14 votes

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.

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23 comments

  1. Surira
    Link
    I've decided to try audio books for the first time, and just started with Saudi America by Bethany McLean. It came out in late 2018, so it's pretty relevant still. A friend who works in the oil...

    I've decided to try audio books for the first time, and just started with Saudi America by Bethany McLean. It came out in late 2018, so it's pretty relevant still. A friend who works in the oil industry told me about it when we were chatting about the price war a couple days ago, and luckily the local library has it available as an audio book! I know several of the main characters they've been talking about decently well through friends and family, so it's especially interesting.

    7 votes
  2. Staross
    Link
    I'm still reading Charlotte Brontë's Villette, I'm taking my time with it (to savour it, but the English is also pretty hard, I need to look up some words). There's so many good passages, I have a...

    I'm still reading Charlotte Brontë's Villette, I'm taking my time with it (to savour it, but the English is also pretty hard, I need to look up some words). There's so many good passages, I have a bunch of papers in the book to keep track of them, it's also quite dark at times.

    A moon was in the sky, not a full moon but a young crescent.
    I saw her through a space in the boughs over-head. She and the
    stars, visible beside her, were no strangers where all else was
    strange: my childhood knew them. I had seen that golden sign
    with the dark globe in its curve leaning back on azure, beside an
    old thorn at the top of an old field, in Old England, in long past
    days, just as it now leaned back beside a stately spire in this continental capital.

    Oh, my childhood! I had feelings: passive as I lived, little as I
    spoke, cold as I looked, when I thought of past days, I could feel.
    About the present, it was better to be stoical; about the future—
    such a future as mine—to be dead. And in catalepsy and a dead
    trance, I studiously held the quick of my nature.

    At that time, I well remember whatever could excite—certain
    accidents of the weather, for instance, were almost dreaded by
    me, because they woke the being I was always lulling, and stirred
    up a craving cry I could not satisfy. One night a thunderstorm
    broke; a sort of hurricane shook us in our beds: the Catholics rose
    in panic and prayed to their saints. As for me, the tempest took
    hold of me with tyranny: I was roughly roused and obliged to live.
    I got up and dressed myself, and creeping outside the casement
    close by my bed, sat on its ledge, with my feet on the roof of a
    lower adjoining building. It was wet, it was wild, it was pitch-dark.
    Within the dormitory they gathered round the night-lamp in consternation,
    praying loud. I could not go in: too resistless was the delight of staying
    with the wild hour, black and full of thunder, pealing out such an ode
    as language never delivered to man—too terribly glorious,
    the spectacle of clouds, split and pierced by white and blinding bolts.

    6 votes
  3. [3]
    hamstergeddon
    Link
    The last few times I've posted in these threads I'd been reading post-apocalyptic books and I'm continuing that trend! I'm currently reading Malevil by Robert Merle. Basically a story about a...

    The last few times I've posted in these threads I'd been reading post-apocalyptic books and I'm continuing that trend!

    I'm currently reading Malevil by Robert Merle. Basically a story about a group of friends (and a few others) who find themselves saved from the apocalypse by the local geography (very cliffy region) and having been inside a castle's wine cellar during the blast. The book basically covers the following months after the blast and how the group of friends works to rebuild their own little slice of society in this post-society world. The castle offers protection, but they're left dealing with the trouble of farming a scorched earth, maintaining a small collection of farm animals that survived, and troubled interactions with neighboring bands of survivors.

    What I really love about this book is that unlike the other post-apocalyptic books I've been reading (The Postman, A Canticle for Leibowitz), it covers the time immediately before and after the bombs fall. Sets the stage for what normal life was like for the people in the region, then takes it away from them so we can see how they adapt.

