anomaly” by Hervé Le Tellier delivers…

by Wulf at December 26, 2022 11:18 AM

December 22, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Remarkably Bright Creatures, by Shelby Van Pelt

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt My rating: 2 of 5 stars I felt thoroughly bored for most of…

by Wulf at December 22, 2022 01:49 PM

December 12, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

December 11, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Happening, by Annie Ernaux

Happening by Annie Ernaux My rating: 5 of 5 stars “(Perhaps this description seems irritating or repulsive, or it may…

by Wulf at December 11, 2022 03:13 PM

December 10, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

December 04, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan My rating: 3 of 5 stars In stark contrast to Keegan’s “Foster” I…

by Wulf at December 04, 2022 04:04 PM

November 29, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus was one…

by Wulf at November 29, 2022 04:39 PM

November 21, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Foster, by Claire Keegan

Foster by Claire Keegan My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Foster” by Claire Keegan is a short story about (parental)…

by Wulf at November 21, 2022 04:31 PM

November 19, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Cabin in the Woods, by Sarah Alderson

The Cabin in the Woods by Sarah Alderson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Well, “The Cabin in the Woods”…

by Wulf at November 19, 2022 04:17 PM

November 18, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Flawless (Chestnut Springs, #1), by Elsie Silver

Flawless by Elsie Silver My rating: 3 of 5 stars I’m grateful to have read “Flawless” by Elsie Silver because…

by Wulf at November 18, 2022 03:23 PM

November 12, 2022

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Stranded, by Sarah Goodwin

Stranded by Sarah Goodwin My rating: 4 of 5 stars »Fortunately I have learned that there is no justice, aside…

by Wulf at November 12, 2022 12:04 PM

November 07, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Winners (Beartown #3), by Fredrik Backman

The Winners by Fredrik Backman My rating: 3 of 5 stars I hoped to love “The Winners” by Fredrik Backman…

by Wulf at November 07, 2022 04:57 PM

October 19, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Flatshare (The Flatshare #1), by Beth O’Leary

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary My rating: 5 of 5 stars A breath of fresh non-young-adult romance air! A great premise, brilliant writing. Loved it! After a string of less-than-desirable reading experiences, I opted to go for a fun, light read – a romance!I expected the usual: Some trope, like enemies-to-lovers, banter, quick lovey-dovey, some… Read More »The Flatshare (The Flatshare #1), by Beth O’Leary

by Wulf at October 19, 2022 04:12 PM

October 17, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Lonely Planet Unpacked, by Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet Unpacked by Lonely Planet My rating: 1 of 5 stars Travel disaster stories were promised but the only disaster were the stories… DNF at 72%. Ever since I stumbled upon “Kamikaze Kangaroos!: A trip around Oz in a van called Rusty” by Tony James Slater several years ago, I sometimes like to read… Read More »Lonely Planet Unpacked, by Lonely Planet

by Wulf at October 17, 2022 04:03 PM

October 16, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng My rating: 1 of 5 stars I was immensely looking forward to reading Celeste Ng’s new novel “Our Missing Hearts”. I really enjoyed both Ng’s “Everything I Never Told You” and “Little Fires Everywhere” for their highly interesting stories, the unusual style of Ng’s storytelling and her sheer eloquence.… Read More »Our Missing Hearts, by Celeste Ng

by Wulf at October 16, 2022 11:19 AM

October 10, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

A Death at the Office, by Frank J. Edler

A Death at the Office by Frank J. Edler My rating: 1 of 5 stars This was a singularly weak book. In short, there’s not just death but Death personified (so far not too unusual) – and there’s a whole corporation of them. All called Death which leads to oh-so-funny encounters with the “Help Death”… Read More »A Death at the Office, by Frank J. Edler

by Wulf at October 10, 2022 04:04 PM

October 04, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Something to Hide (Inspector Lynley #21), by Elizabeth George

