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    1. How do you read books that defy interpretation, logic, semantics or even language itself?

      After loving Waiting for Godot in the theater years ago, I recently tried to read the novel Molloy, by Samuel Beckett, in the Portuguese translation. It was a humbling experience. Most of the time...

      After loving Waiting for Godot in the theater years ago, I recently tried to read the novel Molloy, by Samuel Beckett, in the Portuguese translation. It was a humbling experience. Most of the time I did not know who was talking, where they were talking, to whom they were talking, or what they were trying to talk about. The words were definitely arranged in interesting ways that pleased me at times, but I can't really say if what I was doing could be qualified as reading.

      Half the book doesn't even have paragraphs, it is just one continuous block.

      Maybe that is the point? I don't know. Critics do seem to get a lot more from these than I do, to the point that I ask myself "are they just deluding themselves, creating meaning where there is none just to justify their very existence? Wouldn't a work with little to no meaning render critics useless anyway?".

      I don't know, I'm rambling. I'm looking at Molloy defeated, like one day I looked at Joyce's Ulysses.

      Maybe I should read these books without thinking, like listening to music with lyrics in a language I don't speak (I can kinda do that in a movie, but a movie is only 2 hours...).

      Maybe I'm not worthy.

      6 votes
    2. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      11 votes
    3. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      12 votes
    4. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      12 votes
    5. Quarantine Book Awards

      Since we're coming on 1 year since the global lockdown, I thought I'd hold an awards show for the books that helped get me through it. This can also serve as a recommendation list for anyone...

      Since we're coming on 1 year since the global lockdown, I thought I'd hold an awards show for the books that helped get me through it. This can also serve as a recommendation list for anyone looking for new reads.

      Best Historical Fiction The General of the Dead Army by Ismail Kadare. Tells the story of an Italian general and a priest, both unnamed, sent to Albania sometime in the '60s to retrieve the bodies of soldiers who died there during WWII. A lot of the book deals with uniquely Albanian topics, but "young men dying uselessly in pointless wars" is a damn-near universal theme.
      Best Memoir Lithium Jesus by Charles Monroe-Kane. Primarily chronicles the author's struggle with mental illness, faith, and purpose. Most of it stays in the "look at all these unhealthy coping mechanisms I used to have" territory. Sometimes it veers into " weren't some of those unhealthy coping mechanisms cool as hell?" humblebrag territory.
      Best Non-Fiction Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. The author is journalist for the Washington Post who was in Iraq during the American occupation, and published shortly after he left in 2006. Recounts how America absolutely bungled the rebuilding of Iraq in 2003-2004. Chandrasekaran shows the equal mixture of ignorance, greed, incompetence, and arrogance, all the while without coming across as overly polemic.
      Best Historical Non-Fiction Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction by Martin Gilbert. I anxiety-binged up due to certain global events. Goes almost hour-by-hour from the build-up to until the rebuilding from the events of Kristallnacht across Germany. Most of Gilbert's work is fantastic.
      Best novel I couldn’t finish due to real life circumstances Station Eleven by John Mandel. I tried reading it in May, but the story revolving around societal collapse brought on by a plague hit too close to home. I only managed to get two chapters in. It’s being adapted by HBO and is by all accounts fantastic.
      10 votes
    6. What books do you think every eighteen year old should read?

      My niece turns 18 later this month. I'm getting her a Kindle and loading it up with as many "welcome to adult" books as I can. Not really "self-help" books per se, but more "understanding your...

      My niece turns 18 later this month. I'm getting her a Kindle and loading it up with as many "welcome to adult" books as I can.

      Not really "self-help" books per se, but more "understanding your life and place in the world now that you're finally recognized by society as an adult". Here's the first few books I put on the list for ideas of what I'm going for (all non-fiction so far but I'm open to any fiction that fits the bill):

      I would include Sapiens and Homo Deus on the list but I know she's already read or reading them (after I gifted them to my brother / her dad and he passed them on to her).

      What would you add to the list? What books do you wish someone had given you at this age that would have helped you navigate your early adulthood?

      22 votes
    7. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      10 votes
    8. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      6 votes
    9. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      15 votes
    10. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      8 votes
    11. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      14 votes
    12. What are you reading these days?

      What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

      8 votes
    13. What books are you giving as gifts this year, and why?

      'tis the season for "best of the year" / holiday shopping guides for things like books. I thought it would be interesting to sort of crowdsource Tildes' own list. What books did you buy to give as...

      'tis the season for "best of the year" / holiday shopping guides for things like books.

      I thought it would be interesting to sort of crowdsource Tildes' own list.

      • What books did you buy to give as gifts? (I'm specifically thinking of this holiday season, but anytime recently is fair game)

      • Who did you get the book for?

      • Why did you think they would enjoy the book?

      15 votes