What are you reading?

Discussion of fine arts and literature.
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Maria
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Maria »

Thanks for reposting "They're made out of meat". I'd forgotten that one. :)
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Maria
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Maria »

narya wrote: Wed Jan 24, 2024 11:38 pm Maria, I finished the first two books by Adrian Tschaikovsky - "Children of Time" and "Children of Ruin" - and now I'm reading the third in the series, "Children of Memory".
I just finished "Children of Memory". :shock:
My mind is boggled yet again.

Warning to other readers... if you get confused in the middle of "Children of Memory" like I did ... stick with it. The story is worth it. :)
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Frelga
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Re: What are you reading?

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All my holds came in at once and meanwhile I'm like
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"What a place! What a situation! What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."

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RoseMorninStar
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by RoseMorninStar »

LoL, that happens to me far too often.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by narya »

Frelga and Rose, I found out you can manage your holds in Libby to come available after a certain date. Click on "Manage Hold", then "Delivering Later", then move the slider to the date at which you will optimistically have time to read it. The book will be delivered soon after that date. Currently, my two dozen holds are each set to be delivered, arbitrarily, after March 21st, which seemed reasonable when I did it a month ago. As March 21st approaches, I'll go thru the hold list and bump some farther back. I've managed to whittle my bookshelf down to 7 books, all partly consumed, including an Expanse book (always), pending book club books, and several that skipped the line because I said "ooo pretty!" and downloaded them without discipline. There are also 500 other tagged books waiting patiently.

Frelga, have you gotten past your brain fog yet?

And here is my book report on what I've been reading since January 24th:

The Mayo Clinic 5 Steps to Controlling High Blood Pressure. I don't have high blood pressure - quite yet - so I decided to read this and follow the advice - to maybe avoid getting high blood pressure. The advice was about the same as for the book I read on diabetes, and the one on A-fib, that I haven't finished yet: lose weight if you need to, cut out the alcohol and cigarettes if you are using those, exercise daily, avoid sugars and refined foods, meditate, and find ways to decrease the stress in your life. You know, they usual. :) I'm doing what I can now, while it is still voluntary advice and can be occasionally rebelled against, rather than waiting until I have no choice about it.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov. I believe I talked about this in another thread. Asimov is an awful but typical man of his times (the 50s and 60s), who wrote only about white middle class men in this book. It was a chore to get thru it. The TV series is much more to my liking.

Children of Memory by Adrian Tschaikovsky, the third in the series. All three are very good, and highly creative, though at times with a very Byzantine timeline that was hard to follow. The author does such a good job of imagining what would happen if certain animals were gene-tweaked to become sentient, to the level of humans, but thinking in completely different ways.

The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka, a novella for my local healthy walking/talking book club. Characters musing about why they swim every day, day in and day out. This part is very poetic, but I still don't understand the compulsion - I don't really enjoy swimming. And it shows how a diverse cast of characters, brought together by their love of swimming, deal with each others' health tribulations. I'd say read it if you like swimming. :)

The Grieving Brain by Mary-Frances OÇonnor. I'm a volunteer grief group facilitator now, and found this book helpful to understanding grief from a brain chemistry perspective. It was fascinating. Even if you aren't facing grief at the moment, it is a good look inside how brains work when things suddenly don't add up and something/someone is missing from the picture.

Touched by Walter Mosley, a novella for the LA County Sci Fi Short Story Book Club. This book was quite bizzare. Not really sci fi, more towards horror and Marvel Comics style superhero stories. Not my cup of tea, but then Mosley has published about 100 books, so he must be doing something right.

The Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa. This was hard to classify. It was speculative fiction, but whether you'd call it sci-fi space opera, afro-futurism, or fantasy, I'm not sure. It had all the typical palace intrigue of a fantasy novel, but classic fantasy novels are set in pseudo pre-industrial Europe. This one had technology beyond our present day, including a bit of space travel, but the technology was not discussed. The main character was a tea expert, who grew and sold her planet's version of tea, and conducted tea ceremonies reminiscent of Japanese tea ceremonies. So when she started conducting tea ceremonies at the main palace, naturally, she was able to overhear plots and foment actions. Most of the people in power, including the leader and the general, were female, which was refreshing. I'd definitely think you'd like this one.

