13 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.

26 comments

  1. [2]
    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    Allie Brosh, the author of the rather famous Hyperbole and a Half blog, finally put out a new book after a 7 year hiatus called SOLUTIONS and other PROBLEMS. It only arrived for me last night but...

    Allie Brosh, the author of the rather famous Hyperbole and a Half blog, finally put out a new book after a 7 year hiatus called SOLUTIONS and other PROBLEMS. It only arrived for me last night but I have already been tearing through it, and lost a fair bit of sleep last night because of it. Thankfully it's a super thick book though, so I still have a fair bit left to read despite my pace.

    As for how good is it? Well, put it this way... my face genuinely started hurting after a while from smiling so long/hard. So needless to say I highly recommend it, and her first book as well.

    6 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I got my copy in! I was lying in bed reading it, with my husband playing his Switch next to me. I started chuckling at one of the stories, so he asked me about it, and I proceeded to verbally...

      I got my copy in!

      I was lying in bed reading it, with my husband playing his Switch next to me. I started chuckling at one of the stories, so he asked me about it, and I proceeded to verbally recap it to him. After getting him up to speed, I said "and it looks like this" and turned the book to show him the hilarious drawings on the page that I was currently on. He looked at it and started chuckling too, and when I turned the book back to me and was confronted with her pictures again, I just started cackling. Uncontrollably. This made him laugh harder, which made me laugh even harder. Soon I was coughing and crying from laughing too hard.

      After everything calmed down, for the next five minutes or so I couldn't read a page or two without mentally recalling the drawing and that moment and triggering giggle fits for myself.

      It's a fantastic book so far. Her artwork is so simple yet so incredibly expressive, and she has mastered whatever the comics equivalent is for comedic timing and delivery. I'm very excited to finish it.

      1 vote
  2. [2]
    Whom
    Link
    The best thing I've read recently is Richard Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn, which is a collection of short stories and flash fiction which is simply everything I want to be as an artist. I don't...

    The best thing I've read recently is Richard Brautigan's Revenge of the Lawn, which is a collection of short stories and flash fiction which is simply everything I want to be as an artist. I don't even know what to say, man. I wanna cry just thinking about it.

    I'm also (regrettably) using Goodreads now (add me!), since I figure the reward structure there making me read more than something like LibraryThing is worth the sickening feelings that come with using an amazon platform. Here's hoping for Readlebee to happen someday.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. Whom
        Link Parent
        Because Amazon. I've tried out literally (scoured pages and pages and forum posts and forum posts) every possible alternative and they don't scratch that same itch that Goodreads (or letterboxd,...

        Because Amazon.

        I've tried out literally (scoured pages and pages and forum posts and forum posts) every possible alternative and they don't scratch that same itch that Goodreads (or letterboxd, rym, backloggd, etc for other mediums) does or they're lacking important features, which iirc was why this site never worked for me. I appreciate the attempt, though.

        3 votes
  3. [5]
    nsz
    Link
    Embassy Town by China Mieville Was recommended here a year or so ago, now I'm finally reading it. It's good, but hard, I've felt the need to reread a cheaper now and then. Not the easiest escapism...

    Embassy Town by China Mieville

    Was recommended here a year or so ago, now I'm finally reading it. It's good, but hard, I've felt the need to reread a cheaper now and then. Not the easiest escapism read, needs proper thinking time which makes it a slow burn. Really interesting concepts though.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      tindall
      Link Parent
      If you enjoy it, check out Railsea. It's a great take on a classic story, and Mieville's writing makes it super fun to figure out the world and what's going on.

      If you enjoy it, check out Railsea. It's a great take on a classic story, and Mieville's writing makes it super fun to figure out the world and what's going on.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Thra11
        Link Parent
        I tried reading Perdido street station a while back, having seen that it had some good reviews. I remember reading the lavish description in the prologue and thinking, "aww yesss, this is going to...

        I tried reading Perdido street station a while back, having seen that it had some good reviews. I remember reading the lavish description in the prologue and thinking, "aww yesss, this is going to be good...", then I found the first few chapters so incredibly clumsy that I abandoned it. As I remember it, we are introduced to some of the main characters, a human and some sort of alien with a chitinous exoskeleton. The problem was that Mieville needed to describe said alien to the reader, but had made things really hard for himself, because in terms of the plot had little reason to do so. Often authors use a device such as a character who is an outsider, which allows the author to describe strange new things that the character sees, their reaction and how they speak of it to other characters, without it seeming forced. With the start of perdido street station, we have two characters who know each other well, so they have no reason to discuss their differences, and yet they are made to say weird stuff like, "I love you, even though you don't have a hard exoskeleton like me. Shall I make you some coffee with my chitinous appendages?"[1] just to shoehorn in anatomical details for the reader.

