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Stickied postModerator of r/books

From goodreads

“Am I a person?” Borne asks Rachel, in extremis. “Yes, you are a person,” Rachel tells him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”

A ruined city of the future lives in fear of a despotic, gigantic flying bear, driven mad by the tortures inflicted on him by the Company, a mysterious biotech firm. A scavenger, Rachel, finds a creature entangled in his fur. She names it Borne.

At first, Borne looks like nothing at all― a green lump that might be a discard from the Company. But he reminds Rachel of her homeland, an island nation long lost to rising seas, and she prevents her lover, Wick, from rendering down Borne as raw genetic material for the special kind of drugs he sells.

But nothing is quite the way it seems: not the past, not the present, not the future. If Wick is hiding secrets, so is Rachel―and Borne most of all. What Rachel finds hidden deep within the Company will change everything and everyone. There, lost and forgotten things have lingered and grown. What they have grown into is mighty indeed.


This month's bookclub will have four discussion threads. You can find an overview with dates and chapters in the sticky comment. Jeff VanderMeer will host an AMA on May 31st, to close out this month's bookclub selection.


If you would like to check out our previous book club selections please check here.

4
Posted byAMA Author4 hours ago
Stickied post

Hi there! I’m so excited to chat with you! I’m Aimee Agresti and my new novel CAMPAIGN WIDOWS just hit shelves this week! It’s about a group of pals left behind in Washington, DC, when their significant others are out on the campaign trail during a zany election. Before this, I wrote the Gilded Wings Trilogy for teens. And before novels, I was a staff writer at Us Weekly magazine, which was tons of fun. (I still love my celeb gossip!) I’m so looking forward to answering your questions about my book, writing, reading, DC life and anything you want to chat about on May 24 from 12pm-2pm EST!

In the meantime, you can also find me on Instagram and Twitter: @aimeeagresti. On Facebook: AimeeAgrestiAuthor. And on my website: aimeeagresti.com.

Proof: https://twitter.com/AimeeAgresti/status/998378450019868672

937

I'm not really sure if there's anything I'd like to get out of posting this but I feel like I have to share with someone and you all feel like the right people to share with.

I've always loved to read but the past few years I've noticed that my desire to read only comes in short spurts. I'll finish 5-6 books in a couple of months and then not finish anything for upwards of a year. Every few months I would get the desire to read but couldn't settle on a book to pick up so I just wouldn't pick up anything. I tried to force myself to read every night to see if that would help stay consistent but it just turned reading into a chore I was dreading.

Last October my son was born. He's my first child and it's been so amazing to be a mom. But, since October, I've felt like even when I want to read I just can't find the time. While he slept I was eating or cleaning the house or showering or trying to get a couple minutes of sleep in myself. I felt like I couldn't sit down and get involved in a book. A few months ago he went through a sleep regression and I implemented a set sleep routine to help him. A few minutes of cuddles and kisses and then I put him in his crib and spend 10-15 minutes reading to him. It started with Peter Pan and then The Adventures of Robin Hood. Now we're reading The Princess Bride. I would end up in his room long past he fell asleep reading on my own.

I enjoyed reading to him so much I starting picking up books to read myself, before bed and in the 15-20 minutes in the mornings before he's awake. But that wasn't enough. I started listening to audiobooks in the car running errands, at home doing dishes and cooking, while I play with my son. In the past few months I've read/listened to nine books. That doesn't seem like a lot but I haven't gone a day without reading since March. I'm excited to read again. I already have books lined up for when I finish the ones I'm currently reading. I hope someday my son enjoys reading as much as I do since, after all, he's the reason I fell back in love with it.

Thanks for reading, and never stop!

9.9k

I have most of the books from when I was a kid and the 3 volume anthology, and some of the strips still make me laugh (or want to blubber and cry) when I read them today. Calvin was like me, kinda: a bratty kid who liked to learn, but who didn't want to learn what was taught to him in school. I used to try to emulate Calvin in elementary school, often with negative results (but when you're lost in your imagination you tend not to notice as much.) Bill Watterson I don't think realized how much his readership extended beyond hip college-aged people, to adults (seniors, even) and the kind of kid (like me) who read the funnies over their bowl of cereal in the morning. I still love them, still read them. In that way, the entire collected series is in itself like a "book" in the sense that we know them. Hell, I dated a girl with kids, and not one of the books they read had even 1/2 the imaginativeness of a single C&H strip. I see people who don't know any better with their bootleg shirts and just have to shake my head, knowing how hard he fought for creative control over his creation, and it bugs me, but not so much that I can't look past it. Now we live in a world where the written word has become such an "old concept" that it's barely used, but back when I was a kid, you'd read a strip and have to look up a word in the dictionary and that made the strip that much funnier. I miss those days.