    I've got two issues with the book:

    1. The main character is a bit of a Mary Sue. He's just ALWAYS right and ALWAYS the perfect leader and any shortcomings he may have are usually just him as the leader taking responsibility for his people's failures. He always has the solution the problem, he always outsmarts the bad guy, he always has some clever come back to any criticism. Maybe that's intentional because the book is written as though it's a book written by the main character (with his friends occasionally injecting commentary). But there have been a few times where it I'm just flabbergasted by how perfect he is at times.
    2. There's a lot of creepy misogyny in the book. The group of survivors are mostly men (and an elderly woman to start) and when a young (in her 20s or 30s, not sure) woman joins the group, the men hold a meeting to discuss how they're going to handle courting her and how everyone's desperate to fuck her, even though it's only been like a month since the bombs fell and most of the men had recently lost wives to the bomb. To their bare minimum credit, they agree to never make her do anything she doesn't want to do, but eventually it turns into this weird schedule system where she takes one of them up to her room every night. And then later on when another joins and she agrees to marry one of the men there's this weird conversation between the groom and the leader about how marriage simply won't work in group of mostly men and only 2 young women. And then the woman ends up just being this big flirt who just eye-fucks every single man in the group. Like there's nothing non-consensual going on in the book at all, but it just smacks of some creepy guy writing out his fantasies. Then there's a weird conversation between the leader and a 12 year old girl, who is enamored by the leader. She just out nowhere starts asking him if he thinks her boobs will ever come in and he's like "oh yes I'm sure".

    I seem to have written more about my dislikes than my likes, but overall I am really enjoying the book. I'm mostly just ignoring and eyerolling at the issues because literally everything else about the book is fantastic. Very accurate portrayals of how humans of various backgrounds would handle a post-apocalyptic situation.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      JoylessAubergine
      Link Parent
      Thanks for the recommendation. I'm always on the search for more books that take place shortly after the apocalypse during the first rebuilding. Have you read Dies the Fire trilogy* by SM...

      Malevil by Robert Merle.

      Thanks for the recommendation. I'm always on the search for more books that take place shortly after the apocalypse during the first rebuilding. Have you read Dies the Fire trilogy* by SM Stirling? It's a more cartoony take on what happens if fuel and electrical stuff stops working and the sort of societies that rise up from the ashes. It has it's problems like all post-ap fiction but i found it fun. The negative reviews are all really high on goodreads for some reason it has a 3.9 rating but 8 of the top 10 reviews are 2 or 1 star.

      *It's not technically a trilogy but the first 3 books are a more self contained story/cast after that it apparently because even more fantasy focused but i've never read past book 3.

      3 votes
      1. hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        I haven't, but I'll have to check that out. Thanks!

        I haven't, but I'll have to check that out. Thanks!

        3 votes
  4. [2]
    JoylessAubergine
    (edited )
    Link
    Finished. The Postman by David Brin and Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. Both were OK, both sort of topical the former about rebuilding after the end of world and the latter, a scifi classic,...

    Finished. The Postman by David Brin and Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. Both were OK, both sort of topical the former about rebuilding after the end of world and the latter, a scifi classic, about the government trying to find out about an extraterrestrial organism that killed a town, both were ok but neither did "it" for me, i falsely assumed i was in the mood for that sort of thing but i guess reality is more interesting at the moment.

    Reread. Tyrant by Christian Cameron. Christians Camerons historical fiction is comfy fiction for me to read when i am in a bit of funk or reading drought. Tyrant is the first book of his weakest main series' and it was better than i remembered. Set on the Caspian-Pontic steppe at the same time as Alexander the Great's later conquests.

    Started: The myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus (~20%). I feel like too much of a pleb for philosophy because i find myself drifting and wondering when he is going to get to the point. I'm tempted to drop it and just read the wiki page or something lmao.

    The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk (<5%) This is an absolute beast of a book at 1136 pages according to goodreads. Fisk has been a correspondent in the middle east for 30 years and has met/been everywhere (On page 1 of chapter 1 he tells how Jamal Kashoggi (yes that one) introduced him to Osama Bin Laden (yes that one). Published in 2005 it's about Fisks experiences in the middle east, his analysis about the regions and his thoughts on the US and UKs actions in the region. I've not read enough to comment on the book yet but it certainly looks interesting.

