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What'cha Reading?

I finished Piranesi over the weekend. Loved it. What a book!

Today on lunch I picked up The Ladies of Grace Adieu and while I don't remember very many details of JS&MN and feel like I'll probably miss a lot of references or whatnot, hopefully that won't be a huge detriment to the stories.
Closest book I've found to Piranesi is Edward Carey's The Swallowed Man. I reviewed it here.

I just published a review of A River Called Time. I didn't like it.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Also finished listening to the audiobook for Old Man's War with my girlfriend. It was... OK. A few interesting concepts, little plot to speak of. Nothing that actually made me care, especially about the main character. blows raspberries
 

Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
Also finished listening to the audiobook for Old Man's War with my girlfriend. It was... OK. A few interesting concepts, little plot to speak of. Nothing that actually made me care, especially about the main character. blows raspberries
Yeah, I was really disappointed with that one. Scalzi’s later stuff can be really creative, but to me Old Man’s War felt like a Heinlein pastiche with somewhat better gender politics.
 
I remember it being pretty good, but I was in a book club with friends who had a knack for picking books I didn't like so "pretty good" was a very pleasant surprise.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
I think Poor Man's Fight (by Elliott Kay) covers a lot of the same ground but better thematically, but I also enjoyed both greatly.
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I'm reading A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, in which George Saunders walks the the reader through analyses of seven short stories by four Russian masters (Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev, and Gogol). You ever get the feeling a book was written specifically for you?

Just wanted to throw out a big thank you for bringing this to my attention. Absolutely delightful from cover to cover. I've been on something of a streak of excellent books on writing and this one was still a standout.
 
Anyway, work had Imbram X Kendi give a virtual talk for our Diversity & Inclusion series (which as an aside is pretty freaking cool) and I realized that despite hearing and reading so much from him I still hadn't read his book. So starting How To Be an Antiracist.
I thought this book was a mess and am really disappointed. Weird anecdotes interjected into things, odd thematic and retrospective analysis choices, the final shoehorned chapters that seemed to be "oh uh women and queer people fall under this too I guess". And I absolutely lost my mind at the start of every chapter as they all begin with a definition of "antiracist-X" and the definition is just "doing X while being antiracist". You can't define a word using the same word! Over and over again! Especially if introducing and defining that concept is the entire purpose of your book!

But since so many people have responded well to it I must be missing something. Anyway, here are a few books that I think are addressing this concept in a much more eloquent and cohesive way although to be fair I still don't feel like I understand what he means by antiracism. These are just the ones I thought of quickly, I'm sure I'm omitting something I'll think of later.

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown

And for a discussion of how race is portrayed in media here are two I really enjoyed:
The Dark Fantastic by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (I really, really, recommend this for anyone who is a fan of science/fiction fantasy)
Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination by Toni Morrison (Also read anything by Toni Morrison if you haven't by now)

Also the TT March book club book The Other Madisons is more focused on history but gives a lot of thought to how people react and conceptualize race.

Just wanted to throw out a big thank you for bringing this to my attention. Absolutely delightful from cover to cover. I've been on something of a streak of excellent books on writing and this one was still a standout.

I just got this from the library! I read the introduction and was about to read the first chapter when I realized I only had 10 more minutes or so to read. Definitely seems like a book I need to sit down and read in a longer session after he discussed needing to go back and forth between the story and analysis but excited to get back to it.

Anyway, I'm starting on House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday for my Classics book club.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
But since so many people have responded well to it I must be missing something. Anyway, here are a few books that I think are addressing this concept in a much more eloquent and cohesive way although to be fair I still don't feel like I understand what he means by antiracism. These are just the ones I thought of quickly, I'm sure I'm omitting something I'll think of later.

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
Would you add So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo to your list? I thought it was a very good read and it probably falls under a similar umbrella. (NB: I haven't read Kendi's book yet either.)
 
Would you add So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo to your list? I thought it was a very good read and it probably falls under a similar umbrella. (NB: I haven't read Kendi's book yet either.)
I have that and Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge on hold at the library! I've heard good things about both and glad to see another recommendation.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I have that and Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge on hold at the library! I've heard good things about both and glad to see another recommendation.
I hadn't heard of that one, but I'll look into it!
 
I gave Sparrow the old college try, but it really wasn't working for me. I guess I'm just too picky. Hopefully, I'll have better luck with Skywalker: A Family at War by Kristin Baver
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Reading Bradley Garrett's Bunker which is a fascinating yet deeply depressing history of the bunker in mostly post WW2 western history.
 