Something to Hide by Elizabeth George My rating: 2 of 5 stars A mystery and police procedural derailed by the author’s stumbling (repeated) attempt at conveying an important message I used to be a huge fan of the Inspector Lynley mysteries by Elizabeth George as they were always suspenseful, exciting, interesting, serious and, sometimes, unobtrusively… Read More »Something to Hide (Inspector Lynley #21), by Elizabeth George

by Wulf at October 04, 2022 10:21 AM

September 21, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

For Butter or Worse, by Erin La Rosa

For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa My rating: 2 of 5 stars If only they could talk. Oh, wait… How non- and intentional miscommunication not only derails a decent story but an entire novel. “For Butter or Worse”? This amusingly cheesy title (and Helen Hoang’s prominent endorsement on the cover) made me read… Read More »For Butter or Worse, by Erin La Rosa

by Wulf at September 21, 2022 03:40 PM

September 19, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

September 18, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games #1), by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes My rating: 2 of 5 stars Cinderella meets Piranesi in a pink wish-fulfilment children’s fantasy bubble “The Inheritance Games” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes was a major disappointment. For all practical purposes orphaned 17-year-old Avery inherits a gazillion dollars, has to move into her late benefactor’s huge mansion for… Read More »The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games #1), by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

by Wulf at September 18, 2022 10:22 AM

September 11, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Ink Black Heart (Cormoran Strike #6), by Robert Galbraith

The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith My rating: 5 of 5 stars Robert Galbraith’s “The Ink Black Heart”, the sixth instalment of this fantastic series, consisted of 1644 pages based upon my Kindle’s settings. When I started reading it and saw that, I was somewhat awed. I liked where Galbraith went with this series… Read More »The Ink Black Heart (Cormoran Strike #6), by Robert Galbraith

by Wulf at September 11, 2022 12:41 PM

August 31, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It (Finlay Donovan #1), by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano My rating: 3 of 5 stars Well, “Finlay Donovan Is Killing It” by Elle Cosimano has certainly and clearly managed to kill any link to reality early on… Finlay Donovan, desparate housewife, mother of two, divorced from her serial-cheating husband and in a custody battle with him… Read More »Finlay Donovan Is Killing It (Finlay Donovan #1), by Elle Cosimano

by Wulf at August 31, 2022 03:26 PM

August 28, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Love on the Brain, by Ali Hazelwood

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood My rating: 5 of 5 stars »Annie used to have a funny theory: we all have a Year Zero around which the calendars of our lives pivot. At some point you meet someone, and they become so important, so metamorphic, that ten, twenty, sixty-five years down the line… Read More »Love on the Brain, by Ali Hazelwood

by Wulf at August 28, 2022 08:41 AM

August 25, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

A Soldier’s Quartet, by Colin Baldwin

A Soldier’s Quartet by Colin Baldwin My rating: 2 of 5 stars DNF at 58%… I really hoped I would like “A Soldier’s Quartet” by Colin Baldwin but it was not to be for a lot of reasons. First of all, we’re jumping around in time as if we were Doctor Who’s new companion –… Read More »A Soldier’s Quartet, by Colin Baldwin

by Wulf at August 25, 2022 02:01 PM

August 24, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Bots of the Lost Ark (The Secret Life of Bots #2), by Suzanne Palmer

Bots of the Lost Ark by Suzanne Palmer My rating: 4 of 5 stars »“If I am so damaged that I would need to be reset, I would rather be decommissioned and my parts used to repair others.”«(Highly relatable; I’m an organ donor – what about you?) “Bots of the Lost Ark” by Suzanne Palmer… Read More »Bots of the Lost Ark (The Secret Life of Bots #2), by Suzanne Palmer

by Wulf at August 24, 2022 02:22 PM

August 22, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Dance of the Serpents (Frey & McGray #6), by Oscar de Muriel

The Dance of the Serpents by Oscar de Muriel My rating: 1 of 5 stars “The Dance of the Serpents” is book six of Oscar de Muriel’s “Frey & McGray” series. The series started out interesting enough with Frey being the rational investigator during superstitious times. McGray on the other hand always was basically seeing… Read More »The Dance of the Serpents (Frey & McGray #6), by Oscar de Muriel

by Wulf at August 22, 2022 01:45 PM

August 16, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Local Girl Missing (Detective Josie Quinn #15), by Lisa Regan

Local Girl Missing by Lisa Regan My rating: 5 of 5 stars »“Live with it? That’s it? That’s your answer? What kind of adult are you, anyway?”«(A teenaged young woman to Josie; representative of what I believed about adults at that age…) For a police procedural in its 15th instalment, “Local Girl Missing” by Lisa… Read More »Local Girl Missing (Detective Josie Quinn #15), by Lisa Regan

by Wulf at August 16, 2022 09:46 PM

August 14, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Night She Disappeared, by Lisa Jewell

