12 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.

11 comments

  1. [2]
    autumn
    Link
    I started The Nature Fix by Florence Williams last night. It’s about how nature can help us. A little bit hippy/woo-woo, but based in science, which is 100% my jam. I also set up an account on...

    I started The Nature Fix by Florence Williams last night. It’s about how nature can help us. A little bit hippy/woo-woo, but based in science, which is 100% my jam.

    I also set up an account on Readng, and I would love to follow anybody who’s on there!

    2 votes
    1. krg
      Link Parent
      I forgot a set up an account on that website. Here I am, and, jeez... I really need to get back in the reading game again. I've been slackin'... BUT ... I'm thinking of giving Anniversaries: From...

      I forgot a set up an account on that website. Here I am, and, jeez... I really need to get back in the reading game again. I've been slackin'...

      BUT ... I'm thinking of giving Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl by Uwe Johnson a go. So, there's that...

      2 votes
  2. [3]
    fryman
    Link
    The 3rd book in the Witcher series, Blood of Elves. The writing (in the series) is very smart and has some very memorable scenes. I grew up hating reading and got into it primarily reading sci-fi...

    The 3rd book in the Witcher series, Blood of Elves. The writing (in the series) is very smart and has some very memorable scenes. I grew up hating reading and got into it primarily reading sci-fi and fiction, most of which is pretty dry and matter-of-fact. The Witcher books, so far, have some of the most believable and relatable characters I’ve read in a very long time. The first book being my favorite, I really appreciate how the fantasy elements (or even the plot) aren’t the focus, so much as the human interaction. I gave myself the daunting task of reading the entire series first before starting the games, don’t ask me why, I am a patient person.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      grahamiam
      Link Parent
      I'm a little glad to read this because I kind of enjoyed The Last Wish (1993), but then I read Season of Storms (2013) and absolutely found it dreadful. Blood of Elves is 1994, so maybe I should...

      I'm a little glad to read this because I kind of enjoyed The Last Wish (1993), but then I read Season of Storms (2013) and absolutely found it dreadful. Blood of Elves is 1994, so maybe I should keep going with the older ones.

      Here's my mostly spoiler-free review of Season of Storms from when its English translation was released: https://www.sfintranslation.com/?p=5253

      2 votes
      1. fryman
        Link Parent
        I also read Season of Storms and mostly agree with your review, all your points are totally valid, though I enjoyed the book. I thought The Last Wish was beautifully written, maybe with the aid of...

        I also read Season of Storms and mostly agree with your review, all your points are totally valid, though I enjoyed the book. I thought The Last Wish was beautifully written, maybe with the aid of its translation by Danusia Stok, whereas the writing in Sword of Destiny and Season of Storms was a little more flat. Blood of Elves is ok, though at this point I’m less critical on a story if it’s intended purpose is to set up a larger arc. I would recommend The Last Wish to most anyone, but only the rest of the series to people who enjoy the setting and style.

        1 vote
  3. [2]
    acdw
    Link
    Solutions and Other Problems, by Allie Brosh. It's good! I like her.

    Solutions and Other Problems, by Allie Brosh. It's good! I like her.

    2 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I adore Allie Brosh. Her old Hyperbole and a Half blog and first book, Unfortunate Situations... were genuine life-changers for me because of how deeply I related to them, and how much they made...

      I adore Allie Brosh. Her old Hyperbole and a Half blog and first book, Unfortunate Situations... were genuine life-changers for me because of how deeply I related to them, and how much they made me laugh-cry. Her second book, Solutions and Other Problems, didn't quite hit me on the same level, but was still wonderfully amusing and heartfelt, so I definitely recommend it as well.

      2 votes
  4. FishFingus
    Link
    The Delta Star, by Joseph Wambaugh. Really not his best work, it seems more disjointed than something like The Black Marble, which is my favourite of his. Basically a collection of days out of the...

    The Delta Star, by Joseph Wambaugh. Really not his best work, it seems more disjointed than something like The Black Marble, which is my favourite of his. Basically a collection of days out of the lives of misfit police officers. It's ugly, self-destructive and goofy, and occasionally quite amusing or appalling.

