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StarTopic Books |ST| Now You're Reading with POWER

I've had a string of bad luck lately with books I thought would click with me but lost steam.

In the past month or two, I've dropped:
Remain in Love by Chris Frantz
The Cabinet by Un-Su Kim
To Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Looking for a quick, weird read to get me back on track...
Couldn’t get into Snow Crash? I always thought that one was a ton of fun.
 
Couldn’t get into Snow Crash? I always thought that one was a ton of fun.
I think there was something in it that immediately turned me off, but ilit was back in November and I can't remember what it was.
 
I think there was something in it that immediately turned me off, but ilit was back in November and I can't remember what it was.
It’s a very weird, irreverent work, but weirdly prescient. Still, Stephenson is an acquired taste, so I understand.
 
Yeah, that's one I may give another chance eventually since I can't remember what my issue was.
 
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I think there was something in it that immediately turned me off, but ilit was back in November and I can't remember what it was.
I don’t know if it’s what you’re referring to, but there’s a part in the story where a fifteen year old girl has sex with an adult man that is described in detail. That was a very weird moment that took me out of the story big time. She’s also pretty sexualised throughout the book from what I remember.
 
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I remember having a hard time getting into the first novel, but the second and especially the third are top-shelf. Great trilogy.

Stuff I've read this year and loved:

The Teixcalaan Series (A Memory Called Empire / A Desolation Called Peace) by Arkady Martine
The Imperial Radch Trilogy (Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, Ancillary Mercy) by Ann Leckie
Ru - Kim Thuy
The Secret Commonwealth - Philip Pullman
Devil House - John Darnielle
The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie

Stuff I've read this year and enjoyed:

Termination Shock - Neal Stephenson
How High We Go in the Dark - Sequoia Nagamatsu
I Contain Multitudes - Ed Yong

I need to read more regularly in 2023. I tend to go through phases.

I haven't read I Contain Multitudes, but just finished An Immense World by Ed Yong and thought it was an amazing read. Definitely perspective changing.
 
I haven't read I Contain Multitudes, but just finished An Immense World by Ed Yong and thought it was an amazing read. Definitely perspective changing.
I Contain Multitudes is very good! All about the human microbiome.

I will check out An Immense World, thanks.
 
I don’t know if it’s what you’re referring to, but there’s a part in the story where a fifteen year old girl has sex with an adult man that is described in detail. That was a very weird moment that took me out of the story but time. She’s also pretty sexualised throughout the book from what I remember.
I interpreted it more as an edgy 90s take on sexual independence, but yeah, YT is…a lot.
 
Finished Demon Copperhead today. I really enjoyed it, despite the fairly heavy subject matter (the crushing weight of institutionalized poverty). I didn't feel like it fell into "poverty porn" but I wouldn't necessarily fault someone if they thought it did.
 
It’s a very weird, irreverent work, but weirdly prescient. Still, Stephenson is an acquired taste, so I understand.
It’s also written in third person present tense, which takes a LOT of getting used to. And has a lot of the usual Neal Stephenson exposition dumps and meandering. But overall it’s a book I really enjoyed once I got into it.

I’m about to start the final book in the Books of Babel series finally, I’ve been bad about reading much lately. I also need to get on the sequels to Gideon the Ninth.
 
It’s also written in third person present tense, which takes a LOT of getting used to. And has a lot of the usual Neal Stephenson exposition dumps and meandering. But overall it’s a book I really enjoyed once I got into it.

I’m about to start the final book in the Books of Babel series finally, I’ve been bad about reading much lately. I also need to get on the sequels to Gideon the Ninth.
I was basically fully onboard after Stephenson deployed the phrase “black chariot of pepperoni fire.”
 
I've begun a Brandon Sanderson kick, starting with Elantris. Really enjoying it so far, the characters are interesting, and I'm curious as to what happened to Elantris. The only thing I'm not super vibing with is a lot of the names, they kinda feel like they're "fantasy goofy for the sake of it", if that makes sense.

Debating on reading Warbreaker next or going for the Mistborn trilogy.
 
Debating on reading Warbreaker next or going for the Mistborn trilogy.

Ah, I believe those are the two tracks fans generally recommend for starting out.

I primarily read Warbreaker through its free availability on the author's website, but that process was kind of carried out in chunks until I picked it up at the library, which might have masked some of the pacing clunkiness people talk about.

Some neat concepts in those, though.

I haven't read that much from Sanderson, in actuality, but from what I have read I'd recommend his novella, The Emperor's Soul.
 
Ah, I believe those are the two tracks fans generally recommend for starting out.

