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And what are we reading now?
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Author:  FootFace [ Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

Have you all read World Made by Hand or any of its sequels?

I really liked the first one and The Witch of Hebron, the second one. I'm reading the third one now.

They take place in upstate New York, after some kind of global (?) disaster that has destroyed everything we think of as "the modern world." So it's part post-apocalyptic and part "competence porn." Look! People are doing real things, making things, rebuilding a community. The books are fun, BUT:

The way most of the characters talk is aggressively unrealistic. They talk like some kind of caricature of gentlemen farmers from Civil War times or something. The book takes place now, more or less, but people talk like colorful types from a different century. I don't know if the author is really just into world (re)building, so he would rather trade realism for atmosphere. But I find it very distracting and often silly.

Author:  Morgyn [ Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

I love the phrase "competence porn", FootFace!

I've just started the third Outlander book. They're so trashy but so good.

Author:  LazySmurf [ Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

I'm reading New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson which takes place in a flooded building that is now a co-op with some levels as farms and the rest as living quarters in drowned lower Manhattan. It's got a lot of political economy but I think it's really interesting.

Author:  vixki [ Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

I'm rereading Lard of the Rings whilst on holiday in the Lake District, it seemed fitting. I feel like a hobbit on an adventure here, it's marvellous.

Author:  FootFace [ Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

LazySmurf wrote:
I'm reading New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson which takes place in a flooded building that is now a co-op with some levels as farms and the rest as living quarters in drowned lower Manhattan. It's got a lot of political economy but I think it's really interesting.


I really, really loved his The Years of Rice and Salt.

Author:  FootFace [ Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

Morgyn wrote:
I love the phrase "competence porn", FootFace!


Yeah! It's all these people who just know how to do... things. How to make things, fix things, grow things!

Author:  LazySmurf [ Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

FootFace wrote:
LazySmurf wrote:
I'm reading New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson which takes place in a flooded building that is now a co-op with some levels as farms and the rest as living quarters in drowned lower Manhattan. It's got a lot of political economy but I think it's really interesting.


I really, really loved his The Years of Rice and Salt.


My favorite is the Red Mars series but I also really really like Aurora.

Author:  Anek [ Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

I'm working my way through Smiley's People just because I bought the trilogy on the glowing recommendation of a colleague but I am not enjoying it very much. But I am also not hating it enough to give up, and I'm already halfway done so I'll push through and then be done forever with spy novels that only have male characters. This same colleague also recommended The Deptford Trilogy which I read last year without enjoying it, and The Wonder Boys which I started and have given up on already after less than 10 pages. It's a good thing this colleague has left so I won't have any more recommendations for all-male books.

Luckily I have a new series I'm liking a lot, I'm now on book 4, The Moor. The series starts with The Beekeeper's Apprentice and it follows Mary Russel, a 15 years old smart woman in 1915 that runs into a retired Sherlock Holmes and becomes his apprentice. It's nice because it draws on Sherlock Holmes but he is not the main character so it's not like it's rewriting his stories or placing him in unbelievable situations. Mary is the main character.

Author:  Hollie [ Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

I just finished a book with a disappointing ending (A Parcel for Anna Browne, which I found on a 'must-read' list), and then started Spectacles by Sue Perkins.

Author:  vixki [ Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

Anek, I read The Beekeeper's Apprentice a long time ago and I remember loving it! I only read a couple as at that point I was relying on my library which had no more of them, but I should pick them back up!

Author:  Anek [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

You should, I enjoyed the following books as much as the initial one so far, although they become one-story-per-book instead of the shorter adventures of the first book.

Author:  GreenDuck [ Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

Anek wrote:
I'm working my way through Smiley's People just because I bought the trilogy on the glowing recommendation of a colleague but I am not enjoying it very much. But I am also not hating it enough to give up, and I'm already halfway done so I'll push through and then be done forever with spy novels that only have male characters. This same colleague also recommended The Deptford Trilogy which I read last year without enjoying it, and The Wonder Boys which I started and have given up on already after less than 10 pages. It's a good thing this colleague has left so I won't have any more recommendations for all-male books.

