16 votes

What are you reading these days? #21

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

Notes: I am aiming to make a list of all the books mentioned in toplevel comments in these threads, see this wiki page. If you want to help with that, that'd really be appreciated, PM me please.

Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13 · Week #14 · Week #15 · Week #16 · Week #17 · Week #18 · Week #19 · Week #20

34 comments

  1. [4]
    Whom (edited ) Link
    I swear I replied to one of these recently, but I can't seem to find any evidence of that being the case. Let's just dump some recent reads because I can never keep track of these and it's 5:30am...

    I swear I replied to one of these recently, but I can't seem to find any evidence of that being the case. Let's just dump some recent reads because I can never keep track of these and it's 5:30am and I'm laying in bed on mobile and haven't slept yet. Gonna do out-of-class ones only since I did a lot of in-class stuff (mostly African lit) that I really enjoyed but don't want to get into now.

    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    It's alright. It feels much more modern than it is because it leans so hard into trying to be immensely quotable and that's how it succeeds in its best moments and how it fails in the worst ones.

    (The next few are copied from a Twitter and now Mastodon thread where I write little bits on each thing I read...so I apologize if the tone is mismatched)

    Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

    Wanted to like this but between its aggressive straightness and clumsy preachiness I just can't get with it. The act of reading it was nice when it wasn't being gross and the side characters are solid but it just annoys the shit out of me.

    The Body Artist by Don DeLillo

    It's fine. Whatever. I enjoy that it's equal parts distant and stream-of-consciousness, but whatever it's bringing up about language and time is just a big yawn for me. Whatever dude, nice prose tho...I'm just not often won over by form alone.

    Already find myself forgetting that I read this.

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

    Of course I love it. It held no surprises for me because existing on the internet and playing around with the IF version will do that, but it doesn't need surprises to be a good time. Fun in such an effortless way.

    I had a period where I kinda distanced myself from this kind of...quirky quote-bait, I guess you could call it, but I've learned to let myself indulge in the fun again and it's been great.

    I'm currently reading The Last Man by Mary Shelley. Frankenstein is probably my favorite book, but this has none of the immediacy and focus of that book. 200 out of 500 pages in it feels like an ending is near...but it sure isn't.

    I've never seen anything that goes so far out of its way to sell you on characters before anything happens.

    I keep forgetting this is set in the future, but that's to be expected with future fiction written so long ago. I wonder if it was mostly a choice to conceal any political commentary or what. I know generally where it goes but it's still a bit of a puzzle to me why it gets there the way that it does. Still, Mary Shelley is still clearly a master at what she does.

    Oh, and I made a lil chart of some of my favorite books! My taste is shifting and this is more...basic than I'm satisfied with right now but if I'm honest it's something like this. Hitchhiker's Guide might replace some other one now.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      cadadr Link Parent
      Would you mind at least hinting at this a bit? I am interested in broadening my horizons in those directions, tho there are language barriers. So far the only book I've read by an African author...

      mostly African lit

      Would you mind at least hinting at this a bit? I am interested in broadening my horizons in those directions, tho there are language barriers. So far the only book I've read by an African author was Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee, which was really beautiful.

      1 vote
      1. Whom Link Parent
        Without trying to sell you on them, A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and especially God's Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane impressed me the most. Both of these are forward-thinking and...

        Without trying to sell you on them, A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o and especially God's Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane impressed me the most. Both of these are forward-thinking and seriously impressive works. God's Bits of Wood in particular is powerful. Both very explicitly political, fyi.

        Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi is also something I would recommend but...to anyone who sees this, I'd put a massive trigger warning on it. It's a very heavy and very painful read.

      2. Whom Link Parent
        Oh, I forgot to mention this but reading or at least knowing enough about Things Fall Apart is a great help with everything that came later. Due to the global attention that got, many African...

        Oh, I forgot to mention this but reading or at least knowing enough about Things Fall Apart is a great help with everything that came later. Due to the global attention that got, many African writers are in dialogue with Achebe in some way.

