Books We Are Reading 2019 [merged]

mpswaim

Emo Dad
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There was a contestant on Top Chef who said that he was mentioned in Kitchen Confidential. My wife's response was, "I wouldn't want to be known for my heroin use." He didn't last long, on the show, if I remember correctly.
 

Boris

I am invincible?
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I finished The Priory of the Orange Tree. Respectable epic fantasy with some cool imagery (love the magic fruit trees). Elevated by being one volume and done epic fantasy, which I really appreciate - see Jacqueline Carey's Starless for another recent example. Sometimes it's nice to know you aren't looking at a multi-year release schedule for a big trilogy and can just be finished.
 

rolanddarktower08

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Ishmael Beah- A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - Calm, matter-of-telling of the Beah's time as child soldier in the 1990's civil war in Sierra Leone, followed by his rehabilitation, and then being forced to flee Sierra Leone when another conflict starts. The matter-of-fact tone in his writing intensifies the terror as he describes the atrocities committed against civilians by both sides. Beah writes with a kind of compassionate grief for his country and those he has lost to the fighting, and some genuine rage at the endless circle of violence. This is a man shaped by violence that has emerged scarred but healed on the other side, with some important things to say about how we treat one another.
 
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Max Deltree

Bad Motherfrakker
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I've finished a few books. All in english.

Finished City of Saints and Madmen, by Jeff VanderMeer. I love how the setting is build with this book. And there is a lot of chekhov gun's being readied for the next ones, I'm pretty sure.

Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest. Great use of an epistolary narrative and really awesome setting. Lizzie Borden vs Lovecraft? Yes, please. :)

The Melancholy of Mecha-Girl, by Catherynne M. Valente. This book turned out to be a lot more personal then I thought for a collection of short stories. They all deal with the author's life period in japan, in some way. Valente's prose was a little bit difficult to me as a non-native speaker, and I felt that it was a denser book for it's size, that I've ended up reading a lot slower then I anticipated. But the writing is really great.

The Family Plot, by Cherie Priest. A great ghost story that I've read really fast. All the characters were fun and well-rounded even if they are very, very mundane people. Which gives a great contrast to the supernatural stuff. I think that Cherie Priest is someone that I can always get behind with her writing.

Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor. Always heard great things about her, and now I can see why. Actually I'm cheating here, because I bought the Complete Trilogy book and I'm listing here the first one. But you instantly simpatize with Binti and it's great to see different cultural influences in a protagonist and how her culture influences her decisions. Also the setting is very awesome, even when you just see a tiny part of it. The resolution of the conflict was very fresh as well.

Now I gotta go back to reading some more stuff in Portuguese. :)
 

Altra

Registered User
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Also a weird one - Der Wolf und die sieben jungen Geißlein [the wolf and the seven young goats] by the Brothers Grimm and Ilse Aichinger. This is a modern remix by a famous Austrian author. The booklet just has 24 pages, the actual story is just 3 pages long...
Can you recommend that one? I like unorthodox retellings of fairy tales.
 

Leif

Mountain Ape
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Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor. Always heard great things about her, and now I can see why. Actually I'm cheating here, because I bought the Complete Trilogy book and I'm listing here the first one. But you instantly simpatize with Binti and it's great to see different cultural influences in a protagonist and how her culture influences her decisions. Also the setting is very awesome, even when you just see a tiny part of it. The resolution of the conflict was very fresh as well.
I've read the first two and am saving the third for a rainy day... one thing I particularly liked was how Binti basically perceives non-human aliens and non-Himba humans as being more or less equally foreign.
 

Karanov

GAIA subsystem
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There's this really neat trick with perspective that Okorafor does in Binti: The Night Masquerade that I really enjoyed and will steal, I mean... be inspired by, one of these days.

Spoiler: Show
You have this "rule" that you can't have the perspective character in a first person narrative die at the end of your story. Okorafor kills Binti about halfway through the third novel. She switches to a third person perspective until Binti is resurrected, whereupon she switches back to first person. The initial perspective switch came as a real shock to me when I first read it.
 
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