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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #8126
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Sep 2017
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    I love Froot Loops!
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    Hyperion by Dan Simmons. Dated, I suppose, for space opera, but still really good.

  2. #8127
    figuring it all out Jeff Bond's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
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    Michigan
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    Took a break from my typical mercenary, in-my-genre titles to try Kevin Hart's I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons. Very funny and a great change of pace.

  3. #8128
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    USA
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    5,159
    Wow - August slipped by. Well, time for a procrastination update.

    Recently Read:
    John Dies at the End (Book 1 of a series, David Wong, humor/horror, in paperback): Twentysomething slacker David can't tell you what Midwestern town he lives in, or the real name of his friend John, or much else about his life. It's too dangerous. Ever since his first accidental hit of the drug known as soy sauce, he's been plunged into an insane existence, wakened to the invisible forces all around us, often written off as paranormal nonsense or hallucinations or bad dreams. Now, his formerly dull hometown of "Undisclosed" is a seething cauldron of danger, shadow people and ghosts and improbable monsters - most of whom have an irritating penchant for stalking, maiming, and attempting to kill David and John. Can two slackers save Earth from an impending invasion by a force so evil it makes the Devil look quaint? More importantly, can they do it without dying?

    This is one of the oddest, most memorable stories I've read in quite some time, a weird mixture of horror, surreality, and an often-dark sense of existential humor. At times it was vividly gruesome in its depiction of unreal beasts and hellish horrors straight out of Heironymous Bosch. I grew a little irritated and impatient with the narrator David, though; he's so reluctant to engage with the plot problem that he deliberately veers off onto tangents of dubious payoff, plus he sets up several bait-and-switch moments. While it had some fun tweaks of genre tropes, ultimately it wasn't my cup of cocoa.

    Shadowshaper (Book 1 of the Shadowshaper series, Daniel Jose Older, YA fantasy, in paperback): Sierra never knew about the shadowshapers, the secret group of ancestor-channeling magic workers in her Brooklyn community of Puerto Rican immigrants, until the day she saw a tear fall from the eye of a mural in her neighborhood... and the night the walking corpse accosted her at a party. Now she's in a race to come to grips with abilities she never knew she had as a dangerous outsider seeks to usurp the power of the shadowshapers for his own ends.

    This book has a very strong sense of culture and place, plunging me into a world that felt almost as alien to me as any secondary-world fantasy. Sierra not only deals with shadowshaping but with such problems as racism, gentrification, and machismo attitudes that kept her from being informed of her birthright. There's also a not-so-subtle jab at cultural appropriation; the antagonist is a white anthropologist who is convinced he can protect other people's culture and heritage better than they themselves can. The story moves very fast - almost too fast, with jumbles of names and relations thrown at me while I was still struggling to get my bearings in Sierra's corner of Brooklyn. Something about the ending also felt a touch unsatisfying. Overall, it's a nicely diverse change of pace, though I don't think I'll read the next book.

    Currently Reading:
    The Blue Fairy Book (Andrew Lang, anthology/fantasy/folk tales, on Kindle): The classic collection of folk tales and fairy stories, including versions of Beauty and the Beast, The White Cat, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and others.

    A freebie Kindle download, I'd hoped it would kick-start my stagnant creative juices. It's readable, but the style tends to be stilted, the stories containing fragments of lost cultural touchstones and references filtered several times over. (One story was a thinly-disguised retelling of the Perseus myth, and another, The Bronze Ring, was likely inspired by Aladdin, whose tale was also reprinted. Lang also included a fragment of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, the Lilliput encounter, which feels incongruous given that the author and satiric intent of that piece were well known, while the rest were mostly oral tradition from ages past.) Not bad for what it is, but not really my thing, and I'm not finding the inspiration I'd hoped to find, unfortunately.

    I'm also poking at Guy Gavriel Kay's The Summer Tree, first book in his classic Fionovar Tapestry series, about five modern university students who are taken to another world by a wizard as part of a royal celebration, but wind up involved in deeper and more powerful problems. The style is somewhat stiff by modern standards, the cast and cultures very white (something that stands out a lot more these days, with more diversity on the shelves), but I'm still turning pages, and expect I'll finish it at this point, even if I'm not deeply gripped by it. Haven't totally committed to it yet, though.
    Last edited by Brightdreamer; 09-05-2017 at 09:23 AM.
    - Brightdreamer
    Brightdreamer's Book Reviews

    "Inspiration will strike you, and leave you for dead. The police will do nothing."
    - from The Daily Humorscope

  4. #8129
    It's all a mystery!
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    Aug 2017
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    UK
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    53
    I just finished "A Forest Divided" Aka, Warrior Cats. I am now on "Path of Stars"

  5. #8130
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin DanielSTJ's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
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    Room Full of Mirrors- Charles R. Cross
    Jude the Obscure- Thomas Hardy
    Go Down, Moses- William Faulkner
    Voyage Au Centre De La Terre- Jules Verne
    Parade's End- Ford Maddox Ford
    Babylon: Legend, History and the Ancient City- Michael Seymour
    The Ancient Mariners (The Seafarers)- Time-Life Books
    Stances et Poèmes- Sully Prudhomme
    Vivere militare est.

  6. #8131
    practical experience, FTW HarvesterOfSorrow's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Canada, eh?
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    274
    Napalm and Silly Putty, by George Carlin.
    "He's gone! He's gone from here! The evil is gone!"

    Sam Loomis
    John Carpenter's Halloween.

  7. #8132
    figuring it all out EmilyEmily's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
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    78
    I just finished The Burning Girl by Claire Messud, who is one of my favorite authors. I loved the teenaged authenticity of the main character's voice.

    I've just downloaded The Girls (Emma Cline) and The Beguiled (Thomas Cullinan) onto my Kindle; I'll be reading them for the next week. And my before-bed comfort reading at the moment is I Capture the Castle, which I've read about a dozen times. (Yes, I am one of those people who has multiple books going at once).

  8. #8133
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin DanielSTJ's Avatar
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    Sep 2017
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    Canada
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    38
    Under the Volcano- Malcolm Lowry
    Cicero- On the Commonwealth and On the Laws
    Vivere militare est.

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