What'cha reading?


Right now I’m reading this apparently very popular modern classic:

I’ve heard Matthew Colville call it his favourite book for starters, and some love for it here as well but… I don’t get it much. I’m around 200 pages in and, well, it’s not that I’m turned off but I still have no idea where this book is going and I have 800 pages to go and the new Expanse novel is looking at me hungrily. It’s not like i dislike it, the characters are interesting and the English translation has…functional prose, but yeah I don’t know where this story is going.

So can anyone, without giving any spoilers, reassure me to keep going with this book? Why this is regarded as so fantastic? That this book actually goes somewhere? Because I don’t want to give up on my sixth book in like two/three months.


Usula K. Le Guin’s death has prompted me to reread The Dispossessed - no book has ever had a great impact on my world view. Reading that book when I was 16 or so was extremely informing of my politics and really reshaped the way I look at work and happiness. I love how well it contrasts Old Shevek chapters and Young Shevek chapters, and how you really get a sense of how worn down he is in the later chapters. I’d forgotten about the rape scene though… That’s a weird one to unpack.

I’d forgotten how hilariously awful the cover to my copy is though - has no relation to anything I can think of in the book, just generic sci-fi artwork



So I just finished Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari which was an absolutely fascinating look into where we are headed as a species, as a society and a planet. So to continue on the non fiction path I picked up and started Dan Ryckerts The Dumbest Kid in Gifted Class.


Just digging into Robin Hobb with the Assassin’s Apprentice. Took a bit to click with me but around page 200 I’m well-hooked. The release of the film Annihilation saw me do some interweb-digging into Vandermeer’s work and thereby finding my way into “New Weird” (which I had no idea Alastair Reynolds was considered to be a part of…his Revelation Space is fantastic), so I have a feeling I’m about to go down that rabbit hole soon even though I still need to finish Richard Morgan’s fantasy trilogy…not to mention The Expanse novels and Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem series. As with video games, I always have way too much I want to tackle.


Alastair Reynolds does not consider himself part of the new weird
Back in the 2003 there was a long running discussion/argument on a forum (covered in this article) between authors over the meaning and marketing of the new weird where he said he did not think that applied to him. Also led to some people viewing the Vandeermeers with a bit of stink eye with their attempt to define the new weird with the anthology they did.


I’m currently splitting my time between Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts and All the Pieces Matter by Jonathan Abrams.


I love 1Q84 (read it all on a 3 day trip to Canada). In my opinion it’s the best of Murakami’s novels, and maybe the only one you need to read since they’re all so similar.

The expansion and building out of the plot is great, the development is beautiful… but if you’re not feeling it, then I wouldn’t try to force reading it. There are gonna be some longish painful parts for you, I suspect. It doesn’t move fast, and is more a slow - tension affair.

Also, just as an aside: Murakami has a lot of control over his translations, and developed his style from reading English new Yorker/ Chandler/ Carver stories. In a strange way, he writes his books to be translated into English. (Lit hub had a whole thing on this). What I’m trying to get at is if you’re not into the prose, you’re probably just not into him.



I bought this book because Ta-Nehisi Coates named his Black Panther comic run after this book. It has been really great so far. It has really gone deep into the parts of the Civil War and Reconstruction from a slavery and then freedpeople perspective that are often breezed through in most history books. A lot of the overlooked parts are way more consequential for America, and it is interesting that a lot of this history isn’t more well known.


I’ve been reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, and I don’t know if it’s just this book but his prose is really bad? I don’t think I’ve ever read something that’s so monotonous and repetitive, and I’ve read some dull books. It’s the first book of his that I’ve read so maybe the rest of his works are better, but I would love to hear what other people think about him.


I finished reading City of Stairs

I looooved this book. It was so much fun from start to finish with such a unique and brilliant world which was so amazingly built up. I’ve heard the quality dips a bit in the sequels but I’m definitely going to pick them up regardless.

Started reading The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge because someone mentioned it in the reading thread over on Resetera and it sounded like my kinda thing. Really enjoying it so far but i’m only 10% in so it’s still a lot of setup. That setup is pretty goddamn great though.


Oh it’s not like I’m disliking any of it, I just want to ask; is it all going somewhere? I mean I don’t mind meandering, hell I love it; Barry Lyndon and The Last Emperor Of China are two of my favourite movies and they’re the very definition of meandering. But especially in books, because they take long to read for me, I want my meandering to go somewhere. It’s funny though that I mentioned being a little doubtful of 1Q84 around the 200-page mark because right after that the second moon shows up for Aomame and she meets that 10-year old girl who also mentions the Little People and the book is starting to drop hints that Tengu is the boy Aomame used to love, and that Aomame and Tengu are also connected to that religious commune. So there’s plot threads that I’m like “Oh, oh my, I want to follow this” about right now but just still wondering whether all of that actually goes somewhere, whether it’ll culminate in something.


All I can say about it is that the movie based on it was absolutely fantastic in my opinion. I haven’t read the book, but if that’s not your thing you might like the movie a lot better.


I actually like the book quite a bit. The plot is intriguing and some of the tricks he uses are quite clever. I just think his writing is not really up to par. Definitely plan on watching the movie though.


Agree that City of Stairs is really fantastic. I have the sequel on the shelf and really need to get to it.


been recommended enough and finally made it into denton this weekend so I could pick up a trade, decent so far, love the art.

this is my first post btw. Howdy, I’m Tim, nice to meet you, How’re all of y’all? GREAT I hope!!



read the first chapter whenever it debuted and was enthralled, haven’t touched this yet but def looking forward to read it soon!!



I’m finally going to read this thing in the near future! I get so intimidated by big books tho cause I have an awful attention span, so all of the motivation i can get is very welcome!!!?


“The Buried Giant” by him is one of my favorites. Beautiful prose and a surprising story with a lot of thematic flavor. That said, I have a friend who thought it was mostly boring.
I’ve also read “Artist of the Floating World” by him, and I mostly dislike that. It’s a not great attempt at writing a post-war Japan novel. As someone who loves that era of Japanese lit, the book felt fake.


Interesting. I will definitely keep that in mind if I decide to read more of his books!


Sorry for not being more helpful. Yes, they absolutely do all go somewhere. A few things are left mysterious, of course, but all the threads have one conclusion or another and I thought they fed into one another in a satisfying way