I primarily read Warbreaker through its free availability on the author's website, but that process was kind of carried out in chunks until I picked it up at the library, which might have masked some of the pacing clunkiness people talk about.

Some neat concepts in those, though.

I haven't read that much from Sanderson, in actuality, but from what I have read I'd recommend his novella, The Emperor's Soul.
I've read all of the Stormlight Archive books, including the novellas, but tbh they are actually probably better saved for after the rest of his work, as they contain a number of references that went over my head at the time. Still enjoyable, mind you.
 
Finished Elantris, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope Sanderson can put out a sequel at some point (he apparently has plans for one).

I also decided to deviate from my plan to just read a bunch of Brandon Sanderson, and have decided to read R. F. Kuang's Babel instead.
 
Hey, you still there, old friend? @1upmuffin

Sometimes! I mostly post on Discord now, visiting forums now and then.

Reading update:

Recently Finished:
  1. I recently finished the 4th Wheel of Time book, still trudging through that series, still enjoying it, will see how far I can make it.
  2. Finished Fangirl, cute YA book with a not great representation of fanfiction culture

Currently Reading:
  • Tress (audiobook), the first Sanderson kickstarter book (my first Brandon Sanderson book)
  • The Once and Future King (physical book), this will take me awhile but I like it so far except for one very racist bird
  • Blankets (Graphic novel), very good so far! Haven't read as many graphics novels lately as I used to.


How about you?
 
Killers of the Flower Moon was terrific. Horrifying, maddening, super compelling. Has me very excited for the upcoming Scorsese adaptation.
 
Finished Elantris, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope Sanderson can put out a sequel at some point (he apparently has plans for one).

I also decided to deviate from my plan to just read a bunch of Brandon Sanderson, and have decided to read R. F. Kuang's Babel instead.
Elantris is (usually) regarded as one of Sanderson’s worst books, and you can definitely tell it was his first published. I still liked it and I don’t think it’s bad, but it has a lot of rough edges and things to it that would be smoothed out later in his writing.

I recently did a reread of The Lies of Locke Lamora and really enjoyed it again, Scott Lynch has a great feel for dialogue and setting. Supposedly Thorn of Emberlain will actually be coming out kinda sorta soon-ish (we’ll see) and I would definitely love some more Locke and Jean.
 
Elantris is (usually) regarded as one of Sanderson’s worst books, and you can definitely tell it was his first published. I still liked it and I don’t think it’s bad, but it has a lot of rough edges and things to it that would be smoothed out later in his writing.
I feel like that speaks more to the quality of the rest of his books, haha. But yeah, it does come across a little rough in some spots.

Babel was really good, if a tiny bit preachy at points. Definitely has one of the most interesting "magic" systems I've ever seen.

Reading Warbreaker now and I'm about 250 pages in. Quite enjoying it so far.
 
Wasn't sure if this warranted a new thread, but certainly felt there'd be a crowd of people here extremely interested in this:



God I can't believe it's been twelve years since Inheritance. So stoked
 
Currently about 65% through the second book of the Mistborn trilogy, really enjoying it. Sanderson really has a way with characters that makes them compelling.

I am gonna take a slight detour after finishing the Well of Ascension to read Don't Fear The Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones (another middle book in a trilogy). My Heart is a Chainsaw was so good, I'm excited to dig into this one.
 
Wasn't sure if this warranted a new thread, but certainly felt there'd be a crowd of people here extremely interested in this:



God I can't believe it's been twelve years since Inheritance. So stoked

Haven't read these books since I was a kid but they were fairly formative for me. Pretty afraid they don't hold up but it's been a while and Paloni's had a lot of time to grow (iirc he was like a teenager when he started the Inheritance series)

Also hey, a Book OT! Didn't realize this was here

Just wrapped up Going Postal (Discworld) which was amazing as usual for the series and I'm sad I only have a couple books left. Also started reading Book 8 of the Expanse, so almost done with that series as well.
 
Finished up Crier's War last night, and found it quite enjoyable (it only took me four days to read it!), and I find myself wondering how on Earth this storyline can be finished in only one more book, since it's a duology.
 
Haven't read these books since I was a kid but they were fairly formative for me. Pretty afraid they don't hold up but it's been a while and Paloni's had a lot of time to grow (iirc he was like a teenager when he started the Inheritance series)

Also hey, a Book OT! Didn't realize this was here

Just wrapped up Going Postal (Discworld) which was amazing as usual for the series and I'm sad I only have a couple books left. Also started reading Book 8 of the Expanse, so almost done with that series as well.

Yeah I think I’m a book behind you and getting bummed that I’m nearly finished reading all the Discworld books too. Honestly I’m kinda tempted to reread them all from the start, I’ve been reading them all over a few years so I’ve forgotten a lot of the finer plot details.

