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What'cha Reading?

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Finished Bob Odenkirk's new memoir Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama last night. It was okay, but I was really hoping he'd go more into detail about the production of his various projects. A lot of it felt mostly surface level, which was kind of a let down after reading Mel Brooks' heavily detailed book just a few months ago.
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
Just finished Pinball: A graphic history of the silver ball and really enjoyed it! Honestly I can't imagine trying to go through this history without the art. Showing the circuitry and design differences was very cool. Really glad my library had it because I can't imagine I would have just picked this up on my own.

Next I'm starting a book called The Goal for the Practical Process Improvement book club at work, which I am decidedly less excited about. I try to make myself read at least one business/economic book a year since I'm very weak in those fields and am hoping the discussion group stuff helps. And I just opened it up and it's written in the style of a novel which now has me intrigued?
 
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lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Oh that pinball book sounds great! Looks like my library doesn't have it yet, but I was able to put a hold on it for when they get it in. Thanks for mentioning it!
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
Scattered All Over the Earth is wild and highly recommended. Here's the blurb because it's hard to summarize, a link to the NYT review which is quite good:

Welcome to the not-too-distant future: Japan, having vanished from the face of the earth, is now remembered as “the land of sushi.” Hiruko, its former citizen and a climate refugee herself, has a job teaching immigrant children in Denmark with her invented language Panska (Pan-Scandinavian): “homemade language. no country to stay in. three countries I experienced. insufficient space in brain. so made new language. homemade language.”

As she searches for anyone who can still speak her mother tongue, Hiruko soon makes new friends. Her troupe travels to France, encountering an umami cooking competition; a dead whale; an ultra-nationalist named Breivik; unrequited love; Kakuzo robots; red herrings; uranium; an Andalusian matador. Episodic and mesmerizing scenes flash vividly along, and soon they’re all next off to Stockholm.

Also there's a reference to the gyoza chain Ohsho which amused me, but due to the tweaks in the book it's now a pizza place, and all the Nordic characters comment on pizza being Indian food.

Finally, I normally struggle with multiple narrator books but this one worked. The author (and the translator I'm sure) did a spectacular job of giving all the characters unique voices and perspectives.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Chuck Klosterman's The Nineties is a good look at a decade we all here probably remember fondly. He makes some connections that I'd never made before about things then. Recommend if you like pop culture anthropology/sociology.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Scattered All Over the Earth is wild and highly recommended. Here's the blurb because it's hard to summarize, a link to the NYT review which is quite good:



Also there's a reference to the gyoza chain Ohsho which amused me, but due to the tweaks in the book it's now a pizza place, and all the Nordic characters comment on pizza being Indian food.

Finally, I normally struggle with multiple narrator books but this one worked. The author (and the translator I'm sure) did a spectacular job of giving all the characters unique voices and perspectives.

Chuck Klosterman's The Nineties is a good look at a decade we all here probably remember fondly. He makes some connections that I'd never made before about things then. Recommend if you like pop culture anthropology/sociology.
Two more instant holds for me at the library, thanks to you both! I'd never heard of Scattered All Over the Earth, but I wanted to read The Nineties and had forgotten.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Is there a Gripe About What You're Not Reading thread? Because I put an advance hold on Ali Smith's new book, Companion Piece, but it's apparently disappeared from my library's catalog altogether now. The hold still shows up, but the book itself isn't listed if I try to click through to its details.
 

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)
I just recently finished Winterglass, by Benjanun Sriduangkaew.

In the past, I've lamented the dearth of wlw High Fantasy. This is a book that scratches that itch. The book follows a gladiator who wants to kill the tyrannical Winter Queen who has conquered her country, and also the Queen's general, who had to turn coat on her own country to save it. Together, they fight crime The two main characters are explicitly queer, and one of them is even trans femme! She's referred to as a "prince," which I thought was just a linguistic quirk within the story, but we do get confirmation of her being trans without it being didactic. In fact, the book is full of queer, trans, and nonbinary characters. It also has a very... non-Western perspective, if that makes sense. Like it comes from a different pedigree than the typical Tolkienesque fare. It's honestly refreshing.

I suppose my only criticism is that the book is too short. It is the first of four parts, though, so I suppose I can forgive a little brevity.

Anyway, if you're looking for an Enemies-To-Lovers(?) retelling of the Snow Queen, but with Sword Lesbians, I highly recommend it.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I was visiting a library branch across town to pick up an unrelated book, and they had Emily St. John Mandel's Sea of Tranquility on the new arrivals shelf, day of publication, no holds. I was pretty shocked to find it, but I snapped it up immediately. It's pretty solid so far.
My library hold on this came in last week, I devoured the book in three sittings. I've never read any of her other work but I want to check it out now.
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
Is there a Gripe About What You're Not Reading thread? Because I put an advance hold on Ali Smith's new book, Companion Piece, but it's apparently disappeared from my library's catalog altogether now. The hold still shows up, but the book itself isn't listed if I try to click through to its details.
Oof that happens to me a lot. Then it'll be back months later for now reason. Also I max out my hold list a lot, bah.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Oof that happens to me a lot. Then it'll be back months later for now reason. Also I max out my hold list a lot, bah.
I guess someone at the library reads this thread, because yesterday I checked my holds again and saw that not only did physical copies come back in the catalog, but mine is en route to my branch right now (along with the Pinball graphic novel)! And then I'll have five books to pick up, which I'm very happy about.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
I've been seeing way more about that one on GR than I'd expect from an indie title, and everybody has liked it. I'm intrigued!
 