  2. [2]
    hamstergeddon Link
    Note: I'm not usually into self-help books and there's a lot of controversy surrounding the book (half of which seems to be puritans clutching their buckled shoes over use of "the F word"), but...

    Note: I'm not usually into self-help books and there's a lot of controversy surrounding the book (half of which seems to be puritans clutching their buckled shoes over use of "the F word"), but I'm finding it helpful for my anxiety/depression.

    Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. I have really bad anxiety and depression and while looking into Stoicism, I came across the book. I was skeptical at first, because I wrongly assumed it was going to be a book about literally never giving a fuck about anything. Or ignoring your problems or something else along those lines. But it's not really like that. I'm only halfway through it so far, but I've found it to be rather helpful. The point of the book so far has been that you need to figure out what is and isn't worth giving a fuck about in your life.

    The most recent chapter I read is about Dave Mustaine, who was kicked out of a band early in his career. He took that "failure" and used it to drive himself to create a new band with the goal of proving his old band wrong by being more successful. If you're familiar with metal you know that band he started was Megadeth, one of the biggest and most influential metal bands of the 80s. As for the other band? Well that was Metallica, so even a few years back he still viewed getting kicked out of the band as a failure and he still took it really personally. Here's this amazing musician with decades of influential legacy behind him, and he's still beating himself up over what he perceives to be a failure when he was a kid.

    I could really relate to that because I've been struggling with imposter syndrome a lot lately at work. I've got close to 15 years of professional programming experience and I still beat myself up over failures in my past, not knowing everything there is to know, not living up to my idea of an amazing programmer. But the book says you need to examine and explore those anxieties. Which I've only just started to do, but I'm hopeful that the book will continue to help me in process.

    The book emphasizes that these struggles are good for motivating us to be better, but they can easily become a negative thing if we beat ourselves up over them way after the fact.

    3 votes
    1. muh_tilde Link Parent
      This sounds pretty right on. Most people say failure is a necessary step toward success, but dwelling on failure can be very discouraging. I think part of the problem a lot of people have is being...

      This sounds pretty right on. Most people say failure is a necessary step toward success, but dwelling on failure can be very discouraging. I think part of the problem a lot of people have is being way harder on themselves then they are on others. I feel this way sometimes. Someone else makes a mistake and it's not a big deal, I make one and I'm thinking about years later. I'm trying to learn to take it easy on myself and not worry too much but it's much easier said than done.

      2 votes
  3. [3]
    mat Link
    I've been, very slowly, reading The Eternal Flame by Greg Egan. It is, even by his standards, extremely dry. I have not been enjoying it very much but I've stuck with it because I want to know how...

    I've been, very slowly, reading The Eternal Flame by Greg Egan. It is, even by his standards, extremely dry. I have not been enjoying it very much but I've stuck with it because I want to know how the story resolves.

    However, last night I found out that Neal Asher has a new book out so I've started that instead. It's already more enjoyable. Asher is very rarely disappointing.

    I do like Greg Egan's ideas but he can be a little overly technical. That sentence is my entry for the 2019 understatement of the year competition.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      Ephemere Link Parent
      Do you have a favorite Egan novel you'd like to suggest? I think I've only read Permutation City and Quarantine by him, both of which I very much enjoyed. I then tried Zendegi and crashed pretty...

      Do you have a favorite Egan novel you'd like to suggest? I think I've only read Permutation City and Quarantine by him, both of which I very much enjoyed. I then tried Zendegi and crashed pretty hard on the opening few chapters.

      1. mat Link Parent
        Diaspora is by far my favourite. I like Schild's Ladder too although I get lost in some of the physics (as usual with Egan) but definitely check out Diaspora.

        Diaspora is by far my favourite. I like Schild's Ladder too although I get lost in some of the physics (as usual with Egan) but definitely check out Diaspora.

