Yeah when I first read Norwegian Wood it quickly became a top 5 of all time book for me. So much so that I wanted to read more of his work, and yeah, they’re all pretty same-ey. I usually approach his work in that it’s kind of a good fallback to get back to if i’m in a reading rut or know I want some Murakami lonely boy, surreal sadness.
Currently reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. Really enjoying it, brutal at times.
I just finished reading Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris. It’s a travelogue of bicycling along the Silk Road (and a few things in between trips), and I’m kind of mixed on it after really, really looking forward to it. Harris is a very good writer and I generally enjoy her perspective. Maybe this would have made a brilliant set of longish essays, but feels a little plodding as a book? For example she has a really wonderful set of passages about how basically disguising themselves as Chinese tourists was the only way to pass through parts of Tibet, but it put Harris and her friend at a tense distance from the Tibetan people they passed. This leads to some really insightful thinking about why she made the trip at all, and how “biking the Silk Road” requires sacrificing some of her dream of “experiencing the Silk Road.” So, I’m glad I read it but have mixed feelings. Would love to hear others’ thoughts if anyone has checked it out.
Just watched this, it was very good!
I recognized the dad’s english VA but it took me a while to realize it was Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Lego Batman), so weird to hear him play a stoic, down to earth character.
The cat from their perspective was a trip, terrifying and cute at the same time, reminded me of Totoro which Im sure was deliberate.
The game Chibi Robo is what I think of…tiny being that has to navigate in a human world…I wonder if the creators were inspired by the book?
RDR2 has me in the western mood so I’ve dived into Cormac McCarthy’s Border trilogy starting with All the Pretty Horses. It’s one of the few westerns I’ve already owned. I’m about 100 pages in and liking it so far. McCarthy’s prose isn’t for everyone, but I’ve always enjoyed his work.
@Sensical hope your kid enjoys it!
@sputnik Huh, didn’t know this about the dad! But I’m pretty bad at recognizing voice actors. That cat scene is pretty good huh? Personally I love the way all the water the borrowers use has a giant meniscus (is that the right term?) because of the surface tension. All the care to the details of the animation like that really make the tiny world feel tiny and not just like another human-scale world hidden in the walls of a house.
I haven’t played Chibi Robo - Guess I should check it out!
I’m currently reading Jonathan Frazen’s The End of the end of the earth. It’s a interesting but rather eclectic collection of essays on conservation.
Can anyone recommend a book to be that similar to a Mass Effect in the sense of a person interacting and getting into relationships with weird aliens? I’m lookin’ for some low-stakes alien fuckyness here.
All the alien romance I know of usually revolves around a dude and a green woman, and that dude is the savior of all mankind or whatever… I’m looking for regular ass people falling for giant grasshoppers and shit.
Perdido Street Station opens with our protagonist getting it on with his bug gf and it’s hot quite frankly. That book’s not really about human on bug action, but it a) has human on bug action and b) is super good.
Looks like the plot revolves around human and bird stuff, which is good too.
I just finished reading Huntress by Malinda Lo and it was mostly really good. The main plot is enjoyable enough and the characters are all great. The highlight of it for me was the budding relationship between Taisin and Kaede. Also it’s just refreshing to read a fantasy novel that in an Asian-themed world as opposed to the more traditional European medieval setting. The one problem I have with it though is that in the end Kaede and Taisin end up having to separate and I feel like it’s all just sort of a shrug and a “well it just has to be like this”. I would’ve like there to be at least some discussion about hey what if Taisin doesn’t go become a Sage. or something like that. It probably doesn’t help that the straight couple gets reunited and it’s suggested that they get to live happily ever after.
I’m currently reading the Looting Machine, it is about the manipulation of Africa’s natural resources. It mostly focused on the Queensway Group, and how manipulation of shadow states impacts developing nations.
Though I would like a follow up to it with how things have changed.
kicking off the year with a second read of Gravity’s Rainbow (having read it about seven years ago, I should add; I’m not reading it twice in a row - that would be beyond the pale)
I just finished Ballad of Black Tom:
I’ve been slogging my way through some old Lovecraft, and I just finished Reanimator, which is… EXTREMELY racist. I had heard good things about this book, and found it a great contrast against some of HPL’s bullshit. I had read they’re going to make an AMC show out of this, which makes me curious how they’re going to do multiple seasons, seeing as how the novella is so short. Perhaps they make it part of The Terror series?
I just stared The Stand:
This is my first Stephen King book, and it’s a dozy. It already feels dated, but there’s craft in his writing for sure. I was laughing at the number of prefaces he had, explaining why the book exists, and then why the uncut book exists, and then finally why the book was cut in the first place… And then he put a bunch of song lyrics together. I flipped through one of his other books, and that seems to be a recurring theme.
Also picked this up:
Looking forward to burning my whole house down.
