What are you currently reading?

Desa

Active member
Posts: 29
Oh, glad to discover a reading club of sorts here!

Might pick up interesting books that way. :D

Currently reading Platonov's Chevengur, but in dutch. It is about a russian man growing up in the time of the Revolution thundering across the land, after a prologue of sorts which I think I just finished, the summarization tells me they will send him through the hinterland of the young Soviet Union, and there he will stumble on the village Chevengur where communism somehow has started to establish itself. But Stalin hated it because of its anarchic spirit and critical look on the failures and tensions of soviet communism, and yet the writer also believed in communism. So that tension appeals to me.

So far, I like it. The writing meanders like a slow, ponderous and mighty stream, it tends to focus on one person, but it flashes at times to other people's perspective with ease. There is a weird, soft humorous and existential concern to it about the struggle and suffering of people the protagonist meets on his journey. It aches, and believes things should be better. But it also doesn't convey people as heroic, rather, they are petty, confused and contradictory all the time.

Curious to see what things will be in Chevengur.
 

lilybilly

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Posts: 13
I'm reading Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This was a book we picked for book club (I didn't finish it like usual 😭). It's... ok. I like it enough to finish it, but I'm at about 90% and I don't think I'll pick up the next one.

Also reading One Piece as per my brother's request, though I really need to read the next volume. I'm only at like volume 5.

The Blade Itself is another book I started recently. I really want to like it but I haven't had the motivation to finish it. I'm definitely gonna make an effort to actually get through it all the way, and maybe start the next in the series. Sometimes I just need time to take in the world and characters before I like the book lol

And when I get done with those books I'm gonna pick up Fool's Fate by Robin Hobb!! I'm incredibly excited to get back into the series but I'm also not ready to get done with Tawny Man lol. God, if you guys like fantasy but haven't read Realm of the Elderlings you HAVE TO!! It's top tier fr, 10/10 I adore this series with every part of my soul
 

Maegaranthelas

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Bard from The Netherlands
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Posts: 555
"I sing and I know things"
I finally cycled back to reading this month, so I have finished two books in the past week.
Jeff Goodell's The Water Will Come details the past, current, and likely or potential future of flooding due to catastrophic climate change. It charts some of the many cities that will be (and often already are) being inundated as well as what they are attempting to stop the water (and the flaws in their plans). Very sobering, and I appreciate that it's not limited to a western experience.

I also read N K Jemisin's The Obelisk Gate, part two of the Broken Earth trilogy. Once again, a fantastic piece of fiction, and I look forward to the next. I love it when books cause you to make noises when you finally understand where a story thread is going xD
 

AquaMarie

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Paladin from Texas, USA
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 149
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
@Maegaranthelas Oh, The Water Will Come sounds really interesting! I'll add that one to my to-read shelf on Goodreads (with the other 615 books I want to read:shock:). Thanks for the rec!

Currently re-reading the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire before diving into Mislaid in Parts Half-Known. I'll admit, I enjoyed the first 4 books of the series more than the next three, but the concept and the characters in the whole series are so fun! I'm looking forward to the latest one.
 

elie

Member
Bard from Europe
Posts: 16
I also read N K Jemisin's The Obelisk Gate, part two of the Broken Earth trilogy. Once again, a fantastic piece of fiction, and I look forward to the next. I love it when books cause you to make noises when you finally understand where a story thread is going xD
Ooooooooooooooooohhh! I loved this series! I avidly listened to it while running a couple of years ago.

(I also enjoyed The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter very much, if you ever are interested in African adult fantasy.)

I am currently reading Le fantôme du Vicaire, by Eric Fouassier. It's about a 19th century inspector that examines paranormal cases. I haven't read that far just yet.

The never-ending Carthage is still somewhere, gathering dust.
 
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Maegaranthelas

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"I sing and I know things"
@AquaMarie It really is worthy of being on the list (I also have one of those lists :p ) I honestly only go to this one because one of my favourite youtubers does a podcast about climate books, and I really want to read the books before listening to the episode (you really don't have to do that, I just want to). So I am slowly chipping away at some. I even had a few of them on the shelves already xD

@elie Ooh, I would love to check out some African fantasy, for sure! Thank you for the recommendation :lovely:
 

PetiteSheWolf

Well-known member
Alchemist from France
Posts: 1,698
Been reading "la fortune des Rougons" (the Rougons's fortune) by Emile Zola. It is the very first volume of his serie of books on a French extended family through the second Empire (1851 - 1870, give or take for narration). It is fascinating as it introduces many characters I have already seen in his other books, and explains the variety of social class inside this group. The "genetic influence" portion feels a bit manicheist at time, but is interesting to follow. Also very interesting is Zola's own political bias - he definitly was against Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'état, and his drawing of the manipulators taking advantage of it is really acid, but he also blasts the false-republicans powerfully. Actually, few people are really drawn in a sympathetic way (which you can find again in Germinal - the book about coal miners, and La Terre, about farmers), but those who are, generaly gentle idealists, are definitly unforgettable and rarely have a good end. I haven't finished the book yet, but definitly glad I picked it.
 