        2 votes
  4. Ephemere Link
    I've been trying to spend less time on the internet (ironic!) so I've been reading Catch-22. I think I'm feeling less praise for it than other writers have. It is funny, and I get the meta point...

    I've been trying to spend less time on the internet (ironic!) so I've been reading Catch-22. I think I'm feeling less praise for it than other writers have. It is funny, and I get the meta point it's trying to say with the confused and repetitious narrative, but it is pretty repetitious. I don't know if I've really enjoyed reading it, though I do have a bunch of pithy highlights to show for it.

    2 votes
  5. cadadr Link
    I've very recently read a book on the history of my home town in Istanbul, /Sarıyer ve Büyükdere/ by Tansu Bele. It was mostly her memories from '40s to '60s, which was beautiful, but also, there...

    I've very recently read a book on the history of my home town in Istanbul, /Sarıyer ve Büyükdere/ by Tansu Bele. It was mostly her memories from '40s to '60s, which was beautiful, but also, there were some historical facts and stories included there. The most interesting being that Sarıyer was way older a settlement than I'd ever guess: I thought it's history was a couple centuries at most, but it apparently has seen settlement by Ancient Greeks, and ever since. The seaside features a structure that has recently replaced a Byzantine one, which is sad. Apart from that, most historical artifacts are from Ottoman times. The mosque seems to be from the XVII century, and a few public fountains remain from those times. I have gotten a few names that can help research—if I ever want to—this stuff in both ancient Greek and Ottoman sources. Anyhow, it looks like it was a happy place up until the 50s-80s era, the decades that fucked up so many things in Turkey... It's still beautiful, but the cosmopolitan, complex nature of the people is nowhere to be found.

    The next books I want to read are a couple theatre plays: Ափամնաբոյժն Արեւելեան / Şark Dişçisi / "Oriental Dentist" of Hagop Baronyan, translated to Turkish from Armenian by Boğos Çalgıcıoğlu; and a collection of plays by Melih Cevdet Anday titled descriptively Toplu Oyunları I "His Plays vol. I". The former is an Armenian satire, comedian, scenarist and author from the second half of the 19th century Istanbul. The latter a poet and a playwright from 20th century Turkey. I’ve been to a performance of one of Anday’s plays, and was great. This books includes that performance. I’ve read one book from Baronyan in the past, "A tour of the neighbourhoods of Istanbul", which talks about how the neighbourhoods were in a satirical, at times deriding manner. Was great fun to read, and really informative also.

    1 vote
  6. [2]
    Josef_K Link
    Moby Dick. Pretty boring honestly.

    Moby Dick. Pretty boring honestly.

    1 vote
    1. DonQuixote Link Parent
      If you get past the old language, you come to the realization that he's a whaling fanboy. I found that enough to hold my interest. Nowadays I'd imagine it's all politically incorrect and immoral,...

      If you get past the old language, you come to the realization that he's a whaling fanboy. I found that enough to hold my interest. Nowadays I'd imagine it's all politically incorrect and immoral, with what we know about mammals.

      1 vote
  7. muh_tilde Link
    I just read On Writing by Stephen King. I really liked it. He provides a lot of insight to his life, and his process. I want to try my hand at writing so I've been reading some books about writing...

    I just read On Writing by Stephen King. I really liked it. He provides a lot of insight to his life, and his process. I want to try my hand at writing so I've been reading some books about writing (Elements of Style, The Craft of Fiction). This one I found to be really illuminating even though I think I disagree with his general idea about how a story is formed (which is probably not good to diverge from one of the most prolific and best selling authors). King seems to believe he is discovering a story rather than crafting it. He gets an idea for a situation and just goes (uncovering a fossil is a metaphor he uses), where as I would like to outline the whole story before I really begin writing scenes. He is carefully uncovering something that already exists, where as I'm building a lego set from a set of instructions. The most concerning thing to me is that one of his main points is that to be good, you need to read a lot and write a lot (go figure). I've read a good amount, but never written much. He started when he was 13. Ugh. But he also said fear is the main thing keeping people from writing so I can't let that hold me back!