    5 votes
    1. Loire
      Link Parent
      I've found that going into it after having read the spark notes/wikipedia synopsis greatly enhances most philosophical works.

      Started: The myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus (~20%). I feel like too much of a pleb for philosophy because i find myself drifting and wondering when he is going to get to the point. I'm tempted to drop it and just read the wiki page or something lmao.

      I've found that going into it after having read the spark notes/wikipedia synopsis greatly enhances most philosophical works.

      5 votes
  5. rkallos
    Link
    I recently read David Sirlin's Playing to Win, at the recommendation of a colleague. After that, I read Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code, and am now reading the distilled sequel The Little Book of...

    I recently read David Sirlin's Playing to Win, at the recommendation of a colleague. After that, I read Daniel Coyle's The Talent Code, and am now reading the distilled sequel The Little Book of Talent. I really enjoyed The Talent Code because it taught me a lot about how skills are developed, and how lasting motivation is generated.

    5 votes
  6. thewrightmatt
    Link
    I just started Hyperion after seeing it recommended somewhere (either here or Reddit) I think after I saw some discussion on the 1st Dune book which I loved. So far it's alright, I'm not...

    I just started Hyperion after seeing it recommended somewhere (either here or Reddit) I think after I saw some discussion on the 1st Dune book which I loved. So far it's alright, I'm not particularly enjoying that it seems the majority (I'm about ~40-50% done) of the book will be about the pasts of the initial characters but I am interested in the main storyline so far.

    After this I may give Old Man's War a shot and then start again on the Expanse books. I absolutely loved the Expanse books and stopped reading because I was waiting for the authors to finish up the rest of the books and didn't want to wait. I'll probably start from the beginning and just re-read them all.

    5 votes
  7. [4]
    kfwyre
    Link
    I'm about to finish with Ami Polonsky's Gracefully Grayson. It's a middle-grade YA book about a trans girl, and it's a solid read. I've stopped reading a lot of middle grade and YA books (the...

    I'm about to finish with Ami Polonsky's Gracefully Grayson. It's a middle-grade YA book about a trans girl, and it's a solid read. I've stopped reading a lot of middle grade and YA books (the genre gets fatiguing as an adult after a while), but one of my students fell in love with the book and insisted that I read it, and I'm abiding by their wishes. The student is still figuring out their gender identity and really identified with the main character in the book, and it warms my heart to know that I'm living at a time where they are comfortable navigating that process openly, without shame or fear of ridicule.

    I also just finished up with Justin Lee's Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate. He's a gay Christian, and in many ways, lived a parallel life to me. I listened to the audiobook while driving and found myself nodding along and audibly "mmhmm"ing when he talked about specific events in his life. I listened to him read sentences and entire paragraphs that I myself could have written. Furthermore, it's not just that the contours of his story matched mine so well, it's that small tiny details were remarkably similar: we both played a little-known Bible-based videogame called Spiritual Warfare when we were kids; we both had terrible first times in gay bars which turned us off to the idea of them entirely; we both got invited out to presumably social lunches by Christian people who then tried to minister to us about the wickedness of our homosexuality.

    Where our stories diverge is that Lee has held onto his faith, whereas I no longer have mine. His path allowed him to remain a believer, while my path nearly made me a casualty of the culture war. Despite this difference in outcome, however, I very much see Lee as almost a mirror version of myself. His values, thought processes, and conclusions strongly align with my own.

    I think his book speaks to anyone on either side of the divide, and he does so in a way that doesn't demean, infantilize, or pillory anyone -- a tough thing to do with such a charged topic. If I had a criticism of the book it would be that I wanted more Biblical analysis from him. He spends a lot of time deconstructing specific perceivedly anti-gay passages (which is certainly a valuable exercise), but I actually think the Bible is far more of a pro-hetero document than an anti-gay one, which is an angle he doesn't really explore. He also limits his scope to mostly a male-male focus (which is, admittedly, the Bible's focus as well) and doesn't focus on female-female homosexuality or trans issues at all.