The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell My rating: 4 of 5 stars “The Night She Disappeared” by Lisa Jewell was a truly suspenseful read! Tallulah, 19, mother to baby Noah, and her boyfriend Zach of the same age vanish without a trace. Left behind is Tallulah’s mother Kim who takes care of Noah. In… Read More »The Night She Disappeared, by Lisa Jewell

by Wulf at August 14, 2022 01:13 PM

August 11, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Brokeback Mountain (Wyoming Stories), by Annie Proulx

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx My rating: 3 of 5 stars I feel a bit like a philistine when it comes to “Brokeback Mountain”: The relationship between the two farm hands, Ennis and Jack, made sense to me and felt real. Sadly, both the story this short story tells as well as the style in… Read More »Brokeback Mountain (Wyoming Stories), by Annie Proulx

by Wulf at August 11, 2022 09:25 AM

August 10, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Part of Your World, by Abby Jimenez

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez My rating: 4 of 5 stars After landing her car in the ditch, Alexis Montgomery is “rescued” by Daniel Grant and introduced to the small rural town of Wakan. Alexis, 37, is a hot-shot emergency room physician from a dynasty of physicians who have traditionally been closely linked… Read More »Part of Your World, by Abby Jimenez

by Wulf at August 10, 2022 08:53 AM

August 06, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Listen to Me (Rizzoli & Isles #13), by Tess Gerritsen

Listen to Me by Tess Gerritsen My rating: 4 of 5 stars In some aspects, “Listen To Me” is a departure from earlier books in the series: The story is told (mostly) alternatingly from the perspectives of the main characters: There’s, of course, Jane Rizzoli, cop, married to Gabriel, mother to their daughter Regina. Another… Read More »Listen to Me (Rizzoli & Isles #13), by Tess Gerritsen

by Wulf at August 06, 2022 07:18 AM

August 03, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Sword Song (The Last Kingdom #4), by Bernard Cornwell

Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell My rating: 4 of 5 stars »I only need repent, they say, and I will go to heaven and live for evermore in the blessed company of the saints.And I would rather burn till time itself burns out.«(Same here!) “Sword Song” is yet another great entry in this series! Uthred… Read More »Sword Song (The Last Kingdom #4), by Bernard Cornwell

by Wulf at August 03, 2022 10:30 AM

July 27, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Lords of the North (The Last Kingdom #3), by Bernard Cornwell

Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell My rating: 4 of 5 stars »I had a taste for this kind of madness. In madness lies change, in change is opportunity, and in opportunity are riches.« I had every intention to temporarily remove myself from the amazing literary maelstrom this series has proven to be for… Read More »Lords of the North (The Last Kingdom #3), by Bernard Cornwell

by Wulf at July 27, 2022 10:13 AM

July 22, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Pale Horseman (The Last Kingdom #2), by Bernard Cornwell

The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell My rating: 4 of 5 stars “The Pale Horseman”, book two in Bernard Cornwell’s “Saxon Stories”, picks up right where we left Uthred in “The Last Kingdom”. The Danes overrun Wessex and King Alfred has to hide in a swamp. And that’s my one small gripe about this book:… Read More »The Pale Horseman (The Last Kingdom #2), by Bernard Cornwell

by Wulf at July 22, 2022 11:47 AM

July 18, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom #1), by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell My rating: 5 of 5 stars First “Vikings” came along and rekindled my interest. Next I stumbled upon “The Last Kingdom” and I was done for – Uthred, a hero, between both worlds – Dane and West Saxon. A guy whose survival to old age tells us we can… Read More »The Last Kingdom (The Last Kingdom #1), by Bernard Cornwell

by Wulf at July 18, 2022 05:08 PM

July 09, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The Law (The Dresden Files #17.5), by Jim Butcher

The Law by Jim Butcher My rating: 4 of 5 stars »Between my hex and the otso’s, bad things were going to happen.« Phew… After book-long battles, drawn-out, long-winded end-of-the-world scenarios in the last few books, we’re back to Harry Dresden, Resident Wizard but also Private Investigator of and in Chicago respectively. This is a… Read More »The Law (The Dresden Files #17.5), by Jim Butcher

by Wulf at July 09, 2022 11:06 PM

July 07, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Winterset Hollow, by Jonathan Edward Durham

Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham My rating: 3 of 5 stars I definitely did not enjoy reading “Winterset Hollow”. Jonathan Edward Durham tells the story of a group of admirer’s of a children’s novel about anthropomorphised animals with a dark horror twist… The protagonists “damaged” Eamon, “dumb but kind” Mark and “smart and comforting”… Read More »Winterset Hollow, by Jonathan Edward Durham

by Wulf at July 07, 2022 04:07 PM

June 26, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary, by Linus Torvalds & David Diamond

Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary by Linus Torvalds My rating: 3 of 5 stars »And I have a wife to make the decisions that complete my wardrobe, to pick out things like sandals and socks. So I never have to worry about it again.« Those who know me a little better… Read More »Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary, by Linus Torvalds & David Diamond

by Wulf at June 26, 2022 09:16 PM

June 17, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables #2), by Alix E. Harrow

A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow My rating: 2 of 5 stars From a story point of view Harrow’s second “Fractured Fable“, “A Mirror Mended”, starts right after “A Spindle Splintered” with Zinnia Gray, our protagonist, still trying to fix happily-ever-afters for a lot of Sleeping Beauties. That’s where my issues start: Why Zinnia… Read More »A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables #2), by Alix E. Harrow

by Wulf at June 17, 2022 07:38 AM

June 16, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

To Kill a Troubadour (Bruno, Chief of Police #15), by Martin Walker

To Kill a Troubadour by Martin Walker My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’ve been a Bruno fan since the first book in the series and really enjoyed Martin Walker’s congenial blend of mystery, world politics, joie de vivre and common-sense policing in a rural French environment. At times, especially in books 12 and 13,… Read More »To Kill a Troubadour (Bruno, Chief of Police #15), by Martin Walker

by Wulf at June 16, 2022 11:32 AM

June 12, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Watch Her Disappear (Detective Josie Quinn #14), by Lisa Regan

Watch Her Disappear by Lisa Regan My rating: 5 of 5 stars All too often, in a series of books when a writer has found their cast of characters, their setting, etc. everything becomes routine and instalment after instalment gets chucked out but there’s hardly ever anything new. Each new book is a variation of… Read More »Watch Her Disappear (Detective Josie Quinn #14), by Lisa Regan

by Wulf at June 12, 2022 11:18 AM

June 04, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Little Things, by Jim Butcher (from: Heroic Hearts, by Jim Butcher)

Heroic Hearts by Jim Butcher My rating: 5 of 5 stars »“You came for me first,” she said. “Not the pizza.”« I’m exclusively referring to Jim Butcher’s short story “Little Things” from the “Heroic Hearts” anthology. This is simply because I only got it to read that one story – and it was worth it.… Read More »Little Things, by Jim Butcher (from: Heroic Hearts, by Jim Butcher)

by Wulf at June 04, 2022 11:29 AM

The Ashmoore Affair (from: Heroes Wanted: A Fantasy Anthology, Laura M. Hughes), by Michael J. Sullivan

Heroes Wanted: A Fantasy Anthology by Laura M. Hughes My rating: 4 of 5 stars A nice albeit very short short story featuring Michael J. Sullivan’s Hadrian and Royce (Riyria). It is part of the Riyria Chronicles. There’s so little actual story, I won’t summarise it here. Suffice it to say you won’t be disappointed… Read More »The Ashmoore Affair (from: Heroes Wanted: A Fantasy Anthology, Laura M. Hughes), by Michael J. Sullivan

by Wulf at June 04, 2022 08:57 AM

June 03, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1), by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones My rating: 3 of 5 stars I set out to read – and hopefully love – this because it came with high praise by most of my GoodReads friends and my daughter (who loves the film, though). Thus prepared, I set out on this literary journey and quickly… Read More »Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle #1), by Diana Wynne Jones

by Wulf at June 03, 2022 04:43 PM

May 29, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Where the Strangers Live, by Oliver Phipps

I don’t know how this book ever made it to my to-be-read pile. It’s a clumsily written short novella about a woman, Sophie, and two men, Elliot and Roy (who only have eyes for Sophie’s butt, breasts, etc.) who happen to enter a submerged alien base…

by Wulf at May 29, 2022 09:57 AM

May 26, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Under One Roof (The STEMinist Novellas #1), by Ali Hazelwood