I just finished reading The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
I really enjoyed it! Really good writing and characters, and it had a really interesting Russian setting and use of Russian folklore. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.
I think I’ve seen a few people in this thread mention Uprooted by Naomi Novik, and I think there’s a good chance if you liked that you would like this book too!
This might be a bit OT, but considering Waypoint’s radical leanings, I hope this isn’t an inappropriate tangent, but I digress:
Marie Kondo’s been bothering me for a few years now. As someone from a recent immigrant background, who also grew up on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum, most of my things (clothes, books, toys, etc.) were either hand-me-downs or thrift store purchases. Whether something ‘sparked joy’ in me was irrelevant. Being temporarily distracted from awareness of inequality and poverty was enough. As an adult who is more financially stable, I find comfort in things–they don’t need to be nice for me to find my comfort. Since Kondo has risen in profile, there’s this very privileged assumption that’s risen in tandem, that we need fewer things, that our personal belongings somehow weigh us down, which is just not accurate for me, my family, and other folks I know from similar backgrounds. It might work for some people, but I somehow doubt that Kondo has much of a following below the poverty line. In the meantime, you can find me a Goodwill, looking for new (old) books and kitchen furnishings.
Anyhow, back on topic, I am in the middle of the newest Gary Shteyngart novel, Lake Success, which despite the tacky cover art and shaky first chapter is hitting in all the places that matter.
I loved Uprooted and read this shortly after and did also enjoy it a lot, but nowhere near as much as Uprooted. I have the sequel on my to-read pile just now too.
If you like those books, Catherynne M. Valente’s book “Deathless” is another good use of Russian folklore.
That’s a fair critique. Perhaps Kondo operates under the assumption that Americans have more middle-class standing, like in Japan, where there’s a better distribution of wealth than we have here. From her new show, it seems like she’s still becoming accustomed to the United States.
Have you watched her new show at all on Netflix? There’s a couple with two kids who are trying to squeeze into a two-bedroom apartment, and she takes on the task of helping them reorganize their belongings. I’ve lived in apartments all my adult life, mainly. Never feel like I’m going to be able to afford a home, so it was nice to see her address my living situation specifically.
As for me personally, my rationale is that if I don’t find use out of this piece of clothing, then perhaps someone else can find use out of it over me. A couple gives away a bunch of their clothes to ‘Out of the Closet’ in one episode, which is a LGBT thrift store that also helps people with healthcare. I think I may do the same for my local ‘Out of the Closet.’ I feel like perhaps my clothes at least could go to someone who needs it more.
I’ve purposely avoided the series, perhaps to my own detriment, since I’m something of a packrat.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to respect the expertise of someone whose minimalist ideology lead them to believe that the proper way to winnow down a book collection is to tear a random page out, so as to render it unusable for yourself (or anyone else), and then to toss the book into the literal trash. As a former library employee, I know that one cannot afford to be overly sentimental towards books, especially when a large collection is being weeded to make room for more books, and yet, you could donate unwanted books, or sell them to a used bookshop. To be fair to both Marie Kondo and the MariKon method, she no longer espouses this particular advice, and yet, the certainty of her ideology is, if not frightening, then at least distasteful and ill-considered. I cannot fathom following the advice of a person who even briefly convinced people to throw away unwanted items, rather than resell, repurpose, recycle, or simply just donate. It takes only a little consideration beyond oneself to realize that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Glad the show focuses on donation, especially to Out the Closet (which I recall from older seasons of Drag Race). But still, much like with Ben Esposito, I can only commend so much the realization and course correction of one’s former follies.
Wow, I haven’t started the book yet, but that sounds like a terrible waste. Yeah, any books I have that I want to give away are being sold or donated. I don’t plan to follow every tenant of her ideology, but yeah… Jeez…
But yes, in the show, I think her ideology has shifted towards donating.
I like the process of thanking and seeing what items bring joy, though. I feel like that process has a simple elegance towards it. For me, a lot of my clothes I don’t wear are gifts by family or friends that I no longer wear, or that I never felt truly comfortable with. I felt bad about getting rid of them, because the rationale jumps towards, “This is a gift. It should be treasured.” In reality though, a LOT of clothing I own are gifts. So, saying thank you breaks that hesitation a bit for me, and it makes the separation easier.
I think with a lot of self-care books, it’s important to realize what does or does not clash with your personal values. You may find 1/10 useful abilities to apply to your life in a book, and despite not liking 9/10 of them, was the 1 worth it? Maybe, maybe not… What one person finds helpful may negate someone else’s experience.
I plan to read the book, but like a lot of media I ingest, I do plan to stay skeptical. What works for Kondo may not work for me.
For example, I never fold clothing. I hang it all up, so her techniques on folding have no real value to me. I’m curious to see how the book stacks against the show, and if perhaps the recent editions may have edited that book tearing element out.