    1 vote
  5. oryx
    Link
    Currently reading through Fool's Quest, part two of The Fitz and the Fool trilogy, and last series in the Realm of the Elderlings meta-series. It's been a wild ride, and has taken me probably 6-7...

    Currently reading through Fool's Quest, part two of The Fitz and the Fool trilogy, and last series in the Realm of the Elderlings meta-series. It's been a wild ride, and has taken me probably 6-7 years to get to this point, but that's because I really enjoy these books and wanted to savour them for as long as I could. Robin Hobb is really great at depicting believable characters and character development, which I find to be the real strength of her books. Highly recommended for anyone who is into fantasy and enjoys good characters.

    1 vote
  6. skybrian
    Link
    I finished Use of Weapons, third in Ian M. Bank’s Culture series, and according to some reviews I read afterwards, the best in the series. It didn’t come across that way for me. The main character...

    I finished Use of Weapons, third in Ian M. Bank’s Culture series, and according to some reviews I read afterwards, the best in the series.

    It didn’t come across that way for me. The main character is a mercenary used by the Culture’s Special Circumstances organization when they decide to secretly intervene in wars. (The decisions are made by inscrutable Minds and it’s usually unclear what their real objectives are. It’s assumed that the objectives must be good, but they are very long-term.)

    So, there are a lot of battle scenes happening on different planets with different levels of technology. The scenes happen out of order. They are good scenes as science fiction goes, with interesting settings, but I often found them pointless and could have used fewer of them. I don’t really like reading about made-up wars.

    The pointlessness is part of the point. For the Culture, this intervention is all in a day’s work. They operate on such a vast scale that none of these places really matter. (And they could settle any of these wars almost instantly, but apparently that would make things worse, according to how history is supposed to work in this series.)

    Gradually you learn about the mercenary’s past until the end when it all comes together. Well, mostly. There is still some mystery and I’ve read some interesting speculation about what really happened.

    It’s a terrible, horrific story, and I’m not into horror either. The book has a literary structure that’s sort of neat and actually pretty impressive, but I am not sure why we’re spending time going over the life of this terrible person?

    It’s well written, though, and there are some fun bits, in passing.

    1 vote
  7. reifyresonance
    Link
    Finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. The book describes itself as an anti-prophecy, a future that if we describe it well enough, can be prevented. I think we could absolutely be saying...

    Finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. The book describes itself as an anti-prophecy, a future that if we describe it well enough, can be prevented. I think we could absolutely be saying things are "Atwoodian", but thankfully I haven't heard that one yet. Was actually scary though, because of how plausible everything felt. Thinking about a similar future happening now, but with modern tech and ubiquitous surveillance shudders. Gonna get my German passport sorted sooner rather than later, I think, in case I do have to leave the country suddenly.

    Started Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence by Robert Pirsig. Only 5 chapters in, so I'm not sure what it's building to, but I like it. Favorite quote so far:

    The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower. To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha--which is to demean oneself.

    Reading Good Poems, selected and edited by Garrison Keillor. It's a collection of poems that have been read by Keilor on a public radio program whose name escapes me. So far, full of gems. My favorite poems so far are At Least by Raymond Carver, Alley Violinist by Robert Lax, and The Life of a Day by Tom Hennen. Highly suggest for anyone, especially those who don't read poems. For those people, read [this one] (https://poets.org/poem/how-read-poem-beginners-manual) first - it's what got me reading them finally.

    I'm also listening to The Mushroom at the End of the World: The Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. I'm about 20% through it and not that impressed. It uses stories about the matsutake(sp?) mushroom, which grows in the forests that spring up after logging has taken its toll, to talk about how we should maybe look at things/be doing things. It introduces a bunch of concepts like precarity and contaminated diversity, but I can't define either to you, which to me means the book has not given me any useful tools. I'll listen a bit more, but I do not think I'll finish this one.

    1 vote