I just love Pratchett’s writing style. The man just knew how to hit that balance of comedy and emotion that makes his writing hit for me.
 
Finished reading Midnight Movies by Jonathan Rosenbaum and J. Hoberman. An excellent if somewhat dated examination of cult films as a phenomenon. The chapter of early American experimental cinema was especially good.
Currently reading An Army of Phantoms by Hoberman, which is an examination of the cold war in the 50s and its relationship to Hollywood. Great stuff.
 
Chipping my way through Cloud Cuckoo Land, which I am enjoying, but having trouble reading for long sessions.
 
Yeah I think I’m a book behind you and getting bummed that I’m nearly finished reading all the Discworld books too. Honestly I’m kinda tempted to reread them all from the start, I’ve been reading them all over a few years so I’ve forgotten a lot of the finer plot details.

I just love Pratchett’s writing style. The man just knew how to hit that balance of comedy and emotion that makes his writing hit for me.
Yeah same, I don't typically do rereads but I might have to make an exception

Pratchett just hits different. Discworld has also become my go-to "comfort" series, and not sure there's anything that can replace it
 
Yeah same, I don't typically do rereads but I might have to make an exception

Pratchett just hits different. Discworld has also become my go-to "comfort" series, and not sure there's anything that can replace it
Have you read Good Omens? Pratchett and Neil Gaiman wrote it together by mail, alternating chapters and basically making it up as they went along.

It's fun.
 
I'm rereading the Discworld books I have. Currently I am on Moving Pictures and having a good time with it. I have audiobooks of more Discworld novels, but I do want more physical editions.

God, I love Pratchett's world.
 
I did it! I finished the Mistborn trilogy and goddamn what a great trilogy. I'm actually itching to start the sequel series but I should probably knock out some of my reading backlog before I go buying new books (which I did today anyway 😅).
 
I started book 5 of Wheel of Time.
I finished Underground Railroad recently, and finished My Year of Rest and Relaxation recently.
 
Taking 'Ninth House' with me on vacation this week so I can read some mystery by the beach and hopefully get out of my reading slump.
 
Really wanna get the last book in The Drowning Empire trilogy when it comes out near the end of this month, but it comes out in hardcover first, and I have the first two books in paperback. Decisions, decisions.
 
Finished East of Eden the other day, I love love love Steinbeck's prose. Also this quote is so good
In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted shortcuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly re-spawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is
 
Upping this thread for Pride month to plug the Locked Tomb series by Tamsyn Muir. Necromancers, bone magic, mystery, and some really fun characters. And it’s gay! I just started the second book, Harrow the Ninth, and am really enjoying it.
 
Recently finished books:

Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe: Some of the most beautiful prose I've ever read, genre or not. People say the Book of the New Sun is a challenging read, and I kinda understand, but I found this to be an absolute joy to read. Essential scifi/fantasy. Gonna take a bit of a break before going into Claw of the Conciliator. Burst out lauging when the MC is asked if the weird thing that he sees at the end of the book is a vision and he says he has never had a vision. My brother in christ, 25% of the book is about your visions!
5/5


Four Past Midnight by Stephen King: A lotta bullshit, but some fun to be had. Agggggggghhhjjj, that dog is wearing a bolo tie!!!
3/5

Dark Half by also Stephen King: this is a lot of fun! Not King's best, but far, far from his worst! Just a good time slasher, crime, supernatural horror stew.
4/5

The Hunter by Richard Stark: love to read about a hard ass bastard who can out hard ass anyone. Has a cool, stark beauty of violence. 5/5
 
@1upmuffin

Hey there, old friend.

Since my last post, I've read:

Star Wars: The Fallen Star (The High Republic) by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Marxist Political Economy by John Eaton

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) by George R. R. Martin

China’s Economic Dialectic: The Original Aspiration of Reform by Cheng Enfu

Also, last time, I was reading: Balance: How It Works and What It Means by Paul Thagard, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear, and Future Skills: The 20 Skills and Competencies Everyone Needs to Succeed in a Digital World by Bernard Marr.

In total, I've finished 19 books so far in 2023.

Almost done with The Three-Body Problem trilogy by Liu Cixin as well (just finished The Dark Forest).

All in all, I'm trying to do the "52 book" challenge that you see in Goodreads.

If anyone has books that they can recommend me, please do. I'm not picky. Fiction and non-fiction. If you want pointers on what I like, I'm willing to give that to you as well.

Cheers!
 
All in all, I'm trying to do the "52 book" challenge that you see in Goodreads.

