What'cha reading?


#385

Definitely go for it. Dune is a rewarding read, if somewhat challenging. Dune is written in a way that assumes the reader is a part of, or at least familiar with the culture of the characters. For what it’s worth, I read it mostly in two chapter chunks with the Dune wiki handy.


#386

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The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin.
Recommended by the resetera forum, I really enjoyed this short novel. In the distopian future of the late 90’s (was written in the 70’s), a man who’s dreams can rewrite reality is forced to see an ambitious (but well meaning) psychologist who specializes in dreams.

@MrCow no worries on 1Q84, it all leads somewhere, I promise!


#387

I read The Ritual which is what the recent Netflix movie is based on. It was…interesting. I liked it but the last third of the book feels kinda wonky.

I have also started the Stormlight Archive. I burned through book 1 and have started book 2. Really really enjoying a lot of it.


#388

Big? It’s like, 550 pages or something, if I recall correctly? Seems pretty average to me, nicely between the 800-900-page “this is becoming quite a tome” mark and the 200-300 “breezy novel” mark. It reads surprisingly smoothly too for a book that’s very purple prose-y, which makes sense by the way because you’re essentially reading about nobles and weird religious sects. It all weaves together very naturally.

It’s also almost a miracle how Herbert managed to make a world that feels so alien still be so…sensible and plausible, all things considered. It makes perfect sense why that book’s world is the way it is. Your disbelief won’t just be suspended, it’ll soar. That really helped me rush through that book as I never really felt the need to stop and think about it, I was roped to the universe’s logic from the get-go.


#389

550 pages is a pretty daunting task to me! i understand that my reading level is a bit juvenile though, and I have problems with things keeping my attention.


#390

I’ve seen a few people recommend the Stormlight books here. How do they compare to the Mistborn series? I liked those novels, but sometimes felt like they stagnated in the middle third for longer than was really necessary (this was less true in the last one, but still).


#391

You know what I’m not reading? I’m not reading the latest T. Kingfisher book, Wonder Engine, because it’s not up on Smashwords yet and I crave them DRM-free epubs.

aaaaaaaahhhhhh [tinny fan-screaming fades away]


#392

See, I’ve read this kind of criticism against Ishiguro before. But personally, I haven’t been bothered by it. His somewhat plain prose works to sort of enhance the atmosphere in his stories, kind of working as a highlight of his protagonists being very plain themselves, but with undercurrents of deeper feelings. But it’s been a while since I read either this book or ‘Remains of the Day’, his other most famous novel, so I can’t say for sure what I feel of his prose beyond these vague memories. It definitely feels like a style to me, whether it’s intentional or not?

One note is that I’ve read him translated (to Swedish). That might have changed my impression. (I realize that your username suggest that you might have done the same thing, but IDK)


#393

I just finished Octavia Bulter’s Parable of the Sower and I really, really loved it. I want to get started on Parable of the Talents ASAP.

It brought me back to a recent discussion on Idle Weekend Rob and Danielle had about religion in Battlestar Galactica, and how poorly it was handled there and is usually handed in sci-fi even when it’s a major plot device, like in Battlestar.

Now I’m not a religious person, and I wasn’t raised in a religious family, but the book felt like a genuine, well researched, well considered examination of religion in the post-apocalypse. And while I know thats literally the point of the book, and the main character’s ultimate goal is establishing her religion, it was still refreshing to read something that felt genuine with that theme.

The gripes I have with the book are similar to those I have with a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction. Butler does seem to want to tell me constantly how bad everything is all the time, and while I know that’s the intention of the genre, basically, and especially in Butler’s case where she is writing very specifically about gendered and racial violence which I appreciate so, so much, really. It does wear me down quite a bit, though but maybe thats just over-saturation of the genre in recent years. For what it’s worth, I think she handles the setting very well regardless.

Side note: I was happy there were no zombies in it.


#394

I get that that is what he is going for, I just don’t think he pulls it off very well. Or rather, he overdoes it a bit. Like I mentioned above I still enjoy the book a lot. I just think it’s a weird thing for an author that has received so much praise. Ironically, it definitely makes me want to read some of his other stuff, just for comparison.