65

I'm not a big fantasy fan, with the exceptions of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, I've never really got into the genre. I prefer Sci-fi and horror but after years of hearing how great the books were, I finally bought and read the trilogy.

Overall, I really enjoyed it, I liked Tolkien's descriptions and the way the characters interacted with each other, I loved the way that he created this world that felt lived in and had it's own lore and rules for how things worked. I did however, dislike the large amount of songs and poems that appear almost every 3 or so pages, and I did find that I had to re-read pages because I felt I had missed something.

Overall, as a someone who is new to this genre, I really liked these books but I do think that for now at least, I'll stick to Sci-fi and horror.

58

I would like to bring to this community's attention an unsubtle discrimination against certain kind of people, most noticeable in science fiction and detective genres (not in fantasy, for technical reasons).

I'm not talking about LGBT issues, for I have nothing new to add to that discussion. However, I'd like to bring up two traits that all heroes of most books seem to share.

First is drinking of coffee. Every character out there likes their coffee blacker than devil's soul and stronger than a punch from an industrial robot. Whether they are scientist, journalist, hackers or spaceship captains, they all seem to enjoy drinking the most vile version of this beverage I can imagine. Not once have I read a scene where a hero would add a hearty dose of milk or cream and a teaspoon or two of sugar to his morning brew. Yet, personally, I can't take my coffee any other way - to me, black coffee with no sugar is detestable. I'd rather drink plain water, indeed!

Second is eating spicy food. If a character finds himself in a restaurant or a cantina, the only food that seems to draw their attention is one which burns their intestines. Their initial reaction might be one of horror if they weren't exposed to such cuisine before, but it quickly grows on them - always! - and soon enough all they eat is the hottest, spiciest dish in the house, unless it is played for reasons of comedy. Once again, I've yet to encounter a character who would prefer "blander" European food to something of Asian descent that's only fit to dissolve inconvenient bodies with.

On the behalf of all weak coffee drinkers and people who much prefer their tastebuds not to be scoured by meals dominant of Scoville scale, I request, nay, I demand inclusion of characters we can relate to in at least some works of fiction! I won't name a specific percentage, but the next time I read Stross or Stevenson, I'd like to hear that milk being poured, and those spicy noodles refused. Let us end this discrimination together!

13

This question is definitely inspired by IJustType's post here: https://reddit.bypassed.org/r/books/comments/8l3g73/i_just_wanna_read_about_black_people_just_doing/

I'm not asking for specific suggestions, I'm asking: what sort of trends do you see in fiction today, and what trends do you want to see? Like, I read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy, but it wears me out sometimes that these days, so many books in those genres go either totally dark and gritty, or they do the complete opposite and become consciously, weirdly comedic or ironic. Either way, I feel like a lot of modern SFF books are trying really hard to deconstruct old tropes, but I don't see a lot of construction of new tropes, if you follow me. I feel like it's been a long time since a new SFF book just swept me off my feet by the sheer novelty and strength of its imagination, without feeling like it was consciously riffing off of something that came before. Does that make any sense at all?

4

Jin Yong's books, "A Hero Born" + 11 more (collected into 3 arcs) have shaped the "Wuxia" (Kung Fu novels) genre and had a cultural impact on the Chinese-speaking world I've seen compared to Star Wars and Harry Potter combined. Generations of young readers have stayed up past their bedtimes to read those books under their blanket, such as my wife who is from Taiwan. Naturally, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the English translation when it came out a couple of months ago. Back then, there was quite a big thread here on r/books but I haven't seen anyone mention that they have indeed read the book since then.

I just finished it today and must say I really enjoyed the story. I can see where the comparison to Tolkien is coming from, though of course if you go into that story expecting something close to typical "western" fantasy, you are in for a surprise. The wuxia genre seems to be a very own world with unique rules and stereotypes. Think: Reading your first fantasy novel when you have never heard of orcs and elves, wizards, dragons, magic swords etc before.