If anyone has books that they can recommend me, please do. I'm not picky. Fiction and non-fiction. If you want pointers on what I like, I'm willing to give that to you as well.

Cheers!

More Cixin Liu ( my favorite so far is Ball Lightning)
Anything by Marlon James
Roadside Picnic
No Longer Human
Masters of Doom
Glitch Feminism
 
@1upmuffin

Hey there, old friend.

Since my last post, I've read:

Star Wars: The Fallen Star (The High Republic) by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Marxist Political Economy by John Eaton

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) by George R. R. Martin

China’s Economic Dialectic: The Original Aspiration of Reform by Cheng Enfu

Also, last time, I was reading: Balance: How It Works and What It Means by Paul Thagard, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear, and Future Skills: The 20 Skills and Competencies Everyone Needs to Succeed in a Digital World by Bernard Marr.

In total, I've finished 19 books so far in 2023.

Almost done with The Three-Body Problem trilogy by Liu Cixin as well (just finished The Dark Forest).

All in all, I'm trying to do the "52 book" challenge that you see in Goodreads.

If anyone has books that they can recommend me, please do. I'm not picky. Fiction and non-fiction. If you want pointers on what I like, I'm willing to give that to you as well.

Cheers!
I hope you're enjoying Three-Body Problem. I think Death's End might be my favorite of the three!

I've been recommending the Teixcalaan duology to everyone I can. A Memory Called Empire is one of my favorites of the past few years.

I'm also an Emily St. John Mandel stan at this point, so I have to recommend Station Eleven, The Glass Hotel, and Sea of Tranquility.
 
More Cixin Liu ( my favorite so far is Ball Lightning)
Anything by Marlon James
Roadside Picnic
No Longer Human
Masters of Doom
Glitch Feminism
Roadside Picnic is great. Strugatsky Bros in general are tops. Monday Starts on Saturday and Hard To Be A God are particularly great. Dead Mountaineers Inn also gives me that "weird" feeling.
Other good Soviet SF is Stranislaw Lem's Solaris.
As for other recs:
The Monk by Lewis
The Adventures of Simplicius Simplicissimus
Moorcock's Elric Saga
Who Fears the Devil by Manly Wade Wellman
The Twenty Days of Turin
The works of Arthur Machen
Anything by Edogawa Ranpo
Kangaroo Notebook and Face of Another by Kobo Abe
Drive-in by Joe Lansdale
Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed
The Master and Margarita
 
More Cixin Liu ( my favorite so far is Ball Lightning)
Anything by Marlon James
Roadside Picnic
No Longer Human
Masters of Doom
Glitch Feminism
I read Roadside Picnic. Didn't quite enjoy it, to be honest.

Heard good things about Marlon James and I plan to read Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu.

I hope you're enjoying Three-Body Problem. I think Death's End might be my favorite of the three!

I've been recommending the Teixcalaan duology to everyone I can. A Memory Called Empire is one of my favorites of the past few years.

I'm also an Emily St. John Mandel stan at this point, so I have to recommend Station Eleven, The Glass Hotel, and Sea of Tranquility.
I have Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel on my list, though I haven't read her yet, of course.

The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin is my favorite of the trilogy so far. I will start Death's End soon enough, along with The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (which I'm also reading for the first time).

Oh yeah, and I plan to read Arkady Martine's work; I think she's also making a third book in the series so it won't be a duology for much longer.
 
@1upmuffin

Hey there, old friend.

Since my last post, I've read:

Star Wars: The Fallen Star (The High Republic) by Claudia Gray

Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Marxist Political Economy by John Eaton

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) by George R. R. Martin

China’s Economic Dialectic: The Original Aspiration of Reform by Cheng Enfu

Also, last time, I was reading: Balance: How It Works and What It Means by Paul Thagard, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear, and Future Skills: The 20 Skills and Competencies Everyone Needs to Succeed in a Digital World by Bernard Marr.

In total, I've finished 19 books so far in 2023.

Almost done with The Three-Body Problem trilogy by Liu Cixin as well (just finished The Dark Forest).

All in all, I'm trying to do the "52 book" challenge that you see in Goodreads.

If anyone has books that they can recommend me, please do. I'm not picky. Fiction and non-fiction. If you want pointers on what I like, I'm willing to give that to you as well.

Cheers!

Hell yeah! This is great. First time reading The Hobbit? It's one of my favorites.

I'm listening to The City and the City, and I'm still reading The Once and Future King (I've been pretty slow on reading lately sadly).

Recommendation: Have you read Guards Guards? It's a great place to start on Discworld if you haven't read any. Sirens of Titan if you want a 2nd rec.
 


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