    1 vote
  8. DonQuixote Link
    Started The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The format reminds me a little of Gone Girl, but with philosophy as the driver instead of suspense. Early on, Tomas finds out that the girl he's fallen...

    Started The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The format reminds me a little of Gone Girl, but with philosophy as the driver instead of suspense. Early on, Tomas finds out that the girl he's fallen for, Teresa, happened on him by chance and coincidence, and this frustrates him. 'She could have just as easily been living with my best friend right now. I thought I was special but I'm just a series of coincidences.'

    Then we get into Teresa's mind and find out she sees it in a completely different way. A Venus/Mars romance built around Nietzsche and Beethoven.

    1 vote
  9. [3]
    eve Link
    I've been reading Circe by Madeline Miller! As a long time lover of Greek mythos and books derived from it, this is an absolute treat so far. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through and got the book I...

    I've been reading Circe by Madeline Miller! As a long time lover of Greek mythos and books derived from it, this is an absolute treat so far. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through and got the book I think around Tuesday or Monday. I had a hold on it for 12 weeks so it was a very exciting moment. I havr to hurry up and finish it tho, another hold came in faster than I expected for the Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      45930 Link Parent
      Might go without saying but checkout "Song of Achilles" as well. I liked it even better.

      Might go without saying but checkout "Song of Achilles" as well. I liked it even better.

      1 vote
      1. eve Link Parent
        I just finished Circe and that's definitely on my list of books to read! A friend recommended it as well so I probably will check it out, thank you!

        I just finished Circe and that's definitely on my list of books to read! A friend recommended it as well so I probably will check it out, thank you!

  10. [3]
    45930 Link
    Reading The Grapes of Wrath currently. I've been dabbling in Steinbeck for the past year but I decided it's time to read the "big" one. Goddamn am I enjoying it. It's shocking how well Steinbeck...

    Reading The Grapes of Wrath currently. I've been dabbling in Steinbeck for the past year but I decided it's time to read the "big" one. Goddamn am I enjoying it. It's shocking how well Steinbeck is able to write about humans. I wouldn't necessarily call it a "page turner" in the way that a lot of the Fantasy I read is, but he's not falling back on contrived plots and magical worlds to hold interest. He's not heavy handed in explicitly describing characters' thoughts, yet he somehow manages to convey all of the tension and desired and humanity of each character.

    Also recently read Oedipus the King, and plan to read the rest of the Theban plays soon. This is a continuation of a project of mine to work my way through a skeleton of western Canon. So far I've read Homer and Herodotus. After Sophocles, I am thinking Aesyclus or Plato, depending on my mood. I thought Oedipus was fine. I feel like it was pretty obvious where it was going, even without the modern connotation of the titular character's name. I think it's incredible that I can read such an ancient work, and I appreciate it for what it is. But it's not like it made me want to swear off books written after Christ.

    Before those 2 I read Bad Blood: The... Theranos book. I enjoyed it. I guess there's not much to say about it since the story has been covered to death in all mediums. I basically didn't follow the story at all before reading the book because I knew it was on my list. I recommend that approach if it's still possible. And before that I read The Wayward Bus, another Steinbeck. Compared to like goodreads consensus and what I've read on the internet as far as reviews, this is the Steinbeck that I have the most differential view on I guess. I thought it was an absolute gem. For me it was the best of Steinbeck in a smaller package. It was all the incisive on America and the stories of different kinds of people that represent Americans in different social classes, without as much in the ways of setting up that his great novels have. You could read all of The Wayward Bus before East of Eden really starts its main story.

    That's the past couple months for me. I don't always read so much, but I've been enjoying having the time and interest in it lately.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      cadadr Link Parent
      Don't skip Hesiodos, he's nowhere near famous as Homer, but his work is just as ancient and interesting. Theogonia is the genealogy of gods, and Works and Days is a guide for everyday and year...