Under One Roof by Ali Hazelwood My rating: 2 of 5 stars Mara inherits half of a house from her late mentor. When she visits said house, she meets Liam with whom she proceeds to live “Under One Roof”. They have great first impressions of each other, then enmity ensues, the inevitable mutual crushes come… Read More »Under One Roof (The STEMinist Novellas #1), by Ali Hazelwood

by Wulf at May 26, 2022 02:40 PM

May 22, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Book Lovers, by Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry My rating: 3 of 5 stars Some books are confusing and “Book Lovers” by Emily Henry is definitely one of those: Literary agent Nora, a big city shark, meets big city editor Charlie and inevitably falls in love with him. In a rural small town of all places to which… Read More »Book Lovers, by Emily Henry

by Wulf at May 22, 2022 09:22 AM

May 17, 2022

Mike Kelly

Linux Disk Encryption in 2022

UPDATE: as of Fedora 36, the below doesn’t seem to work correctly. You’ll want to remove the /etc/dracut.conf.d/tss2.conf file, and the tpm2-device=auto,discard from /etc/crypttab, or the initrd build will not work, and your Fedora 36 kernel won’t boot. I was able to boot into one of my old Fedora 35 kernels, make the above changes, and then run sudo dracut -f --kver 5.17.6-300.fc36.x86_64 (check, as that specific version may change by the time you read this) to get things bootable. This loses the TPM based decryption.

I recently picked up a new Framework laptop to replace my aging Chromebook, so I’m back on a “real” Linux laptop for the first time in nearly a decade.

That meant it was time to revisit a few old blog posts.

This time, though, I’m running Fedora, so all the work above gets replaced with a single checkbox in the installer!

But my new laptop has a TPM chip, so I can make this even more painless using systemd-cryptenroll. The Fedora installer prompts for a passphrase which I have to enter at every boot. But, if the system hasn’t changed significantly (e.g. from UEFI firmware or Linux kernel updates), then the TPM chip can handle unlocking things on my behalf.

I found a fedora-users mailing list post that gave me the most succinct version of things to get working. Key parts:

  • Use systemd-cryptenroll --tpm2-device=auto -tpm2-pcrs=0+7 /dev/$DEVICE to enroll an additional token to unlock the LUKS volume. In my case, $DEVICE was /dev/nvme0n1p3, but your mileage may vary. This would be the block device backing your LUKS volume. lsblk should make it clear.
  • Edit /etc/crypttab, and change the end of the one line (starting with luks-$UUID) to tpm2-device=auto,discard
  • Until Fedora uses Dracut 056 (see #1976462), you need to create a file called /etc/dracut.conf.d/tss2.conf, with this in it:
    install_optional_items+=" /usr/lib64/libtss2* /usr/lib64/libfido2.so.* "
    

    then run sudo dracut -f

  • Reboot, and enjoy a fancy secure boot experience!

Of course, if your threat model includes state actors or the like, this may not be the right choice to make, but if you’re just wanting to make sure that your system is relatively secure if stolen, and that your boot disk is basically gibberish whenever you dispose of it some day, then I think this is a pretty good compromise.

by pioto at May 17, 2022 08:55 PM

May 14, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Amongst Our Weapons (Rivers of London #9), by Ben Aaronovitch

Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch My rating: 2 of 5 stars Finally! I’m free of this book! I used to really like this world and its rather unique inhabitants as well as the stories Ben Aaronovitch so expertly told us.This time around, though, I was bored by the lacklustre story at the centre of “Amongst Our Weapons”: An “Angel of Death” is killing the owners of some obscure rings with Lesley being on the hunt for said rings. Peter does his best to prevent further deaths. Through 80% of this instalment in the series, I only read it in bed because it served as a perfect sleeping drug. The abysmal pacing, being told about Beverly’s pregnancy (mostly referred to as “the bulge” which felt derogatory even though it most certainly wasn’t meant like that), quite a few encounters with the culprit but hardly any progress until the very end – it all made for a veritable snoozefest. Nightingale is mostly around and yet feels strangely absent – he doesn’t have much of a role at all. Fortunately, there were a few redeeming moments: Peter refuses to lay a trap to just plain kill the culprit but looks for a...

by Wulf at May 14, 2022 03:13 PM

April 23, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Why I consider Matrix.org’s Abuse team abusive

