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What'cha Reading?

Last night, I read History of the Marvel Universe by Mark Waid, which I thought was pretty good and I would recommend if you want a primer on all the major events in the Marvel world leading up to current times.

And now, project time, I'm going to start reading Akira by Katshuiro Otomo. We'll see if I can get through the whole thing (and yes, I have seen the movie)
 
Paddling North, about a woman who kayaks 850 miles along the coast of Alaska alone at the age of 60. About halfway through and it's a bit too stream of consciousness for me, but good reading right before bedtime. Her line in the opening chapter about making sure to bring a pencil with notches to measure the needed distances on maps really stuck with me for some reason.
 
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I really liked it but can absolutely imagine other people finding it completely insufferable. I remember when I was a kid I had a book that was a plot interspersed with math problems that you had to solve to move forward (well, not really, you could flip ahead of course). I loved that book and this reminded me of that and I loved seeing the breakdown of the problems in this one. Also the ending, while obvious in retrospect, is pretty great.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. I really liked it but can absolutely imagine other people finding it completely insufferable. I remember when I was a kid I had a book that was a plot interspersed with math problems that you had to solve to move forward (well, not really, you could flip ahead of course). I loved that book and this reminded me of that and I loved seeing the breakdown of the problems in this one. Also the ending, while obvious in retrospect, is pretty great.
Since my favorite part of the Martian was the math (the part with the calculation of how many potatoes our Protagonist needs to not die was the moment I knew I'd love the book) this is the best recommendation you could give. Wishlisted.
 
The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon. I loved his Superman "biography" last year, so I'm sure I'll love this as well
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
I'm in the middle of the second book of the Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham (Co-author of the Expanse). It's a fantasy series set after the fall of an empire where the society that is economically dominant maintains their edge through control of magical spirits, and another group tries to undermine them through subtle intrigue. I'm really enjoying it.
 
The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon. I loved his Superman "biography" last year, so I'm sure I'll love this as well
I liked the Superman book a bit more, but this was still very good. Loved how he chronicled the movies, especially the '89 Batman. Highly recommended for fans of The Dark Knight

Anyway, back to some science fiction with The Dark That Dwells by Matt Digman and Ryan Roddy
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
A while back, I read Hounded, the first book of the Iron Druid series for a book club. It's... OK? It has some fun stuff in there, and I like the idea of playing with Celtic magic and mythology, but there was really nothing there in the book. The super-cool super-powerful main character, who horndogs after and/or gets laid by all sorts of beautiful women, mythological and otherwise, is really just kind of tiresome in the wish-fulfillment bro-iness of it all. I do like his werewolf lawyers (and one vampire lawyer), and the Irish widow down the street is a fun character (best scene - she freaks out when she witnesses the MC kill a someone, actually a celtic god, who comes to fight him, but he tells her "don't worry, he's English" and she immediately says "Oh, then that's good!" and volunteers to let him bury the body in the backyard.) His dog doesn't talk per se but they communicate telepathically and he's an alright character too, I guess, if not a bit stereotypical (and also annoyingly horny). Some of the witches and other celtic gods are kinda interesting. But overall it was just kinda...there. Kia liked it and is on book 4 of the series, but her reading tastes tend a little lighter than mine.


Took me a while to figure out what I was in the mood to read, but I dug up Senlin Ascends from the depths of my Kindle library to finally start in on that. The setting, at least, is extremely up my alley.
 

Behemoth

Dostoevsky is immortal!
(he/him/his)
I'm in the middle of the second book of the Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham (Co-author of the Expanse). It's a fantasy series set after the fall of an empire where the society that is economically dominant maintains their edge through control of magical spirits, and another group tries to undermine them through subtle intrigue. I'm really enjoying it.
This is one of my favorite fantasy series. Dagger and Coin is pretty good, but I feel like Abraham really poured himself into the Long Price Quartet in a way he hasn't done on anything since (much as I love the Expanse). The third book of Long Price in particular is quietly devastating in the best way.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
This is one of my favorite fantasy series. Dagger and Coin is pretty good, but I feel like Abraham really poured himself into the Long Price Quartet in a way he hasn't done on anything since (much as I love the Expanse). The third book of Long Price in particular is quietly devastating in the best way.
I'm most impressed by the characters. There are so many who could be one note to fit their role in their story but he gives all of them depth and complexity.
 