Behemoth

Dostoevsky is immortal!
(he/him/his)
Just wanted to throw out a big thank you for bringing this to my attention. Absolutely delightful from cover to cover. I've been on something of a streak of excellent books on writing and this one was still a standout.
Glad you enjoyed it! I was sad when it was over - I would read a similar analysis of 50 Russian short stories.
 
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor. I love everything she writes. Also I can't find the post but thank you to whoever recommended the Levar Burton Reads interview with her, I really liked it!
 
I gave Sparrow the old college try, but it really wasn't working for me. I guess I'm just too picky. Hopefully, I'll have better luck with Skywalker: A Family at War by Kristin Baver
Quite enjoyed this one. It reads like a biography of the Skywalker clan, starting with Shmi and ending with Ben and Rey. She not only uses the movies as source materials, but the books and shows as well. Highly recommend if you're a fan.

Ended up reading Breach of Peace by one of my favorite Booktubers, Daniel B. Greene. I thought it was an awesome teaser for the start of his series.

Going to be working on Song of Kali by Dan Simmons. He's one of my favorite writers who hasn't steered me wrong yet, and I've heard Song is one of his best
 
Having just finished watching the entirety of Psych, I'd decided to give Psych and Philosophy: Some Dark Juju-Magumbo edited by Robert Arp a try
 
For my reread this month, I'm going big. I decided to reread Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (although, it's a different translation: the Edith Grossman, so technically, it'll be a new experience). I originally read it 23 years ago during my senior year in high school. Our drama club was originally going to do Man of La Mancha for the Spring show (we ended up doing The Secret Garden instead), and I wanted to read the source material to better understand the play. In the end, even though we never did the show, for years, Don Quixote ended up being one of my favorite reading experiences.
 
Anyway, I'm starting on House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday for my Classics book club.
I'm really struggling with this and book club is tomorrow, I think this may be the first book club book I don't finish in probably three years. From the Wikipedia page it looks like it initially started out as a series of poems, which maybe contributes to why I find it so disjointed? Also it's just really depressing which I don't need right now.
 
So, I'm going to work on my monthly quota before fully committing to that, so I'm currently focusing on Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
So, I'm going to work on my monthly quota before fully committing to that, so I'm currently focusing on Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike
I really liked that one. Turns out basing your economy on selling participations from loot from dungeons you haven’t raided yet is a bad idea in fantasy worlds too.
 
Now, reading Michael Chabon's The Escapist: Amazing Adventures. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is one of my favorite books (definitely hoping to give that a reread one of these days), so I'm going to give this a try
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
I bought a used version of one of the volumes and remember liking it OK. I kind of wish I got the volume with Mr. Machine Gun, though.
 
Moving on to volume 2. They have the first three volumes available on Kindle Unlimited and I wanted to take advantage before my membership expired
 
Getting back into fantasy with The Princess Beard by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne. Getting started on the r/fantasy 2021 Bingo Card
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
I finished Dr. Orpheus by Ian Wallace. And it was such a strange book. Written in 1968, I've got the '69 Medallion edition... I think I picked it up from a Tiny Free Library in the neighborhood because of the catching art on the cover:




It's the second book in a series but they share only the protagonist the stories not being related otherwise. And, the whole book is just so different from anything I see on shelves today. As the back cover describes, "To meet the two fold threat, Croyd must exercise his amazing abilities to the fullest, resorting to time travel, mind transfers, and a breath taking swift shell game of body transpositions, all the while battling the greatest odds..."

It is interesting to see what readers were interested in or would tolerate in science fiction in the the 60s. The story has Croyd running up and down the "time stream" as well as in and out of physical and psychical space to no. The fiction space for stories was either wider or more forgiving? Probably a little of both? I suppose readers were more willing to spend 75 cents or so on even just 'okay' fiction and the margins were good enough for smaller print and press runs of these sort of things. The book publishing world seems much more dependent on whales and sure things these days than it did.

Anyway the story was confusing contradictory at times, and weaves back around itself half a dozen times or so. Such are time traveling adventures. And there is still a bit of the pulps in here with Croyd being a superhuman of sorts all while declaring about universal humanity and the rights of sentient beings. A lot of optimism that the genre lacks these days. Oh, and the gender dynamics of the far future (2502) as imagined by 1968 white cis-male (I am assuming here, he had a wife but there isn't a lot out on the internet about Ian Wallace) are quaint. I am almost tempted to dig up some of his other works. He died in 1998 but his last published work was 9 years earlier.

I'd recommend it just for how different it seems from most if not all of the sci-fi we get today.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
All of the bad-to-okay cheap paperback stuff has migrated entirely to digital-only or -primarily format. The Kindle Unlimited sub system basically runs off them.
 
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