No Cure for Being Human by Kate Bowler, another relatively short book for my walking/talking book club. A true story about a young woman faced with a diagnosis that had extremely poor odds of survival, and what her mind was going through. It was a good lesson in "what is really important in my life?".

Radical Dharma by Rev Angel Kyodo Williams et al, an mind opening introduction to radical, queer, Black, Buddhist dharma. Quite moving. There are several authors and they each talk about the struggles to find their place in mainstream society. The intro and preface, as often happens with books, were difficult to get through and not necessary to read before reading the main section, so I recommend skipping them. But do read the book and get a little woke in doing so.

Interpreting our Heritage by Freeman Tilden. (Yes, Tilden Park in Berkeley is named after him.) This book was written in the 50s, but is refreshingly timeless. And for me, as a newly minted volunteer for the National Park Service, at Muir Woods National Monument, very timely. Tilden patiently explains how to "interpret" in national parks. Interpret in the sense of helping the visitors "read", understand, engage, and be challenged by what they see and hear. It was both inspiring and humbling to think that I could do half as well as he is suggesting in sharing my love of the park with a diverse bunch of strangers. I look forward to the challenge.

Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke. This was a strange book, discussing addictions, a bit on brain biochemistry, then treatment of addictions. She jumps right in, with some detail, about her own addiction to steamy vampire novels, then a client's sex addiction, then moves on to clients who have addictions to drinking, deliberate infliction of pain, and various drugs. The tl;dr is that the cure is abstention and radical honesty, for people who have been lying for years to hide/cope with their addictions from themselves and others. She brings in the mechanics behind Alcoholics Anonymous and the concept of beneficial shaming - tell your story about what you are ashamed of to a therapist, AA sponsor, or group of very understanding people, and be healed by their compassionate response. She didn't say it, but it was a version of "the truth will set you free". It did help me understand addicts and addiction better. And the sex addiction part was *quite interesting*. :oops:

And... I read The Expanse again. :P I know it so well now that I can listen to the audio book while falling asleep, and be able to figure out, the next morning, where I dropped off. And because I know what is going to happen, it's not stressful to read, so I intersperse chapters of The Expanse with chapters of more stressful new books.
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus
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RoseMorninStar
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by RoseMorninStar »

narya, I was aware that at times I could request to have books delivered later, but I wasn't aware I could specify a date. I thought I just got put one back in the queue and the book was made available to me once that person was done.

Re: high blood pressure. I've never had high blood pressure but recently found out that I cannot take Aleve because it makes my blood pressure skyrocket. It's good thing to consider before going on medication.

Swimming.. I LOVE to swim!! Laps. I used to do a mile (or more) 3-5x a week before COVID. It's like meditation. There is nothing to do but clear the mind and be 'in the zone'. The rhythmic alternating motion... just love it. That said, I was on the swim team in school and so I know how to swim well, which likely makes it more enjoyable.

I've been reading a lot too. Perhaps I'll put up a list of the books (another day).
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Maria
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Re: What are you reading?

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I've started listening to Tanya Huff's Valor series. I'm impressed so far. The science fiction is good (as in, I haven't heard anything stupid as far as space travel goes) and the military details are also so realistic that I looked up her biography and yes, she is a veteran. So that's kind of cool. I do get a little tired of hearing how useless new 2nd lieutenants are and how inept most officers in general are. :roll: Having been a new 2nd lieutenant long ago, I don't think I was that useless. :x

But if I suspend that tiny bit of personal outrage, then the story is engaging. Although I do feel a bit sorry for the characters. They are always in danger of some kind or another. Don't they ever get down time? :scratch: Military sci fi is often like that, though. Series of fights strung together with a minimal plot. Since I tend to skim through fight scenes, if there isn't much substance besides the fighting then I'm not going to get much out of it. Tanya Huff has just barely enough of plotting and character development to keep my attention. And that's better than a lot of books I've tried lately.
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Re: What are you reading?