      Don't skip Hesiodos, he's nowhere near famous as Homer, but his work is just as ancient and interesting. Theogonia is the genealogy of gods, and Works and Days is a guide for everyday and year round routine tasks, among other things, including where not to pee.

      I'd also suggest Diogenes Laerteos' work, a collection of summaries of the lives and works of Greek philosophers, from Presocratics to Epicurus. Laerteos himself lived in 3rd century AD, IIRC, and he himself was an epicurean.

      1 vote
      1. 45930 Link Parent
        Thanks for the recommendations!

        Thanks for the recommendations!

  11. mystickphoenix Link
    Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari I'm reading this off and on while working my way through other books. It's definitely a bit heavier than I expected but very interesting. I've heard that it's not the...

    Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari

    I'm reading this off and on while working my way through other books. It's definitely a bit heavier than I expected but very interesting. I've heard that it's not the most accurate book in terms of history, but it's close enough for my taste. I'm only a little way into it but so far, so good.

    Every Tool's a Hammer - Adam Savage

    Finished the dead-tree version and am now listening to the audiobook (read by Adam). As a lifelong maker (software engineer by trade, most hobbies include building things, etc) that didn't think he was a maker, it's been an interesting exploration of my own journey to making things as well as a lot of interesting tools, tips etc. It's also given me a nice kick in the ass to get my workshop/makerspace put together. Taking a short break from doing that at the moment actually before I run to the hardware store for melamine and pegboard.

    Carbon 2185 Official Playtest - Robert Marriner-Dodds (Dragon Turtle Games)

    Backed the kickstarter for this tabletop RPG and I'm really digging the setting and the ruleset (based on D&D 5e/open game license). It's definitely a playtest/alpha product at the moment, but I had a great session the other weekend playing with my gaming group and everyone at the table, including myself, was hungry for more! For anyone that's played in the cyberpunk genra, there's generally 2 options, Cyberpunk 2020 and Shadowrun. Cyberpunk 2020 is much too dark for my taste and Shadowrun's rules are... complex. Carbon 2185 so far seems to have hit a good balance between the two. Darkness is more dependent on the gaming group rather than the setting and the rules are only slightly different than D&D 5e which, IMO, makes them much easier to grasp.

    1 vote
  12. [8]
    iiv (edited ) Link
    I'm a bit late to this thread, I've been busy, but I'll write something at least: The Ingenious Gentleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha («Don Quixote») by Miguel Cervantes (Translated by awardwinning...

    I'm a bit late to this thread, I've been busy, but I'll write something at least:

    • The Ingenious Gentleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha («Don Quixote») by Miguel Cervantes (Translated by awardwinning Jens Nordenhök. He makes the prose flow and the poetry rhyme. Thanks to him the book could have been written in Swedish in the first place). It's about the deluded Don Quixote who a few hundred years too late is convinced of being a knight (And about his servant, the gullible Sancho Panza). Of course, everyone know of the windmills, but I can recommend reading it for yourself. The feeling of actually understanding cultural references is satisfying, it makes them more relatable. It's a long book (I'm about a fifth through), and it can be quite slow, but I think I will stick with it. Don Quixote is such a huge influence on European writing, and I feel like knowing it first-hand is nice. Finally, I love Borges' Pierre Menard Author of the Quixote, it might be my favourite story. (If you haven't read it, do it now. It's short and available online)

    • Se una notte d'inverno un viaggiatore («Om en vinternatt en resande» or «If on a winter's night a traveler» (I think it's important to have all the different titles here, since as far as I know they aren't the exact same. I don't know Italian, but the Swedish and English titles don't mean the same thing. (I think the Italian and Swedish titles are more similar (Nested brackets rule)))). I'm not quite finished yet (after I've written this I'll go and read some more), but it's excellent, probably one of the best books I've ever read. At the same time as I want to read the conclusion, I also want more. If the book was infinitely long I wouldn't mind. It's incredible.

    Oh, and @DonQuixote, I assume you like Don Quixote. What do you think the best thing about it is?