        So my question is… should I give Mieville another go? If so, is it worth persisting with perdido street station, or did I pick the wrong book as an introduction to his work?

        [1] It was several years ago, I may be misremembering and/or exaggerating.

        1 vote
        1. tindall
          Link Parent
          I've never read that book in particular, but it's true that his style is a little obtuse. I say, pick up Railsea from the library and give it a shot!

          I've never read that book in particular, but it's true that his style is a little obtuse. I say, pick up Railsea from the library and give it a shot!

          2 votes
    2. acdw
      Link Parent
      I've been meaning to read more Mieville since The City and the City a few years ago. I'll have to check out Embassy Town!

      I've been meaning to read more Mieville since The City and the City a few years ago. I'll have to check out Embassy Town!

      3 votes
  4. [2]
    mjb
    Link
    I've started reading Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari after just finishing his brilliant Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which I quite enjoyed.

    I've started reading Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari after just finishing his brilliant Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which I quite enjoyed.

    3 votes
    1. han2k
      Link Parent
      I find Sapiens to be one of the most insightful books I've read in recent years if not ever. I know there are people who dislike some of the more "hot" takes the author has on our society, but to...

      I find Sapiens to be one of the most insightful books I've read in recent years if not ever. I know there are people who dislike some of the more "hot" takes the author has on our society, but to me that's absolutely no reason to dislike the book in general.

      3 votes
  5. [5]
    mrbig
    Link
    I’m reading the Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu RPG 6th edition. I got it as a gift years ago and never really used it. I’m hoping to host a game in person as soon as covid subside.

    I’m reading the Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu RPG 6th edition. I got it as a gift years ago and never really used it. I’m hoping to host a game in person as soon as covid subside.

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      nsz
      Link Parent
      Ah nice, I've recently gotten into the 7th edition. It's pretty fun, I downloaded a free solo adventure alone against the flames from chaosium website which was a nice way to learn some of the...

      Ah nice, I've recently gotten into the 7th edition. It's pretty fun, I downloaded a free solo adventure alone against the flames from chaosium website which was a nice way to learn some of the rules/mechanics.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        AFAIK the 7th edition is an improvement since it simplify some stuff, but it’s not very different from the 6th. The hard part on a horror game is maintaining tone and atmosphere, especially if you...

        AFAIK the 7th edition is an improvement since it simplify some stuff, but it’s not very different from the 6th.

        The hard part on a horror game is maintaining tone and atmosphere, especially if you wanna be faithful to the Lovecraftian setting. Players like cracking jokes, and some narrators seem to completely misunderstand Lovecraft.

        I mean, this is Eldritch horror, not Stephen King. The supernatural enemies are supposed to be lethal, mind bending, and rare, otherwise they become regular monsters. Evil will eventually prevail, you can only buy some time! Just my two cents!

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          nsz
          Link Parent
          Yeah I can see that, the jokes do help release some tension, there's nothing like nervous laughter, but also, it's an RPG, fun is the goal. I would say a smaller group helps keep things scary....

          Yeah I can see that, the jokes do help release some tension, there's nothing like nervous laughter, but also, it's an RPG, fun is the goal. I would say a smaller group helps keep things scary.

          Sandy Peterson the original writer of CoC has a YouTube channel that talks about DMing strategies and specificallyfor horror games. Strong recommendation there.

          2 votes
          1. mrbig
            Link Parent
            Oh yeah I didn’t mean that jokes should be prohibited, that would be insane. But there’s definitely a balance to achieve.

            Oh yeah I didn’t mean that jokes should be prohibited, that would be insane. But there’s definitely a balance to achieve.

            1 vote
  6. suspended
    Link
    For the third time I'm rereading A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. Hands down one of the funniest reading experiences I've ever had.

    For the third time I'm rereading A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. Hands down one of the funniest reading experiences I've ever had.

    1 vote
  7. tindall
    Link
    I'm currently reading through The Well-Grounded Rubyist and Elixir in Action, brushing up on the legacy and future of all the non-Rust code at my job. They're great books, very technically deep...

    I'm currently reading through The Well-Grounded Rubyist and Elixir in Action, brushing up on the legacy and future of all the non-Rust code at my job. They're great books, very technically deep but also very easy to approach, and I feel that they complement each other well. Elixir isn't Ruby, but it's clear to see where the Ruby influences hit the Erlang ecosystem.