jpfriction

A most radical pontiff
A while back, I read Hounded, the first book of the Iron Druid series for a book club. It's... OK? It has some fun stuff in there, and I like the idea of playing with Celtic magic and mythology, but there was really nothing there in the book. The super-cool super-powerful main character, who horndogs after and/or gets laid by all sorts of beautiful women, mythological and otherwise, is really just kind of tiresome in the wish-fulfillment bro-iness of it all. I do like his werewolf lawyers (and one vampire lawyer), and the Irish widow down the street is a fun character (best scene - she freaks out when she witnesses the MC kill a someone, actually a celtic god, who comes to fight him, but he tells her "don't worry, he's English" and she immediately says "Oh, then that's good!" and volunteers to let him bury the body in the backyard.) His dog doesn't talk per se but they communicate telepathically and he's an alright character too, I guess, if not a bit stereotypical (and also annoyingly horny). Some of the witches and other celtic gods are kinda interesting. But overall it was just kinda...there. Kia liked it and is on book 4 of the series, but her reading tastes tend a little lighter than mine.


Took me a while to figure out what I was in the mood to read, but I dug up Senlin Ascends from the depths of my Kindle library to finally start in on that. The setting, at least, is extremely up my alley.
My wife enjoyed those iron druid books quite a bit but admitted they get pretty trashy. Same energy as all her horny vampire books.
 
Paddling North, about a woman who kayaks 850 miles along the coast of Alaska alone at the age of 60. About halfway through and it's a bit too stream of consciousness for me, but good reading right before bedtime. Her line in the opening chapter about making sure to bring a pencil with notches to measure the needed distances on maps really stuck with me for some reason.

I liked this but it's definitely more of a nature journal book than an adventure. A Goodreads comment on it was that she is too well-prepared for anything to go significantly wrong, which doesn't make for an exciting read. But sometimes you need to read about things going right, you know? I enjoyed it, and she definitely does have some issues along the way and has some luck recovering from them so there is some deviation from the plan.

I just started The Time of the Doves by Mercè Rodoreda for my classics book club. I've barely started it and whoof. Abusive relationship but probably socially acceptable treatment of a wife in the 1930s I guess?
 

Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
I just finished Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (who started his career by helping Christopher Tolkien edit JRRT’s notes into what became The Silmarillion). This is one of Kay’s historical fantasy novels, based on a period of tumult in Tang Dynasty China. It was brilliant, full of reflections on order, chance, war, and poetry. His references to (lightly disguised) Confucian and Daoist principles felt spot on to me in a way that’s all too rare in the West. It’s a daring move to base a character in a novel on a great poet like Li Bai, but I thought Kay carried it off well, though I should admit that I am far from being an expert on classical Chinese literature or history.
 
Going to stick with the movies theme with a book from the people at Rotten Tomatoes called Rotten Movies We Love: Cult Classics, Underrated Gems, and Films So Bad They're Good
 
The very first The Expanse book, Leviathan Wakes, reads like the formulaic 37th tie-novel set in the world of the once popular The Expanse table top role playing game.
 
Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series by James Hibberd
Well, this was excellent, as I thought it would be. If you're a fan of the show, totally recommend.

Also, just ended up finishing two very different novellas. The first was Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman. A very cute children's story. And then, of a completely different matter in the realm of psychological horror was Things Have Gotten Worse Since Last We Spoke by Eric LaRocca. Very disturbing.

Now, going to get my biography on (been reading a lot of nonfic lately. What is wrong with me?! lol) and read JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956 by Frederik Logevall
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
Took me a while to figure out what I was in the mood to read, but I dug up Senlin Ascends from the depths of my Kindle library to finally start in on that. The setting, at least, is extremely up my alley.
More like Senlin Ascends Up A List Of Good Books, am I right? The characters in this book are all so good, all coming very close to feeling like caricatures in their depictions and personalities, but with a really strong humanity underlying it that anchors them and keeps it all from getting downright silly. It has the feel of a, what, like a Kafka or early social-realism satire with the setting and the way it's all approached. The flow and the machinations... I really dig it.

Minor criticisms: The main character's development felt gradual in some areas, but also took what felt like a hard, fast turn partway through. It still felt natural and believable, and captivating, but something about the pacing of the character's journey through the setting left me feeling a slight...artificiality? to it. Also, the book strikes me very much as a story and characters invented to justify writing about the setting and not the other way around. But hey, if the story and characters are good enough to stand on their own, which they are, does it really matter?

Definitely going to follow up and continue the trilogy post-haste.
 

zonetrope

(he/him)
Ancillary Justice: This book suffers from a whole lot of Proper Name Syndrome. I've found some book clubs, wikis and reddit threads that are helping out, but I'm nonetheless routinely encountering paragraphs where I have no idea what I'm reading. The broader story and themes seem strong enough that I'm gradually getting into it, though.
 
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