    1 vote
    1. [5]
      cadadr Link Parent
      I think the English title for Se una notte d'inverno is fairly faithful. It's quite faithful in Turkish too, and it is interesting that that's the case for multiple languages: sometimes...

      I think the English title for Se una notte d'inverno is fairly faithful. It's quite faithful in Turkish too, and it is interesting that that's the case for multiple languages: sometimes translations have titles so reinvented they don't have anything to do with the original.

      Calvino is a magician. I've watched interviews of him I could find on YouTube, when he talks, words stories ideas information bursts out of the guy. As if he was born to tell stories and born to invent the most miraculous of alegories. I'd totally read his shopping lists.

      You're in for a great conclusion with Se una notte d'inverno. Classic Calvino. This is one of my favourite novel(la?)s ever.

      1 vote
      1. [4]
        iiv (edited ) Link Parent
        Now I've finished the book. Regarding the title, as far as my little Italian goes, the difference between the English and Italian titles are "If on" and just "Se" (which means "If"). I'm curious...

        Now I've finished the book.

        Regarding the title, as far as my little Italian goes, the difference between the English and Italian titles are "If on" and just "Se" (which means "If"). I'm curious how that was motivated, and I'd like to hear your opinion on it.

        Regarding the novel, it was fantastic. Calvino manages to tie everything up perfectly. I'm in awe of how great he is. There are many people I'd say are good writers. There are very few people I'd like to write like. He's one of them.

        Edit: An important reason for the titles' similarity (and maybe even the reason for their small difference) must be for the penultimate chapter's "misunderstanding" where one reader reads the titles of all beginnings You have read in order.

        1. [3]
          cadadr Link Parent
          The meaning is identical, in that context una notte d'inverno (lit. "a night of winter") has an implied locative sense in the sentence, which cannot be communicated without the preposition in...

          The meaning is identical, in that context una notte d'inverno (lit. "a night of winter") has an implied locative sense in the sentence, which cannot be communicated without the preposition in English (and would sound odd in Italian, IMO). There are places where it maps one to one, tho: "Last week I watched a movie" = "La scorsa settimana ho visto un film" or "if you'll come tonight..." = "se vieni stanotte....".

          FWIW Calvino was part of the Oulipo group of writers, at least for a while, and if my memory is not failing me this text was written with inspiration from the groups ideas. Another famous writer from Oulipo is George Perec, whose most famous work is a novel where the letter e is not used: La disparition.

          The one thing that I really want to read is Calvino's Le città invisibili. It is similarly excellent in its uniqueness, but I am yet to get my hands on an Italian copy of the thing.

          I'd say Marcovaldo wouldn't disappoint either. It contains stories which are more like modern parables, creating great stories from the most mundane of settings and most mundane of characters.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            iiv Link Parent
            Thanks for your Italian translations. Then it seems like all, Swedish, English and Italian, titles are practically the same. I read about Oulipo when I was interested in 'pataphysics, and I think...

            Thanks for your Italian translations. Then it seems like all, Swedish, English and Italian, titles are practically the same.

            I read about Oulipo when I was interested in 'pataphysics, and I think I've a few texts (but no novels) by members of Oulipo. La disparation is an interesting idea, but personally I don't think it's that exciting, especially since I can't read the French original. (I must force myself to learn French soon, there's so much good literature in French.)

            Later today I am going to the library. I'm pretty sure they have Le città invisibili, I will have to look if they also have Marcovaldo. On the other hand, I almost feel bad if I read too much from the same author. (There is so much to read, and I suffer from fear-of-missing-out in regard to books.)

            1 vote
            1. cadadr Link Parent
              That's a feeling I share. But for me some authors are exceptions (Saramago, Gonçalo M. Tavares, Pessoa, Calvino, Pavese, Buzzati, Pamuk, Faruk Duman; I've also read the entire corpus Platonicum...