    Despite its blind spots, however, the book is measured and insightful from start to finish. I loved listening to what he had to say, as well as how he chose to say it. I'm interested to read responses to it, from both LGBT people and Christians alike, as I expect many will appreciate what he accomplishes with this text. I also feel that many will skewer him for his centralized take, because he very strongly resists aligning himself with one particular side. A centralized take is really all he can do, however, as he's someone with a genuine foot in both camps. To do otherwise would prevent him from remaining true to himself and his experiences as a gay Christian.

    Prior to that, I listened to Andrew Marantz's Anti-Social: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation. I liked it enough to give it its own recommendation thread.


    Current Alphabet Challenge Scorecards

    Print Books

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    Graphic Novels

    A:
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    D: Drawing Power: Women's Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival (Various Authors)
    E:
    F: Fies, Brian - A Fire Story
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    Q: Queer: A Graphic History (Meg-John Barker; Julia Scheele)
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    Audiobooks

    A: Antisocial: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation (Andrew Marantz)
    B: Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Rachel Maddow)
    C: Cottom, Tressie McMillan - Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy
    D:
    E: Edward Snowden - Permanent Record
    F:
    G: Gladwell, Malcolm - Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know
    H:
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    J: Jodi Kantor; Megan Twohey - She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
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    L: Lee, Justin - Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate
    M:
    N: Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (Peter Pomerantsev)
    O:
    P: Pollan, Michael - In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
    Q:
    R: Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice (Bill Browder)
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    W: Witt, Margaret; Tim Connor - Tell: Love, Defiance, and the Military Trial at the Tipping Point for Gay Rights
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    5 votes
    1. [3]
      tomf
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Was Spiritual Warfare the one where it would flash three times then you'd hit reset and it would load? There were a few Christian games a friend had that were fun. In my 20s I had The Bible Game...

      Was Spiritual Warfare the one where it would flash three times then you'd hit reset and it would load? There were a few Christian games a friend had that were fun. In my 20s I had The Bible Game for the xbox --- and me and my then-fellow Christians used it as a drinking game. It was fun.

      I left the church back in 2010 for several reasons. I never understood the issue the church had with homosexuality. People can argue about the language relating to the relationship with David and Jonathan... and I think this is completely irrelevant. I always felt that the bible was more focused on speaking truth and not being a gossip than any of these other social issues that make people uncomfortable.

      But I say this as one who entered the church in his late teens and never left a pro-CHOICE stance, briefly flirted with the idea of creationism (then theistic evolution), and more. I found I was constantly at odds with the general community of die-hards, but well inline with the normal folks.

      To be fairly blunt, I don't like most Christians even though I'd technically consider myself one. To me, Christians seem more guided by fear than anything else. The 'rules' accepted are convenient and always felt to me to be based out of those fears... but I won't ramble on about that. I just don't think the church (as a people) are relevant and haven't done a very good job at understanding their own texts.

      I recognize that this is a gross over-generalization and am aware of progressive communities (I was part of one for a while) -- but even in those, there were certain hills they'd die on that just didn't seem to matter.

      A few months ago I watched an interview with the guy who wrote, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, who has since left the church. He quoted Julian Barnes with I don't believe in God, but I miss Him, and I really don't think anything could feel more true for me and my overall relationship with God and the church. I sometimes miss the comfort of the community and the pieces of God I felt close to then.. but ultimately I'd say that I am closer with God after having left that all behind, if that makes any sense.

      BIG EDIT: PRO-CHOICE... not pro-life. :)

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        Thanks for sharing your story and perspective! I don't remember much about Spiritual Warfare other than that you threw "fruits of the spirit" (i.e. love, joy, peace, patience, etc.) at people, and...

        Thanks for sharing your story and perspective!

        I don't remember much about Spiritual Warfare other than that you threw "fruits of the spirit" (i.e. love, joy, peace, patience, etc.) at people, and the fruits were depicted as actual fruits (i.e. apples, bananas, etc.).