It was cute. I enjoyed it. Definite recommend. Anyway, taking advantage of my Kindle Unlimited subscription and reading Killing Patton by Bill O'Reilly
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finished The Maleficent Seven, which I liked well enough, but didn’t wind up liking nearly as much as I was hoping I would. Premise is solid, as the title implies it’s a fantasy retelling of Magnificent Seven, with a town that has to rely on some of history’s greatest monsters to come together to save their village from the heroes who had defeated those monsters previously and proved to be far worse. It just doesn’t quite live up to its potential.

Less of a home run and more of like getting Ball 4, four times.

Anyway, next is the horror comedy Man, Fuck This House, which I bought entirely on the strength of its title
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
Starting Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz for our classics book club. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1988 and this seemed to be the most suggested book of his to start with. This might be the first book I've read by an Egyptian author and is definitely the first thing of any substance I've read about the Egyption Revolutions after World War I, so I'm very excited to start this.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
Just finished The Dead Hand by David Hoffman. It is a history of the nuclear and biological arms race between the US and the USSR, as well as what happened to all that stuff when the USSR collapsed in the 90s. The beginning of the book is interesting history the end of it is terrifying because the USSR, nor any of its successor states knew how much material was out there, where all of it was stored, and if any of it was ever stolen...
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Well, Man, Fuck this House didn't take long to finish, which isn't surprising given that it's a novella. The comedy parts typically didn't land as well as I had hoped, and neither did the horror (people were just... in a rush to lose their minds at the idea of a haunted house), but it does have a few clever twists on the typical haunted house story, and the book takes a turn for the absolutely bonkers towards the end.

Not bad. Good 7/10.
 
Finished a reread of Robin Hobb's Royal Assassin, which I am reading in rough concert with the wife's first time read of the translated version. Only I got too into it and ended up finishing the book as she finished the first half, oops. Still an excellent read, and I'd largely forgotten most of the second half's intriguing and red herring setups, so felt fresh again to me.

Now I'm flicking my way through Stephen King's Danse Macabre mini-history of mid-20th century horror fiction, which had caught my interest after I saw it name-dropped in that recent documentary on Folk Horror movies.
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
Starting Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz for our classics book club. He won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1988 and this seemed to be the most suggested book of his to start with. This might be the first book I've read by an Egyptian author and is definitely the first thing of any substance I've read about the Egyption Revolutions after World War I, so I'm very excited to start this.
This was stupendous and is one of my new favourite books. I've been reading more about the book and the author afterward and am seeing a lot of reviewers calling Mahfouz "the Egyptian Dickens" but I think that's missing something. There's absolutely the grittiness of Charles Dickens here but there's something more. The beauty and characters of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? The dark acceptance of Franz Kafka? I don't know but so highly recommended.
 

Behemoth

Dostoevsky is immortal!
(he/him/his)
This was stupendous and is one of my new favourite books. I've been reading more about the book and the author afterward and am seeing a lot of reviewers calling Mahfouz "the Egyptian Dickens" but I think that's missing something. There's absolutely the grittiness of Charles Dickens here but there's something more. The beauty and characters of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? The dark acceptance of Franz Kafka? I don't know but so highly recommended.
This very much sounds like my jam - thanks for the recommendation.
 

Paul le Fou

24/7 lofi hip hop man to study/relax to
(He)
I finally, FINALLY sat myself down (well, laid in the hammock outside) and finished The Fall of Babel, the 4th and final book of The Books of Babel (which begin with Senlin Ascends). I don't know what happened to take me so long to finish it - even before Elden Ring came out I was just having a hell of a time making progress, even though I enjoyed it OK when I did manage to sit down to read it. I liked the writing and loved the characters all throughout, though the author kinda lost control of the story in books 3-4, and each book got progressively longer. But I'm very pleased to finally finish it and put that reading slump behind me.

Catching up on some Talking Time Book Club picks now, and tore through half of This is How You Lose the Time War yesterday. Loving it so far and looking forward to tearing through the second half soon!
 
Haven't updated in a while:
-couldn't finish The Mirror and the Light, just couldn't get into it, so instead I ended up reading A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry. Fairly enjoyable, will definitely be reading the sequel after my Wheel of Time reading for the month
-to get ready for the next Thor movie, I read Thor, The Complete Collection: Vol. 1 by Jason Aaron, which includes the Gorr storyline. I'll be reading the next few in June because that includes the Jane as Thor line
-finally, because I've never read her before, I read Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion, which was okay. I'll definitely read some of her other collections in the future.

Anyway, since it's the start of the month, it's on to A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan
 
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