July 02, 2020, 09:07:07 AM

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Re: Your Top five books you’ve read in 2018 and the five most unsatisfying Sadly, I didn't get to read much this year. But that's why I've just joined - such a vast and descriptive list of recommendations, both good and bad! I don't think I can read half of these over 2019, but I can't wait to try!

Of the books I *was* able to read this year:

The Poppy War, by RF Kuang - Got it for free while buying books at a Comicon in March; ironically, it was the one I liked the best. I never sank my teeth into Chinese history and lore before, so it was a refreshing change of pace - but what stuck out to me most was the book's violent themes. Based on accounts of the Rape of Nanking, Kuang was hellbent to make sure her readers learn (and never forget) the horrors and hell that happened when the Japanese invaded China. Warning: She does her job a bit too well.

The Untold Tales of Ozman Droom and Diary of a Gentleman Diabolist, by Robin Spriggs - A series of prose poems and short stories straight from the bizarre and twisted side of fiction, but with a sense of mystery so compelling you could almost swear you're being forced to keep reading. The books were loaned to me by a friend, but after only a couple months of keeping them on my bedside table, I feel like they were almost drawn to me. A note on the poems within the Diary: They're prose poems, not really meant to be read more than two or three at a time, and best read aloud, if only (and especially) at a whisper.

Autonomous, by Annalee Newitz - I'm hard-pressed to find anything I didn't like about this book, except perhaps that it didn't quite tackle its titular issue - the autonomy of sentient AI. To me, for the whole book, the question of what happens when AI begin to ask for, demand, and earn their autonomy was secondary to the central plot of "Big Pharma's" monopoly on drugs. Even so, I enjoyed it thoroughly; the battle between Captain Jack and Big Pharma rose plenty of interesting questions for the future of pharmaceuticals and trans-humanism to keep me interested - and the plot itself was pretty good to boot!

As for books I found unsatisfying, there was only one; for the sake of my mental health, my friends have advised me to stop talking about it. I will only say this much on the matter: if you're going to write a story with 20 main characters and innumerable side-characters for the reader to keep track of, please do not give each one an introduction shorter than a paragraph. And for the love of god, a king who is into BDSM is funny exactly once - don't push the gag further than that.

Pun intended.

January 01, 2019, 06:49:58 PM
Re: Say Hi, I'm new thread Hi there! I'm Egg, an Egg. I heard this forum lets you talk about books, specifically with people who also talk about books. This intrigues me, so I have joined you. I'm usually pretty quiet, and I like to lurk - it's pretty rare for me to break 10 posts a month, so please don't kick me for inactivity if I haven't posted in a while. I'm probably just reading the most popular conversations.
January 01, 2019, 08:38:37 PM
Re: Say Hi, I'm new thread It's not really a reference to anything - I had eggs for breakfast the morning I signed up. I also have a chocolate egg on my desk from Easter. And an egg timer.

Huh. Maybe there's more symbolism here than I'm picking up on.

And I don't really have any favorite authors right now. Last year I was able to read a whopping 4 books, not counting comics, and none of them particularly struck me. I liked Jack London's books as a kid, and I ate the Illiad and the Odyssey before high school, so it's not that I don't like reading - I just forgot about it after I left school, I suppose.

Which is why one of my first actions on this site was to check on what folk have been reading recently and buying 10 random books from the accumulated list. Ultimate goal: to read them all by the Ides of March.

January 02, 2019, 10:36:19 PM
Re: Do unpronounceable names put you off a fantasy yarn? Considering the fact that I haven't even begun the process of naming the characters in a certain story I've been incubating, this thread has been chock-full of absolutely priceless advice and insight.
January 04, 2019, 04:11:51 AM
Re: What are you currently reading? I finally got most of the books I ordered, 8 out of 10. Already, I'm remembering how voracious a reader I was back in school - it hasn't been a week and I've already devoured MacPherson's "Here Be Dragons," and as of this morning I've started work on Barker's "Age of Assassins." My goal was to read these books over the course of the next three months, but at this rate I'll be lucky if I have any left by Valentine's Day!
January 11, 2019, 08:29:33 PM