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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:20 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:51 am 
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I love the phrase "competence porn", FootFace!

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

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:12 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:37 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:39 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:40 pm 
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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!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:24 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:55 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:57 am 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:31 pm 
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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!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:47 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:31 am 
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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!

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:37 am 
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BTW has any of you read "The Power" by Naomi Aldermann? I enjoyed it enormously although it was disturbing sometimes.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:47 am 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:28 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:24 am 
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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.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:17 pm 
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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.

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:32 am 
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I am reading (re-reading) The Thurber Carnival ... laugh out loud funny in places ...

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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:34 am 
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Hope you enjoy it. Have you joined Goodreads? There are lots of people there.


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:21 am 
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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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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:49 am 
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Michio Kakiu's "Future of the mind". It gives me an outside perspective on Neuroscience, which I can only imagine being helpful to my understanding of it. As a Neuroscientist, I spend most of my time reading about mechanisms of disease and not future tech solutions. :)


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 Post subject: Re: And what are we reading now?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:26 pm 
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Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. It's got a very Stranger Things-like feel (though it came out long before ST, in 1991). A group of kids, spooky occurrences, something evil that is yet to be revealed, ...that kind of thing. I was initially worried because there are so many characters and my being bad with names definitely carries over to also being bad at remembering who is who in a book, but somehow I've managed to keep pretty solid track of them all. I'm about halfway through and am really enjoying it.

I did not finish My Absolute Darling. I only read one chapter and...nope. (TW for that spoiler)

Spoiler: show
Mostly due to very disturbing and extremely thorough descriptions of incest that sort of make it seem like the author is relishing it. Like, I would not want to meet this guy. Also - a man writing from the point of view of a teenage girl who is repeatedly raped by her father, but enjoys it? BARF FOREVER.


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