I actually read it in English. I have this somewhat unreasonable thing for reading texts in their original language, which is why I have a bunch of books in German that I’m currently unable to read.


#395

I really enjoyed that book - the way it fitted everything together and the way it explored imperialism was so smart. Really good stuff.


#396

I have listened to the audiobooks which represent extraordinary value for the Stormlight series, being very long indeed. The Stormlight books are larger in scope and consequently a little more rambling than the Mistborn series. Sanderson’s world-as-puzzlebox is still absolutely in place and he is doing some clever and fun things with it, but there are also some plotlines that have irritated me somewhat and sometimes you wish some of the main characters were less annoying, but that’s probably a fairly narrow criticism of broadly enjoyable books. I can’t see how he can work at this scope and draw things to a conclusion as satisfying as he managed to with the Mistborn books, but then I couldn’t see how he would do that with Mistborn until the last few chapters so I have a lot of faith in his ability to surprise me.


#397

I have just been reading Kate Elliott’s Crossroads books - Spirit Gate, Shadow Gate and just about to start Traitors Gate and feeling like she is just one of the most underrated writers in Fantasy. The worldbuilding ( particularly in terms of culture ) is so good in these novels and she has the art of creating characters that I immediately warm to.

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Also the theme of a world where the rule of law is being corrupted and breaking down feels very now, although the books are a few years old.


#398

I’ve just started Teach Us To Outgrow Our Madness, by Ōe Kenzaburo, specifically the first short novel in it called The Day He Himself Shall Wipe My Tears Away. Very perplexing, fascinating read so far.

teach%20us%20to%20outgrow


#399

So many choices. Thank you. I just ran through the Velvet comic book series by Ed Brubaker. Loved the character but the ending twist was somewhat ridiculous. It’s an espionage story about a female operative tossed off to a desk job. When looking into the death of an agent she uncovers a conspiracy that ends her days as a desk officer. Forced back into the field she pulls the threads of the conspiracy. Well worth reading.

Also, reading the last of the Emperor series of novels by Conn Iggulden. First four are on the rise and fall of Julius Ceaser. The 5th volume is about the struggle of Octavian aka Augustus and his struggle to seize power in the vacuum created by the murder of his uncle. Great writing. Engaging characters. I highly recommend this entire series. If you do read them, don’t view them as presented history correctly. Iggulden changes facts up to make the story more rollicking. I don’t mind but others should be wary.


#400

I just finished the ‘Book of Basketball’ by Bill Simmons. Definitely don’t need to read every chapter, as it’s a massive book. I think he focused on basketball from the 70s and 80s that’s simply too old for me. But there were some nice chapters on MJ and Magic.


#401

The Book of Basketball was a great jumping-off point for my understanding of professional basketball, Simmons has such a great grasp on the personalities of each of the players he covers. From TBOB, I recommend checking out Basketball, and Other Things by Shea Serrano and Wilt Chamberlain’s first autobiography, which are probably the two other most interesting basketball in my experience


#402

I finished The Lie Tree a fair bit faster than I expected to, it started a bit slow but once the main mystery really starts I got pretty hooked on it. I appreciated that the main character was often aware that what she was doing was wrong and was impacted by the damage her lies were causing. Also how it handles feminism was very good.

Started reading NK Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. I was going to read Under The Pendulum Sun next but figured i’d instead read this because i like me some Jemisin books.


#403

Currently I’m reading two books. The first is a series of nonfiction essays written by Scaachi Koul, titled One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter and I’m reading it for a nonfiction seminar. So far it’s good, and I’ve learned that there are Buzzfeed writers that are actually capable of composing a moving, grammatically sound sentence.
Scaachi%20Koul

For my own pleasure, I’m reading Robert W. Chambers series of short stories The King in Yellow, a collection of tales about a play that, if performed, brings eldritch terror and cosmic horror to the theater patrons and actors. Lovecraft’s work holds a special place in my heart, and a friend with similar taste recommended I give this a shot.


#404

picked this up over the weekend, never heard anything but I’m a sucker for anything based in TX (born and raised in small town, Texas) so yeah, HOPE IT’S GOOD.

also when did books-a-million get a decent manga selection? They had more manga than comics at the BAM in my hometown, is this everywhere or is Sherman, Texas just a town full of weebs??