              I almost feel bad if I read too much from the same author. (There is so much to read, and I suffer from fear-of-missing-out in regard to books.)

              That's a feeling I share. But for me some authors are exceptions (Saramago, Gonçalo M. Tavares, Pessoa, Calvino, Pavese, Buzzati, Pamuk, Faruk Duman; I've also read the entire corpus Platonicum minus three books).

    2. [2]
      DonQuixote Link Parent
      The novel works on an incredible number of levels: the references to chivalrous literature, the rather farcical and stage-like quality of Quixote and Panza's interminable back and forth, the...

      The novel works on an incredible number of levels: the references to chivalrous literature, the rather farcical and stage-like quality of Quixote and Panza's interminable back and forth, the stories within stories, the satire, the obvious relation to dementia, so common today, the self reference, especially in Part II, even the drama. Keep reading. It's worth it.

      1. iiv Link Parent
        Thank you for your reply. I agree, Quixote's and Panza's back-and-forth, especially now that Panza is starting to doubt him, is great. And stories withing stories: the story about the man who...

        Thank you for your reply. I agree, Quixote's and Panza's back-and-forth, especially now that Panza is starting to doubt him, is great. And stories withing stories: the story about the man who killed himself because of his rejection was really good. The girl in question's defence speech felt very modern, not at all what I'd expect from a novel from 1605. I will keep reading!

  13. alyaza Link
    still have this primary slate: Mike Davis - Prisoners of the American Dream: Politics and Economy in the History of the US Working Class Elizabeth Becker - When The War Was Over: Cambodia And The...
  14. [2]
    The_Fad Link
    I think I mentioned this elsewhere on Tildes (maybe in the monthly creative thread) but I'm knee deep in Extinction Code by James D. Prescott. It's noteworthy for me because it's the first...

    I think I mentioned this elsewhere on Tildes (maybe in the monthly creative thread) but I'm knee deep in Extinction Code by James D. Prescott. It's noteworthy for me because it's the first installment of a self-published trilogy that people rave about like a traditionally published work.

    Unfortunately it's written much in the same way Dan Brown (or James Patterson) writes; that is to say sparse, highly trimmed, and succinctly plotted. Even removing the positive and negative baggage that comes with those comparisons, it suffers from a lack of artistic vision, but speaking technically it's rock fucking solid. So far it's been perfectly plotted, the characters (despite our relatively truncated experiences with them) are fully realized, and the concept

    Geophysicist Jack Greer believes he may finally have found the resting place of the meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago. A few miles off the Yucatán coast, Jack and a team of scientists tow an aging drilling platform over the impact crater with the aim of securing a sample. But buried deep beneath the earth lies a shocking discovery that threatens to shatter everything we think we know about our species.

    A world away, geneticist Dr. Mia Ward receives a mysterious delivery from her former boss and mentor, Alan Salzburg. In it are clues of a dire warning hidden inside the human genome, one which foretells man's very extinction.

    His instructions to Mia are simple: keep the information safe and, above all, trust no one--words all the more chilling after Alan turns up dead. But who wrote the message and what does it mean? Only Jack Greer holds the answers, but can she reach him in time to save the human race?

    is certainly intriguing enough to keep me reading. I just wish it was a little more challenging.

    1. cadadr Link Parent
      From reading people's reviews of sci-fi stuff here, I find that stylistic depth is almost a second class citizen of the genre: people seem to rather appreciate aspects like world-building,...

      From reading people's reviews of sci-fi stuff here, I find that stylistic depth is almost a second class citizen of the genre: people seem to rather appreciate aspects like world-building, technical plausibility, or the socio-political messages. It is not averse to clichés or stereotypes, and in fact uses it as a platform to deliver the actual innovation which is to be found in the aforementioned properties. I don't mean this as a negative thing, just an observation.

      I haven't read sci-fi/fantasy as an adult yet (thankfully when I'll start, these threads will be a great resource to find nice stuff to read from the genre), so my explanation might be inaccurate.