As an uninitiated western reader, I feel that many of the cultural allusions went over my head though and I was lucky that I could ask my wife about what this or that means, why people act a certain way etc.

All in all the book is very readable though, as the basic themes are the same as in the stories we know: heroes, beautiful maidens, villains, striving to overcome challenges and to bring justice to the world. And thanks to the fantastic job of the translator.

I would love to hear from anyone else who has read this book as there are not many English discussions about this out there.

11

I finished reading Jo Nesbo's latest book during some travel for work and was looking for something new. For the most part I will read everything an author has written once I find one I like.
Olen Steinhauer's Bridge of Sighs looked interesting and I was pretty much hooked from the start. The characters are policemen in a generic Eastern European country under the thumb of Russia. The character development really pulled me in.
What makes them unusual is each book in the series is from the point of view of a different person. Learning the motivations of each main character connect the books together. For the most part, the setting continues in each book, but the point of view changes.
By the end of the series I felt like I knew the characters as well as any author I've read. Seeing them in detail from different eyes and viewpoints was very interesting.
Olen Steinhauer is one of the most talented writers I've found and among current writers, his style and skill is as strong as anyone imo. His Tourist series is very compelling as well. How he presents spies is very unique in that series. It also presents Germany, The US and China in unique light.

64

Erin Morgenstern is coming out with a new book December of next year! It's titled "The Owl King". I'm rereading The Night Circus in anticipation, and December of next year cannot come soon enough. I'm dying for more of her magical writing.

Any theories on what it could possibly be about? So far there's no synopsis, just a release month and a title. With that title, it seems like it could be something to do with the fae but that just doesn't sound right to me. I know that's not a lot to go on, but I'm always down for some crack pot theorizing. It's been seven years, I believe since her last book. I'm guessing topping The Night Circus was very difficult. I'm so intrigued and really just wanted to share the excitement with others. The Night Circus comes alive off the page and is incredibly original and interesting. She's great at atmosphere and fleshing out her characters, hopefully The Owl King is just as beautiful.

6

Dear fellow book lovers,

I'm currently studying English pragmastylistics, the science(s?) exploring how a person adapts one's speech to a given social context. I was given an assignment to analyse a video (usually, a speech), an article, a book... Whatever struck me on a vocabulary level. I chose to be more "original" and selected "A clockwork orange" by Anthony Burgess. I want to analyse how the use of Russian words influences the reader's perception of Slouse's sweets and cancers shop robbery at the very beginning of the novel. My problem is that I speak Russian, and I can understand any of the weird "slovos", thus making my analysis biased. This is why I am asking you, redditors who don't know Russian, what was the overall impact the novel's language had on you? Did you feel the "ultra-violence" more violent because of these weird Russian words or in contrary, less aggressive? Thanks a lot!

2

i just started reading ursula k. le guin's "the left hand of darkness" and loved this passage in the first chapter:

"in reading a novel, any novel, we have to know perfectly well that the whole thing is nonsense, and then, while reading, believe every word of it. finally, when we're done with it, we may find - if it's a good novel - that we're a bit different from what we were before we read it, that we have been changed a little, as if by having met a new face, crossed a street we never crossed before."

what are some of your favorites?

5

I found myself the other day with about eight books on my Kindle that I haven't read yet, but instead I was re-reading Ready Player One for the fifth time. I started thinking about it and I'm curious what everyone's reasons are for re-reading a particular book?

For myself, I find myself going back to particular favorites and treating them almost as comfort food. I even have cravings sometimes to re-read books I haven't read in awhile. I don't usually re-read books I didn't enjoy or didn't finish. I also find the time of year has played a part, such as re-reading Pride & Prejudice every summer (and usually a hammock is involved). So, fellow re-reading Redditors, why did you re-read a book?

4

I finished it a few days ago. There's a lot of good, meaty stuff there, and it's a great read, even though I think it goes off the rails a bit towards the end. Lot of twists and turns.

I think Winslow's strongest gift is his dialogue. It crackles. Makes me think it'll make a great movie -- great dialogue, supercharged plot, NYC setting, and Malone is the kind of complex antihero every top-notch actor in Hollywood would kill for to play.