JohnStrong

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Commando from Alberta
Posts: 512
"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Socrates"
Re-reading a history of the submarine by Thomas Parrish and being astonished all over again by the always dangerous, and often fatal, experiments by inventors and their teams of volunteers.
 

AquaMarie

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Paladin from Texas, USA
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 149
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: interesting information, but I find his tone really, really off-putting. It's way too definite and assured for a psychology book, if that makes sense. Brains are weird! Sure, you can identify trends and make generalities, but not everyone's brain is going to conform to every result you find in your studies. And in university studies especially you have to be careful not to confuse a trend in college students (the typical volunteer for those studies) for a trend in the general public.

Sistah Samurai by Tatiana Obey. An anime-style story about a grump with bad knees kicking butt? Yes, please! :LOL:
 

AquaMarie

Well-known member
Paladin from Texas, USA
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 149
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash by Susan Strasser - I'm really enjoying this one! It's fascinating to see how trends and ideas change over time. It's also giving me some ideas :ohyes:. I really, really want to try making a barrel chair with my two old, uncomfortable bedspreads now. :LOL:


The House that Walked Between Worlds by Jenny Schwartz - I've only just started this one, and it's moving fast. I hope we get to slow down a bit and flesh out the world building and characters some. It's very fun, though! And I always love a sentient house. :imp:
 

NancyTree

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Valkyrie from The Netherlands
Posts: 2,132
I just finished the first Twilight (by Stephenie Meyer). It was a huge dissapointment. It's one of the few books of which the film adaptation is way better.
The story line is clumsy, the dialogues are clumsy and repetetive (they kind of have the same conversation 20 times), and the main character is just unlikeable in how she describes her.

I bought the whole box set because I thought it would be awesome 😅 so I'll give part two at least a chance, maybe she learned or evolved during the process? (Twilight was her very first book, ever)
 

aronhoustongy

New member
Posts: 1
Been reading "la fortune des Rougons" (the Rougons's fortune) by Emile Zola. It is the very first volume of his serie of books on a French extended family through the second Empire (1851 - 1870, give or take for narration). It is fascinating as it introduces many characters I have already seen in his other books, and explains the variety of social class inside this group. The "genetic influence" portion feels a bit manicheist at time, but is interesting to follow. Also very interesting is Zola's own political bias - he definitly was against Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'état, and his drawing of the manipulators taking advantage of it is really acid, but he also blasts the false-republicans powerfully. Actually, few people are really drawn in a sympathetic way (which you can find again in Germinal - the book about coal miners, and La Terre, about farmers), but those who are, generaly gentle idealists toonkor, are definitly unforgettable and rarely have a good end. I haven't finished the book yet, but definitly glad I picked it.
Currently, I'm not reading anything, but Platonov's "Chevengur" sounds intriguing! It follows a Russian man navigating the tumultuous time of the Revolution as it sweeps across the land. After what seems like a prologue, the story promises to take him through the hinterlands of the young Soviet Union, where he encounters the village of Chevengur, where communism begins to take root. However, Stalin, despite being a proponent of communism, despises Chevengur for its anarchic spirit and critical examination of the failures and tensions within Soviet communism. This tension between the writer's belief in communism and Stalin's disdain for Chevengur adds depth to the narrative and makes for an intriguing read.
 

Maegaranthelas

Well-known member
Bard from The Netherlands
Pronouns: They/them
Posts: 555
"I sing and I know things"
Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash by Susan Strasser - I'm really enjoying this one! It's fascinating to see how trends and ideas change over time. It's also giving me some ideas :ohyes:. I really, really want to try making a barrel chair with my two old, uncomfortable bedspreads now. :LOL:
Waste and Want was so so so good! I think about things from that book all the time xD
It fits in with my hobbies of making clothes and learning about historical fashion, as well as some good old practical arcaheology ^^

And I agree with your assessment on Kahneman's book, it's fantastic but also not nearly as special as he makes it out to be.



I read The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh. It was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, it is a very interesting look at how and why literature has failed to feature climate change. On the other hand, it is very... literature :') The writing style was sometimes delightful, and at other times incredibly dense and full of references that meant absolutely nothing to me (who has studied literature). So I think this one is mostly very interesting for writers, current and aspiring alike.