      1 vote
  15. ThyMrMan Link
    Well as normal with me, almost entirely fiction, and not very deep fiction. Just nice fast easy to digest fiction that I can read in 3ish hours and not worry about forgetting what happened if I...

    Well as normal with me, almost entirely fiction, and not very deep fiction. Just nice fast easy to digest fiction that I can read in 3ish hours and not worry about forgetting what happened if I forget to pick up the book again for a month. Though I guess I did throw in a non-fiction this time I guess, always did love real life stories that seem stranger than fiction.

    Swing Shift by William D. Arand

    This was a nice enjoyable book to read, not too deep or complicated. Just a rather easy going book that has an interesting cast of characters. The mystery keeps on giving and doesn't stop changing and adapting throughout the book. My main issue with the book is personal, and not a issue with the book in general. It quickly becomes a harem with multiple characters hooking up with the main character. And personally I just don't like harems, guess I'm a tradionalist that likes single pairings.

    The Dungeon Traveler by Alston Sleet

    For me, this book felt really incomplete and cut short. Parts felt rushed and overlooked, then others got really detailed paragraphs about them. Honestly feels like this was supposed to be book 1 of many, not just the only book available. So by the end of the book I just felt disappointed that nothing more was coming or happening.

    Grammar and editing was all over the place throughout the book. Really needs a editor to come and do a detailed edit to help organize the book and make it flow better. But most important is to fix the grammar and spelling errors that are frequent. Alongside some paragraphs that I felt really needed to be reorganized cause they just felt like they kinda ran on for too long.

    Overall though, it was a decent book. Felt like I've read it a million times before on various web novel sites. It didn't do anything new or incredible, or even build on the reincarnated as a dungeon idea at all. Guess it was good enough to waste some time, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you really like the genre.

    Dragon Storm by Lindsay Buroker (Heritage of Power Book 1)

    Thus far I've only read one other series from Buroker, but from what I've seen from that series and this one. I really like her writing style and general stories. They aren't deep or meaningful, they are kinda just junk food style books that I can't help but keep reading. But I think what attracts me the most to them is the romance she writes, it is a kinda of nice relaxing romantic sub-plot that you just know will have a decent ending for the characters. And man am I a massive sucker for that style romantic sub-plot, it feels nice and refreshing.

    Revelations by Lindsay Buroker (Heritage of Power Book 2)

    Immediately after I finished the first book, I decided to grab the second book and finished it in a couple hours. More of the same, nice consistent plot and sub-plot progression. Quick and easy language that lets me chew through the books nice and quick. But also progressing the story nicely that doesn't feel like it wastes time on anything for too long. Need to read some of her other series, but if they all keep following the same basic themes, I think I will love all of them.

    Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar

    Nonfiction books normally aren't my favorite thing in the world to read, historical fiction sure. But normal nonfiction just doesn't interest me a ton. But once in awhile something pops up that just captures my interest completely, and I end up learning something new. I had heard about the Dyatlov Pass Incident in the pass through Youtube videos and a TV show, along with passing mentions in various media. But I never did look into it more seriously till this book.

    To start, I loved the way the book was set up and presented. With the Author jumping between the possible recreation of the event and the modern journey he was taking. It seemed to jump between times at just the right point that it never felt like it was dragging on or getting boring. Though I have to say that at times that it went back to the modern journey, I found myself wishing to go back to the possible trip the group took in the past. But beyond that personal feeling, it flowed well and presented a very good journey of discovery.

    Of discovery, the theory he presents in the end was new and something I had never heard of before. Now I haven't done a ton of research into air waves and certain sounds, but it definitely made me stop and consider the possibility with a very strong argument for the case being made. So I guess it accomplished it's goal to present a good case for the idea, and let me learn something new I had never heard of before.

    Overall I would recommend the book strongly, I haven't read any other books about the Dyatlov Pass Incident to see how they compare. But I feel like this was a very strong introduction and overview of what happened and how the hikers might have meet their demise.