        With regard to your separation from the church, I feel similarly now that I've had time for my resentments to thaw. It's easy for me to miss a lot of the positive qualities of church and a personal relationship with God, but I also have to be intellectually honest with myself and temper my fondness for those with my experience with the more toxic elements of Christianity. I think these are going by the wayside for many Christians, though I worry some new toxicities are entering the fray as well.

        2 votes
        1. tomf
          Link Parent
          Those unlicensed christian games were so bad, but so good. I think there was another with an ark... better than Karnov, which is pretty much my gold standard for rough NES games. The last time I...

          Those unlicensed christian games were so bad, but so good. I think there was another with an ark... better than Karnov, which is pretty much my gold standard for rough NES games.

          The last time I went to church was around 2013 or so. Everything felt so corporate and deliberate. When I was in bible college (yup...) I had a class on Church Music and Worship where we were essentially given timing for prophecy, etc. Third song is up, now we'll get a word from God... -- as if it were some formula.

          I won't get into my bible college experience, but I can say that bible college is excellent for guiding people toward a life of freedom as an atheist.

          I almost deleted my comment -- that's when I caught the pro-life error... so I decided to leave it up.

          3 votes
  8. gpl
    Link
    Finally finished The Information by James Gleick. I'm speeding through Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre - I love a good espionage thriller.

    Finally finished The Information by James Gleick. I'm speeding through Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John le Carre - I love a good espionage thriller.

    4 votes
  9. eve
    Link
    I am slowly crawling my way through Educated by Tara Westover. It's a memoir and about her life; how herself and her siblings weren't enrolled in public schools, some didn't have birth...

    I am slowly crawling my way through Educated by Tara Westover. It's a memoir and about her life; how herself and her siblings weren't enrolled in public schools, some didn't have birth certificates until later in life, how her dad was against technology, highly religious, and always prepping for the end. Even though she was highly uneducated, she taught herself math and other subjects and got a 27 on the ACT in order to get into college. She was so insulated she didn't know what the holocaust was, it wasn't a recognizable word to her.

    Its incredibly interesting and I'm really enjoying it. I just haven't been giving myself a whole lot of time to read which is on my dumb ass lol. I'm hoping to get some quality read time this weekend/Friday. I definitely need to finish it this month and get through another book as well.

    4 votes
  10. Slow_Hand
    Link
    I've just finished up 'Non-Violent Communication' by Marshall Rosenberg after having it gifted to me by a friend. As someone who's historically been insensitive to people's intentions and emotions...

    I've just finished up 'Non-Violent Communication' by Marshall Rosenberg after having it gifted to me by a friend. As someone who's historically been insensitive to people's intentions and emotions unless they're beating me over the head with them, I found it to be a useful read that helped me to recognize the subtext of what people are saying. It's also helped me to tune my own use of language in such a way that I'm not being unnecessarily accusatory or provocative towards others. This is the kind of thinking that you'd expect when dealing with a therapist whose intention is to listen deeply and openly. I've found it very helpful in improving my empathy towards others. My only complaint is that it's formatted and written like a fluffy self-help book, which initially turned me off. However, if you take the time to go through the exercises slowly and really intuit them it should really pay off.

    I'm slowly finishing up 'The Personal MBA' by Josh Kaufman, which is basically cliff notes for the world of business. Everything from financial concepts, to sales, to management principles, to psychological phenomena (personal and for dealing with others). It's been immensely helpful for someone such as myself who's auto-didactic and also new to the world of business. The book includes a bibliography at the end with recommendations for the books that the author read for his research that will allow for a deep-dive into specific topics, once you're ready to go beyond the scope of the book.

    Lastly, I'm currently re-reading 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' by Douglas Adams out loud to my girlfriend whenever she comes over, since she's never read it and enjoys when I read to her.

    4 votes
  11. [2]
    grahamiam
    Link
    Two classic dystopians, but in wildly different ways: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood has really great worldbuilding, but I'm finding the characters to be a little bit too preachy mouthpieces...