An absolute winner though, A Short History of the World According to Sheep by Sally Coulthard. Heartily recommended, it's a fabulous title and a whirlwind overview of very specific and interesting sections of history and archeology =D
 

AquaMarie

Well-known member
Paladin from Texas, USA
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 149
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku - I love this book! It's full of Star Trek, Star Wars and other sci-fi references; it's really well organized; and it's easy to tell how interested and excited the author was about what he was writing. It was written in 2008, and I'm excited to read his other two books my library had (written in 2011 and 2018) to see how far the science has come.
 

orion76

New member
Posts: 3
I'm currently engrossed in a historical fiction piece called "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah. It's a gripping story set in World War II France, following the lives of two sisters and their struggle for survival and resistance against the Nazi occupation. I found it at a great price on BooksRun's website, where they have a wide selection of both new releases and used textbooks. It's not just textbooks; you can find some real gems there for leisure reading too!
 
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AquaMarie

Well-known member
Paladin from Texas, USA
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 149
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
The Heat Will Kill You First by Jeff Goodell - Very good book, but maybe not the best thing to be reading when my air conditioner is out :phew:

Prep School by James P. DeWan - Great information about useful cooking techniques, but...I dunno, it seems like the techniques focus mostly on making things look the best. Nothing wrong with that, but I tend to prioritize taste and efficiency over presentation. I don't care so much if the pecans on my cake are a little chunky, as long as the flavor enhances the flavor of the cake. But that's just me - I'm sure folks who cook more for company would get a lot of fantastic tricks from the book.
 

NancyTree

Well-known member
Valkyrie from The Netherlands
Posts: 2,132
I just finished the first Twilight (by Stephenie Meyer). It was a huge dissapointment. It's one of the few books of which the film adaptation is way better.
The story line is clumsy, the dialogues are clumsy and repetetive (they kind of have the same conversation 20 times), and the main character is just unlikeable in how she describes her.

I bought the whole box set because I thought it would be awesome 😅 so I'll give part two at least a chance, maybe she learned or evolved during the process? (Twilight was her very first book, ever)

I finished part 2 (New Moon), it was better than the first, but still not very good. Also here the film makers made the storyline better, more stable and logical. But she's evolving, so I'll go further with part 3. To be continued...
 

AquaMarie

Well-known member
Paladin from Texas, USA
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 149
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."
The Lord God Made Them All by James Harriot. My library does a summer reading program for adults as well as kids, and this year it's a bingo card. Each square has a different category of book to read, and when you get a bingo you get a scratch card for prizes. You fill out the whole card, you get a library tote bag, so guess what I'm aiming for :LOL:.

One of the categories is 'a book published the year you were born.' I remember reading some of James Harriot's book as an animal-obsessed kid and loving them, so I figured I'd give this one a try. It's...well. Some parts are very funny, and there are some lovely descriptions of the land and animals he worked with. But some passages are very, very offensive - there's some pretty overt racism in there, and the animal treatments that used to be standard are pretty awful by today's standards. Be warned if you decide to read this one!
 

PetiteSheWolf

Well-known member
Alchemist from France
Posts: 1,698
So, a few books to add.

Mikel Delgado's "play with your cat". Pretty self-explanatory title, LOL! This should be (like Jackson Galaxy's books) a compulsory reading for first-time or struggling cat guardians. Delgado explains very clearly why playtime is so important in your relation with your cat, and in his balance ; and gives good tips and suggestions for particular cases. I highly recommend! (and Mademoiselle Luna awards it five claws up too, or five fishing toys up, as you prefer!)

Charlaine Harris's "all the dead shall weep". Good continuation in the Gunnie Rose universe. I liked the alternance of POVs between Lizbeth and Felicia, and the evolution of Lizbeth and her sister were clear and interesting. Of course the end is quite the teaser for a next volume, the name dropped
being known for having an interest in the magic/supernatural field, he is gonna clearly go after grigoris to try have some on his side... Bet Lizzy won't like that at all!
Weak points is that Eli's departure is weakly motivated - even afterwards, and Peter's death is glossed over way too fast. But remains a fun steampunk world, with two strong heroins and the guys who like and mostly respect them ;) Makes it 4 raised guns out of 5