    1 vote
  8. sjvn
    Link
    I tend to read multiple books at once. Currently, it's Game Changer: AlphaZero's Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI; Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad; Louis Penny's...

    I tend to read multiple books at once. Currently, it's Game Changer: AlphaZero's Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI; Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad; Louis Penny's All the Devils are Here; and I'm re-reading Jim Butcher's Summer Knight.

    1 vote
  9. grahamiam
    Link
    Timothée Chalamet convinced me to finally start reading Dune. I'm a little more than halfway into the first book and really enjoying it. I usually am not a fan of "chosen one" narratives, but...

    Timothée Chalamet convinced me to finally start reading Dune. I'm a little more than halfway into the first book and really enjoying it. I usually am not a fan of "chosen one" narratives, but there's enough wrinkles in this one that it works.

    Before that I read Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, which was way too dark for me and I regret reading it. It's about a circus family where the parents purposefully induce birth effects with drugs and such to get children who can be circus acts. It starts off fairly lighthearted but then gets really, really dark about halfway through.

    I haven't posted in a book thread in a while, so the best book I read in the past few months was Shirley Jackson's The Sundial. I think Shirley Jackson has taken a place among my top three favorite writers. While "The Lottery" is great, she should absolutely be known for more than that.

    1 vote
  10. [3]
    aymm
    Link
    A lot! I had a one week vacation last week, so I managed to get a bunch of reading done Axiom's End by Lindsay Ellis The Human Son by Walker, Adrian J. Ballistic by Kloos, Marko Yellow Jessamine...

    A lot! I had a one week vacation last week, so I managed to get a bunch of reading done

    • Axiom's End by Lindsay Ellis
    • The Human Son by Walker, Adrian J.
    • Ballistic by Kloos, Marko
    • Yellow Jessamine by Starling, Caitlin
    • Rhapsody For The Tempest by Stiegler, Marc
    • Goldilocks by Lam, Laura
    • Critical Point by Huang, S.L.
    • Null Set by Huang, S.L.
    • Crescendo Of Fire by Stiegler, Marc
    • Zero Sum Game by Huang, S.L.
    • The Relentless Moon by Kowal, Mary Robinette
    • The Braintrust: A Harmony of Enemies by Stiegler, Marc
    1 vote
    1. [2]
      Whom
      Link Parent
      What'd you think of Axiom's End? I want to check that out sometime.

      What'd you think of Axiom's End? I want to check that out sometime.

      3 votes
      1. aymm
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I'm actually not quite through yet, forgot to mention that. But so far I've been enjoying it!

        I'm actually not quite through yet, forgot to mention that. But so far I've been enjoying it!

        2 votes
  11. acdw
    Link
    I've been working thru Land of Lisp, but I've kind of hit a wall since I (a) can't work on it at work (no SBCL) and don't want to at home (burnt out from work). So.

    I've been working thru Land of Lisp, but I've kind of hit a wall since I (a) can't work on it at work (no SBCL) and don't want to at home (burnt out from work). So.

    1 vote
  12. JoylessAubergine
    Link
    Proxima by Stephen Baxter. Enjoyable scifi. I like Baxter, he has great ideas and is a good enough writer to carry them to a good story. Characters were forgettable though, more of a trope than...

    Proxima by Stephen Baxter. Enjoyable scifi. I like Baxter, he has great ideas and is a good enough writer to carry them to a good story. Characters were forgettable though, more of a trope than characters.

    Sitting in Oblivion by Livia Kohn. This is split into 2 parts. The first is placing the sources and discussing them and the second is the translated texts. I skimmed/skipped most of the first half but enjoy the translated texts. I didnt know much about Daoism going into it and it was above my head at many points but i learned a lot.

    1 vote
  13. Chrozera
    Link
    I'm about half way through: Total competition, lessons in strategy from formula one by Ross Brawn and Adam Parr. So far it has been interesting, as a lot of the strategies used seem like they...

    I'm about half way through: Total competition, lessons in strategy from formula one by Ross Brawn and Adam Parr.

    So far it has been interesting, as a lot of the strategies used seem like they would apply outside of formula one in business.
    Where a lot of the annoyances I have at the software company I work at, are things Brawn did the reverse of to be more successful.
    It's also interesting to me to learn a bit more about some of the history in formula one.
    Even if its specifically his view point, so not really a general history.
    Then there's also the references to Sun Tzu's art of war, which is something I've been wanting to read but it seems like a long read.

    1 vote