    Two classic dystopians, but in wildly different ways:

    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood has really great worldbuilding, but I'm finding the characters to be a little bit too preachy mouthpieces instead of full people. I'm about halfway through. It's good enough to recommend, but it's not on the same level as Handmaid's. Maybe it'll get better.

    Rereading Never Let Me Go as I'm teaching it to 10th graders this semester. This book is a masterpiece in the slow reveal, the building unease. If you haven't read Ishiguro, both this and Remains of the Day are amazing. Remains is realism - historical fiction from the PoV of a butler in the first half of the 20th century. Never Let Me Go is alternate history, semi-dystopia, almost but not quite science fiction. Read them!

    4 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I read (and absolutely loved) Never Let Me Go years ago, and your comment inspired me to finally get around to reading The Remains of the Day, which I just finished. Ishiguro is a master of the...

      I read (and absolutely loved) Never Let Me Go years ago, and your comment inspired me to finally get around to reading The Remains of the Day, which I just finished. Ishiguro is a master of the slow build. It was actually a perfect book for me right now, as my thoughts are constantly racing and anxious due to all that's going on in the world, and I find myself compulsively checking my phone/the news constantly. Forcing myself to sit and focus on something that was instead so slow and unstimulating (yet still compelling) did wonders to calm my unquiet mind.

      3 votes
  12. deathmtn
    Link
    I just finished reading Exhalation by Ted Chiang. He's a sci-fi author, and it's his latest collection of short stories. Every single one of the stories was good. The big novella in it, the...

    I just finished reading Exhalation by Ted Chiang. He's a sci-fi author, and it's his latest collection of short stories.

    Every single one of the stories was good. The big novella in it, the Lifecycle of Software Objects, was about extremely sophisticated virtual pets. It vigorously explored what might happen if they exists, and as a result, it got disturbing. But I didn't feel any Black Mirror-style "sticking it to the audience" jabs; it all seemed fair.

    Most of the stories were about some sort of difficult situation created by technology or the uncovering of truths, and they all had the effect of getting me to view my own life in a slightly different way.

    3 votes
  13. tomf
    Link
    I finally tucked into Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich. It's an interesting read and will come in handy if I ever want somebody's eyes to glaze over or roll back into their skull. I'm really...

    I finally tucked into Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich. It's an interesting read and will come in handy if I ever want somebody's eyes to glaze over or roll back into their skull.

    I'm really enjoying it, though. I think I saw it referenced in an HN thread.

    Here's a quick passage that is quoted on wikipedia

    Universal education through schooling is not feasible. It would be no more feasible if it were attempted by means of alternative institutions built on the style of present schools. Neither new attitudes of teachers toward their pupils nor the proliferation of educational hardware or software (in classroom or bedroom), nor finally the attempt to expand the pedagogue's responsibility until it engulfs his pupils' lifetimes will deliver universal education. The current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring. We hope to contribute concepts needed by those who conduct such counterfoil research on education--and also to those who seek alternatives to other established service industries.

    Before I say anything else, I will preface this with a warning that I am still early in the book and some of this next part may not be completely accurate...

    In the early section I'm in, the author is suggesting that people learn more through interest than... repetition or formal learning from a teacher through an institution. One interesting idea is leaving a book of interest out on a table in a coffee shop as an indicator that you're a student. If another has the same interest, they would see this marker and strike up a conversation about said-subject and the knowledge transfer via discussion would start.

    The author suggests that this is a superior method for learning since you're gathering information based on actual interest as opposed to a set/formal curriculum that has been reused for years on end.

    All in all, interesting theories. As one without a lot of formal education, this sums up how I learn best. I have an interest in something, I discuss it with others, then I retain a good portion of it. School never really worked well for me.

    Another interesting section discusses learning languages. The author had a friend who would teach english by (typically) discussing local politics or other hot-button issues that were central to that community. Using their own interest and desires, his friend found that people could carry a conversation sooner than with a traditional, more structured system.