Would love to know others' thoughts on this book.

7

I just finished the southern reach trilogy. I'm a big fan. I stayed up all night to finish Annihilation in one day. I loved the slow burn of authority. I rented Annihilation and Authority from the library, and I wanted to finish the series so badly I bought Acceptance off the kindle store immediately after finishing authority. I am super satisfied with the ending.

What are your thoughts?

3

Hey all,

I'm writing this post in hopes I might be able to find some help for a loved one of mine.

My grandmother is a genealogist and quite the avid reader, in addition to that. She's been collecting several books as a result which range from something so niche and specific it only pertains to family lineage to some books which are supposedly incredibly expensive historical texts. Some of these books date back from what I've been told as far as the 1700-1800's. I really can't say how accurate that is given how complex it is to ascertain that as I'm no expert...but I'm worried.

My grandmother had a very rapid onset of dementia and as at the same time, my grandfather became incredibly ill, nearing death at a point.

Now, my grandfather after a heart valve repair and two surgeries later is relatively speaking, fine. But my grandmother, is not. We spent most of the year my grandmother progressed trying to manage having her diagnosed while also trying to manage care for my grandfather who required quite extensive care from my family. But now my grandmother can hardly even use a T.V. remote, she cannot read whatsoever and has trouble speaking at the best of times. She doesn't even remember that she owns a lot of these books, quite often.

So, now that the situation is explained, the problem is in fact:

We need to move them in a long term care facility. I now have a roughly 30 square foot room that consists of nearly all shelves and every table/surface you could find has stacks piled 10 books high.

I have quite literally no idea how to handle this and my grandmother who is quite possessive wouldn't just want to get rid of these. (Irrationally so, but nonetheless it complicates it.)

So, are there services for appraisals for this? Is it worth it? Is there some sort of blue book pricing guide for editions of books? Anyone ever been through this sort of deal before? Just pretty lost on how to handle this.

1

I have read the first ten chapters of this book and I just can’t get into it, I hate the way it is written. This is the first of Ernest Hemingway works I have attempted to read, and at this rate I will never finish it.

I have two contradicting philosophical ideas Read classic literature for reasons And Don’t read books you don’t enjoy

Does anyone have advice for my situation?

0

If you're like me you read way more fiction than non-fiction. How do you decide when to read primarily for fun and when to read primarily for learning?

I see reading as a really easy way to learn and develop as a person. At the start of this year I said in between each fiction I finished I'd read a non-fiction (or in the case of a series, I'd read the whole series). Unfortunately I do the lion's share of my reading at night before going to sleep. A time that I don't feel suits reading non-fiction. I'd love to hear how other people enjoy and organise their literary diets.

2

The topic it covers is already so complicated with so many pieces. And yet, the writer / editor thought it was a good idea to present the story in a "thriller" movie script way, jumping back n forth in time and what not. It didn't need artificial suspense creation and didn't need to be sensationalized. Before long, I lost track of sequence of events and treated all subsequent crime descriptions as "just another attack". By the time I finished part one, I was actually very infuriated at the way the events were presented. Right before this book, I had read Killer of the Flower Moon, another last century true-crime nonfiction. That book had everything described chronologically and was super engaging and easy to grasp. Wish this book was more like that.

For what it's worth, I am still glad that I read this book because now I know about this part of history, something that I didn't know before. Given the recent capture of the GSK using the genealogy method mentioned in the finishing chapters of the book, I am guessing there should be an updated version of this book soon. I would love to read that.

If you have read this book, what's your take on it?

1

I'm going to see some family and plan on have a lot of fun, but I'm really looking forward for the waiting on the gate with my Starbucks's coffee and my Kindle, and also the reading on the flight as well. Since I won't have wifi where I'm staying I'm loading some of the books I've on TBR for a while and I know I'll make decent progress.

Of course I'm not going to a deserted island, but reading on vacation feels like I'm disconnected from a lot of distractions. What are you reading on this Memorial Weekend?

3

Imgur album

I've found many different versions/dates of Cassell's Illustrated Family Bible online but have not seen any with the same cover design. And I cannot find a date anywhere. I'm hoping the linked album will provide enough information that those who know can provide a date or any other history?

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