I’ve been running a Matrix homeserver for a few years now. It’s an interesting technology and the spirit of free open-source messaging (and more!) drew me in. Plus: There are some very nice and interesting people to be virtually met in Matrix! Matrix.org, Matrix’s home, run their own homeserver, of course. In order to deal with spam, harassment, etc. Matrix.org not only gave themselves a Code of Conduct (CoC) but also an abuse team. This Abuse team, though, is something I for one consider harmful and in frequent violation of the CoC they’re charged with supporting. Trying to discuss this leads to being told to email abuse@matrix.org because disussion is regularly squashed in public rooms. This went so far that a certain member of the Abuse team told us, fellow Matrix homeserver operators, “Enough – this conversation is over.” (I call that “Deliberate intimidation“, something their CoC uses as an example for harassment…) in a public room for inter-homeserver coordination. This was especially annoying as we were discussing policy matters, including misconduct… The next action of the Abuse team was to add their Mjolnir instance (a moderation tool) to the room to be able to enforce this authoritarian approach. This...

by Wulf at April 23, 2022 10:19 AM

April 15, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

The House in the Cerulean Sea, by T.J. Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune My rating: 5 of 5 stars »We are who we are not because of our birthright, but because of what we choose to do in this life. It cannot be boiled down to black and white. Not when there is so much in between. You cannot say something is moral or immoral without understanding the nuances behind it.”« From a world obviously different from ours (magic and magical beings exist there!) but closely related to ours, in T.J. Klune’s “The House in the Cerulean Sea” we are told a modern fairy tale about an orphanage and its inhabitants. Linus Baker, a caseworker of the “Department in Charge Of Magical Youth” is charged to investigate an orphanage under the wings of Arthur Parnassus who is overseeing the well-being of six especially dangerous orphaned children – one of them being the devil’s child! What Linus discovers, though, is completely different from what he expected… First and foremost this is a book about kindness and love. There isn’t much “action” because this is a book that lives from the loves it exudes: There is the “master” of the house, Arthur, who is much more...

by Wulf at April 15, 2022 12:28 PM

April 12, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Call Us What We Carry, by Amanda Gorman

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman My rating: 5 of 5 stars »I am the daughter of Black writers. I am descended from freedom fighters who broke their chains and changed the world. They call me. I carry them always.«(From “Gratitude”) I’m not sure what to say or write about this collection of Amanda Gorman’s poetry. Any words I could find would still fall short to describe how amazing and emotionally moving, intellectually brilliant, witty and intelligent this is. “This book, like a ship, is meant to be lived in.” Gorman writes and there’s so much life in “Call Us What We Carry“! When I started reading this collection, I thought it would be a quick read but after stumbling onto this “ship” with this misconception, from early on I found myself reading this carefully, slowly, maybe even reverently. Most often not more than one poem at a time. I long thought poetry had ceased being relevant since Shakespeare’s sonnets but Gorman made me change my mind. The only poems I didn’t love as much as the others were the “erasure poems” (with the very notable exception of “DC PUTSCH” which was amazing!). In those poems, Gorman creates...

by Wulf at April 12, 2022 12:28 PM

April 10, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamín Labatut

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut My rating: 1 of 5 stars This is one of the very few books I’m not finishing. Let me explain why: The problem with this one is that Benjamín Labatut introduces the history of an invention to us. Let’s take the first story on “Prussian Blue” as an example: Labatut starts by shortly describing the invention itself and what lead to it. He then proceeds to tell us about the inventor(s) and how they relate to each other and the world. Labatut does this, and that’s my first issue, at break-neck speed. He drops name after name after name and forms connections between them in rarely more than a single sentence. It’s exhausting and not very illuminating. Much worse, though, whenever there’s insufficient historical evidence Labatut chooses the most lurid and raciest possible explanation. For example Fritz Haber’s (Haber played a most prominent role in chemical warfare) wife, Clara Immerwahr, did commit suicide – but the reasons are unclear. Immerwahr’s marriage to Haber was unhappy on many levels and she may or may not have been against World War I – there are conflicting accounts. Labatut, though, decides to paint...

by Wulf at April 10, 2022 10:02 AM

April 07, 2022

Wulf C. Krueger

Worms, by Paul Auster

Worms by Paul Auster My rating: 3 of 5 stars A highly metaphorical short story in which an elderly guy is being kind, is being treated kindly himself, gets hurt nevertheless, falls to his knees but gets up once more to reflect on his past and – my first and only guess – is sinking into dementia while considering how the eponymous worms may taste (when he’s gone to his grave), effectively contemplating death. This is so short, devoid of substantial clues and highly abstract that I lack the patience to analyse it in any detail. I read this because Paul Auster – whom I adore, almost worship – wrote it but even to yours truly this didn’t really appeal. Three out of five stars. Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam View all my reviews

by Wulf at April 07, 2022 04:34 PM