Julia Quinn's "An offer from a gentleman". With all the fuss around the Bridgerton TV show, and hearing about how they were fun romances - and as I was curious about reading a romance (not the genre I gravitate toward, but I wanted to broaden my horizon!), I thought I'd give that one a try, since it is the first one that hasn't been put in the TV show yet, so I'd go unspoiled (well, with the genre expectation that the clear couple would have their happy end). And guess what? I had lots of fun, more than what I expected. Quinn's quill is funny, vivid, and moves the story forward. If Sophie's "nearly" perfect, she was not too cloying ; Benedict has his flaws but is also a good guy. The less credible thing was Mama Bridgerton (and Colin, I think) giving their benediction to this union without the least scruple, the least "C'mon you will find another great girl of your birth" ? That's completely unrealistic. ETA : I don't care for the steamy scenes in general- no judgment there but it is not my jam ; here they don't help much develop the characters, but at least they were not too numerous and rather quickly bypassed. So, no advantage, but no inconvenience either. But heck, I did not pick this book for realism (and even less for authenticity), but for a few hours of lighthearted distraction and fun, and it worked very well. (knowing that "gossip girl" identity helped make it even more fun. It is smartly written!) In short, not high litterature, and definitly not history-faithful, but a smart, well written, enjoyable retelling of Cinderella. I think I may read more books of that serie. Have fun at the ball, my lovelies! I give it four glass slippers out of five.
 

Henryk

Well-known member
Warrior Monk Posts: 74
"The truest SUCCESS is but the development of self."
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Maegaranthelas

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Bard from The Netherlands
Pronouns: They/them
Posts: 555
"I sing and I know things"
I read a bunch on holiday! Something about the lack of wifi really helps me progress:muahaha:

1. Het Hele Dorp Wist Het (The Whole Village Knew) by Rinke Verkerk
This was a fascinating but also quite heavy book about how awfully common child sexual abuse is, and especially how and why communities are passive about it.
It deals a lot with the psychology behind victim blaming, how these events usually don't stand alone as a dingle point in history, and how people can work towards healing.
The author is a journalist who as an adult remembered the time a girl from her small town told her about her experience, and also how the town's culture of victim blaming had primed her to ignore and forget what she had been told. It was a fascinating read but obviously heavy.

2. Morele Ambitie (Moral Ambition) by Rutger Bregman
Bregman argues that many smart people's skills are utterly wasted in meaningless or even harmful jobs, and that a different way is possible. You could follow your moral ambition, and find a way to make a positive difference in the world. He has even set up a School For Moral Ambition for people who want guidance for where to best apply their skills.

3. Armoede Uitgelegd aan Mensen met Geld (Poverty Explained to People Who Have Money) by Tim 's Jongers
A deep dive into the many harmful myths about poor people and poverty, as well as what poverty does to your mind.
Written by one of the few people who has actually managed to climb the social ladder and make it out of poverty. Very good, again quite heavy.

4. Postcapitalism by Paul Mason
An interesting look at historical cycles in the capitalist system and how we appear to be at a breaking point, as well as potential ways to move forward.
This was definitely an interesting work, but as it was written in 2015, I am not sure we ended up moving forward in the ways suggested in the book.
For one, this was written before the 'AI' boom (it's large language models, not actual intelligence, but sure), and some would argue (Yanis Varoufakis foremost) that we're actually moving into technofuedalism. I might have to read his book on that soon, see is he responds to Mason's work in it.

5. Neurotribes by Steve Silverman
A history of Autism! It was very well written but also full of historical characters that make your fists itch... Because yeah, prejudice and ego abound in the 'scientists' along the way.
Turns out that Asperger's fellow was very much on the right track, and then promptly got ignored for another couple of decades because someone desperately wanted the glory.
Features quite a few chilling descriptions of institutional abuse, but thankfully ends with a lot of positivity.

6. Land Grabbers by Fred Pearce
I struggled with this book, not through any fault of Pearce's, as it's terribly well-written and bite-sized. No my struggle was that I was only vaguely aware of the issues of land-accumulation in this book, and therefore that I kept on discovering very new things to be incredibly angry about :')
Very good book, though being written in 2012, I kept wondering how bad things might be by now...

And that was it, not at all bad for a single week away :p

I also started reading Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf
It's a history of reading! Both in terms of the development of written languages, but also on what reading does/has done to our brains and why it sometimes doesn't read so well.
I am enjoying it so far, really curious about the upcoming chapters on dyslexia!
 

Maegaranthelas

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Bard from The Netherlands
Pronouns: They/them
Posts: 555
"I sing and I know things"
@Anek They really were! Not exactly light reading, of course, but all fascinating topics and well written books.
And it's nice to finally catch up with some of the unread books on my shelves.
The Dutch ones are from a subscription service, so if you don't read them in time they really do pile up xD
The others have been on my shelves for at least two years, probably three or four.
I've been better about not buying too many physical books lately, so now I am slowly chipping away at the backlog :D
 

Anek

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Sorceress from Bavaria, Germany
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 2,469
"If the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember Cedric Diggory."
I'm halfway through "The Uninhabitable Earth" as recommended by @Maegaranthelas and it's really good. Totally depressing, but really worth reading. Thanks a lot for suggesting it!
 
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