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narya wrote:Frelga, have you gotten past your brain fog yet?
No! :bawl: Still can't manage reading off a page.

I've been listening to the newly recorded Discworld books. And today, I finished Children of Húrin read by Sir Christopher Lee. That magnificent voice is possibly the best way to experience Tolkien.

I did finish The Mimicking of
Known Successes
by Malka Older. A "cozy mystery" on Jupiter with lesbians. The romance part is fairly understated and the mystery part is intelligent and non-demanding. And it's only 4 hours.
narya wrote: Sun Mar 10, 2024 7:03 am a novella for my local healthy walking/talking book club.
That sounds amazing. Do you accept applications?
"What a place! What a situation! What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."

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Jude
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Re: What are you reading?

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By the way, I ran into an old friend in Winchester Cathedral:
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It's interesting that there's no mention of her literary achievements, only how she was a beloved family member and will be missed.
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Re: What are you reading?

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Currently reading the Priory of the Orange Tree.

Nice fantasy world with a Medieval/Japanese flavour. Very diverse, with a lot of female heroes. Its been branded a "feminist Lord of the Rings" which I think is unfair. Its a strong book in its own right and really doesn't need any comparisons to validate it.

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The Vinyamars on Stage! This time at Bag End
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Frelga
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Re: What are you reading?

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Oh, that looks interesting! And it's popular, the shortest wait at my libraries is 6 weeks.

I finished Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher. It's of the "retelling of a fairy tale with a twist" genre. It's a good Kingfisher, with less focus on romance than the paladin books. She does like her heroes to feel guilty for absolutely everything, I wonder why.
"What a place! What a situation! What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."

Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
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Maria
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Re: What are you reading?

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There are a lot of complaints about the narrator on Audible about "The Priory of the Orange Tree" I don't think I'll spend a credit on that just now.
And Thornhedge is too short to use a credit on.

Yeah, I'm trying not to have to buy more credits right now. I'm mostly listening to free titles available through the Audible Plus catalog.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by RoseMorninStar »

My library consortium has a 26 week waiting list for 'The Priory of the Orange Tree'. I just might order for my kindle.
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Frelga
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Frelga »

Sometimes when my libraries have a very long wait on something, they get more copies of it.

These days, I only buy books if I know I want to reread them, or if I like the author and want to support them. For the rest, Libby is my source.

Eta: the audiobook for the prequel is 39 hours? 39? Now the comparison to Tolkien makes sense
"What a place! What a situation! What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."

Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
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Inanna
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Re: What are you reading?

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That cover looks familiar. Pretty sure I’ve read it…
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Re: What are you reading?

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I checked my kindle, I did borrow it from the library and read it. Can’t recall anything, though.

In other exciting news I just borrowed Alix Harrow’s latest book! I’m looking forward to it - I absolutely love her “Ten thousand doors of January” and cannot wait.

Might keep it for the flight to India.

And in other news - Three Body Problem - one of my fav books is a show on Netflix. And R is hooked on the show. So, worth a watch, I think.
'You just said "your getting shorter": you've obviously been drinking too much ent-draught and not enough Prim's.' - Jude
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Frelga
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Re: What are you reading?

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Inanna, my son really likes the show, and he's not easily impressed.

I finished listening to Winter's Gifts, a Rivers of London spinoff featuring FBI Agent Reynolds instead of Peter Grant. It's fun, although a bit more on the horror side than most of the series, Any graphic violence is against undead monsters and violence against humans is only implied.

Sadly, reading off the page is still not working.
"What a place! What a situation! What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter."

Terry Pratchett, Going Postal
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