    2 votes
  14. Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    Mostly sticking to 2 right now: Working my way through the complete works of Sherlock Holmes. The fact that they are mostly ~15 pages mixed with my slow reading makes them an ideal...

    Mostly sticking to 2 right now:

    1. Working my way through the complete works of Sherlock Holmes. The fact that they are mostly ~15 pages mixed with my slow reading makes them an ideal wind-down-before-bed read. I did this with H.P Lovecraft a lot too. Collections of authors who have a lot of short stories are IMO ideal before-bed books. Get in bed, 20-30 minutes of reading a self-contained story, you get some degree of resolution, or at least if there is a cliffhanger there is no more to read to satisfy you, so no matter what you might as well go to bed.

    2. Finally starting to read Z (not the novel/show about Zeld Fitzgerald, though that is also on my list ;)). Per the link provided, Z is a book about:

    'A progressive parliamentary deputy is scheduled to appear at a political rally. Meanwhile, local political bosses plot his assassination. Thugs are recruited to disrupt the rally. Rumors begin to spread. But the forces already set in motion are irresistible. Z is the story of a crime, a time, a place, and people transformed by events. Z was published in Greece in 1966, and banned there one year later. It is based on an actual political assassination in 1963 in Salonika. The victim was Gregory Lambrakis, a socialist legislator and outspoken critic of the government. But Lambrakis's killers could not have anticipated the public response. His funeral became a political event; by the time the cortege reached Athens, 400,000 people were following the coffin in silence. In the nation's capital, the letter Z suddenly appeared on walls, sidewalks, posters--everywhere. Z stands for the Greek verb zei, "he lives."'

    Admittedly, only one chapter in so far, but the writing is good and I think themes from the book will definitely play well with a modern audience.

    2 votes
  15. joplin
    Link
    I was in an apocalyptic mood, so I read Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel. The premise is that there's an outbreak of a very virulent flu strain in the republic of Georgia. The book takes place...

    I was in an apocalyptic mood, so I read Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel. The premise is that there's an outbreak of a very virulent flu strain in the republic of Georgia. The book takes place mostly in Toronto and around the Great Lakes in the US. One night a plane full of passengers from Georgia lands in Toronto and within 48 hours anyone who had it or catches it is dead. After a couple weeks, the Earth's population has been mostly wiped out except for the few "lucky" enough to be immune. It mainly follows a group of people who were friends or relatives of a particular actor, and what they do after the fall of civilization. It's a good read, though if you're upset about the Coronavirus, it will only upset you more. I found it helpful because it gave me the perspective of "we're not going to end up like that. It's just a few weeks of staying in, and maybe a few supply shortages that we can weather." Overall, a good read.

    2 votes
  16. cwagner
    Link
    I am reading the 3rd book of the Wayfarers series, Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. It’s a series about humans and other species in the Galactic Commons. Nothing really important...

    I am reading the 3rd book of the Wayfarers series, Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers.

    It’s a series about humans and other species in the Galactic Commons. Nothing really important happens in any of those books. And it’s amazing. With the words of the author:

    I wanted to create a setting in which space felt like a place for everybody. This is a story about the ordinary people living within an intergalactic society, the people who walk through the spaceport behind the heroes, who are normally not at the forefront of the story.

    Every book focuses on another place and other main characters. There is a link, but it’s small and not important. Everyone the series focuses on, is good in some way, evil exists but it’s only mentioned. Where other books have a constant struggle for survival, these are about a boy in one of the 2.5 major human factions struggling to find a job that fits him. About experiencing what life is like on a multi-species long haul flight. About how a mostly-closed ecosystem of humans works with a bartering system instead of money.

    Don’t expect a thrill ride, expect a painting of different parts of the universe. If this does not sound totally horrible, I think you should give it a try. This was a recommendation from Tildes, though I can’t remember in which thread or who it was by.

    I’d give the series a 4/5, a very enjoyable read.

    2 votes