Luckily I have a new series I'm liking a lot, I'm now on book 4, The Moor. The series starts with The Beekeeper's Apprentice and it follows Mary Russel, a 15 years old smart woman in 1915 that runs into a retired Sherlock Holmes and becomes his apprentice. It's nice because it draws on Sherlock Holmes but he is not the main character so it's not like it's rewriting his stories or placing him in unbelievable situations. Mary is the main character.

Yes! The Mary Russell books are so good! SO very very good!

Author:  Anek [ Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

BTW has any of you read "The Power" by Naomi Aldermann? I enjoyed it enormously although it was disturbing sometimes.

Author:  LazySmurf [ Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

Anek wrote:
BTW has any of you read "The Power" by Naomi Aldermann? I enjoyed it enormously although it was disturbing sometimes.

It looks excellent, I'm adding it to my TBR

I'm on to "They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45" it's fascinating. Really glad the American author is often comparing antisemitism to racism in the US.

Author:  FootFace [ Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

FootFace wrote:
Have you all read World Made by Hand or any of its sequels?...

The way most of the characters talk is aggressively unrealistic. They talk like some kind of caricature of gentlemen farmers from Civil War times or something. The book takes place now, more or less, but people talk like colorful types from a different century. I don't know if the author is really just into world (re)building, so he would rather trade realism for atmosphere. But I find it very distracting and often silly.


I'm reading the fourth book now. The writing has gotten sillier and sillier. It's as though the author thinks that because material society has returned to the ways of a previous century, everyone's speech would revert to older forms, too. Which doesn't make any sense.

Someone refers to someone who died without ever having children as "having died without issue." This is the year 20-whatever.

The narrator mentions two people walking into the parlor of the house and then says that that's what people used to call the living room. A cougar in New York State is referred to as a catamount.

The people have "levees" instead of parties, and they sing old-timey songs. (Which they all somehow know.)

There are endless examples of this stuff, so I'm assuming it's deliberate. I find it so unrealistic and distracting, like all the people in the book (even the narrator!) are playing a part instead of being... people.

Author:  Hoodwinked [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

GreenDuck wrote:
Anek wrote:
I'm working my way through Smiley's People just because I bought the trilogy on the glowing recommendation of a colleague but I am not enjoying it very much. But I am also not hating it enough to give up, and I'm already halfway done so I'll push through and then be done forever with spy novels that only have male characters. This same colleague also recommended The Deptford Trilogy which I read last year without enjoying it, and The Wonder Boys which I started and have given up on already after less than 10 pages. It's a good thing this colleague has left so I won't have any more recommendations for all-male books.

Luckily I have a new series I'm liking a lot, I'm now on book 4, The Moor. The series starts with The Beekeeper's Apprentice and it follows Mary Russel, a 15 years old smart woman in 1915 that runs into a retired Sherlock Holmes and becomes his apprentice. It's nice because it draws on Sherlock Holmes but he is not the main character so it's not like it's rewriting his stories or placing him in unbelievable situations. Mary is the main character.

Yes! The Mary Russell books are so good! SO very very good!



taking this advice and reading The Beekeeper's Apprentice now.
It's good!
some of the dialogue is a little forced sounding but overall, I love the process of how she is learning to detect.

Author:  GreenDuck [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

Yay!

I need to go back and re-read my way through the series. There are a couple of the last books that I haven't read.

Author:  teacup [ Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

I am reading (re-reading) The Thurber Carnival ... laugh out loud funny in places ...

Author:  Chickpea [ Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

Hope you enjoy it. Have you joined Goodreads? There are lots of people there.

Author:  Hollie [ Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: And what are we reading now?

I just finished "The Thousandth Floor," a YA novel I definitely bought because of the cover art (on Kindle, makes total sense, I know). Apparently it's the first of a series, but I'm not sure if I was into it enough to seek out the others when they come out.

I bought "My Absolute Darling" on rec from Samantha Irby in the bisques Gotta Read FB group (are you guys in that? GET IN IT), only to later find out that it's somewhat problematic. I'm going to read it and make up my own damn mind, though. Starting it today.

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